This is the most comprehensive guide to “Keyword Research For SEO” ever made. In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about finding profitable keywords and getting that first position of SERP.
Keyword research is the pillar of On-Page SEO. As, 83% of bloggers do keyword research, while 26% of them do it for every post; but the fact is only 17% rank on SERP using those keywords.
This happens because they choose the wrong keywords and fail to analyze keyword matrices properly.
Well, that’s where this ultimate keyword research guide comes into action! This is the exact strategy that I have used to update my all posts. You won’t believe it, but it’s driving tons of traffic now.
In this guide, I will be covering topics in detail like:
- How to find keywords
- How to choose the right keywords that will rank
- Which are the best keyword research tools and how to use them?
- Keyword research tips and strategies
- And much more!
So without wasting time, let’s dive right in.
What Is A Keyword?
A keyword is a word or phrase that your audience search in the search engines like Google, Bing, and many more. In technical terms, it is also called a search query.
What Is Keyword Research?
The process of knowing the words or phrases that your audience type into the search engine while searching for products, services, or specific content is called “Keyword Research”.
Since Keyword Research helps with doing SEO, it is often called “Keyword Research For SEO“.
Why Keyword Research Is Important In SEO?
The only way to figure out how your audience is searching for a topic on the search engine is by doing effective Keyword Research. Imagine you are writing content that nobody searches for, will you get traffic?
Of course not!
Thus, Keyword Research is the only and the first step of On-Page SEO. Even, I call Keyword Research the market research because you are analyzing how the market is responding to a search query or keyword.
Do you know what happens when you don’t do your Keyword Research before you write your content?
You end up losing 90.50% of the traffic! Yes, that is true. Look at the pie chart below.
This was the data from Ahrefs after studying a billion websites. And thus, it becomes very important to do Keyword Research if you want to succeed.
Keyword Research also helps you know:
- How is the competition for a keyword?
- How much traffic does the keyword get monthly?
- Are people ready to pay for that specific keyword or not?
- And much more.
How to Find Keyword Ideas?
Now, let's dive into The Process Of Doing Keyword Research. To be more specific, it’s time to make your own list of keywords that you will be searching for now.
In this guide, I will share with you two methods of doing Keyword Research, one by free and the other by investing in paid Keyword Research Tools.
So, let’s dive right in.
1. Brainstorm A Wide List of Topics
This is the process of finding the topics that your target customer likes to read. I belong to the digital marketing industry, so I will take the example of “SEO” as my topic in the complete post.
Before searching any keyword, ask yourself: ”What topics people are searching for that are related to my niche?”.
Brainstorm the topics, as I would think about them.
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Keyword Research
- Link Building, and etc.
Now, these topics are not your keywords, they are called the seed keywords. Seed Keywords define your niche and help you identify your competitors.
Even if you move on to the Keyword Research Tools, you need to type in your seed keywords to get the list of keywords that you need to use in your post.
After finding the seed keywords, let’s now move on to our process of finding some more profitable keywords.
2. Finding Keyword Using Wikipedia Table Of Content
You know that Wikipedia is the only website that has almost everything that you can think of. So why not take advantage of it?
Below is the process on how to do Keyword Research On Wikipedia to find keyword ideas.
Here's how you can do it!
Head over to Wikipedia, and find a search for your term (say SEO).
Now, you will land upon the content page of Wikipedia. Scroll down to the table of content.
There you go, here you can find many useful keywords.
The list was so long, but I have just uploaded it till 8, the results were 32. The topics listed here have been divided into other various subtopics that Wikipedia covered on that page.
Thus, you get to see a wide range of keywords. Also, at the left of your page, you can see the section called “Part of a series on“, you can fetch out keywords from here too!
Here, you get to see the topic that is related to your website's niche.
I suggest you click on any of the internal links from the Table of Contents and check out to find more keywords by scrolling down to the Table Of Contents and “Part of a series on” section.
That's how you find keywords using Wikipedia.
3. Use Google Suggest.
I hope now you have a list of topics that you have found out using Wikipedia.
