How To Use AI For Keyword Research: A Marketer's Guide - ContentBot Blog

How To Use AI For Keyword Research: A Marketer’s Guide

Is keyword research still important for SEO?

Let us put it this way… YES!

To understand the importance of keyword research, we first need to understand the role of SEO in digital marketing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing content in a way that improves your chances of ranking on search engine results pages. 

So, how do you optimize content?

A fundamental factor of SEO is focusing on the user intent (UI) behind a search. Break this down a little further and you can identify the keywords used to conduct certain searches. Marketers take advantage of this by including these keywords in their content titles and throughout. This increases the likelihood of viewers clicking on their content and driving traffic. 

To put it simply – if you want to appear in a user’s search results, you need to try and match their keyword input. 

But how do you know what the user is thinking and which keywords to target?

That’s where AI comes in!

How does AI improve keyword research?

Where humans would have to manually gather and interpret user data to draw adequate conclusions through time-consuming and flawed processes, AI has a more efficient approach. With machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and advanced algorithmic programming, AI has revolutionized data analytics. 

Some AI writers are programmed to generate content with SEO best practices in mind. That means the output you receive is already optimized for search engines and adheres to the latest algorithm requirements. There’s a reason why more and more marketers are turning to AI writers for SEO performance

We know what you’re thinking… Wow!

AI improves keyword research for 5 reasons

1. Data Collection and Analysis:

AI systems start by collecting large quantities of data from various sources, including search engines, social media, and competitor websites. It then analyzes this data to identify patterns, trends, and user behaviors related to search queries. This complex process involves surveying SERPs, tracking keyword rankings, and monitoring content performance across platforms.

2. Keyword Discovery:

AI algorithms sift through the collected data to identify potential keywords. They help identify high-volume keywords and find niche or long-tail keywords that tend to have lower competition but can still drive targeted traffic.

3. Predictive Analytics:

Machine learning models can predict keyword trends based on previous data and current search behavior. They use this information to accurately pinpoint the potential popularity of keywords. This gives marketers a way to anticipate demand and create content that’s relevant, engaging, and resonates with the targeted audience.

4. Competitor Keyword Analysis:

This is an advantage that we find few marketers taking advantage of. AI tools can analyze the keyword strategies of competitors. This means that it can identify which keywords they rank for and suggest opportunities for your own strategy. It also assesses existing content to find gaps for marketers to target with their content. In today’s highly saturated marketing environment, this competitive edge takes strategies to new heights.

5. User Experience (UX) Insights:

AI can also analyze user interaction data to understand which keywords have achieved the best results. This includes identifying which ones lead to longer site engagement, lower bounce rates, and higher conversion rates. When it comes to fine-tuning content and elevating user experience, AI points marketers in the right direction.

7 Ways To Use AI For Keyword Research

1. Data Mining and Predictive Analytics

Data mining is one of the biggest perks of using AI to boost your marketing strategy. It relies on advanced algorithms and databases to sift through large volumes of information in a fraction of the time it would take us to do it manually. 

Data mining involves sifting through online content, user interactions, and search patterns to discover what drives traffic and ignites user engagement. It can also point out valuable links between the keywords we’ve chosen and the ones people are using, showing us where to optimize and where to edit. Conversational chatbots like ChatGPT and InstructBot are a prime example of how far this technology has come. 

If you want to take it a step further, consider taking advantage of AI’s ability to predict the future popularity of keywords. The more information and data it’s fed, the more accurate its predictions for the future and emerging trends. For marketers, this puts them in a position to preemptively create content that addresses these rising trends, helping build a proactive SEO strategy rather than a reactive one.

2. Keyword Trend Forecasting

There’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to generating accurate forecasts – what you put in is what you’ll get out. That is, if you want to receive forecasts for the next 6 months, you need to feed the AI 6 months’ worth of data. It can also analyze previous trends and existing patterns to see how keyword popularity is evolving. This gives marketers valuable insight into which keywords are a passing phase and which ones need more attention preceding a predicted surge in search volume. 

Using AI to analyze future keyword trends gives you a glimpse into the minds of your audience and where they’ll focus their attention next. For marketers, this means being able to create content that’s ready to catch the wave of user interest as it’s on the rise. Users can then enhance their brand visibility and capture the audience’s attention when it matters most. 

3. Search Intent Analysis with NLP

Think of NLP and AI’s way of interpreting and understanding human language. This is ultimately how it gauges the user intent behind search queries. By processing the nuances of language (spoken or written), AI helps marketers categorize searches to better target them. 

Searches are divided according to whether they’re:

  • Informative – The user wants to learn more about the topic at hand. This content includes guides, tutorials, and explanations.
  • Navigational – They’re looking for something specific, be it a particular website or page. The people behind these searches already have a destination in mind. 
  • Commercial – This type of search often precedes a purchase. They’re looking to make an informed buying decision.
  • Transactional – Here, the user is ready to make a purchase to satisfy a need or want. These searches are often more detailed and direct with keywords including “buy” or “for sale”.

Google tries its best to satisfy the user intent behind searches. It offers results that best suit the searcher’s needs at any given moment. If you want to appear in those top-rated search results, it all boils down to your SEO execution and the keywords you’ve chosen. If you want to gain a deeper understanding of the psyche of your target audience, AI can provide the insight you’ve been looking for. 

4. SERP Analysis

When you’re looking to target a specific audience or certain search queries, it could be beneficial to take a look at how others in the market are already doing this. 

If you type a query into the search bar, what results pop up? 

Is the content mainly in the form of blog posts, or is it video tutorials? 

