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Keyword Research for SEO: The Ultimate Guide

 > SEO  > Keyword Research for SEO: The Ultimate Guide

Keywords are one of the most vital on-page SEO factors. They are words and phrases typed into the search engine by a user to find specific information. Keywords are a gateway that drive people to organic search results and eventually to the website where they can find relevant products or services that they are looking for.

Finding the right set of keywords for your web page and blog is important to increase your site’s organic traffic and search results ranking. Let’s take a look at keyword research and its importance in SEO, as well as some keyword research techniques and popular keywords research tools.

A] What is keyword research?

Keyword research is an SEO practice that helps identify the most likely phrases people would use to search for relevant information/products/services on the internet. It helps businesses determine which search query will help drive website traffic. Once keywords are selected, they are sorted and prioritised based on campaign/marketing requirements.

Through keyword research, you can find relevant terms and phrases that your target audience is actively searching with. Generally, keyword research aids in answering questions like:

  • What kind of content should you create to rank for the given keyword?
  • How much traffic are you likely to gain if you rank for this keyword?
  • How difficult will it be to secure a rank using this keyword?
  • Are people who are searching with this keyword likely to become your customers?


B] Why is keyword research important?

Keyword research helps you to actively understand your target audience and take appropriate measures to reach them and get genuine, qualified leads. This, in turn, helps increase your revenue.

Proper keyword research can also be beneficial for your PPC campaign. It will improve your ad campaigns, helping you gain a significant amount of clicks and impressions. Most importantly, it will help with brand awareness.
Further reading: Why Is SEO Important For Businesses

C] How to find relevant/targeted keywords?

Here are some keyword research tips to find relevant keywords.

1. Know your niche: Understanding your niche and target audience will help you find the right keywords. A good starting point for your keyword research is to browse through related industry forums, groups and Q&A sites. These sites will show important keywords that potential buyers are using for search. These unique keywords probably didn’t show up in the keyword research tool. Plus, they are most probably not targeted by your competitors.
2. Brainstorm ‘seed’ keywords: ‘Seed’ keywords are the foundation keywords of your research that define your niche. Every keyword tool first asks for a seed keyword, based on which a list of keyword ideas are generated. If you are looking for keywords for a business, product, or service that you want to promote online, coming up with seed keywords is essential. For seed keywords, think about what your potential customers or searchers would type into the search engine (Google) to find your product/service. For instance, if you sell customised bracelets, your seed keywords might be bracelets, customised bracelets, or personalised gold bracelets.
3. Competitor keyword analysis: The best way to start your keyword research is to analyse and find what keywords your competitors are using to get traffic. Before you begin, you need to identify your competitors. To do this, search with one of the seed keywords on Google to see who ranks on the first page. These are the competitors you need to focus on.
4. Use keyword research tools: Competitors can be a great source of obtaining workable keyword ideas, but there are still tons of keywords that your competitor might miss out on. These can be found by using a keyword research tool. All keyword research tools work the same way. Just plug in your seed keyword to generate keyword ideas. The Google keyword searching tool or Google Keyword Planner is possibly the most well-known and preferred keyword tool. It is available for free.
5. Find popular topics using forum: Forums are synonymous with live focus groups that you can have at your fingertips 24×7. You can locate these forums easily by simply typing your keyword on the search engine along with the forum as a suffix (keyword + forum). Once you find a relevant forum, note how the forums are divided into different sections, each consisting of potential keywords that you can add to your list.
6. User/searcher persona: A user/searcher persona is a semi-fictional character based on your ideal searcher or customer you have targeted. There are plenty of tools that can help you build one. These persona tools prompt business owners to consider the type of person they want to target with their keywords by filling in related information. The more information you provide, the better the results. You can save & share these details with your team so they understand the customer and their requirements.
7. Use Google suggest and YouTube suggest: Once you have narrowed a list of topics, take each topic and search for it on Google Suggest. The keywords you get from this search can be added to your list. These keywords are usually the ones that your target audience is using. Also, Google Suggest is not the only option here. You can do the same with YouTube Suggest to find relevant keywords that work for you.
8. Searches related to: This is another way to find keywords. This section is found at the bottom of Google’s search results. As you scroll to the bottom, you might find around 5-8 keywords that are closely related to your search term, coming straight from Google itself.
9. Wikipedia table of contents: Wikipedia is the best place to find articles curated by thousands of industry experts, neatly organised into categories. Head over to Wikipedia and type in a broad keyword that will lead you to the Wikipedia entry of that topic. Now look for the table of contents listing the topics and subtopics covered on that page. Some of the topics listed can turn out to be amazing keywords that would have been tough to find otherwise. You can also check out internal links of some closely related entries on the table of contents page. By clicking on the link, you might find even more helpful keywords.

D] Evaluating your keyword research list

1. Search volume: The more people search for a product/service with a specific keyword, the more traffic you get from it. It all depends on the search volume of that keyword. Search volume can vary between different industries.
2. Clicks: To get an idea of the number of clicks you’ll get from the first page on Google, you need an estimate of the organic CTR (Click Through Rate). You can get this data either by looking at the SERPs for your keyword or using Google Search Console.
3. Traffic potential: Here, you need to determine the probability of someone searching for your target keyword to become your customer. In the case of organic search, the traffic potential is the estimation of CTR based on the search demand.
4. Cost per click (CPC): CPC is a single metric that tells you if people searching with a particular keyword actually spend money, meaning it tells you the keyword’s commercial intent.
5. Keyword difficulty: In the keyword research process, the ranking difficulty of a keyword is gauged manually by looking at the top-ranking pages for their target keyword. They account for various factors like domain rating, branding, and search intent. This process varies, making it hard for keyword research tool creators to distill the ranking difficulty of keywords down to a single actionable score.
6. Prioritising: Prioritising a keyword includes volume, difficulty, and CTR. High-priority keywords have higher volume and CTR scores with high competition scores. Thus, categorising your keywords based on the priority score can help you determine their overall value.
7. Relevance: In SEO keyword research and analysis, the relevance of a keyword is important. The keyword should resonate with the searcher’s query, offering an apt solution and adding value to your content.
8. Competition: Chances of visibility is low if the keywords used in your content have high competition. Check whether the competition for a keyword is high, low, or medium before using it in your content for better online visibility.
Further reading: How To Create An Actionable SEO Strategy

#Keyword research tools

  • Google Keyword Planner: Google Keyword Planner is the most reliable keyword tool as it provides data that comes straight from Google. It offers unique keyword suggestions with up-to-date CPC values and can be used free of cost.

  • This is a free keyword research tool that uses Google and Autocomplete to generate relevant long-tail keywords and related keywords for any given blog topic.

  • SEMrush: SEMrush is a highly recommended paid keyword research tool that shows you the exact keywords that a site already ranks for.

  • Ahrefs Keywords Explorer: Although Ahrefs is considered a link-building tool, it is also a good keyword research tool. This tool provides data on each keyword and helps you decide whether the keyword is worthy or not.

Need help with keyword research? Get in touch with a professional SEO agency today!

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