What is the best keyword research technique in SEO? (It’s not what you think)

The best keyword research technique in SEO?

There isn’t one.

But there’s the best approach to keyword research even if you are a newbie in the SEO industry

Technique combining.

So, if you can:

  • Use SEMrush to find keywords your competition ranks for.
  • Use Ahrefs to find content gaps to fill.
  • Use Moz’s Keyword Explorer for complete topic coverage

Then you’re set.

And when you throw in good ol’ Google Suggest and Keyword Planner, then you’re rocking a near perfect keyword research strategy.

There’s only one problem:

Those tools are mighty expensive; And everyone and their mother (and grandmother) knows about using Google for keyword research.


So what are you to do?

Target the same keywords as everybody else?

Give up?


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In this article, I am going to show you a few off the beaten track keyword research tactics and Practical SEO expert tips.

They are easy; and they are free; and they show untapped keywords.

Want to know the best part?

Very few know about them. Coincidentally… These are the people that rank.


Keep thinking that.


Keep reading.

#1 Did you know- questions are keywords? (Answer the Public)

Answer the public- an excellent free keyword research tool

Answer the Public is a free online tool you can use for keyword research.

Just pop in your target keyword and it’ll spit up hundreds of questions people ask.

Do you see how powerful this is?

Google, Bing and Yahoo are search engines in name, but recently they’ve become “the answer engines”.

That means their goal is NOT to deliver the result that has the best keyword usage.


They are after one that:

  • Answers the question,
  • Solves the query,
  • Delivers on the user intent.

The true “best result”.

And since you have what people ask on a silver platter, you can cut the fluff out and tailor your answer to match.


And here’s something to blow you away.

People who have one question, for example, “what is organic coffee” usually have a bunch of other related questions.

For example:

  • Where to buy organic coffee beans
  • What is fair trade organic coffee
  • Is organic coffee bad for you
  • Is organic coffee necessary

Use questions as keywords with Answer the Public

Your job is to gather the questions most relevant to “organic coffee” and make them topics within your mega article.

The end result will be a piece of content that is thorough, well researched, and extremely keyword targeted.


The graph above is super cool- but there’s a problem. It’s a neck killer:)

So in the upper left corner choose “data”.

arrange keywords in a list- easy to read

And you get a list like this.

Keywords listed and ready for use

To be honest with you, Answer the Public the only tool you need to do well.

If you’re ever in a hurry and can only do simple keyword research- pick this tool and your conscience is clear.

#2 Here’s how to Use Reddit to source great ideas

Reddit is a huge content aggregator. And a huge purgatory of content too.

Articles that are bad (they’re evil:) ) fall into the hell that is Reddit’s ever-moving feed- and stay there forever.

Those that are good are lifted up to heavens, for everyone to see and admire as exemplary content.

Yes– I borrowed the analogy from Dante Alighieri, but the gist is- On Reddit, the best content always rises.

Our example is “coffee” (again)

  • Go to https://www.reddit.com/r/Coffee/
  • Click “top articles”; And “links from all time”

Voila! Curated best content, hand-picked by not one or two moderators, but who knows how many Reddit users.

Can you say battle tested?

Use Reddit to find the hottest topics and keywords

Now comes the researcher in you. Read the first 10 or 20 pieces and see what made them so popular.

Is it:

  • Good storytelling
  • Out of the box thinking
  • Picking a fight
  • Comparisons
  • Insults
  • Awesome imagery
  • Anything else

Whatever it is, take note, and take notice, for these are the wining pieces of your future Reddit- friendly article.

Second approach- Search for keywords on Reddit

You can use Reddit search when you’re targeting a specific keyword ( once again- “organic coffee”)

  1. Pick a subreddit- https://www.reddit.com/r/Coffee/
  2. Search for “organic coffee”
  3. Click “top articles”; And “links from all time”

Now look:

a) What are the best articles about organic coffee, (most comments and upvotes)? You’ll want to model your article after those.

b) What are the worst performing article? You also need to know what NOT to do.

Note- Ironically, I found that organic coffee is not that popular on Reddit. But there are many examples that fell flat.

Learn from them, lest you become one of them.

Reddit is a source of bad content too

Third approach- use a keyword research tool

But not just any tool.


It’s a free service that helps you extract user-generated keywords from Reddit.

Here are the steps

  • Go to Keyworddit.com
  • Start typing and it’ll give you a choice of subreddits
  • Choose “coffee”

And you get:Use Keyworddit for Reddit keywords

Some of these phrases can be used as they are.

However, it’s best to run them one by one through Google Keyword Planner to see which keywords have a nice set of synonyms to go with them (these will be the bulk of your easy traffic- they’re untapped).

Now that you have keywords real people use and your competition doesn’t know about…

It’s time to write!

But first you might want to…

#3 Use Quora for keyword research

Quora is a QNA site.


What’s so special about it”-You ask?

“There are millions of them out there”.


But Quora is different. It’s high quality; filled to the brim with enthusiastic, smart individuals who love to share knowledge about their passions.

Think of Quora as a complement to Answer the Public.

You get your list of questions here, and then travel there to see those same questions answered.

