Best Tools For Keyword Research

Best Tools For Keyword Research

The Best Tools For Keyword Research

the best keyword research tools for the best keyword opportunities

Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, a keyword is worth a thousand opportunities.

When it comes to digital marketing, keyword research is at the core of almost anything you do. From SEO to PPC or creating content, if you’re not using the right keywords, you’re not hitting up the right people at the right time – which means you’re not getting the results you could be. No results = no money, and no one wants that!

Some people think that keyword research is a mammoth task, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s why we’re going to share some of our favourite tips and tools to help you make keyword research as pain-free as possible. Aren’t we nice?

Wait, why do I need to do it?

Ok, good point. To start our whistle-stop tour of keyword research town, we should probably start with why it’s important. According to Moz, “keyword research is a core SEO task that involves identifying popular words and phrases people enter into search engines” – with the goal of figuring out what to try and rank for.

If you understand the words people are searching for, and the language they use to complete these searches, then you can start to work out how hard it would be to compete for those terms – as well as potentially giving you ideas for new content you should create, based on the needs of your audience.

The tools of the trade

When it comes to keyword research tools, there are tons of ways you can go about it. Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the big ones, as a free Google Ads tool that you can use to search for keywords and see how they might perform. You do need a Google Ads account to access the Keyword Planner tool, but once you’re in you can find it under the ‘Planning’ tab in the top right-hand corner.

If you use Google Search Console, then this can also give you a good place to start in terms of what keywords your site is actually appearing for. While you might not be getting clicks from some of them yet, it can give you valuable insight into terms that you may want to target in the future.

Jamie, one of Sleeping Giant Media’s Search Account Managers, also recommends the Keywords Everywhere extension for those looking for quick wins. “It’s really useful when you need a quick result. For example, if you have the Chrome extension enabled, a simple Google search will bring back related keywords and their average monthly search volumes,” he explains.

Another firm favourite tool for tons of different things here at GIANT Campus is Answer The Public, and there’s no reason you can’t use it for your keyword research, too. Particularly useful when trying to come up with content ideas, it lets you look at questions, prepositions and semantically-related keywords, helping to broaden the scope of what you’re looking at.

Another tool recommended by one of the GIANTS, Jack, is Ubersuggest. Purchased by Neil Patel a few years ago, the new Ubersuggest app provides insights such as the ‘Chance to Rank’ for a specific term, SEO/Paid Difficulty and also a handy SERP analysis tool, which shows which websites are currently ranking for that term.

Get cracking

Keep in mind that this is just a small selection of the tons of tools out there that can help you do your own keyword research – including, of course, a range that you have to pay for. From SEMrush and to Google Trends and KWFinder, there are a wealth of handy little tools out there to help you ensure that you’re targeting the right words and phrases with your digital activity – whether you’re looking for help coming up with blog topics, or want to ensure that your ads are working for you.

Just starting out on your journey, and not sure where to begin? Well, we delved down into the vintage video vaults at GIANT Towers and uncovered a short video on how to do keyword research, which is a great place to start!

Amber Vellacott

Amber Vellacott

Content Marketing Lead

Follow us on social media for blog updates and more kick-ass learning content to grow your digital skills!
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Looking back on a year in search

Looking back on a year in search

A Year In Search

what a jam-packed, confusing and exciting twelve months it has been…

2018 is coming to an end and rather than get all soppy and emotional about what’s gone on, we’re going to look back at all the weird things you Googled instead.

The end of 2018 is fast approaching, which means that people are beginning to look back on what’s happened over the past 12 months. And what a jam-packed, confusing and exciting 12 months it has been. So, we thought now was a good time to look back on all of the weird and wonderful things that have impacted the digital world – from the top trending news events to the stats of the year.

A year in search

Each year, Google Trends releases all of the top searched questions and phrases of the past 12 months, offering a snapshot into the minds of people across the world.

2018 was, after all, an interesting year. Turn to the top searched news events of the year and you see GDPR sitting neatly alongside Spice Girls in the top 5, with the Royal wedding topping the chart. Things got a bit more telling over in the “What is…?” searches, with “what is bitcoin?” beating “what is GDPR?” to the top spot; the appearance of “what is a nerve agent?” is a slightly more worrying representation of the year’s events.


