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How to Do Keyword Research for SEO

Keyword Research

Keyword research is a fundamental step of search engine optimization. It involves identifying and analyzing the terms and phrases users enter into search engines when seeking information. By optimizing your website’s content with relevant keywords, you can answer users’ questions and attract organic traffic to your website.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process of identifying and analyzing the terms and phrases that people use in search engines to find information, products, or services. This foundational SEO practice helps you understand what your target audience is searching for and how to optimize your content to meet their needs.

SEO keyword research provides you with specific search data that can help you answer questions:

  • What are users searching for?
  • How many users are searching for it?
  • In what format do users want to receive this information?

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

Keyword research is one of SEO basics and it is a very important step of website optimization. Focus on keywords that align with your business goals and target audience. Good keyword phrases should be relevant and have high search volume.

You should regularly review and update your keyword list to stay current with search trends.

Marketing Trend Insight

Keyword research provides valuable insights into current marketing trends. By understanding what people are searching for, you can stay ahead of market demands and adapt your strategy to meet evolving customer needs.

Traffic Growth

If your content consists of relevant keywords and is useful to users, your site will be more visible in search engines, which will bring you traffic. Your content will attract more visitors who are looking for what you offer, increasing your chances of conversions.

Customer Acquisition

Targeting the right keywords helps you reach potential customers who are actively searching for your products or services. This increases the likelihood of attracting qualified leads and converting them into loyal customers.

Keywords vs. Topics

While individual keywords are important, focusing on broader topics that encompass multiple related keywords can enhance your SEO strategy. This approach helps you create comprehensive content that covers all aspects of a subject, improving your relevance and authority.

SEO Keyword Research Elements

Keyword Relevance

Keywords must be relevant to your business and the content you create. Ensure the keywords you target align with your audience’s search intent and provide value to them.

Website Authority

Search engines prioritize content from authoritative sources. Establish your website as an authority by creating high-quality, informative content that earns backlinks and demonstrates expertise.

Keyword Search Volume

Search volume indicates how many times a keyword is searched for. Balance targeting high-volume keywords with lower-volume, long-tail keywords to capture a broad and specific audience.

Research Keywords According SEO Strategy

  • Make a list of relevant topics based on your business. Start by brainstorming  different words and phrases and create a couple of topics with them. These should be general topics that cover different aspects of what you offer.
  • Add SEO keywords to those topics. Under each topic, list specific keywords and phrases that relate to that theme. These keywords should reflect what your target audience might search for.
  • Understand how intent affects keyword research and analyze accordingly. Different keywords indicate different search intent. Determine whether users are looking for information, ready to make a purchase, or seeking a specific service, and tailor your keywords to match these intents.

For example, informational intent keywords might include “how to start digital marketing,” while transactional intent keywords might be “digital marketing agency.”

  • Research related search terms. Identify related search terms and variations of your primary keywords. These can provide additional opportunities to capture traffic and improve your content’s relevance.

For example, if your seed keyword is “digital marketing,” search terms or tools might suggest related keywords like “digital marketing strategies,” “digital marketing services,” and “how to start digital marketing.”

  • Use free and paid keyword research tools. Keyword Planner is a free tool that provides keyword ideas and search volume data. It helps you find relevant keywords and estimate their performance. Ahrefs is a paid tool that helps to find keyword ideas, analyze their search volume, and understand the competition. This tool also helps you discover related keywords and track your rankings.

How to Choose Keywords for Your Website

  • Create a semantic core using Keyword Planner. Enter your broad topics into this tool to generate a list of related keywords. Filter this list to focus on the most relevant and valuable terms. Organize and categorize these keywords in one document.
  • Identify keywords with high or medium search volume and low competition. These are often easier to rank for and can provide quick wins for your SEO efforts.
  • Check the monthly search volume for chosen keywords. Evaluate the search volume for each keyword to ensure it has enough traffic potential to justify targeting it. Balance high-volume keywords with more specific, lower-volume terms.
  • Consider how SERP features like snippets, image packs, videos and list snippets affect the visibility of your chosen keywords.
  • Ensure your keyword strategy includes both head terms (short, high-volume keywords) and long-tail keywords (longer, specific phrases). This mix helps capture a wide range of search intents and traffic opportunities.
  • Analyze competitor websites to see which keywords they are ranking for. This can provide insights into gaps in your own strategy and opportunities to outperform them. Ahrefs allow you to input a competitor’s URL and see the keywords they rank for, along with their traffic and ranking positions.

Conclusion

Follow these steps and conduct keyword research effectively to meet SEO goals that improves your website’s visibility and drives business growth.

Keyword research is an ongoing process — continuously refine and adjust your strategy to adapt to the new trends, changing search behaviors and market conditions. A well-executed keyword strategy is vital for achieving long-term SEO success and driving meaningful business outcomes.