Keyword research is a crucial component of doing SEO work. You’ve got to narrow down and find the best keyword phrases to target before you really dig in to doing any other SEO work.

SEOMoz’s Keyword Difficulty tool is great for determining the difficulty of ranking for a keyword as well as the amount of traffic (roughly) that keyword gets on a monthly basis.

However, the most difficult part of keyword research can be brainstorming the actual keywords. Compiling a big list is a start and then you can throw them into the Keyword Difficulty tool.

I also like to look at competitors and look at what META keywords they have (if they still use that tag). You can also plug a competitor’s URL into Open Site Explorer  (another SEOMoz product) and look at the keywords in the backlinks.

Yet another way to brainstorm keywords is to plug a couple of your main, more generic keywords into a Google search. Down at the bottom you might get a “related searches” – if you do, these are usually some great ideas to research further. For instance:

In my case, this helps me refine & get more variance for my "iso 13485" keyword. Now I could plug "iso 13485 certification" into the Keyword Difficulty tool and see if that would be a good target or not.

In my case, this helps me refine & get more variance for my “iso 13485” keyword. Now I could plug “iso 13485 certification” into the Keyword Difficulty tool and see if that would be a good target or not.

Hope this helps! Do you have other ingenious ideas to do keyword research brainstorming?

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