Every PRO blogger knows Keyword research is the foundation of any SEO campaign.
If you need organic traffic to your blog, you have to do keyword research first.
In this, beginners guide to keyword research for SEO, I’ll cover:
How to find keywords WITHOUT tools,
How to find keywords with the help of tools. (my favourite)
…and How to choose profitable keywords that drive unlimited traffic to your blog.
And lot more things….
Keyword research helps me to drive more than 8k organic visitors in a month to my niche blog.
However, keyword research is not the only factor I focus to rank on google. On-page SEO, backlinks and quality-content are also part of my strategy to drive organic traffic.
So, without further ado, let’s move on to beginners guide to keyword research.
Beginners guide to keyword research
Keyword research basics
Let’s understand the basics of keyword research. If you are aware of keyword research basics, feel free to jump the next chapter.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of finding a word or phrase which people use to search on any search engine like google, youtube, or bing.
Why keyword research is important?
Your ultimate goal is to increase your revenue, and it will possible if you get organic traffic.
Keyword research will help you to identify the keywords that people are actively searching on a search engine.
So, you can optimize your post around those keywords and you’re all set to get organic traffic.
Look below, How proper keyword research helps me to drive 7.98k clicks in a month on my niche blog.
Like I said before, Keyword research only doesn’t help you to drive organic traffic.
…but if you combine keyword research with on-page SEO, Quality content you’ll surely get organic traffic.
There are three different types of keyword variation are short-tail keyword, medium-tail keyword and long-tail keyword.
The short-tail keyword has one or two words.
Example: keyword research
The medium-tail keyword has 3 words.
Example: keyword research guide
The long-tail keyword has more than 3 words.
Example: beginners guide to keyword research
Short-tail and medium-tail keywords are hard to rank if you’re a beginner.
So, you have to find long-tail keywords to rank on the search engine.
How to find keywords ideas
Finding keyword ideas is not a difficult task if you play smart.
First of all, write words or terms that related to your niche. We can say them broad topics or seed keywords.
Like, for example, My niche is around “blogging”.
So, my broad topic or seed keywords will be,
- Affiliate marketing
- Increase traffic
- Start a blog
- Keyword research
- Find your niche
- Build backlinks
- Blogging tips
…and so on.
These are broad topics. We can use them to find accurate and more specific long-tail keywords.
Now, you have broad topics. Let’s find out keywords ideas.
Here, I’ll be showing you some hacks to find keywords ideas.
Google itself is the keyword finding machine to find the best keywords that people really searching for.
Head over to google homepage. Enter your broad keywords from your niche.
In my case, I entered “on-page SEO” into Google.
Look at the bottom of the page. You will find 8 different long-form variations of main keywords.
Google directly suggest them, so this bunch of keywords have an adequate amount of search volume.
To find more keywords ideas click on any of the results from 8 different list.
Let’s say I clicked on “on-page SEO steps”:
Again I get 8 different keywords ideas around it.
Rinse and repeat 🙂
…and don’t forget to add this list into a google sheet.
Google auto-suggest is also my favourite to find long-tail keywords.
Enter any keywords related to your niche.
Let’s say, I entered “Coffee machine“,
See a bunch of long-form variation created by Google itself.
Same repeat with Youtube,
..and Bing too.
Why not amazon too! 🙂
Answer the public is a free tool to help you find a variation of your main keywords.
AnswerThePublic elaborate keywords into different categories,
- Question form
Head over to Answer the public. Enter your main keyword into the magnifying box.
Let’s say, I entered “WordPress theme“:
I get the massive keyword ideas in the various long-form option within a second.
Explore it and find the perfect keyword ideas related to your content.
Explore Quora’s Question page
Quora is a question-answer platform, where people ask and answer the questions. It will also become your giant source to steal some keyword ideas.
Head over to quora. Make an account if you haven’t. Enter your main keyword into the magnifying box.
I entered, “abs exercise” into the magnifying box.
I get tons of question which have “abs exercise” keyword included.
From all the Questions, you can easily identify potential keyword ideas.
Will it be great keyword ideas or not?
Do the same with your niche related topic and you will find some keyword ideas on the go.
Now, from the left sidebar menu click on “topics”,
…and you will find more Question-Answer on the same topic.
Pinterest widely used as a social media platform, but I believe it is an Image search engine.
Let’s face it…
I entered “outfit ideas” keyword into the search box to find some ideas,
..and yes, I get a bunch of keyword variations within a second,
And after more scrolling down…
…I get related searches results. This will be a good keyword ideas suggestion.
Pinterest works well with some niche like fashion, DIY, marketing, business, travel etc.
But still, you can try it for your niche.
