ChatGPT has taken the world by storm ever since it came out, as it surpassed the 1-million user mark within 5 days of its release.
Why is it so popular?
Besides the novelty appeal of chatting with a superintelligent AI, ChatGPT has proven to be an extremely versatile tool capable of copywriting, content creation, writing code and solving problems, and even writing college essays that receive passing grades.
SEOs have also discovered a new capability of the powerful tool – using ChatGPT for keyword research.
With the right ChatGPT prompts, it will help you brainstorm new keyword ideas, uncover related keywords, categorize queries by search intent, and so much more.
While you shouldn’t rely on ChatGPT to handle your entire keyword strategy (it does still have some noticeable limitations, like not being able to access key SEO metrics), it is an excellent addition to your usual set of keyword research tools.
In particular, ChatGPT can help you think outside the box and target specific keywords that you would have never found otherwise.
It also makes generating keyword lists a total breeze, as it can organize & categorize your lists any way that you want.
However, you need to know the proper way to use ChatGPT for keyword research – as using weak or vague prompts can lead to some wonky results.
That’s why we put together this special guide for conducting proper ChatGPT keyword research, so read on to learn how you can use the powerful AI tool for higher search rankings.
How Does ChatGPT Approach Keyword Research?
First, it’s crucial to understand a few things about ChatGPT, particularly what it does and doesn’t have access to.
When it first came out, OpenAI’s ChatGPT did not have access to the internet and had only received training for online data up to September 2021.
However, as of March 2023, ChatGPT can now access the internet in some cases.
That means that it’s now capable of producing insights on the latest trends and events, including which keywords are trending on search engines.
That’s great news for SEOs, as the keyword information you receive from ChatGPT is up to date.
ChatGPT DOES NOT have access to crucial keyword metrics like search volume & keyword difficulty – which is why other keyword tools are still essential.
Where the program truly shines is its ability to automatically generate lists of relevant keywords, organize those lists, and uncover related keywords.
Additionally, you can use ChatGPT’s keyword research techniques for any industry or niche, and they’ll still work.
Here’s a look at the keyword search functions ChatGPT excels at the most.
Brainstorming keyword ideas
ChatGPT is at its best when brainstorming relevant keyword ideas for your core audience.
Not only that, but traditional keyword research tools like Ahrefs often have dozens of sites (often ones larger than yours with better domain authority) competing for the exact same keywords.
What’s great about ChatGPT is it’ll provide you with unique and largely unused keywords that still hold relevance to your target audience, which can provide you with a massive advantage.
That’s because these types of target keywords will have next to no competition, so if they have a decent search volume – you’ll be the only game in town.
The trick is to get creative with your prompting.
For instance, if you want to get a comprehensive overview of a topic close to your target audience, you could write a prompt like this:
If you were writing a book on artificial intelligence, what would your chapter layout be?
While this isn’t an exact list of keywords per se, it’s a high-quality breakdown of the most important aspects of artificial intelligence and contains some great ideas for content and long-tail keywords.
You can also get more specific with your approach by asking for keywords outright:
Generate 15 keywords for artificial intelligence.
This type of prompt is excellent for uncovering related queries for a seed keyword, which can help you think outside the box when building keyword lists.
In the example above, all 15 keywords are directly related to artificial intelligence, and upon further vetting, you’ll be able to use them in your content for better search rankings.
The alphabet soup method
A classic keyword research method is to use the autocomplete feature on Google Search.
Whenever you start to type a phrase related to your niche into Google’s search bar, its autocomplete feature will pop out a number of keywords that it thinks you’re about to type.
This is a goldmine for SEOs, as these are real keywords that your audience types into Google on a regular basis.
Well, you can replicate the same technique using ChatGPT.
By entering a prompt similar to this:
Show me a list of keywords that include the term ‘artificial intelligence,’ and the next letter starts with b.
Alt tag: A screenshot of ChatGPT generating a list of keywords.
As you can see, we now have a list of unique keywords to vet using other research tools, and it only took a few seconds to create.
The keywords you find using ChatGPT will also inform your content strategy, which will spice up your content marketing efforts.
For instance, by plugging the keyword ‘blockchain and artificial intelligence’ into our free Google keyword planner tool from The HOTH, we can see that it has a decent search volume and is on an upward trend.
That means creating a blog post or video centered around the keyword has the potential to bring in lots of organic traffic.
Now we have a desirable keyword and a content topic to work on, and it only took a few minutes of prompting ChatGPT to uncover it.
Using questions to find keywords
Another tactic you can use to uncover keyword ideas is to get ChatGPT to generate a list of questions related to a search query.
That will help you find common questions asked by search engine users that are directly related to your products and services.
