Keyword search is an integral part of the SEO process and is a requirement if you want the right people to find your content. Identifying, researching, and planning the best keywords to get your website or blog viewed by your target audience is not always the most straightforward task.

Between so much competition on the internet and new keyword search tools promising you results, how are you supposed to know which keywords to use to optimize your page ranking on search engines?

We’ve put together a few of our top keyword search “hacks” to help you optimize your SEO results and stay current on the latest changes in Google’s algorithm.

Why is Keyword Research Necessary?

SEMRush defines keywords as “words and phrases that users type into search engines to find information on a particular topic.” Well-designed web pages build their site around specific keywords to drive leads and convert users.

Keyword research shapes the entire map of your website. Knowing which keywords to target provides a guideline for what content to create, which audiences you’ll serve, and why certain web pages need to exist.

Without doing keyword research beforehand, Google scrolls through your website, and there is a good chance that it will have no idea what you specialize in, thus hurting your Google rankings and limiting your business’s reach.

But if you plan, build out keyword clusters, and design your website with search engine optimization in mind, then Google can read through your website and identify the correct labels and key phrases your audience is searching for.

What is User Search Intent, and Why Does It Matter?

One of the most forgotten aspects of keyword research is identifying search intent. Search intent defines what type of content someone searches for when they type in a key phrase. 

For example, a user typing in “men’s shampoo” isn’t looking for a list; they want to buy something. So if you design a non–product page about men’s shampoo, Google will likely not rank it as high as someone selling men’s shampoo. Now, if the user searches “best men’s shampoo,” that’s more informational. A content blog/list likely reaches the top of the search rankings ahead of just products.

When performing keyword research, understanding what users are looking for when they type in a phrase saves you a lot of time and energy in creating content that Google will ignore. Focus on the key phrases that best suit your audience and their desires.

The Best (Free) Way to Track Keywords

A free way to track keywords is through Google Search Console. Once connected, GSC provides you with all kinds of data on how people find your content organically. 

From the home page, you can identify people’s queries when seeing your website, the top visited organic pages, and the average position ranking for specific keywords. This is the only service tool on the internet that provides this much information for free.

When researching keywords, look at what you’re already ranking for. From there, you can either revamp existing content for like-minded keywords or develop new SEO-driven pages to target new keywords. With Google Search Console, all the information you want and need is at your fingertips.


No, I didn’t just misspell eat, these four letters are at the core of Google’s search ratings.

This acronym stands for “Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust” and represents how Google rates a content creator’s experience on a topic. 

No matter how good your keyword research or how detailed your content is, Google is still going to “‘reward’ pages where the author has actually experienced the topic they are writing about.”

As a content creator, your experience is the only thing that separates you from Chat-GPT. A.I. cannot replicate everything you’ve done, and Google values your knowledge.

When choosing keywords, search for relevant keywords to your audience while allowing you to develop content to showcase your specific knowledge.

7 Advanced Keyword Search Hacks

Attaining top-ranking keywords on Google is hard work, and sometimes even creating the best content isn’t enough, which is why our 7 advanced keyword search hacks provide you with the tips and tricks you need to boost your website and content to the next level.

1. Find keywords using Google autocomplete and related searches.

Google will always know more about your audience than you will. That’s why you need to take all of the information Google provides and use it when building your keyword lists.

One of the easiest (and free) keyword search hacks requires you to simply start typing in your audience’s commonly used word or phrase and let Google’s autocomplete do the rest.

Start typing your original keyword in Google and look at the keywords that Google auto-populates below the search bar. Also, search the term on Google and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the “related searches” (they’re in the gray boxes).

Another handy keyword research hack is looking at the “People Also Ask” section for potential headers and keyword possibilities.

The vast knowledge of Google’s algorithm is available, so use it to help identify essential keywords.

2. Find the most searched keywords using different tools.

Google autocomplete, and related searches will only show a small number of keywords, and even though you know they are popular terms, Google does not tell you exactly how popular they are.

However, many tools can show you exactly how often a keyword is searched and compare it to similar keywords.

