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Reddit Keyword Research – Finding Incredible Content Opportunities Using Reddit

As part of our managed services, we often receive enquiries from VC-backed startups seeking to kickstart their journey with smart, initial keyword research. Why do they ask us? We’ve got a knack for uncovering those low-competition, off-the-radar keywords that others might miss. Imagine diving into a competitive niche without breaking the bank on links and PR. How, you ask? By strategically pinpointing these hidden keyword gems, crafting engaging content, and smoothly guiding users through your sales funnel.

Ready for a peek behind the curtain? In this guide, I’m excited to walk you through one of our favourite methodologies for sniffing out these golden keyword opportunities. I alluded to parts of this method in a guide I published in the Search Engine Journal titled “Tangental SEO: Finding Keywords No One Else Has“, but here we’ll go into more detail covering keyword research using specifically Reddit.

Keep reading, or watch the video version of the guide below πŸ‘‡

Why Use Reddit For Keyword Research

If you’re not already aware (although I’d be incredibly surprised), Reddit is a vast online platform where users from around the world gather to share content, news, and opinions. It’s structured into thousands of “subreddits,” each focusing on a specific topic or interest. People flock to Reddit to ask questions because of its diverse and engaged community. The platform offers a unique blend of expertise, personal experiences, and open discussion, making it an ideal place for seeking advice, gathering diverse opinions, and learning from the collective knowledge of its user base.

People often turn to Reddit for answers they can’t find elsewhere. This could be because their query is too specialized, too personal, too current, or they’re seeking unbiased, genuine advice. One interesting aspect of Reddit is that users frequently don’t check if their question has been asked before, leading to the same queries popping up in various forms. This redundancy is a key insight for our keyword research strategy.

Here’s why: When a question (or statement) recurs on Reddit, it often indicates two things.

  1. First, there’s a gap in available, trustworthy online content answering that question.
  2. Second, while traditional keyword research might focus on single high-volume keywords, it overlooks the fact that the same question can be framed in numerous ways, each with its own search volume. So, a query that appears to have a low search volume might actually represent a larger, untapped audience when considering all its variations. For instance, a question with 100 different phrasings, each searched ten times a month, actually has a total search volume of 1,000, not just 10. Even queries that seem to have zero volume can be misleading; if we find 100 similar versions of a question, clearly there’s an underlying demand. When can easily find these opportunities by using a keyword clustering tool, like Keyword Insights.

Here’s a good example – the keyword “Does oat milk cause acne” only has a search volume of 90 so may be ignored by many of our competitors πŸ‘‡

For this query, in the UK, Reddit results rank in position 2. You can also see from the screenshot below, that the same question (or statement) has been asked in one way or another AT least 5 times (the main results plus the 4 sub results all asking the same question).

So this may be an interesting keyword for a skincare brand looking to insert itself into the conversation in a highly competitive niche.

Our methodologies capitalise on these insights. We aim to identify keywords that are frequently asked on Reddit and for which forum discussions rank highly. This suggests a lack of satisfactory answers elsewhere online, presenting us with an opportunity to fill those content gaps effectively.

We have 2 main methods for doing this.

Extracting Keywords From Reddit – Method 1

This approach is both swift and straightforward, yet it’s important to note that the keywords we identify are also accessible to our competitors, as we utilize common keyword research tools in our process. However, accessibility doesn’t necessarily mean that our competitors are actively pursuing these keywords. As previously mentioned, many focus solely on individual keywords with high search volumes. What they often overlook is the potential of grouping multiple low-volume keywords to reveal a more accurate, aggregated search demand. This oversight means that these clusters of keywords are frequently neglected, leaving a valuable niche that we can capitalize on.

Step 1 – Find suitable subreddit(s)

Firstly, identify any relevant subreddits for your particular topic. If you don’t know which subreddits to look for you can either look at this list which contains every major subreddit on Reddit or simply type a keyword into the Reddit search bar and view the subreddits that come up. In this case, I’ll look at skincare.

Step 2 – Plug that subreddit into your SEO tool of choice

For this guide, I’ll be using ahrefs. Type the URL into the search bar and click on the keywords.

Step 3 – Apply some filters

Our goal is to get generic keywords for which forums (specifically Reddit) rank in top positions. It’s a great indication that other content on the web isn’t covering the topic in a way which satisfies users. I start by adding these filters to filter out any keywords where people specifically want Reddit to rank or any keywords where people want a review:

I also added this filter to only show me the results where Reddit results are ranking very high in the SERP results:

With this particular subreddit, I was still left with over 200k keywords. For this reason, I added a few other filters including a maximum keyword difficulty and maximum search volume one. I was left with 22k keywords.

Step 4 – Export

Export the keywords and get ready to upload them into your keyword clustering tool of choice. We’ll cover this a little further in the guide.

Extracting Keywords From Reddit – Method 2

The next method we’re going to explore is slightly more sophisticated. You can either use it as a replacement for the first method or in addition to it. My advice is to combine it with the first method for enhanced results.