At this stage of your keyword research, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Keyword difficulty (KD): How difficult is it to rank for the keyword you’re targeting?
  • Search volume (SV): Are these keywords generating enough interest to be worth targeting? 
  • Related keywords: These are the key phrases that are similar to your keyword input, with slight variations. 

Based on this information, you’ll be able to tailor your content in a way that gives you a better chance of ranking higher on SERPs. For example, if you’re a smaller website looking to fight for your viewers’ attention and build authority, it may be better to target long-tail keywords with less competition but moderate search volume. 

Consider taking advantage of the “people also asked” sections of search results. Targeting these sections can be a creative tool for expanding on topic discussions and help establish pillar pages to guide content generation. From there, it’s important to consider the best AI writers for marketers to help generate suitable content that ties in with these ideas. 

5. Expanding on Related Keywords

SERPs offer a lot of insight into what your audience is interested in when conducting their online searches. If you find that the competition is too high for the keywords you aimed at targeting, you can expand your research into related keywords. This includes long-tail keywords, which are longer phrases that include your chosen keywords, or semantically related keywords, which are related to the concept of your initial keyword. 

AI covers this type of keyword research on a far broader spectrum, uncovering keywords that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. Focusing on related and semantically related keywords is a great way to establish topic authority within your market, helping marketers cover subjects in-depth, making sure they become the go-to source for thorough topical relevance.

6. Featured Snippet Targeting

There are a few ways that marketers can target featured snippets:

  • Answer questions directly and close to the beginning of your content.
  • Use question-based keywords as headers and immediately follow up with an answer.
  • Use lists and bullet points for steps and tips.
  • Improve your page’s authority through backlinks and on-site optimization. 
  • Keep your content updated and well-structured with subheadings and clear sections.
  • Analyze competing snippets to identify room for improvement and what they did well.

Featured snippets have become a blessing and a curse for marketers across different industries. While claiming the spot of the highly visible featured snippet offers a lot of benefits for the owners, it’s become a growing challenge for SEO experts. 

As a result of Google’s new method of satisfying user intent as efficiently as possible, 50.3% of all searches now result in zero clicks. This means that the featured snippet more often than not answers the query, eliminating the user’s need to search for the answer any further. That’s why fighting for the featured snippet spot has become the main focus for many marketers, which in turn has led to the growing use of AI in achieving this goal. 

7. Competitor Keyword Strategy Analysis

It’s important for marketers to understand who they’re up against if they’re going to make their brands successful. By using AI to analyze the keywords that their competition is targeting, they’ll be able to identify potential gaps in the market. It’ll also pinpoint gaps in their own strategy and help them seize opportunities to claim their share of the market using specific keywords. 

AI-driven competitor analysis will save marketers hours of manual research and instead allow them to rapidly adapt and refine their SEO strategies to take advantage of rising opportunities. If you’re looking for a way to always be one step ahead of the competition, using AI tools for SEO content is a game changer. 

What are the best AI tools for Keyword Research?

1. Semrush

Easily one of the more popular SEO tools available, Semrush is renowned for its comprehensive keyword analysis tools and competitive intelligence capabilities. The Keyword Magic Tool uses AI to suggest thousands of related keywords, including question keywords that help marketers target those featured snippets. Its AI-driven analytics help spot trends and offer deep dives into search data. The Keyword Gap Analysis tool will help find opportunities for brands to stake their claim and gain authority. 

The free plan offers a wheelhouse of tools, while paid plans start at $119.95 per month. 

2. Ahrefs

Ahrefs has a powerful suite of SEO tools that includes an extensive keyword explorer. The tool uses AI to provide keyword suggestions, search volume, keyword difficulty, and click metrics. Its Content Gap feature allows you to discover keyword opportunities by comparing your content to your competitors. It’s very easy to use and includes insight into non-search engines for marketers looking to target sources like YouTube and Bing. 

They offer access to a wide range of tools for free, however, opting for this route does come with limited data. The paid options start at $99 per month for more advanced keyword research needs.

3. SurferSEO

SurferSEO uses AI to analyze over 500 on-page signals to provide keyword suggestions and content guidelines. Its SERP Analyzer tool provides accurate insight into ranking factors, helping to align your content with what’s performing best in search engines. Did we mention that this platform doubles as a content creation tool as well? You’ll be able to create, edit, and optimize content using Surfer. 

The Essential plan starts at $89 per month. 

4. Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz Pro’s Keyword Explorer provides keyword suggestions based on AI analysis of SERPs and competitor sites. Its Difficulty Score helps assess how challenging it will be to rank for specific keywords. It has the added benefits of a Priority Score that estimates the potential click-through rate for a keyword. The data is displayed in simple, uncomplicated ways making it more user-friendly than some tools. 

You can use many of the tools for free, however, you’re limited to 10 tool uses per month. For freedom of use, the Moz Pro Plan starts at $99 per month for 150 queries. 

5. Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool for marketers looking for in-depth insights into paid keywords, including factors like cost-per-click (CPC). It is, however, less effective when it comes to organic keyword research. It allows for forecasting and budgeting within a central platform, helping marketers pay close attention to ROI and overheads. It makes keyword suggestions based on your website or external sources. To get the most out of this tool, we recommend using it in conjunction with Google Ads. 

It’s completely free to use.

To end off…

In the marketing profession, it’s a common misconception that to be successful, you simply need to be creative. You need to have a knack for coming up with attention-grabbing copy, a natural way with words for content writing, or a keen eye for graphic design. But there’s a whole other side to marketing that people often overlook. The ability to read market trends, understand analytics, and implement SEO strategies – to name a few.

Where marketers previously had to spend hours analyzing their competitors and customer buying behavior, SEO has never been easier thanks to the ever-advancing AI tools available today.

Have you used an AI tool to improve your keyword research? Let us know in the comments!

Lauren Meyer

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