Now, type each one of them one by one into Google Search, but don’t hit enter. When you type your keyword, just press the spacebar and allow the searches to display like below.
Add this keyword to your list, believe me or not! They will drive huge traffic.
You might ask why.
It's because if Google is suggesting you any keyword, that means people are searching for these terms a lot.
As a result, your content will be worth ranking because if you have quality content that people are searching for.
4. Use YouTube Suggest.
Do you know YouTube is the second most widely used search engine after Google? Let me know in the comment section if you are aware of this fact.
So, why not take advantage of YouTube to find our keywords? They will be worth adding if they are searched by the masses.
Follow the same process as you did with Google, type in your topic, and press the spacebar, don’t press enter.
Now, I am always here to tell the truth, and the truth is I always find more relevant keywords using this method than Google Search. That’s true.
Give it a try afterward!
I think this is because of the growing trend of video content. Anyways, after you got your keyword ideas, note them down.
5. Google Related Searches.
Now, you will see “How To Research Keywords On Google”. It’s yet another way to find keywords using Google. Also, the data comes straight from Google, proving that it’s authentic.
So, head over to Google and type in your decided topic. (Say SEO).
Then, scroll to the bottom of the page. You will see a list of 7-8 keywords under the heading “Related Searches” that are closely related to your topic.
This also means that Google is suggesting that you use these keywords in your post because almost a majority of the audience is searching for these terms.
You should not underestimate Google Suggestion!
Repeat the process so that you get a clear picture of what people are searching for related to your topic. This will also help you collect the data for your article.
6. Search Your Topic On Forum
Forums are the goldmines of keywords!
Searching your keyword on Forums will help you focus on the target groups, you also get to know what people want to read.
I suggest that while doing Keyword Research for free, spend most of the time on forums, this way you can analyze the mindset of your audience. This will help you write an amazing audience-oriented article.
Search on Google:
“keyword” + “forum”
“keywords” + “forums”
This will help you find great forums easily.
I suggest that while doing Keyword Research for free, spend most of the time on forums, this way you can analyze the mindset of your audience. This will help you write an amazing audience-oriented article.
This will increase your chances of getting your question to appear on the snippet.
Keyword Research Tools
Till now, I have shared with you how to find keyword ideas for free. Now it's time to know how to use keyword research tools to do Keyword Research.
Many of my blogger friends ask me if “is it possible to find keywords without using Keyword Research Tools”?
My answer is always Yes.
But I also suggest using Keyword research tools as they will save your time a lot. If you are a well-established blogger, every second matters to you.
I will only share the best keyword research tools like
- Google Keyword Planner,
- The Keyword Surfer (CHROME EXTENSION),
1. Google Keyword Planner.
Google Adword’s Keyword Planner is the free and the most reliable keyword research tool which has the data that comes from Google.
Since the data comes from Google, you have to trust it.
The disadvantage of the Google Keyword planner tool is that it was built for Google ad campaigns (PPC) and not for doing keyword research for SEO.
But, one advantage of using Google Keyword Planner is that it will help you find awesome keyword ideas, it will help you understand the mentality of the audience by knowing what your audience is ready to pay for.
To find keywords with Google Keyword Planner, go to the tool and click on Keyword Planner.
Search for the terms on Google Planner.
You can also add multiple keywords separated by a comma.
After that, you type in your keyword, click on “GET RESULTS”. You will be able to see such an interface.
Here, you will get long lists of keyword ideas and search queries that have high average monthly searches.
Note: the difficulty given here is not keyword difficulty, but it's the difficulty for PPC campaigns that advertisers use. It's not for SEOs.
Moving on to our next Keyword Research Tool.
2. The Keyword Surfer (Chrome Extension)
The Keyword Surfer is a Chrome Extension that helps you find keyword ideas inside Google’s search results. Let's see how!
Just install the Keyword Surfer Chrome extension from Chrome Store for free. Then search for your topic in Google Search, and on the left side, you’ll find a list of keywords with monthly searches.
Here is your list of keywords for the topic. (Here Search Engine Optimization.)
3. The Ubersuggest Keyword Research Tool
This is our next keyword research tool (paid).