According to Hootsuite, Pinterest has 335 millions of active users every month.
This is a HUGE Number. So, you can try Pinterest to find some untapped keyword ideas.
According to SproutSocial, 71 % of users are female on the Pinterest platform.
So, if you’re into female related niche Pinterest been a goldmine for you to find keyword ideas.
How to use keyword research tools to find keywords
Keyword research tools will make your life easy to find good keywords related to your business.
I’ll be covering both the tools, free and paid on how to find keywords using a keyword research tool.
- Google keyword planner(free)
- Semrush(7 days free trial + paid)
Google keyword planner(GKP)
GKP is itself google’s product. So, all the data comes straight through google.
GKP is specially made for ads campaign, but you can still use it to find great keywords.
Head over to GKP. Sign up with your email id if you haven’t account.
Click on “Go to keyword planner” and you get a window like below,
Click on the “Discover new keywords” section.
…and enter your seed keyword into the magnifying box and hit “Get results” tab.
I entered “yoga” into the magnifying box and see, I got 450+ keywords ideas.
Find out the best keywords by average search volume and competition which are suitable for your niche.
If you’re a beginner I highly suggest you, find long-tail keywords which have low competition.
Since GKP made for Advertiser I don’t use it for my keyword research. But, If you’re a beginner you can use it as for reference.
In my keyword research process, I use the next both tools most of the time.
Ubersuggest is a freemium tool running by Neil Patel. It is a great alternative to GKP.
It is specially focused on the SEO campaign. you can find great keyword ideas with the help of this tool.
Head over to Ubersuggest. Enter your keyword into the magnifying box.
You can select the database location too if you want to see any country-specific keyword details.
…and after hitting enter, you get a data of your keywords.
Search volume: It shows me the number of searches that happens during a month.
SEO difficulty: How difficult to rank this keyword on the search engine. Higher the number means more difficult to rank.
Paid difficulty: It shows an estimated paid competition. This matrix is more useful for an advertiser. Higher the number means more difficult the keyword to promote.
Cost per click(CPC): It useful for the ads campaign. This matrix shows the average cost per click if you want to pay to the search engine (google) for showing ads. If CPC is high, then the keyword is more valuable for the SEO campaign.
You can find the monthly Search volume graph.
…and also you can find mobile vs desktop volume graph.
From this tool, you can also find how much SEO clicks you will get If you rank on Google’s first page for your keyword.
..and searcher’s age range too.
When you scroll down, you will get keyword ideas zone where you can find the long-tail version of your main keywords,
When you click on “view all keywords” you will get a list of keyword ideas.
For my keyword, I found 280+ different keyword ideas.
…and also I can use “related” and “suggestion” option to find more keywords ideas.
You can also find your competitors already ranked keywords by this tool. Just enter your competitors URL and you’re good to go for explore the keywords.
Isn’t it great?
Ubersuggest’s free plan offers 3 searches in a day. After that, you’ve to upgrade your account if you want to increase your daily search limit.
SEMrush is a paid tool but it is a GOLDMINE to find long-tail keyword ideas.
SEMrush’s data is more accurate than GKP and Ubersuggest.
You can get FREE 7-days trial of SEMrush premium account HERE.
With SEMrush you can perform keyword research, competitor analysis, blog audit, SEO audit, and lots more.
Now, to find keyword ideas click on “keywords magic tool” from the left sidebar of SEMrush dashboard.
Enter your seed keyword into the magnifying box and hit search. You can choose the database location too.
For the keyword “home theater systems” I get almost 6000+ different keyword ideas.
The keyword database is pre-selected as a “broad match” option. You can choose any other option to find more keyword ideas.
Broad Match: Any variation of your seed keyword in any order.
Phrase Match: Exact keyword phrase in various order.
Exact Match: Exact keywords in exact order.
Related: Related keywords to your seed keyword.
Your goal will be to find low-competition and have decent search volume keywords.
For that, I use the “advanced filter” option. I set the volume criteria between 100-1000.
Now, list sorted to 75 keywords only.
It makes it easy for you to find keywords. Right?
…and yes, you can find long-tail keywords easily.
With SEMrush you can steal your competitor’s already ranking keywords too.
Let me show you,
Add your competitor website into “domain overview” section and hit search.
You get data from your competitor’s website.
When you scroll down you get a “top organic keywords” section, where you can see your competitor’s already ranking keywords.
…and when you click on “view details” you get a keyword list,
Wooh! Ready-made Keyword list 🙂
I don’t need to spend hours and hours finding profitable keywords.
That’s why SEMrush is my favourite tool among all of the SEO tool.