Image result for social media

The changing face of social media

A snapshot of the “How to…?” searches paints an interesting portrait of the face of social media in 2018, and perhaps highlights the changing mood towards these platforms. “How to delete Instagram?” was the fifth most searched “How to…?” question of the year, with the same question about Facebook coming sixth. “How to get the old Snapchat back?” came in fourth – highlighting that the major redesign of the interface back in February really did have a huge impact on how people interacted with the app. This was backed by a figure from the Royal Statistical Society’s Statistics of the Year announcement, which showed that $1.3 billion was wiped off Snapchat’s value within a day of one Kylie Jenner tweet – where she asked: “does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore?”. Brutal.

Largely, though, people wanted to hear about the good things in life. Good things to watch, acts of kindness, and how to be better at everything from dancing and kissing to being a better role model. We could all do with a bit more good – or, as Google said: “Good things are worth searching for”.

The Statistics of the Year announcement also highlighted some positive changes, including that the percentage of all electricity produced in the UK due to solar power peaked on 30th June, at 28.7% – making it the number one electricity source for a brief window. Although there has been a 16.7% reduction in the number of Jaffa Cakes in the McVities’ Christmas tube, so it isn’t all good.


Image result for 2018

Taking a moment to reflect

One thing’s for sure – 2018 was a year of ups and downs. We gained a new Royal baby, but we lost one of the world’s greatest minds in Stephen Hawking. There were some incredible highs, with unexpected World Cup success bringing the country together for a few glorious sunshine-filled weeks. And there were some fun moments, like new ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ host Jeremy Clarkson realising he didn’t know what an Ibex was – causing a massive peak in searches at the time of the episode. The real question is, do you know what it is?

Searching for good

You can also check out some of the awesome highlights of the year’s searches in Google’s full video compilation. It’s a heart-warmer for sure:


Liz Quinn

Liz Quinn

Digital Creative

Follow us on social media for blog updates and more kick-ass learning content to grow your digital skills!
3 things for brick & mortar businesses to do to quickly get online

3 things for brick & mortar businesses to do to quickly get online

3 things brick & mortar businesses can do right now to get online From Google My Business and local search, through to social media and website build... [wpseo_breadcrumbs]It's hard to know where to start as a physical business getting online, making digital and...

Elearning vs Classroom based learning

Elearning vs Classroom based learning

The Difference Between Elearning vs Classroom Based Learning

everyone learns in their own unique way…

In our ever-evolving online world, it pays to know digital. And how can you know these things, if you don’t learn them?

You might know how to make a Facebook page for your business, but do you know how to use SEO to improve where you rank? How about using PPC advertising to get your business noticed? And let’s not forget how to use a CMS to schedule engaging and exciting content!

If you’ve read all that and don’t have the foggiest idea what it all means, that’s ok! The digital marketing world is big, and there’s lots to discover – but it’s yours for the taking if you want it. The only question to ask yourself then is this – are you going to use eLearning tools and teach yourself, or will you learn from the experts by taking part in some training?

What is eLearning?

Contrary to popular belief, the internet has more to offer than just GIFs and videos of cats. The World Wide Web has more tools to aid your pursuit of digital marketing knowledge than you may have guessed – the hard part is knowing where to start.

Your first port of call (obviously) is to check out some of the other great blogs here on our website. However, if they don’t fulfil your craving for digital knowledge, or you want to deep-dive further into one topic, there are lots of other great places to look.

Sites like Moz are great for learning about SEO, but, for the complete beginner, we recommend Google’s Digital Garage. This handy site contains step by step video lessons that will gradually build you up into the digital whiz you were destined to be. (We even worked with Google to put together some of the newer lessons, so you know it’s good stuff!)

Image result for elearning

But is eLearning right for me?

One of the main perks of eLearning is you can access what you need whenever you want. It’s flexible, and you set how long you want to learn for. A quick 10 minute read on the train to work, or a 3-hour long digital marathon – the choice is yours. What’s more, the majority of info out there is free, so money doesn’t have to prove a problem either.