Ubersuggest is owned by Neil Patel (digital marketer). Ubersuggest recently got a massive upgrade. And actually, Neil Patel keeps updating it regularly.
Ubersuggest is the keyword research tool that shows you data of each keyword like search volume, CPC, keyword difficulty, and much more.
When you type in your keyword in the search bar, you get your keywords list like this:
You can also filter out keywords according to your needs. Like, you can filter keywords according to search volume, CPC, keyword difficulty, and more.
Also, you get to see the trend of keywords, so that you can understand whether the keyword is fresh or has been outdated with time.
Have you seen or used Google Trends?
I hope you have seen it. ExplodingTopics.com has the same interface as Google Trends.
Exploding Topics shows you the keywords that are currently most popular and trending.
This tool helps you to check if the keyword is trending or not. The advantage of this tool is that you can predict how long your content will get outdated.
That will be the time when you have to work on improving your content.
5. The SEMrush
I believe SEMrush is the best keyword research tool to research competitor's keywords. You know why?
SEMrush shows you the exact keywords that your competitors are already ranking for. You can do competitive keyword research using this tool.
I would suggest you invest in either of these two paid keyword research tools. It will be worth investing in SEMRush. It will take your content and ranking to the next level.
Now, what I believe is, Ahref is only useful for link building.
But, you can also do keyword research using Ahrefs's with the help of “Keyword Explorer” which gives you the complete data on each keyword.
With this tool, you can decide whether a keyword is worth adding to your content or not.
Why I don't personally like Ahrefs for keyword research is that it generates keywords that are just spin combinations of the keyword you typed in.
But it’s worth it for link building.
7. KwFinder From Mangools
This was my favorite Keyword Research Tool when I was just beginning. Since it is cheaper in cost with high value. But now that I earn well! So, I have invested in SEMRush.
As I have said earlier, KwFinder is the biggest time saver, you can find many long-tail keywords within a few seconds. It's a paid tool but worth paying for beginners.
The Concept Of Long-Tail Keywords.
Can you guess if a keyword is too competitive or not? Yes, you can.
If you are constantly stuck on the third or fourth page of Google SERP and want to reach the first page, you should choose a low-competitive keyword.
If you choose a keyword that has low competition, your probability of getting higher rankings increases. These keywords are Long Tail Keywords that have low competition and high conversion.
Let’s now understand what are long-tail keywords and how you can find them. The Long-Tail Keywords are differentiated into three types.
1. The Head Terms
Head terms are single-word keywords that have high search volume and high competition.
The examples of the head term are “finance” or “health”. The head Terms don’t have a high conversion rate.
This is because if a person is searching for health, he or she might search for health insurance or maybe searching for the definition of health.
Hence, the conversion rate of the head term is near zero, but its competition and search volume are very high. So if your website is brand new, never make the mistake of using these head terms initially.
2. The Body Keywords
The body keywords are 2-3 words that get an average search volume of 2500 per month. These keywords have less competition than Head Terms.
The body Keywords specify a term more clearly than the head term. Also, they have a bit higher conversion rate than head terms.
The examples of the body keyword are “health insurance” or “Corporate Finance”.
3. The Long Tail Keywords
The Long-tail keywords are usually four to six words terms that are highly specific and exactly define the topic.
The example of Long Tail Keywords is “Best Health Insurance Policies In USA” or “Paid Corporate Finance Courses Online”. Long-tail keywords have a low search volume of almost 10-200 searches per month.
If you are a beginner, then adding all of them into your content can drive huge traffic to your blog or website. Since long-tail keywords have low search volume, they are less competitive.
Thus, choose a long-tail keyword when your website is brand new.
The best tool for finding if a keyword is difficult to rank or not concerning your website is CanIRank.
The best thing about this tool is that it evaluates your website and then gives a result on whether a keyword is suitable for you or not. Thus, you get the probable score for your rankings.
Hence, try to get the probable score above 85%, so that you have higher chances to rank on the first page of Google.
That's cool, isn’t it, as you get to know beforehand if you are going to rank or not as the tool also takes your site’s authority into account.
