How to use ‘autocomplete’ and query predictions for SEO keyword research

2 minutes, 20 seconds Read

Effective SEO keyword research involves more than just 5-10 minutes and Google’s Keyword Planner. Most SEOs use varying tools to get to their final list of campaign keywords.

But waaaaaay before a final list is completed, there is the brainstorming phase. I consider brainstorming the most important step in keyword research. Keyword ideation is the foundation for your keyword expansion so if you’re starting out with a keyword list that’s missing a few keywords, you’ll likely build a list that’s missing crucial keywords.


Some ways to brainstorm an initial list is to come up with keywords off the top of your head or looking at your competitors’ pages. If you’re in a company, you can ask the product owners or stakeholders what their ideal keywords are — nothing is off-limits during this brainstorming phase.

One method of keyword brainstorming that’s especially useful (and relies less on humans) is to use tools that serve up keywords based on search engine predictions, also known as autocomplete. You can see autocomplete in action as soon as you type a few characters into a search engine.

Here’s an example of autocomplete using the common start of the phrase “how to…” with just one letter added — “d” and “p” in this example:

Google autocomplete for keyword research SEO


You can see how Google starts showing you recommendations. This is based on a variety of factors — how often it’s searched, location, interests and previous search history.

Autocomplete is a really useful keyword tool because you’re able to see common search queries that give you insight (and ideas) into what other users are searching for. Thus, you’re quickly able to put together an initial keyword list that you can use to expand later on with little effort.

Research keywords with autocomplete SEO tools

You can do this manually enter your keyword + “a” then your keyword + “b”, but that would obviously take a whole lot of time. The good news is you don’t have to do this manually — there are tools that will do this for you.

I used to use Soovle for quick and dirty keyword ideas based on autocomplete predictions, but then I found Übersuggest.


Like Soovle, you can input any keyword into Übersuggest and it spits out keywords based on search engine predictions. Übersuggest is better than Soovle in that after plugging in your keyword, it automatically displays all the possible options adding every letter of the alphabet and numbers to your keyword.

ubersuggest seo autocomplete

Übersuggest is Soovle on steroids. You can see how Übersuggest can quickly scale your keyword brainstorming and turn your initial keyword from 15 to 150. Obviously, the more related keywords you place into Ubersuggest, the bigger your keyword list will get and it should make you confident that you’ve done your homework going into your deeper keyword research.

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