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Everything you need to know about keyword research
Knowledgebase : Keyword Research

The Ultimate Guide to Keyword Research

June 11, 2021 at 12:45 by Selim Koch

Keywords are one of the essential elements of SEO since users use them to find what they need. That’s why every marketer needs to do thorough research to find the best keywords for their content.

But how to do that the right way?

Keyword research may seem like a daunting task at first. You may not know where to start from or which tools to use. The good news is that finding the right keywords for your content is quite straightforward once you learn the process.

To help you out with it, we’ve created this guide to keyword research. In it, you’ll find all about keywords, the keyword research process, and the tools you need to use to find the best keywords for your content.

Let’s get started!

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process of searching for words or phrases that are relevant to your business and customers. Those are the words consumers search for when they want to find content like yours (products/services you sell). The end result of this research would be an extensive list of short-tail and long-tail keywords that would help your site rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP).

However, the keyword research process doesn’t include only the searching of keywords. It continues to their sorting into a logical order and related groups for better organization.

Keyword research is an endless process that is repeated all the time. You have to continuously look for the most relevant keywords for your content in order to stay up-to-date and continually optimize your website.

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

Keyword research is important because it affects each part of your SEO strategy, including on-page SEO, content marketing, finding content topics, and email outreach. That’s why it’s the first step of SEO.

It also allows you to find the best keywords that will help you rank high on the SERP. And, it helps you better understand your target audience and what they are searching for by providing you with insights on their search queries and the keywords they use.

Things to Consider Before Doing Your Keyword Research?

Your Content

Before you start the keyword research, think about your content, your website/blog, and your brand. Ask yourself what’s the goal of your business? What are you promoting? Who do you want to reach?

Short or Long-Tail Keywords?

Another thing to consider is whether you will focus solely on keyphrases or also on long-tail keywords. A keyphrase is a single word or phrase you want your site to rank for, such as “smartwatches or “dog supplies”. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are specific, less competitive compared to keyphrases, and focus on the niche. Due to containing more words, they help your site rank higher much easier.

Make a Keyword List

The last thing to take care of before starting your search for keywords is to create a keyword list. This list will help you keep your keywords organized. It’s best to create it in Excell since tables allow you to keep things neat. When creating the table, include these sections:

  • Keyword
  • Monthly search volume
  • Keyword difficulty
  • Competitiveness
  • Cost-per-click
  • Your website rank

Having these sections will provide you a great overview of the details related to each keyword.

How to Find the Right Keywords?

Once you’ve set up your keyword list, it’s time to start the hunt for keywords. There are several ways to find the right keywords.

Use Google

Google is a great way to start your search. You can simply write words related to your business/brand and Google will suggest you the most commonly searched words and phrases. Also, you can check the “related searches” on the SERP.

When searching, don’t forget to look for long-tail keywords too. They are less competitive than short keywords and can help you rank high on search engines.

Apart from Google, you can also use Bing or other search engines of your preference.

Use Keyword Research Tools

If you want to find the best keywords for your site, it’s best to use a keyword research tool. There are many keyword research tools available on the market. Some of them are completely free, some offer limited features for free, and others are paid (affordable prices!).

Due to the importance and usefulness of these tools, we’ve dedicated an entire heading to them.

The 10 Best Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research tools save your time and help you find the most suitable keywords for your content. Some of them allow you to analyze your competitors and “steal” their keywords. Now, let’s check out the 10 best keyword research tools!

Google Keyword Planner

We start with this tool because it’s considered to be the most reliable source of keywords. It’s simply because all keyword suggestions come right from Google. However, this tool is more about finding the right keywords for your Google ads, not SEO.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it! You can still use the Google Keyword Planner to get some keywords and the most commonly searched queries.

Keyword Surfer

Keyword Surfer is an easy-to-use keyword tool that shows you keywords within your Google search results. What we like about it is that it’s a Chrome extension. Hence, you just have to install it on your browser and start googling. The keywords and their data will appear on the screen. Awesome!

Ubersuggest

This is one of the most popular keyword research tools right now. It’s available on Neil Patel’s website, so you don’t have to download it at all. To use it, you just have to type in the keywords you’ve come up with which are related to your topic. You can search as a guest, but you’ll be limited to 3 searches per day. If you want more searches per day, you have to register for a free account.

This tool generates keywords from Google’s search suggestions. It also provides you with relevant data per each keyword idea, including trend, volume, cost-per-click, paid difficulty, and SEO difficulty. And, it shows related keywords to the ones you searched for.

