Keyword Research for SEO: How to do it

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is the process of finding such search terms that most of people enter into search engines. The goal is to optimize content around those terms and rank for those terms in search engines.

Why is Keyword Research Important for SEO?

Keyword research is one of three important SEO factors along with link building and content marketing.

Keyword research is important as it is considered the first step in developing SEO for your website. Keyword research impacts every other task that you perform. Not only that, but keyword research also helps you to understand your targeted audience better as well as to choose the content topics.

If said in a different way, basically keyword research is like the market research of 21st century. After all, modern problems require modern solutions, right?

How to Find Keyword Ideas

Wondering where to take keyword ideas from? Or from where to start? It may seem difficult to you, but we are here to make it easier for you.

Here are a few ways to find keyword ideas from. Voila!

  1. Brainstorm topics
  2. Relevant searches
  3. Wikipedia table of content
  4. Suggestions by google

Brainstorming topics:

If you are someone related to marketing industry some common topics will come to your mind, like-

  • Digital marketing
  • Social media
  • Influencer marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Website traffic
  • Content marketing
  • Blogging

These are just few broad topics that you can use to drill down to specific keywords.

Relevant searches:

Another very effective way of finding keywords is to check out the “Searches Related to” section at the bottom of Google’s search results.

For example, let’s say one of your topics was “Email marketing”.

Well, you’d want to search for that keyword in Google.

keyword research- email marketi ng

And if scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll find a list of 8 keywords that are closely related to your search term.

keyword- email marketing

Just like with Google Suggest, these are keyword ideas that come straight from Google. So, you shouldn’t doubt whether or not they’re popular. Google is literally telling you that tons of people search for these keywords.

Then, scroll to the bottom of THOSE results. This will give you a new list of related keywords. Rinse and repeat.

keyword research

Wikipedia Table of Contents:

Wikipedia is an overlooked keyword research goldmine. Let’s see how it can help you.

Here’s how to use Wikipedia to find keyword ideas.

First, head over to Wikipedia and type in a broad keyword:

For example, I searched for content marketing and this is the result that I got.

Now, if you scroll down a bit you will find the “contents” section of the page. This section lists out the subtopics covered on that page.

And some of the subtopics listed here are awesome keywords. Such as- Brand awareness and visibility, diversified user base, brand health metrics, etc.

You’ll notice that the table of contents for the Content marketing page has even more keywords that you can add to your list if you click on that “SEE ALSO” option.

Awesome, right?

Google suggestions

When you got a list of topics, type each one of them into Google.

keyword research

These are great keywords to add to your list.

Why?

Because if Google suggests a keyword, you KNOW that lots of people are searching for these terms.

Top Keyword Research Tools

Definitely you can find keywords even without a tool following the ways I have mentioned above. But hey, we all know that using a tool makes the whole process lot easier, right? Now, that’s obviously tempting. let’s see few top tools that you can use to find keywords.

1. The Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner is THE most reliable source of keyword information online.

Google Keyword Planner

That’s because, unlike most other tools, the data you get from the Keyword Planner come straight from Google.

But the big downside of the Google Keyboard Planner is that it’s designed to help people with their Google ad campaign, not with SEO.

That said, you can still take keyword ideas from google keyword planner.

And find search queries that get lots of searches.

Google Keyword Volume

2. ExplodingTopics.com

This new tool is like a better version of Google Trend.

Exploding Topics – Homepage

Exploding Topics scrapes the web for terms that are surging in popularity. And it bubbles those terms up for you.

You can even sort the list of topics by category.

3. SEMrush

If you want to invest in a paid keyword tool, I HIGHLY recommend SEMrush.

SEMrush is a HUGE time saver and one of the best tools.

Here’s why:

SEMRush is one of the popular SEO tools amongst bloggers. They use this site to create and optimize content. The site allows them to know which content is mostly wanted by the audience. They can then create blogs for their target audience. This site allows you access to profitable keywords.

SEMRush- SEO tool

Another reason for the popularity of SEMRush is that you can use it simultaneously for many sites. So, for example, if you own a corporate website as well as a personal blog, this tool will work for both the sites at the same time.

You should also explore this site to know which trends are emerging up in your business niche. You can identify and target them with the right keywords. Besides these features, SEMRush also lets users check backlinks and rankings.

And steal all of their keywords.

4. Ahrefs

Most people consider Ahrefs a link building tool.

Even though many people don’t know but it is a REALLY good keyword tool.

And the best part about Ahrefs “Keyword Explorer” is that you get a ton of helpful data on each keyword.

Which can help you decide whether or not it’s a keyword that’s worth going after.

Ahrefs – Search suggestions

When it comes to drilling down to a single term, you can’t do much better than the features found in Ahrefs Keyword Explorer.

Also Read:

Keyword Difficulty

If you choose a keyword that’s super competitive, you might have trouble getting past Google’s third page.

So, the idea is to choose a keyword without tons of competition so that you can crack the top 3.

Types of keywords:

1. Head Terms

These are usually single-word keywords with lots of search volume and competition. Example: Insurance. Now insurance can be of many types. Car insurance, health insurance. In the case of hard terms, it is not specified.

2. Body Keywords

Body keywords are 2-3 word phrases that get decent search volume (at least 2,000 searches per month) but are more specific than Head Keywords. Example: Car insurance.

3. Long Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are long, 4+ word phrases that are usually very specific. Phrases like “affordable life insurance for senior citizens” is an example of long-tail keywords. These terms don’t get a lot of search volume individually. But when you add them together, long tails make up the majority of searches online. And because they don’t get searches for that much, long-tail terms usually aren’t very competitive.

All these 3 categories have their pros and cons.

But when it comes to competition, long tails are usually the least competitive of the bunch.

Now that we are done knowing about different kinds of keywords, you must be wondering how to figure out a keyword’s SEO difficulty, right? Here’s how.

Authority of Sites on Google’s First Page

See this quick way to evaluate a keyword’s competition level.

First, search for your keyword in Google.

Then, look at the sites ranking on the first page.

Google SERP – "CRM"

If the first page is made up of uber authority sites (like Wikipedia), then you might want to cross that keyword off from your list:

Uber authority sites in SERP

But if you see a handful of smaller blogs on page 1, that’s a sign that you have a shot to hit the first page too.

Keyword Difficulty Inside of Keyword Tools

Most of the keyword research tools have some sort of keyword competition feature, including SEMrush:

SEMrush – Keyword Difficulty

Ahrefs:

Ahrefs – Keyword Difficulty
Credit; Brian Dean

And Moz Pro:

Moz competition
Credit- Brian Dean

CanIRank

Believe it or not, but there’s an entire tool dedicated to keyword difficulty: CanIRank.

SEO keyword

What you are going to like about this tool is that it doesn’t just spit out a keyword difficulty number. Instead, it evaluates a keyword’s competition level relative to your website.

So, it is pretty much like this. Now you know the basics of doing a keyword research for SEO.

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