All you need to do is write a prompt like this:
Generate a list of questions about search engine optimization.
These questions are all excellent content topics and long-tail keyword ideas.
Of course, before you incorporate them into your SEO strategy, you’ll need to vet them through other keyword research tools.
If you’ve been drawing a blank on topics to blog about for your website, using this technique is a goldmine for uncovering relevant questions to base blog posts around.
For example, the question, “How can website owners optimize their content for search engines?” is an excellent title for a blog post, video, or even an infographic.
These questions also provide clues for specific keywords that you can target – especially if you continue to prompt ChatGPT about them.
Question 7 can easily be converted into the keyword ‘keyword research best practices,’ which has a high search volume and is currently trending – making it an excellent candidate for creating content.
To take it a step further, ChatGPT can provide a list of related keywords that you can use in the piece you create:
Now you’ve got 10 strong related keywords to use in your new post.
Generating keyword ideas based on buyer personas
Another way to use ChatGPT for keyword research ideas is to use your buyer personas (also called customer avatars).
What are those?
Buyer personas are detailed profiles of your typical customers, including shopping habits, age, occupation, hobbies, and more.
The idea is to build a customer profile based on your existing customer base by analyzing your data and demographics.
Ideally, you’ll wind up with the perfect fictional representation of one of your customers, which you can use to enhance your digital marketing strategies – including keyword research.
Also, you can use ChatGPT’s powers to discover keyword ideas that your buyer personas search for online.
You can even get the chatbot to tell you which types of buyer personas are interested in your niche focus.
Here’s an example:
Now we have six examples of personas that are interested in artificial intelligence products, which is great news if you haven’t created a customer avatar yet.
Continuing to prompt ChatGPT (peeling back the onion)
Another perk of ChatGPT is that you can continue to ask further questions based on previous prompts.
With that in mind, we can use this feature to get the program to tell us common questions these buyer personas would have about AI.
Now we’ve got some specific questions each buyer persona would ask, which is a goldmine for coming up with content ideas.
Yet, our ultimate goal here is to develop a list of keywords for each persona, so let’s continue prompting ChatGPT.
And voila, we have a convenient table listing A) our buyer personas, B) their common questions, and C) a list of keywords/long-tail keywords to target in your content.
It’s this type of continued prompting that makes ChatGPT such a powerful tool for keyword research. In just a few minutes, you can compile a super-useful table like the one you see above for your keyword strategy.
Classifying and Categorizing Keywords
Another way you can use ChatGPT for keyword research is to have it classify and categorize your keywords based on different factors.
For instance, knowing the search intent behind every keyword you target is essential, but that’s not always easy.
There are times when you won’t be sure what the intent is behind a keyword, which is where ChatGPT comes into the picture.
You can get the chatbot to classify keywords based on search intent in a convenient table, which makes categorizing your keywords a total breeze.
Let’s use the 10 related keywords we had ChatGPT generate for the seed phrase keyword research best practices:
Now you know the intent behind each keyword, which will let you know where to place them in your sales funnel.
For the example given, the intent is all informational/navigational, which are great keywords for attracting prospects at the top of your sales funnel (TOFU).
That’s not the only way that the chatbot can categorize your keywords, though.
Here’s what it generated for us when we asked it how else it could categorize our list of keywords:
And with that simple prompt, the chatbot categorized our keywords based on the aspects of SEO that they pertain to the most – which is useful if you aren’t sure what each keyword means.
Extract Keywords from Competitor Content
Do you have a competitor that consistently outranks you in the SERPs?
If so, then one of the best things you can do is analyze the keywords they’re targeting, as well as how they use them throughout their content.
Yet, it can be a bit tricky pinpointing the exact keywords a competitor uses in a piece of content, but ChatGPT makes it easier than ever.
As an example, we entered a few paragraphs from our blog post on Bard AI and asked the chatbot what the primary keywords were:
These are some of the viable keywords found throughout the text sample, and you can use this tactic to uncover your competitor’s keyword strategies.
Reverse-engineering competitor content like this is a great way to find ways to outdo and ultimately outrank their content. Don’t forget about this technique when using ChatGPT for keyword research.
Wrapping Up: Using ChatGPT for Your Keyword Research
To summarize, while ChatGPT doesn’t contain up-to-date SEO metrics like search volume and keyword difficulty – it is an immensely powerful tool for brainstorming keyword ideas, categorizing, and uncovering keywords from competitors.
As long as you use ChatGPT in tandem with other keyword research tools, you’ll buff up your SEO strategy in a big way.
In particular, using ChatGPT for your keyword research will help you save tons of time while generating and organizing lists of keywords.
Do you need help conducting successful keyword research at your company?
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