Yet eLearning can only do so much. Guides and explainer videos are great, but what happens if there’s something you don’t quite understand? A Google search or asking on forums might help, but it can be time-consuming and there’s no guarantee someone’s written response is going to clear everything up.  At its worst, you might leave more confused than when you started!

So, what’s the alternative?

Well, we’re glad you asked! eLearning can be great, but it lacks the interactive, personal approach that bespoke classroom training can offer you.

That’s where digital marketing classroom courses, like the ones we run at Giant Campus, excel. They allow you to meet and mingle with the experts to help you learn more about what you want. Courses are typically separated into the various disciplines, like SEO or social media, allowing you to focus on specific skills – and decide what you really want out of your business.

But if the thought of re-entering a classroom fills you with dread, rest assured these aren’t your typical classes. They’re designed to be fun, interactive and, most importantly, will leave you feeling confident in your ability to apply your newly learned digital skills to your business.

That’s because the experts teaching you know their stuff. They’ll guide you through the different digital processes in an easy to understand way, as well as giving you the chance to ask tons of questions and test out what you have learned, to ensure you’ve taken it in.

Class is in session

So, ready to head back to school? If you’re interested in attending one of our digital marketing courses, now is the perfect time to book a spot before we ring in the New Year. Did someone say New Year’s resolution?

Check out the courses we have on offer to get you inspired, or drop us a call to find out more. See you in class!

Ultimately, it’s down to you and the way you learn as to which is best for you. If you learn best from someone showing you at your own pace and answering your questions as and when they come, then classroom/traditional learning is the one for you.

However, if you’re someone who just likes to crack on, not depend on others and do bits as and when then elearning is a great option.

But again, don’t limit yourself to one. Elearning is always going to be a bit restrictive. It’s very time consuming to keep the learning content up to date and relevant, and therefore there are risks of learning materials not being as up to scratch as they could be. We suggest elearning as great base learning but then coming into a traditional learning environment where your professors will have a more to-the-minute understanding of their topic.

The professors we use for our digital marketing workshops are all practising experts who do the things they teach on a daily basis; running paid advertising accounts, implementing social strategies and optimising websites. Being within the sector means they’re aware when any part of their workshops become outdated and change it straight away.

Check out this blog with some of our favourite ways to learn digital online for free and then check out our calendar of courses for early 2019.

Amber Vellacott

Amber Vellacott

Content Marketing Lead

Follow us on social media for blog updates and more kick-ass learning content to grow your digital skills!
3 things for brick & mortar businesses to do to quickly get online

3 things for brick & mortar businesses to do to quickly get online

3 things brick & mortar businesses can do right now to get online From Google My Business and local search, through to social media and website build... [wpseo_breadcrumbs]It's hard to know where to start as a physical business getting online, making digital and...

Using GIFs in business

Using GIFs in business

The Power Of Using GIFs In Business

using GIFs for business in a professional manner

GIFs, JIFs, Graphic Interchangeable Formats… whatever you want to call them, they’ve become a permanent addition to the online world – and they’re here to stay.

Not convinced? 5 million GIFs are exchanged on Facebook Messenger daily. More than 2 million GIF interactions take place on Slack a month, and over 1 million GIFs are sent online on popular GIF hosting platform GIPHY each day.

Businesses all over the world are quickly realising that using GIFs as part of their social media or email marketing strategy is, therefore, an excellent way to boost reach and engagement. But if you think throwing in a cute dog GIF here and there is going to get you results, we’re sorry to say that’s not the case. There are right ways and wrong ways to use GIFs in a business – and we’re going to show you what they are.

Aren’t GIFs just those funny moving images?

People often think that GIFs have to be funny in nature in order to be effective. While a large number of them are used for humorous effect, there’s no reason they have to be. GIFs can actually be a great tool to help educate your audience on a topic that may be complicated or to simply advertise a product in a way that’s more engaging than just a static image.

Take the popular news website, Huffington Post. In 2015 they ran a news article about the 5 different ways to wear a silk scarf. On paper, it doesn’t actually sound like the most thrilling read. However, instead of walls of text with instructions, the article used original GIFs with fashion editors to visually explain how to wear the scarf.