Now you have got the meaning of the long-tail keywords. In short, Long Tail Keywords have a low search volume of 10-100 per month and low competition.
Let’s now try to understand how to choose keywords after you have collected a long list out of your keyword research.
How to Choose The Right Keywords
None of the tools available on the market can tell you which keywords to choose and which not. Instead, you need to figure out keywords based on their matrices and the status of your website.
That’s what you are going to see: How to choose a keyword that will help you skyrocket your rankings.
Let's now understand some keyword matrices that will help you know the complete anatomy of each keyword.
1. Search Volume
The search volume states how many people are searching for the keyword per month. That’s pretty easy. You can get to know the search volume using any tool that I have mentioned above.
How much search volume is good for ranking?
And the answer would be it would say it actually depends!
Because search volumes vary according to different niches.
For example, a long-tail keyword in the fashion niche (like: “best jeans for men”) gets 100-18,100 searches per month. Whereas a long-tail keyword in a finance niche (like: “best life insurance policy”) only gets 170-4,400 monthly searches. But they have almost the same keyword difficulty.
This is because the fashion niche is much more consumed than the finance niche. Hence, it is pretty obvious to have variable search volumes for different keywords in different niches.
Thus, choose your keywords depending upon the search volume of your niche.
2. Organic Click Through Rate (C-T-R)
The number of Google searchers that click on organic search results is low. Don't believe it, just take a look at the data below.
Do you know why organic search results are low?
The answer is Featured Snippets, Yes!
The question you type on Google is mostly answered in the snippet, you don't feel any need to click on the websites to get the answers.
Also, now you can see paid ads on Google SERP, you have seen it? But do you click on it? Comment down below!
Do you want to know how many clicks you may get if you rank on the first page of Google SERP? I have shared the data in my SEO guide. Check it out later, it's an amazing guide.
If you see a Featured Snippet or multiple Google Ads, then you will not get much CTR, even after ranking in the first position.
But don’t just avoid a keyword just because it has a low CTR, if the search volume is high, you should go for that keyword.
3. Keyword Difficulty
Now, if you are a newbie in blogging and don’t have any or few backlinks, then always go for the low-difficulty keywords initially.
Let your blog grow in authority and get decent traffic according to your niche, then start using medium to high competitive keywords.
So, keyword difficulty is the metrics that suggest that if you are a beginner, then go for a low competition keyword and if you are a well-established blogger, then go for medium-high competitive keywords.
4. Coast Per Click (CPC)
CPC is the keyword metric that will answer you if people searching for the particular keyword are willing to spend money.
If a keyword has high search volume but very low CPC, I would suggest not to go for that keyword because you will not get profit out of it. Since no one is willing to pay for it.
Also, if you got a keyword that has low competition, high search volume, and low CPC, you can go for it. I will explain it to you with an example:
The keyword “best life insurance policy” has low difficulty and average search volume according to finance niche, but has higher-paid difficulty. These are the metrics of this keyword.
But would you go with the keyword?
Actually, two answers are depending upon your skills and investment capacity.
Case1: If you are ready to spend a huge amount of money on running an ad campaign and getting that first position, this keyword is the best for you. Because, if you rank on the first paid results in SERP, then you will get a high ROI, that is return on investment.
Case2: If you don’t want to pay. The SEO difficulty for the keyword is low and its search volume is also average. So, if you are a pro blogger and able to rank your post on the first organic result on SERP, then you also get the same opportunity as the paid ads.
But only if you rank in the #1 position in organic search results.
Hence, choose your keyword wisely.
5. Keyword Trends
Now, if you want to know if your chosen keyword will be fresh for a long time or it's getting outdated day by day, then you need to use Google's free tool that is Google Trends.
After you get the list of keywords using the above methods, it's time to check their trend. So head over to Google Trends and type in your keyword.
It will show you the detailed report of the keyword whether it is trending or not. Maybe your keyword is not in the trend now, but it is soon going to be.
So use them in your content, you will start getting more clicks as people search for them. And since the data comes straight from Google, you can’t deny their predictions.
