A guide to Keyword Research with StoryBase
By Torbjørn Flensted, last updated 16. May 2017.
StoryBase.com gives you access to a gigantic keyword database, with more than 5 billion keywords in Danish, English, German and Swedish—and over 100 million questions, as well as wide-ranging demographic data.
This guide is designed to lead you through all the basic functions of the tool.
The first thing you’ll see when you log in to StoryBase is the search area. Click on the flag to choose between the target areas of Denmark, the US, or the UK:
In the menu on the left, you’ll find the sections Overview, Questions, Phrases, Related, and Audience. Let’s go through them one by one, starting with Questions:
Questions: Answers for your customers in text or video
Imagine that you do SEO for a company that sells baby car seats. Under Questions in the menu on the left, we start our research with an overall search for “baby car seat*”. The little star in the search is a wild card that makes all words starting with “seat” (such as seats) a part of the search results:
StoryBase will display the 417 most frequently asked questions, which, altogether, have been searched for more than 97,800 times in one year.
Which of these questions could you answer via text or video that a potential customer might be interested in? There are lots of ideas, like “when can a baby face forward in a car seat?” or “how to make a baby car seat cover?”
Tip: When you look for questions with a high potential to quickly place a website at the top of Google search results, do a simple Google search like this one:
The parameter allintitle: ensures that Google returns only pages with titles that include the question “when can a baby face forward in a car seat?”
For this search, we receive only 29 results. That’s a good indication that it will easily rank near the top for the search “when can a baby face forward in a car seat?”
And it gets even better—there are no videos in the Google search result. So what about making a YouTube video on the subject?
Tip: Many people forget to insert a link in the text below the YouTube video that will lead back to the website. Always remember to insert a link in the first two lines of text (before the “show more” link). The best thing would be a link that leads back to a blog post that answers the same question and goes into greater depth on the subject. Make sure to embed the exact same YouTube video and write a unique text, so that you won’t get a strike for “duplicate content”.
With a little luck—along with a couple of links and the submission of the blog post’s URL to the Google index via Search Console—you’ll be among the top search results on Google, for both your YouTube video and blog post, whenever someone searches for “what does a wedding cake cost?”
Phrases: Find long-tail phrases
Imagine that you do SEO for a company whose client group includes newly started companies and entrepreneurs.
Under the function Phrases in the menu on the left, we search for various words that entrepreneurs might be interested in. For example, for the search “business plan”, there are 19,264 phrases with annual search volume at 4.1 million:
Here we find interesting subjects, such as “business plan template”, “business plan sample”, and “business plan example”.
Why not write an engaging and well-thought-through blog post on this subject that contains examples and templates for a business plan?
If you scroll down the list in StoryBase, you’ll find more interesting subjects that could be turned into videos or texts or that will inspire new sections in already-existing texts.
Words: An average of all the long-tail phrases
Imagine that you’re writing an article about green tea. Have you remembered to include all the most important topics that your targeted audience might search for?
In this case, the function Words provides a quick overview of all the long-tail phrases in your search:
Based on 46,092 phrases, the word “benefits” is found in 13 percent of all the searches,
“caffeine” in 8 percent, and “extract” in 5 percent.
These percentages provide a quick overview that can inspire text structure as well as headlines for entire sections throughout the text.
You can also use Words to quickly remove thousands of phrases that are not relevant to your research. Let’s say we’re not interested in phrases containing the words “matcha” or “starbucks”. When we simply click on these two keywords, they are added to the search query with a minus (-) in front of each.
When we search for the new query, all phrases containing the words “matcha” or “starbucks” will be excluded, bringing us down to 38,657 results:
Related: Find related keywords (that will boost your SEO)
Under Related in the menu on the left, you search for related topics. This super-cool feature can be used for digital brainstorming, which can save you a lot of time spent working on keyword research.
Here, we search for “dog” and get 46 related topics:
Related in StoryBase gives access to what many SEOs call LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords. Google uses these related LSI keywords to check how well you understand a topic and its context.
Tip: When you use related phrases or topics in your texts—for instance, as inspiration for new sections or to link to supplemental resources—you improve your chances of ranking higher on Google. The Related function does not work with “OR” searches or wildcards (*).
Combined search: Make ONE search for hundreds of keywords at the same time
Keyword research can be time-consuming when you have to do a large number of searches. So we’ve designed a function that makes it possible to combine and be able to search for hundreds of keywords at the same time.
Here, we search for a lot of different keywords that relate to “baby equipment”:
Tip: You’ll find combined search by clicking on the wheel to the right of the search bar.
Lists: Save and share your keyword research
One of my personal goals is to minimize the need for Excel and spreadsheets. So we’ve made it easy to create, name, and share keyword lists.
Simply hover your mouse over a phrase and click on the checkmark on the right side. Then create and/or choose the list you want to attach the selected phrase to:
You can always view your keyword lists by clicking on Lists in the top menu.
Tip: You can share your lists with colleagues, clients, and business partners, giving any text writer easy access to your keyword research.
Export: For those who love Excel
Even though one of my goals is to render Excel unnecessary when it comes to keyword research, sometimes you simply can’t avoid using it. Maybe you have custom-made Excel templates that you always use for your keyword research, or maybe you’d like to enrich your AdWords campaigns with long-tail phrases to lower the click prices.
Simply click on the wheel next to the search bar and then click Export:
Demographics: Who is your target audience?
This last feature shows you the average age and gender makeup of your audience based on your search. Make use of these valuable demographic insights when you create personas.
Here’s an overview of demographics for the search “chai tea”:
Tip: Talking about personas and target audiences with customers, colleagues, and business partners takes the focus off SEO geekiness and puts it on strategic considerations and organic growth potential.
I sincerely hope you’ll begin reaping the benefits of using these valuable tools in your continuing pursuit of SEO.
Have fun with StoryBase!