The Importance of Keyword Modifiers

what are your keywords? - modifier research

 

As you can tell from the title of this post, I’m going to discuss how to carry out keyword research effectively through a modified search. Now because I don’t know your background or your levels of understanding on the subject, I’m going to assume you have some understanding. That is why you are on this page, to gain more insight and understanding.

As you hopefully know, keyword research is fundamental when it comes to carrying out correct and effective SEO services. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to do local SEO or affiliate SEO and everything else in between. You won’t get the site or page ranked and traffic to your site without first doing useful keyword research.

In this post, I’m going to share with you a simple method to help you mine Google for relevant keyword ideas, phrases, and questions. Information that those ‘ready to purchase’ customers you want visiting your site are using to find products and services like yours.

Start with the root phrase

Find the best modifiers – modifiers are those terms someone would place either before or after the root phrase to go deeper in finding the right results. So for example, company, companies, prices, how-to etc. So if your root phrase was car insurance, then the modifiers we could as follows: car insurance company; car insurance companies; car insurance prices; how to do get car insurance, and so on.

Now one of the best ways to see which modifiers people are using is to use Google itself. Let’s say I work within the car insurance industry, and I want to see what terms would be excellent for my companies website to rank for. You will see from the example below, I’ve gone to Google and typed in car insurance, and then I have scrolled to the bottom of the results. There we have a list of the top modifiers used by people searching for car insurance – very cheap, admiral, moneysupermarket, admiral and quote, compare and quotes, tesco, cheapest and uk, best and uk
example of keyword modifiers

What we do is we collect this data, to enable us to dig even deeper in to our queries. So we take these phrases and put them in a notepad for us to refer to as we research further.
By looking at this list, we can see that one standard modifier is the term ‘cheap’ and ‘cheapest’. If this is something that my company offers, then we can dig a bitter deeper

NOTE: One of the errors a lot of companies make is they try and rank for the extensive competitive phrases, like car insurance. But what is not understood is that ranking is based on trust and authority. This is why only those sites that have built up that trust and authority within Google can rank for the very highly competitive terms.

If we drill down and look at one of those modified terms, ‘very cheap car insurance’, we can see that Google auto-suggest tells us that other relevant terms are also available. Terms such as, very cheap car insurance low deposit, for over 50 and so on. And we can see that list also at the bottom of the page so that we can collect the data.

google auto-suggest example

What we want to be doing is looking for question type phrases, and so far we don’t have any. So I dig a little deeper by looking at what other terms are relevant to ‘very cheap car insurance for new drivers’ – and I get a new list which contains the phrase – roughly how much is car insurance for a new driver?

Now, why is this important? Well, Google has not only told us that the question – ‘roughly how much is car insurance for a new driver?’ – is related to cheap car insurance for new drivers, but the fact they are giving us this information shows that it is part of the Google knowledge graph.

The knowledge graph is a way for Google to collate data and information from various sources, to provide you with the relevant information relating to your search.
So, for example, we can see from the search done below, that Google has provided us with a knowledge graph outlining the various costs for insurance on different models of cars, for young drivers.

Google knowledge graph example

And if we scroll down that search result page, we see more information from the knowledge graph, by way of questions that people are asking.

knowledge graph questions example

So this data helps us in our keyword research, enabling us to generate a list of phrases that people are using when it comes to asking questions concerning car insurance.

But why is that important? Surely we should not need to worry about questions like – am I covered to drive others’ cars on my insurance? How is that going to help us get ranked and gain more traffic?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, ranking is based on trust and authority. If you have content on your website that is answering the questions that potential customers are asking, not only does it build up trust and authority within Google, to get you ranked higher, but it also builds up trust and authority with your potential customer.

They see that you are a company that answers their questions, which gives them all the pertinent facts. This enables them to begin to trust you, and the possibility they buy from you has increased.
But not only that. Also, it will be easier to rank for what is referred to the low hanging fruit terms, the terms that are modified. The top modifiers, drilled down, compared to the top phrases.

Let me show you what I mean. If we look at the term car insurance, we can see this is an extremely competitive phrase, from the fact that Google is telling us that over 1.5 billion pages are ranking for the term, in the UK alone.

search results example

But if we were to look for our deep modified term, we can see that it is a lot less than 1.5 billion, still a high number though. And so we can look to keep drilling down to search for relevant modified terms that do not have as much competing pages.

exact phrase knowledge graph examples

So there you are. That is an outline of how to do modified keyword research. In the next post, we will look at several various tools to enable you to carry out more in-depth keyword research.

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