Advanced Keyword Research Tips And Tricks
Till now I have covered everything about keywords and keyword research. Now you are going to see some awesome tips and tricks to master keyword research.
Now, I am going to show you advanced keyword research tips that you can use instantly to find profitable keywords. These are actionable keyword research tips, you have to try either of them!
Let’s unleash the tips and tricks.
1. Finding LSI Keywords
LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords are the keywords that are similar or related to a web page's target keyword.
1. The keywords that are related to the products are highly competitive.
2. There are many keywords that your potential customer searches when they are not searching for your product.
If you write an awesome post and convince them to buy your product, the reader is likely to convert into a customer.
Like, I have A SEO guiding blog and I earn through affiliate marketing, which I don’t promote much, and I also don’t optimize every post on my site around the product terms.
I create the content to rank for keywords that my target audience searches for when they’re not looking for a SEO tool.
These are called “LSI Keywords”.
LSI keywords are not directly related to what you sell or promote. Instead, these keywords are those which your customers search for.
And hence, I suggest you optimize your content and website around “LSI Keywords”. Give it a shot, it would be worth it.
2. Analyze Keywords Based on Searcher Intent
In this tip, you need to analyze what's going in your searcher's mind when they are searching for a keyword on the web.
This can be categorized into four parts.
You should first analyze the Search Intent of a keyword and then choose it. It will help you a lot to write a specific and pinpointed article that exactly satisfies the readers' needs.
But remember, commercial keywords and transactional keywords have tremendous competition, but at the same time they have high conversion rates.
Hence, if you are an affiliate marketer, go for commercial and transactional keywords as they have high conversions.
For example, Google cloud hosting website. This is a commercial “long tail keyword” keyword that has medium search volume, moderate KD, and high CPC.
Hence, it will convert a lot if you create an awesome post.
Thus, for an affiliate marketer the combination of long-tail keywords with the keyword intent commercial or transactional works best.
3. Ahrefs Content Gap
After SEMRush, the tool that I like is Ahrefs because of Content Gap features.
It works amazing.
This feature is similar to SEMRush, it helps you to find the keywords that your competitors are ranking for. But that’s not over yet, Ahrefs has taken the feature to the next level.
Take a look!
- Head over to Ahref's content gap feature.
- Type in your competitor's website.
- And it will show you keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but you are not.
If multiple keywords are ranking for the same term, you also have a good chance of getting into the first page of Google SERP.
4. Barnacle SEO
If you are ranking for a keyword on the first page of SERP for a keyword, you can get more traction from that keyword with Barnacle SEO.
What's Barnacle SEO?
In simple words.
If you have found out an amazing keyword, and you want to rank for it.
Then the first step is to create content and publish it on your own website.
And, then, publish similar content that is optimized for your target keyword on high authority sites, like YouTube, Medium, Mix, and more.
Give it a try. Create an awesome post and then make a YouTube video on that topic and give a link to your post in the description. You will gradually see better rankings for that keyword.
And that's how Barnacle SEO works.
5. Google Search Console Keyword Research
I kid you not. You can find keywords using GSC and improve your ranking. I will show you how.
- Firstly, go to the “Performance Report” in GSC.
- The report will show you the keywords that drive most of the traffic to your website.
- Sort the list by “Impressions”.
- Then create content around the keyword that has lots of impressions.
Do you know why this trick works?
Because the keywords that you have found are the ones for which people are searching for your website. Google looks your site at the right position in the SERP.
Hense create the content that you have already been ranking for, as Google understands that you are the one who has awesome content related to the keyword.
And that’s what an intelligent blogger or an online marketer does.
In this post, you have seen
- Keyword Research Basics
- How to Find Keyword Ideas
- Keyword Research Tools
- How To Choose The Right Keyword
- Keyword Research Tips and Tricks
Now, I want to hear from your side.
Which among the above 5 tips you are going to try first?
Ah… I think you're going to try Barnacle SEO or optimizing your website around the LSI keyword? Or maybe the GSC keyword research method. Let me know if I am right.
Anyways, comment down your answer below, and if you think the guide is missing something write it below.