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How To Do SEO Keyword Research The Right Way: A Comprehensive Beginner's Guide

Keywords text on laptop

Have you been trying to figure out how to create an effective SEO strategy for your website or blog but don’t know where to start?

Doing keyword research is one of the most important elements of any successful search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, yet it’s often something that beginners have a hard time getting right.

That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive SEO keyword research guide.

In this beginner-friendly post, we’ll show you our step-by-step process on how to find the best keywords for website SEO and how to use them in your content.

First, let’s start by explaining what keyword research is and why it’s important.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is a process of identifying the words and phrases that potential customers use when searching for products or services related to your business.

These keywords are then used in content such as blog posts and webpages, so they can be found by search engines like Google or Bing.

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

Keyword research is essential for SEO because it helps you understand what your target audience is looking for and how they’re searching.

The more you understand your audience, the better equipped you’ll be to create content that meets their needs and ranks well in search engine results.

Plus, when you identify the right keywords, you can create content that will attract more targeted traffic and leads.

So, how do you perform keyword research?

Let’s dive in.

6 Steps To Perform Keyword Research Like A Pro

1. Get The Basics Right

First, you need to learn the basics and be aware of some commonly used terms in keyword research.

Here are some important terms you should know:

Keywords – These are the words and phrases that people use when searching for information related to your business. Or, these are the terms people type in search engine bars to find what they’re looking for.

Seed keywords – These are the primary keywords you use to start your keyword research process. For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, “fitness” or “workout” could be your seed keywords.

But remember, the purpose of seed keyword research is to uncover related keywords that are more specific and relevant to your business. These keywords may or may not become your primary target keywords.

Long-tail keywords – These are longer, more specific keyword phrases that include 3-4 words. Long-tail keywords tend to be very targeted and can bring in more qualified traffic.

Keyword Match – There are three different types of keyword matches:

Broad match – This type of match will show you all related keywords, regardless of the order or word location.

Phrase match – This type of match will show you all related keywords that use the exact phrase you used.

Exact match – This type of match will show you only the exact keywords that match the phrase you used.

Search intent – Search intent is the purpose of a search. It helps you understand why users are searching for something and what they expect to find when they do.

For instance, some keywords have informational intent, where users only want to find information about a particular topic. On the other hand, others have commercial intent and are meant to help users buy something.

Search Volume – Search volume is the number of times a keyword has been searched in a period of time. The majority of keyword research tools provide monthly search volume for each keyword.

Keyword Difficulty – This metric tells you how hard it is to rank for a particular keyword. The higher the score, the harder it will be to rank for that keyword.

Traffic – It tells you how much traffic a keyword can generate for your website.

Now that you’re aware of the basics let’s move on to the foundational step of the keyword research process.

2. Do Some Topic Research

You need to start by brainstorming some topics related to your business.

So, make a list of topics that are related to your services and products. These topics will help you find relevant keywords that are centered around a specific theme or subject.

For example, if you’re in the fitness industry, some topics could include “strength training”, “weight loss”, “nutrition”, etc.

Find 5 to 10 topics that your target audience might be interested in and keep them in a spreadsheet.

Once you have your list of topics, the next step is to find keywords for your website.

3. Find Related Keywords

Now is the time to wear your creative + researcher hat and find some relevant keywords.

For each topic, try to come up with between 10 and 20 related keywords that you think people might use while searching.

For example, if the topic is “strength training”, some related keywords could be “best exercises for strength training”, “strength training for women”, “how to do strength training at home,” etc.

But you don’t have to rely on guesswork or your own creativity here.

Some of the best ways to find relevant keyword ideas are:

  • Typing your query on Google and scrolling to the bottom of the search results page to find related search phrases.
  • Clicking on any related search terms and finding more Google suggestions on the next page.
  • Reading the PAA (People Also Ask) section in SERPs and finding more keyword (and topic) ideas.
  • Typing your seed keyword into Google’s keyword planner and finding out other relevant keywords.

Besides the above free methods, you can use a paid keyword research tool to find SEO keywords.

The next step features some of the best keyword research tools.

4. Use Keyword Tools

There are a number of paid and free keyword research tools to generate SEO keywords. We’ve listed some of the most popular ones below:

Google Keyword Planner – It’s a free and simple tool to use. With Google’s Keyword Planner (GKP), you can find estimated traffic and the average monthly search volume for each keyword and some other related keywords.

Important: GKP might suggest related terms that don’t contain your seed keyword. These are conceptually related to your primary keyword and might help uncover more opportunities.

Answer The Public – This is another keyword research tool that helps you find questions and prepositions related to your seed keyword.

It can help you uncover valuable long-tail keywords and questions related to your topics.

Although it’s a paid tool, it allows you to perform 3 searches per day for free.

SEMrush – SEMRush’s Keyword Magic Tool is a powerful keyword research tool that can give you hundreds of thousands of keyword suggestions. Plus, it offers tons of useful features like keyword difficulty, search volume, traffic, and cost-per-click data.

