Are you trying to figure out the best keyword research technique for your online side hustle? You’ve come to the right place. Let me walk you, step by step through a keyword research technique that will help your side hustle get more traffic from search engines and other sources, while also helping you plan your website content to meet the needs of your visitors.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Keyword Research Technique Step 1: What’s the Point?
The first step in this keyword research technique is to figure out what you want this keyword research do for you. Do you have a product, a service, or some other promotion you want to drive traffic to?
Great! We’ll start there.
Before we get started, you can download the free Keyword Research and Content Planning Template (an Excel File) to help with the planning. I’ll refer to this template as we go through the keyword research technique I’m talking about.
Enter the offer you want to focus on on the top of the template, and we’ll move on.
Keyword Research Technique Step 2: Brainstorm some Keyword Ideas
Next, we’ll use some free websites like
to brainstorm some keyword ideas. You’ll be using the autocomplete feature in the searches of these websites. This will help you discover ideas that people are actually searching for on those websites.
Start by typing in a general word for your offer. On Pinterest, on the search results page, the boxes at the top of the search results will give you some additional options to narrow down your search, based on what users actually search on Pinterest.
Only concern yourself with keywords that relate to the end goal you have in mind. If you are selling a product, don’t use ones that offer freebies, unless you offer a free sample or a free trial. Try to only gather up a list of those ideas that relate to what you plan to do with these keywords.
I usually just write these down on a notepad next to my computer until I narrow down the ideas better, but you can use the Excel sheet if you’d prefer.
Keyword Research Technique Step 3: Find Long Tail Keywords
What are long tail keywords? Long tail keywords are more specific keywords and phrases that really narrow down what you’re offering and what people are looking for.
For example, if you sold high-end French Presses, you could use Coffee or French Press as a keyword, but you’d get more focused, targeted traffic if you optimized for a longtail keyword like, “Where to buy French Press Coffee Makers”.
Finding long tail keywords with low competition from other sites plus a good amount of searches should be our goal. You don’t have to rule out anything with under 1000 searches either. I’ve been successful on other micro niche websites I own with long tail keywords with 50 monthly searches and no competition, as long as those longtail keywords are very targeted.
So how do you find these Long Tail Keywords? You can start with a website like Ubersuggest or with Google Adwords Keyword Planner, both of which can give you some related suggestions. Another website I like, despite the coarse name, is Keyword Sh*tter. Just enter a few keywords in there, and it spits out loads of variations on that keyword.
Keyword Research Technique Step 4: Decide on the Best Keywords for your Side Hustle
Once you have a good list of long tail keywords which may work well for your website or side hustle, dig down deeper. In this step in the keyword research technique, you need to look at the number of monthly searches (averaged) plus the competition from other sites.
For this, I like to use a service called Long Tail Pro (you can get a free trial to see if you like it). I enter my long tail keywords and find out how many searches that keyword has, and a color-coded key as to how competitive that keyword is. Long Tail pro also suggests even more keywords that may be helpful to consider.
The keyword sweet spot is this:
- Highly targeted long tail keyword relating to what you’re offering or what your goal is
- Low competition (“in the green” in Long tail pro)
- A decent number of searches each month (I try to look for at least 50).
I know some people won’t bother with a keyword that is under 1000 monthly searches, but I’ve found that if a keyword is targeted enough, and there is little to no competition, one with 50 searches can still be profitable. Don’t dismiss it.
Keyword Research Technique Step 5: Create Web Content Around Great Keywords
Now comes the fun part, where we apply what we’ve found.
If you look at the Excel template I shared with you, you’ll see a spot to enter your keywords, and the search volume and competition. I also like to record the source. If something was suggested on Pinterest, that’s good to know. I can focus marketing on Pinterest too.
In the far right side column, I have a spot for Article Ideas. Here’s how that works.
Say, for example, one of the long tail keywords you decided on is “WordPress vs Squarespace”. The article idea you could run with is, “WordPress vs Squarespace: Which is right for you?” Such a keyword-focused article could also point out your WordPress development services in the article since your site’s purpose is selling your WordPress Development services. Someone searching for “WordPress Vs. Squarespace” are likely in the market for website services, and trying to make decisions. Guide them.
In other words, take a great keyword (especially a long tail keyword) and plan content around it. Use one keyword per article. And one article per keyword, too.