But many of the answers are bad, with some decent and rarely a gem or two.

Now you, the cunning researcher, will want to see which answers get the attention they deserve (number of answers, comments and followers); And which are buried down because nobody cares.

Let’s do a search for “organic coffee”:Quora is a keyword research goldmine

Voila, again. These are all the questions in need of answering (hint– answer them in your article. That way you know your article is pure gold for Quora users, and likely for everyone else).

Finally, by doing research, you will get a list of Quora question where your future article will be a good fit.

That is brand building, helping people solve their problems, and funneling people back to your property, all at the same time. It’s hard to top that, you agree?

Pro tip-If you do decide to republish your articles on Quora, I advise you to wait 7-10 days before doing it.

Because you want to make sure Google indexes your article on YOUR site first, and then you want to let it sit for a while so Google can revisit a few more times.

This is probably being overly cautious, but it saves you from the headache of worrying about duplicated content.

Google goes by the date of first indexation- so make it work for you.

Pro tip 2 -Quora can be a bit annoying at times. Because you can’t sort the answers based on number of followers, from high to low.

But there’s a workaround.

Filter the questions by:

  • Questions and followers– Here you can see the number of followers so you’d just need to take note of the more popular ones.
  • Number of answers– Here you can see how many answers a question has. If it’s a lot , it’s worth investigating further.

BONUS- 2 quick strategies on making content more rankable

1. Use LSI keywords

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing, which sound scary.

But don’t be afraid! Feel free to continue reading:)

it just means you need to use synonyms in your content.

Now, most people assume they use them naturally as they write. And they’re right… to an extent.

If their article is long enough, and thorough enough, they will include most of them.

However, I suggest you be intentional about it and actually try to target as many as you can.

Think of it as that 1% extra effort that puts puts you ahead of everyone else.

The question is:

Where to find LSI’s?

Well, the first place to look is Google’s “related searches”. And the second is “people also ask” feature in Google.

But this is beginner stuff (everyone’s doing it).

You need to go a step further.


By using the free LSI Graph tool (https://lsigraph.com/).

Just enter your keyword and it’ll show you dozens of related terms you can include in your article.

LSI keywords often have very low competitionPro tip– Most of the LSI’s can be turned into questions/topics to cover in your post. But some just can’t.

Does it mean they’re useless to you.

No! (I’m sure you guessed the answer to that:) )

Sprinkle them in your guide where it makes sense- you’ll rank higher in Google if you do.

#2 Use Google Suggest for topics

This is a neat trick I learned from Andy Crestodina.

At the beginning of this article he talks about using Google Suggest to get ideas for an article you’re going to write (basic keyword research); but then he returns to it and mentions that you can use Google Suggests to get ideas for topics within the article itself.

For example:

Let’s see what Google suggests for “organic coffee+ letter A,B, and C”.

But before that, let’s make something perfectly clear.

I mean,

here you are, bombard with all these coffee keyword examples, (the essence of usefulness and good keyword targeting), and all you can think about is:

“uff, this guy, with his coffee! He must be some kind of coffee freak”.

He must really LOVE his coffee”!

Hey, I do, I admit it. And it MUST be organic:)

Now let’s quickly get to the subject, my coffee’s getting cold:)

Google suggestion phrases are topics that can be whole articles themselves; or parts of a mega-comprehensive guide, just to the liking of Google Hummingbird and Rank-Brain.


Conclusion- the best keyword research strategy in SEO is…

I mentioned at the very beginning that there is no one best keyword research technique, but that the best approach is technique combining.

That alone is enough to put you ahead of most other marketers. But when you add these little-known tactics to the mix, then you have a powerful tool in your hand.

Use it wisely:)

Want something to add? Do it in the comments below.

I really want to hear your say.


Listen, this article was all about getting people onto your platform.

But once they get there, then what? Well, for starters you’ll want to keep them on your site for as long as possible.

It’s simple.

They stay»they read»they buy (or convert)

Would you believe me there’s a simple hack you can use, that virtually guarantees you all the benefits of engaged visitors?

Want to learn what it is?

Click here!

29 thoughts on “What is the best keyword research technique in SEO? (It’s not what you think)”

  1. Your article is not only really good, you describe the best option for many people.

    But its not the best keyword research technique.

    Nothing will give you a more informed, complete and detailed view on the actually used long tail then running Adwords Campaigns on the respective keywords. While this option is potentially expensive it yields a view that cannot be surrogated by other tools.

    Of course all the other options you mentioned still add their own unique value to the mix..

    • Thanks for you input Daniel, I admit I did not know about Adwords and keyword research.

      I will put that tactic to good use o my blog, thanks:)

  2. Hi Nikola,

    First of all i’d like to appreciate you for the blog’s clean design.

    You just nailed it with the advanced keyword research tips that helps newbie bloggers like us. I use SEMrush for keywords, backlink audits and ahrefs to understand the competitor backlinks.

    Keep writing!


    • Thanks Jenny.

      Keyword tools for SEO are priceless, but it matters a lot who’s behind them.

      Experience is key, and you gain it by taking action on what you learn.

