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Keyword Research Formulas – Don’t do Keyword Research from Scratch

Keywords are at the core of SEO. 

If you want to create optimized content that will rank on Google and bring traffic to your site, keyword research is where you need to start.

The first phase of keyword research involves coming up with new keyword ideas.

This is often one of the most challenging parts of the process, as many people who are unfamiliar with keyword competition will go after very broad words to target in their content.

Like “travel”, “service”, or “marketing”, for example.

(^^Data generated using the Keyword Research Tool from Squirrly SEO.)

As you can see from the data above, broad terms like TRAVEL are very competitive, which means the vast majority of sites have very little to NO chance of ranking for them.

This blueprint will speed up your keyword research process and help you come up with awesome keyword ideas to target in your content.

You can use these formulas as part of a brainstorming session to find new keyword ideas that are relevant to your topic and your audience.

Where it says your keyword in the formula, insert a word or topic that you find is most relevant for your website.

Ready? Let’s go!


1. Adjective (best, free, new, great, top, quick, simple, easy) + your keyword

e.g. free tools for social media

💡 Great for uncovering core keywords to target in your most important pages.

2. Your keyword + year

e.g. best make up products 2018

💡 This formula is best used when you want to leverage people’s appeal towards the latest information and trending topics.

3. Keyword + season

e.g. hair care products for winter

💡 Use this formula to leverage seasonal trends.

4. Your keyword + location

e.g. best pizza place in Rome

💡 You can also try being even more specific and consider a keyword like best pizza place in Monti (a cool neighborhood in Rome).

Use this formula if you’re targeting a specific city, for instance, or if you have a physical business.

5. Your keyword + buyer persona

e.g. SEO training courses for small business owners, remote job opportunities for stay at home moms

💡Great for coming up with keyword ideas you can use as a base to develop highly-targeted SEO strategies.

6. Price + your keyword

e.g. premium wooden watches, cheap wooden watches

💡Using this formula will help you come up with price-focused keywords you can target in your conversion-focused content.

7. Your keyword + benefit

e.g. wooden watches free shipping, training course free downloadSEO software free trial

💡Great for uncovering benefit-oriented keywords.

8. Your keyword + word which suggests novelty

e.g. new children books, new in leather shoes, fresh marketing training

💡Good for when you want to emphasize that something, be it a product or knowledge detailed in your content, is up to the minute.

9. Best + competitor name + alternative

e.g. Best SEMrush alternative

💡Come up with keyword ideas that can help you build up the foundation of effective competitor campaigns.

10. Your keyword + modifier such as review, guide, training, list, analysis, checklist

e.g. SEO tools review

💡Great for brainstorming keywords ideas which will help you reach people looking for specific information formats.

11. Your Brand name versus Competitor brand

e.g. Squirrly versus Yoast

12. Your product name vs competitor product

e.g. Google Docs vs Microsoft Word

💡It’s human nature to compare things in order to find a winner. By targeting this type of keywords, you can show your target audience why your product is the better choice.

13. Your keyword + “statistics

e.g. US student loan statistics 

💡Targeting this type of keywords in your content will help you attract more backlinks. That’s because journalists are the ones who typically search for “Topic + Statistics” keywords.

More specifically, journalists who are looking for reliable statistics that they can include in their articles.

14. ” What is ” + your keyword

e.g. What is travel insurance

💡This type of keywords is great for reaching people who are searching for information in your industry.

15. Best + [Product category]

e.g. best digital marketing tools

16. “How to” + your keyword

e.g. How to travel cheap in Germany

💡Use this type of keywords to reach people who are looking for specific information in your industry and get your business and services on their radar.


Use these formulas as a starting point.

Then add them to Squirrly SEO’s Keyword Research tool, and the tool will generate dozens of other ideas of high-opportunities keywords that you can use to rank on the 1st Page of Google Search.

To learn more about Squirrly’s Keyword Research tool, copy/paste the link below in a new tab:

Give these formulas a try the next time you do keyword research!