Funny done right

Depending on the story, comedic GIFs may not be the best fit for someone like the Huffington Post, but for a business such as pizza maker DiGiorno, injecting a bit of fun and humour through GIFs has seen them earn an impressive 127,000 followers – and an easy 100 likes and retweets per post. How you ask? Here’s an example:



When you take that first bite of DiGiorno Pizza…

Embedded video

91 people are talking about this


While the types of GIFs used will vary business to business, all effective GIFs will have one thing in common – they will make the customer want to act. In the above examples, they make the customer want to try out the different ways to wear a scarf or to simply try a tasty slice of pizza. Don’t just use a GIF because it’s “cool” or “funny” – think about what it will make the customer feel and do.

Where do I find these GIFs?

A good place to start is to visit GIPHY’s trending page. Here you’ll be able to see the most popular GIFs of the day, and get an idea of what everyone’s sharing on the web. Tenor is also a good place to see what’s trending, and has the added bonus of telling you which topics have increased in popularity with a handy percentage increase. GIFs of snow increased by 21% on the day we wrote this blog. We wonder why?

Using a GIF at the height of its popularity is a great way to raise your chances of people engaging with your post or email, but again make sure it’s the right fit for your business and sends the right message to the customer. You’ll have to be quick though –  in the age of the internet things can go from hot to not in less than a few hours, and you don’t want to be posting things that people are no longer talking about.

Make it your own

A good way to avoid this issue entirely though is to make your own! Anyone can make their own GIF these days with minimal technical experience. All you need is a bit of creativity and the right tools. The GIPHY Cam app for smartphones is a great choice for making and editing GIFs on the go, or you can simply use the online GIF maker on their website.

We have a workshop on Creative Content making that covers this very topic too, giving great advice on GIF making that’s relevant to your businesses content themes.

What makes a GIF popular?

But what makes a GIF popular? Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer, but looking at the top 10 most sent GIFs on GIPHY in 2018 may help give us some insight.

So, the most popular GIF of 2018 is… this.

Image result for okurrr

For those unaware, the woman in this GIF is rapper and singer Cardi B. Her Twitter page boasts an impressive 4.21M followers. She’s a popular woman, which may go some way to explaining the GIFs popularity.

The GIF is also from the Tonight Show, a popular American TV show hosted by Jimmy Fallon. According to TV By The Numbers, it rakes in 2-3 million viewers an episode, particularly in the 18-49 age category – an age group far more likely to use GIFs then than anyone over the age of 50.

So, you’ve got a GIF with two massively popular things, that are aimed at the age group most likely to use GIFs. That goes some way to explain the GIFs popularity. But does a GIF simply just need to use someone famous to succeed? Perhaps, but there’s an additional factor too.

Using Google Keyword Planner, we can see how often the phrase ‘Okurrrr’ was searched for throughout the year. The phrase easily gets 75k in search volume a month, with May 2018 seeing the highest with 127k. Combine this with stats from Google Trends, we can see a similar trend, with May 2018 being the peak popularity for the term.


So perhaps the equation to be the most popular GIF of the year is:

Popularity² + Popular phrase/trend that 18-49 years old enjoy = GIF of 2018.

I guess we’ll have to see if our equation still holds in 2019. Whatever GIFs you end up using for your business though, remember these important words from GIPHY’s CEO, Alex Chung, if you’re still not sold on them:


A picture may be worth a thousand words, but as the average GIF contains sixty frames, then they’re capable of conveying 60,000 words – the same as the average novel.”

Interested in learning more about how to make your business stand out thanks to the wonders of digital marketing? Why not check out the courses we have on offer around creating your own engaging content, or drop us a call.

Daniel Otway

Daniel Otway

Digital Creative

Follow us on social media for blog updates and more kick-ass learning content to grow your digital skills!
3 things for brick & mortar businesses to do to quickly get online

3 things for brick & mortar businesses to do to quickly get online

3 things brick & mortar businesses can do right now to get online From Google My Business and local search, through to social media and website build... [wpseo_breadcrumbs]It's hard to know where to start as a physical business getting online, making digital and...