You can find the right keywords for your audience in minutes between SEMRush, Moz, AHrefs, UberSuggest, and various other tools. When picking out keywords, look at their search volume, difficulty, and cost per click. These nuggets of information guide you toward making the right choices.

3. Use related keywords throughout the content.

Google and other search engines understand that different keywords mean the same thing. You help strengthen your primary keyword by including related keywords throughout your content.

SEMRush’s Keyword Cluster tool puts together pre–made lists of related and relevant keywords to help you automate H2’s and key phrases. This is an effective tool when performing advanced keyword research.

First, search for the keyword you want to use and click the keyword cluster button. You’ll find a series of related keywords already clustered to use as subheadings in your web pages and content.

4. Find keywords with little competition.

Popular keywords are harder to rank for, especially if you need more backlinks.

Try a Google search for the keyword you have in mind to see how much competition there is.

Suppose you want to compare the difficulty of each keyword. In that case, you can use SEMRush, UberSuggest, Moz, Ahrefs, and every keyword research tool on the market, as they all allow you to compare the difficulty percentage of each one.

Smart search engine marketers know that “long tail keywords” – longer phrases that often have fewer searches – tend to lead better prospects to websites as they are farther down the decision-making process.

5. Make a more current version of a popular keyword or article title.

Take a popular keyword with a high volume of searches and add a date or a more recent date to it. The date can be either a month or a year. This is an easy and quick way to outrank your competitors.

It works so well because users want the most up-to-date information. Because of this, Google often rewards the most recent and up-to-date content with higher rankings.

Sometimes the searchers will start by searching the keyword and quickly realize that the information is outdated and therefore refine their search to include the date. However, many efficient searchers include the date or year to begin with.

This hack is especially true for topics and industries that change quickly, such as technology and fashion.

Even if the search volume is lower for a specific keyword plus the date, it could still be the best keyword because it is much easier to rank above the fold.

For example, if many people are searching for “Essential Vinyls List” and there is already a fair amount of content using that keyword, you can write an article entitled “Essential Vinyls List 2023”. 

Searchers will appreciate that your list includes the most current trends.

6. Take a popular list and add to it.

People love lists.

If you see that there is already a list for the keyword you want to use, you can always create a similar list but make it longer. 

For example, someone already wrote, “6 Fashion Trends That Never Go Out of Style.” You can up that by writing “11 Fashion Trends That Never Go Out of Style.”

Users will often be more inclined to click on a longer list.

7. Use your contacts to find out what keywords users search.

Another fantastic way to find out what users are searching for is by asking your current audience.

Email a list of your contacts or social media followers, asking what they would search for in specific scenarios. 

Create a scenario like “What would you search for if you wanted to find out how to create a custom kitchen?” and have your contacts respond with specific keywords.

Keyword search may seem intimidating and like a lot of work, but these helpful search hacks can help you succeed while minimizing your workload.

Need Help With Keyword Research? Call The Loop Marketing Today.

The Loop Marketing’s content marketing team is here to help you and your business navigate the difficult terrain of search marketing. Using all the tools at our disposal, we put together a comprehensive keyword target list that aims to deliver the right leads to your inbox.

For more information about The Loop Marketing’s keyword research and content marketing services, call us today or schedule a free consultation with one of our digital marketing experts.

author avatar
Garrett Carlson
Garrett Carlson is the Content Manager at The Loop Marketing. A former creative writing teacher and graduate of the Johns Hopkins Masters in Nonfiction Writing program, Garrett has spent his entire professional career working on putting together the best words, in the best order, to create the best sentences. In 2019, Garrett started his own content website dedicated to improving men’s mental health, advocating for positive male friendships and self-care. Through this experience, Garrett brings expertise in developing Search Engine Optimization, building engaged online communities through the written word and understanding multimedia content (podcasts, webinars, group building) to The Loop Marketing and their clients. Garrett spends most of his free time with his wife, two cats, (Jay Catsby and Daisy Bucaten), and Icelandic Sheepdog Orla while recreating scenes from the Fast and the Furious, and dreaming about all things Buffalo-food.