This technique involves extracting keywords that typical SEO tools might overlook. We accomplish this by identifying all the relevant subreddits and gathering as many questions as possible from them. To simplify this process, I have developed a Google Colab script that automates these tasks for you. Here’s what the script does:

  1. It starts by taking a CSV file containing a list of subreddits you want the questions from.
  2. The script then retrieves as many questions as it can from these subreddits. It then compiles all these questions into a single column within a new CSV file.
  3. Additionally, there’s an optional part of the script. If you have an Open AI API key, the final part of the script will ‘clean’ the questions, removing the various colloquialisms and informal language typically found in them, to make the data more streamlined for analysis.

Step 1 – Create Your Reddit API

We’ll be using the Reddit API to gather all the questions

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Create a Reddit Account: If you don’t already have one, sign up for a Reddit account.
  2. Register Your Application:
    • Go to the Reddit app page (https://www.reddit.com/prefs/apps).
    • Scroll down to the ‘Developed Applications’ section and click on the ‘Create App’ or ‘Create Another App’ button.
    • Fill out the form with the required details:
      • Name: Give your application a name.
      • App type: Choose the appropriate type for your application (web, installed, or script).
      • Description: (Optional) Provide a brief description of your application.
      • About URL: (Optional) If you have a webpage with more information about your app, include the URL here.
      • Permissions: Choose the permissions your app will need.
      • Redirect URI: You can use http://localhost.
  3. Obtain Your Credentials:
    • Once your application is created, Reddit will provide you with a client ID and a client secret. These are important and should be kept confidential.
    • The client ID is found right under the application name.
    • The client secret is in the app details.

Step 2 – Find suitable subreddit(s)

First, pinpoint subreddits that relate to your topic. If you’re unsure about which subreddits to choose, you can refer to this comprehensive list of all major subreddits on Reddit. Alternatively, just enter a keyword in the Reddit search bar and see which subreddits appear. I’ve discussed already in Step 1 of Method 1 above.

The CSV which the script takes just requires the name of the Subreddit in a single column. So add them all like this πŸ‘‡.

Save as a CSV and call it “subreddits.csv” (Case is important).

Step 3 – Open the Google Colabs Script and upload the CSV

You’ll then want to open the Google Colabs file which I’ll link to a little later in the guide. If you’ve never used Google Colabs before, it is a free, online coding platform that allows you to write and run Python code in your browser. It requires no setup, offers free access to powerful computing resources like GPUs, and is great for collaboration, similar to Google Docs. It’s especially popular for data science and machine learning projects.

Each section of code is in a “code block”. In the second block, you’ll want to add your Reddit ID and secret that you got from Step 1. You’ll also want to make up a user agent. Do something like ‘made by [YOUR REDDIT USERNAME}’. Make sure any text you input is always between the two ‘quotation marks’.

You’ll also want to upload your list of subreddits. Click the file icon in the far left and then the upload button:

Now simply run each cell, waiting for the last one to finish before running the next.

The last cell will take some time to run, especially depending on how many subreddits you’ve included. It’ll look like this whilst it’s working πŸ‘‡

Once it’s finished, you’ll get this new little downloadable CSV in the far left panel.

You can download this file to reveal a list of all your scraped questions.

The questions sourced directly from Reddit are presented in their original form, which often includes unconventional phrasing, slang, or additional elements like brackets. While we have the option to refine and edit these questions for clarity (a process we’ll explore in the next step), it’s worth noting that they are sufficiently coherent for direct input into Keyword Insights. Even in their raw state, the tool effectively groups similar queries together, enabling you to discover intriguing content ideas.

Screenshot from Keyword Insights after feeding raw Reddit questions in

The repetition of the same question across various instances is evident. When you search for these questions on Google, you’ll find that medical articles often appear in the search results. However, by examining the specific threads on Reddit where these questions are asked, we gain the opportunity to craft articles that address these queries more directly and specifically knowing full well they’re being searched for often.

We’ll go through how to use Keyword Insights a little later in this guide. To get the Reddit script mentioned above, read step 4 and there is an email signup link to get the script.

Step 4 – (Optional) Clean up the Reddit questions using open AI

As mentioned earlier, the questions we extract come directly from Reddit and are therefore presented in their unedited form. This includes the original, often unconventional phrasing, use of slang, and various additional elements like brackets. We could upload them directly into Keyword Insights and group them as is, or we could clean them up using Open AI. This is where the second half of the Google Colab script comes in.

Firstly, add your Open AI API here in the box that starts with “import openai”

What to do once you’ve got your keywords and questions from Reddit

Cluster them!

This means grouping similar keywords together, allowing you to move away from analyzing thousands of individual keywords to concentrating on clusters of keywords. This method gives a better understanding of their overall search volume and search frequency. Recall the point we made at the start of this article? People tend to search for the same question in many different ways. While our competitors focus on identifying single keywords with significant volume, our strategy involves examining the combined frequency and/or search volume of keyword clusters.

We’ll show you how to do this easily using Keyword Insights, although the approach varies depending on whether you’ve employed Method 1, Method 2, or a combination of both.