      So I expect to see you using Answer the Public and Quora for your keyword research:)

      Don’t disappoint me!

  3. Hello Nikola Roza,

    First I just want to say that this is a Great article and technique to do keyword research with free of cost. I have never thought that we can use Reddit, Quora for keyword research. You have explained this technique very well which is easy to understand.

    Thank you so much for sharing this great technique with us and really it is very helpful for all.

  4. Basically, I use semrush and google keyword planner and Google trends for keyword research. Thanks for sharing this informative article many things I don’t know about keyword research I surely use this.

  5. Thanks so much for the resources in this blog. Just to add on, I think Google trends and the google search bar are also important especially for those looking for Latent Semantic Indexing keyword ideas

  6. Great article Nikola!
    I love that website Answer the Public, and I use it to create topics that are interesting.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Angelina,

      Yeah, I the tool is awesome. Very useful and has a very special “feel” to it, at least to me.

      I like the old man yelling at you when you don’t ask a speedy question.

  7. Amazing tips. Very useful article.
    I am also planning to work on marketing field with my small startup based in Germany.

    The tips given are highly uncommon. It was really unknown tips that can prove to be very helpful in future.

    Thanks a lot.

  8. Hey Enstine and Nikola,

    Very nice article!

    I really enjoyed reading this article, it’s a clear example of how to think outside of the box and get things done differently in order to get even better results.

    I was already using Quora, Reddit, and Google Suggest in my keyword research process but never heard about answer the public before. It all sounds very interesting and I’m willing to give it a try by myself.

    Thanks a lot for sharing this masterpiece!

    • Hi Ronald,

      Thanks for a thoughtful comment. I’m glad you found my article useful. I don’t think it’s a master piece, but I do know I did my best to give value and am satisfied with the result.

      I’m especially happy that it resonates so well with the people. This post already has fourteen comments (as of now); so it’s a huge boost for my writing confidence.

      Thanks everybody:)


      Outside of the box thinking can oftentimes produce better results than expected; and sometimes it’s the only way to stand out from the crowd.

      Thanks for the comment Ronald,


  9. This is really a useful article Nikola. These days most of the searches are with questions only. In fact, the featured snippet feature is also coming for question search. I really like the answer the public tool as we can use it for free.

    • Hi Santanu,

      You’re right about questions having a more prominent role in today’s search engines.

      And it’s only going to get worse (or better) because of the impending voice search/AI SEO revolution, which favors the question and answer format so much.

      Thanks for your comment:)

  10. HI Nikola! No Douts Above Mentioned tools are awesome but Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs’s Keyword Research is also pretty awesome for Best results we can also try these two tools anyways keep writing Thanks

    • Hi Karan. Yes, Ahrefs is awesome, and there are ways to use GKP in manners unknown to most…

      But, newbie bloggers should get their hands dirty and minds sparking with free keyword tools, those are the trenches where experience is forged.
      Hard; cold; effecient; effective; experience.


  11. Thank you for the sharing information. I am a new user in SEO and I need some knowledge for related to the SEO. So this article shows the keyword research in SEO. Thank you so much for proving the information.

    • Hi Naseem,
      Don’t worry about being a beginner, we were all there once. The key is to make small steps every single da,y and to not give up when the urge to do so strikes you hard.
      It will pass and you will get better. Trust me.

  12. hi

    Best article about best keyword research technique in SEO keep up the good work
    Yes, keyword research tools are expensive and newbies find difficult to buy it. But, even then they have lots of sources for keyword research to get ideas. Quora one of the best for keyword research where you can find many questions according to your niche. Here, I like the trick about how to use reddit for keyword research.

    The step by step guide for keyword research is awesome

    • Hi Arjun, thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you like my guide.

      There’s more to keyword research to this, but if you’re just starting out, this is enough to find a few gems of untapped keywords. And once you do, and once you rank and earn money, you can go from there and perhaps invest in some premium keyword research tool.

      Because the truth is:

      technique combining is an effective approach to keyword research, but it gets better and more effective as the number of tools goes up.

      Hope this helps Arjun,

      Have a nice day:)

  13. Hi Praveen. First, thanks for your kind words. It means a lot to me when I see that people find value in what I do.

    And I agree with you. Beginners should not invest in expensive keyword research tools.

    I mean, they’re great, but it is entirely possible to find great keywords with a combo of FREE tools and sound thinking.

    Thanks and have a nice day:)

  14. Hi
    Yes, keyword research tools are expensive and newbies find difficult to buy it. But, even then they have lots of sources for keyword research to get ideas. Quora one of the best for keyword research where you can find many questions according to your niche. Here, I like the trick about how to use reddit for keyword research.

    The step by step guide for keyword research is awesome and easy to understand.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us.

    Have a great day.
    Praveen Verma

    • Hi Praveen. First, thanks for your kind words. It means a lot to me when I see that people find value in what I do.

      And I agree with you. Beginners should not invest in expensive keyword research tools.

      I mean, they’re great, but it is entirely possible to find great keywords with a combo of FREE tools and sound thinking.

      Thanks and have a nice day:)

Comments are closed.