Even Though, you can see top pages of your competitor’s website with search traffic and targeted keywords matrix.
Isn’t it Goldmine?
Well, that’s why SEMrush is a Killer All in one SEO tool on the Internet.
Grab a 7-Days FREE trial of SEMrush and find Keyword ideas. (You need to enter your credit card details for the free trial, but you’ve a choice to opt-out before 7 days completion)
That way you can check your competitor’s keywords and you can steal them and optimise into your blog post for better ranking exposure.
How to choose keywords for SEO
Finding a keyword and choosing a keyword is a different process.
You can find keywords easily without tools or with the help of tools. But, you have to play smart for choosing keywords for your business.
You need to understand the searcher’s intent. Searcher intent helps you to derive profitable keywords.
Factors to look out for choosing a profitable keyword:
- User intent or Searcher intent
- Search volume
- Keyword difficulty
“User intent” or “searcher intent” is the primary goal a user has while searching on any search engine.
Look, I searched for “best movies of superhero” on Google and I got movies poster preview rather than blog posts.
Google become smarter than before.
Google understand User intent. Here my end goal was finding a movie list of the superhero.
So, Google made a list from its database and shows me.
So, if you choose this keyword and optimize your blog post around it, you will not get HUGE organic traffic.
Let’s try to understand user intent:
There are commonly 4 types of user intent,
When someone searches for any information on a particular brand, topic or product it will become an informational user intent keyword.
When someone searching for information on the future purchase, it will become commercial keywords.
If the searcher has clearly end destination in mind, it will become navigational keywords.
When the user wants to buy something right away, it will be known as transactional keywords.
Among all of them, transactional and commercial keywords are more likely to convert into sales easily.
Avoid navigational keywords if you want to convert the user into sales.
Search volume indicates how many searches happen in a month for particular keywords.
Higher the number is better for you.
…but high search volume has high-competition.
Always find a keyword which has less to moderate search volume.
Below 1000 monthly searches will be a sweet spot for most of the industry.
Search volume will be different from industry to industry.
In the fitness niche, a long-tail keyword (ex: “best biceps workout”) has between 1k-10k monthly search volume with low competition.
And on the other hand in the SEO niche, (Ex: “best SEO software”) has between 100-1k monthly search volume with low competition.
So, research your niche and then identify the keyword search volume.
Keyword difficulty shows, how hard to rank for particular keywords on the search engine. KD indicates scale between 0 to 100 in any SEO tool.
Higher the number means hardest to rank for.
Look below, How KD ratio appears in SEMrush.
…and in Ubersuggest KD ratio appears as SEO difficulty term,
According to SEMrush, If KD matrix is,
Below 60: Keyword is easy to rank
61-80: Keyword is medium-hard to rank
81-100: Keyword is hard to rank
On the other hand, Ubersuggest has different criteria to show KD score.
For Ubersuggest, If SEO difficulty (same as KD),
Below 33: Keyword is easy to rank
34-70: Keyword is medium-hard to rank
71-100: Keyword is hard to rank
Every other tool has a different KD score. So, make sure you double-cross your keyword’s difficulty in both the tools.
Always try to find a keyword which has easy to medium KD scale if you’re a beginner.
The trend suggests that your keyword has upward or downward momentum.
If your keyword has upward momentum, it will become more profitable in the future.
But, if you see your keyword has downward momentum better to avoid that keyword.
You can use google trends to know your keyword’s trend.
Look, “online marketing” has upward momentum. I can say this is a profitable keyword by seeing the trend.
Cost per click(CPC):
Cost per click(CPC) is a term used by advertisers on the internet. CPC shows you how much you have to pay for a click to show the ads on the search engine.
Now, you will be wondering how CPC will help you choose a keyword?
Let me clear you.
If for given keyword CPC is high then there are more chances that if you rank for that keyword you will get the high number of sales.
High CPC means, the audience of the given keyword is more likely to buy something for that term.
Almost every SEO tool provides CPC indication.
Here, How CPC appears in Ubersuggest.
If you confuse between any two keywords, make sure you look for CPC.
…and choose a higher CPC keyword as a winner for your SEO campaign.
In a nutshell, find a keyword which has:
- Commercial or transactional search intent
- Less to medium search volume
- Easy to medium KD
- Upward trend
- High CPC
I hope you like this beginners guide to keyword research.
Now let me know by comment,
Which strategy are you going to try first?
Are you trying to find keyword ideas from Quora?
Or, maybe you want to use SEMrush keyword research tool for faster and proper keyword research.
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Hello Blogger, I am Hardik Sonawala from India. On this blog, I will help you to learn Blogging, SEO, and Affiliate marketing from Basic to Advance level