SEMRush

If you want to make the most of your keyword research, you need to invest in your tool. One of the worth-investing-in tools is SEMRush. It’s one of the most popular and reliable SEO tools that can help you boost your ranking and drive more organic traffic.

It does that by showing you the keywords a website ranks for. Hence, to find the best keywords for your site, you just have to google your competitors, choose one of the top ones on the results page, run keyword research on the site with SEMRush, and you’ll have all their keywords.

You can also find keywords related to the one you’ve selected from the list. And, the Keyword Magic Tool, allows you to find the best keywords for your location (region or country).

MOZ Keyword Explorer

This tool does a great job at finding the keywords that will bring you the most traffic. It also finds alternative/related keywords which other tools don’t usually suggest.

You can use MOZ’s Keyword Explorer also to find out the expected number of clicks you will get per keyword thanks to its Organic CTR feature. Also, you can find out whether you should use a specific keyword or not thanks to its Priority feature.

Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer

Here’s another well-known name in the world of SEO. While Ahrefs is an SEO tool mostly used for link building, you can use its Keyword Explorer tool to find keywords and their details. And, while this tool is not that creative when it comes to coming up with new keywords, it’s perfect when it comes to showing in-depth keyword details.

KeywordTool

If you want to discover plenty of keywords based on your word(s), the KeywordTool is right for you! This keyword research tool provides you with LOTS of keyword suggestions and allows you to filter, expand, or deepen the results to find the ones that best work for you.

Furthermore, you can use it to analyze your competitors. Namely, you just enter their site and the tool will generate a list of keywords based on their content.

Keywords Everywhere

If you’re looking for convenient keyword research, this tool is your ally. Namely, it shows the keyword data directly on your browser. Hence, you don’t have to copy and paste them into the Google Keyword Planner.

Apart from showing you the best keywords per website, Keywords Everywhere also shows related keywords in the search results.

KWFinder

KWFinder is a very simple keyword research tool. It’s web-based, so, to do your research, you have to visit their site and enter your keyword. What we love about this tool is that it allows you to search for keywords base on location and language. Hence, you can optimize your content even if it’s not in English.

Soovle

And, last but not least, we have Soovle. Maybe it’s not as popular as the previously mentioned tools but that doesn’t mean it’s less powerful.

By using this tool, you’ll find suggested keywords from Google, YouTube, Amazon, and other browsers. In this way, you will discover keywords that other tools may not provide you with. Plus, you can save all keyword suggestions and download them as a CSV file. How convenient is that?!

7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Keyword Research

Brainstorm Keywords

Even if you are a beginner, it’s always best to start your keyword research by coming up with your own ideas. Think about which words are closely related to your topic/niche or specific content. For example, if you write about digital marketing, then “digital marketing”, “digital marketing trends”, “digital marketing SEO” will be some keywords to start your research from.

Google It Out

You know how they say “Google knows everything”? While that may not be the case with other things, it’s true when it comes to keywords. It’s because when you start typing words in the search bar, Google immediately suggests the most common searched words. And, the most common searched words are the keywords.

Focus on Your Keyword List

I know you want to find some relevant keywords and start writing content around them right away. But that’s not a good approach if you want to create SEO content. Instead, you should focus on building your keyword list because it’s something you will you from that point on.

So, think about the number of keywords it should have. While the more keywords you have the better is it, don’t exaggerate. After all, you don’t need more than a couple of hundred keywords.

Add Related Keyphrases

Related keyphrases are words and phrases that explain the meaning of your main keyword. They also help Google to better understand your content. By adding related keyphrases, you will create a complete picture of your main keyword without causing keyword stuffing.

Look for Singular and Plural Forms of Keywords

When searching for keywords, always check for their singular and plural forms. This gives you more options to use in your content with cannibalizing your main keyword. Plus, you never know which one will rank you higher. Maybe “dog training collars” is less competitive but will rank your page higher than “dog training collar”.

Choose the Keywords With the Highest Potential

If you want to make your page visible and rank it higher on the search results page, you should choose the keywords with the highest potential. This means you should choose keywords that have high search volume but low difficulty. You can identify such keywords by looking at their data: search volume, SEO difficulty, paid difficulty, CPC, and trend.

Use Your Main Keyword Only Once

Have you heard of keyword cannibalization? That happens when you use your main keyword several times throughout your content. And, since Google can’t really differentiate similar content, it will rank you lower. In order to prevent that, you have to use it only once.