Let’s begin by exploring the process using Method 1, which is generally more straightforward. The simplicity of Method 1 largely stems from the fact that, if you’ve used a well-known SEO tool for export, the resulting spreadsheet is likely to already include a column for search volume. This is crucial because Keyword Insights requires a volume column to function effectively.

Step 1 – Sign up/log in to Keyword Insights

Log in to Keyword Insights and head to the clustering module in the left panel.

Start a new project and follow the steps, which are designed to be straightforward.

In Keyword Insights, you have the option to add a domain for tracking the rankings of your keyword clusters. This feature simplifies the process of identifying any gaps in your content as we’ll see later. So if you’re working on a particular domain, I’d recommend popping that in here.

It’s also super easy to upload the file you exported from your favourite SEO tool with no formatting required. In the below example, I uploaded the export I made from ahrefs in seconds.

Step 2 – Find your content ideas

After the tool completes its process, you can access the report either through the user interface or download it as an Excel or Google Drive file. I find it more convenient to view it within the tool itself. This allows me to directly push any interesting clusters to the AI writing assistant, facilitating the content creation process.

Below is an image if you view the report within the tool. The first thing that stands out is the evidence of the same question being asked multiple times on Reddit, as indicated by the presence of many large clusters. Our initial list of 22,000 keywords has been effectively condensed into 3,890 clusters. πŸ‘‡

Now it’s just a case of finding the ones you want to write about. Because we added the URL of our target domain in Step 4, we can easily apply a filter to only show those clusters of keywords we don’t already rank for.

I’ve also attached a quick screenshot of what you’d see if you opened the Google sheet report πŸ‘‡.

Again, you’ll notice that the same question is often repeated. While each keyword individually may only have a search volume of around 60 to 70, the total search volume for the entire group of keywords is close to 7,000. This might not be the best example since the main keyword has a search volume of 2,800, indicating that bigger competitors might already be targeting it. However, I hope this helps to convey the idea I’m discussing.

If you used the Reddit question scraping script above, you’ll have to add one step to your process

As mentioned, the process becomes a bit more complex when you apply method 2 to enhance your results. This complexity arises because the Keyword Insights tool requires a column for ‘search volume’ and of course scraping Reddit won’t give you search volumes.

So, if you haven’t used Open AI to refine your questions, simply add a new column to your spreadsheet labelled ‘search volume’ and assign an arbitrary number to each entry. On the other hand, if you have used Open AI for question refinement, consider re-running these questions through a keyword research tool to check if they have any significant search volume on their own.

Furthermore, if you wish to combine the questions scraped from Reddit with the SEO tool export from method 1, we’ve made it very straightforward for you. Our system allows you to upload multiple files seamlessly, without the need to manually open each CSV, align columns, or check for duplicate results. We handle all these tasks. All you need to do is upload the CSV files you want to analyze, ensuring each has a ‘keyword’ column and a ‘search volume’ column, regardless of their source.”

Step 3 – Write and optimise your content

By now, you should have a wealth of content ideas. The most effective method to transform these ideas into complete, written articles is to utilise the Keyword Insights AI content writer. If you’ve been operating within the tool’s keyword clustering user interface, you can easily queue these ideas for writing by clicking the small plus arrows. This action will directly send keywords to our writing assistant module.

Or, if you’ve been working in the spreadsheet, you can just add your keyword directly into the writing assistant module.

From here you can have an outline generated in seconds 🀯.

Finally, use the “write” and “optimise” tabs to have a fully optimised article in under an hour πŸ‘‡

Wrapping up

Reddit can be a goldmine for uncovering valuable keyword opportunities that are often overlooked by competitors. By tapping into the diverse and engaged community on Reddit, you can identify recurring questions and topics that indicate a gap in trustworthy online content. This approach allows you to discover keyword variations and clusters that collectively represent a significant search demand, even if individual keywords have low search volume.

We’ve explored two effective methods for extracting keywords from Reddit, each offering its own advantages. The first method, which involves using common SEO tools, provides a swift and straightforward way to identify keywords that may be accessible to competitors but are frequently neglected. The second method, a more sophisticated approach, automates the process of gathering questions from relevant subreddits, providing a wealth of unexplored keyword opportunities.

Once you have collected these keywords, the next steps involve clustering them to understand their overall search volume and frequency. By using a tool like Keyword Insights, you can streamline this process and identify content ideas that align with your target audience’s interests and questions.

Ultimately, the power of Reddit for keyword research lies in its ability to uncover hidden niches and address specific user queries. By leveraging these insights and using AI-driven content generation tools, you can efficiently create high-quality, optimized content that resonates with your audience. Reddit offers a unique opportunity to stay ahead in the competitive world of SEO and content marketing. So, don’t hesitate to explore this valuable resource and unlock the potential it holds for your digital marketing strategy.

Happy keyword hunting!

Andy Chadwick

Andy Chadwick

Andy Chadwick is a digital marketing consultant, specializing in SEO. He has been in the industry since 2013 and worked with start-up companies (he grew his own start-up to a turnover of Β£2.5 million in 3 years) as well as international organizations. He’s also worked in-house as well as agency side. Andy runs a successful SEO consulting business in the UK as well as Snippet Digital SEO consultancy with Suganthan.

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