Moreover, you can use its filter to refine your research to get broad, phrase, and exact match keywords.

Ahrefs – Ahrefs Keyword Explorer is an advanced keyword research tool for finding the best keywords for SEO and PPC campaigns. It is regarded as one of the most accurate and reputable SEO tools (which reflects in its pricing).

Like SEMRush, Ahrefs also provides search volume, traffic potential, cost-per-click data, and other useful parameters. Plus, you can also use their filter to find only long-tail keywords or exclude brand names, etc.

However, it also lets you expand your research for other search engines like YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, and many others.

Moreover, it’s an excellent tool for performing keyword research for SEO ecommerce optimization as you can also find keywords for Amazon – this makes Ahrefs a unique and valuable keyword research tool.

UberSuggest – Ubersuggest is a free keyword research tool by Neil Patel. It can help you generate hundreds of relevant keywords from the seed keyword you enter.

Besides showing you traffic and search volumes, this tool will also display mobile and desktop searches separately. Plus, it will also show you traffic by age group to help you target the right keywords.

Some of these features are available for free, while detailed reports come in the paid plan.

Moz Keyword Explorer –  Moz’s keyword explorer is another helpful tool for researching keywords. It can give you related keyword ideas, traffic predictions, and a difficulty score that helps you decide which keywords to target first.

These are some tools you can use to find keywords for website SEO.

Once you find some relevant keywords, the next step is to select the ones that will offer you the best ROI. This means you’ll have to perform an in-depth analysis to choose the best ones.

5. Analyze Keywords

Before you can finalize your list of keywords, it’s important to check a few parameters of each keyword and decide whether it’s worth targeting or not.

Look at this aspect from 3 different angles:

a) Look At The Metrics

Check the metrics of each keyword to understand its potential.

Look at factors like search volume, traffic, and keyword difficulty score.

The higher the search volume and traffic, the better it is. However, do not overlook the keyword difficulty score either.

It would take a lot of time, effort, and money to rank for high-difficulty keywords, so it’s best to target keywords with medium difficulty for a start.

b) Study Competitors

Studying your competitors helps you decide what keywords you should work on.

One of the easiest ways to study your competitors is to use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool. Just paste the URL of the competitor’s website, and it will give you an analysis.

From there, select “Keywords” and see which keywords bring in the most traffic. Or see which ones are helping your competitors rank in the top 5 or 10 results.

Such keywords are worth fighting for.

But don’t forget that there still are many keywords that your competitors often ignore. These keywords could open a whole lot of opportunities for you.

Find them by filtering out high search volume and low KD (keyword difficulty) keywords in a paid tool.

Or, you can use one of the methods we listed under “3.Find Relevant Keywords.”

c) Focus On Search Intent:

Search intent is a very important factor when it comes to keyword research. With this metric, you can understand what people are looking for when they search for a particular query.

For instance, if you are selling jackets online and someone is searching for “best winter jackets,” they are likely looking for product recommendations.

On the other hand, if someone is searching “where to buy winter jackets,” they are probably looking for a store or website where they can buy winter jackets.

The point is you need to focus on the intent behind a keyword and choose the ones that best fit your business goals. The better you understand search intent, the more qualified traffic you will likely attract.

So, by understanding the search intent, analyzing the metrics, and studying competitors, you can create an effective keyword list that will help you bring more traffic.

Once you have analyzed each keyword, you can select the best-suited keywords for website SEO and add them to your list.

6. Make A Keyword Strategy

Until now, you merely have a list. Though it is a huge step forward, it is not enough.

You have to turn that list into a strategic plan.

Why is this keyword strategy important?

This strategy will guide you in creating content, optimizing pages for search engines, and making sure you are targeting the right keywords.

Creating a keyword strategy can be divided into four steps:

a) Group Keywords

Organize your list into smaller groups with similar search intent.

For example, you can group keywords related to product recommendations in one group and store-related queries in another group.

Once you have grouped them, decide which ones to use first.

b) Prioritize Keywords

Most of the time, you won’t have enough resources to target all the keywords in your list. You will have to prioritize some over others.

You can decide the priority based on search volume, relevancy, or other factors like user intent.

c) Create Content Plan

Your content plan should describe the type of content you need to create for each group of keywords.

For instance, if a keyword is related to product recommendations, you will have to create content like product reviews, comparison posts, etc.

If a keyword is related to store location, you will have to create content about the locations of your stores.

d) Decide KPIs

Last but not least, you need to set up a tracking system to measure the progress of your keyword strategy.

For example, you can track organic traffic, rankings, and conversions associated with each keyword. This will help you determine if your strategy is working and make adjustments if needed.

By following these steps, you can create an effective keyword plan that will help you bring more qualified traffic to your website.

Once you start creating content and implementing the strategy, keep track of the performance and adjust if needed. With continuous monitoring, you can make sure your keyword strategy is delivering the desired results.

This brings us to the end of this comprehensive guide to find SEO keywords for your website or ecommerce store.

Invest In Keyword Research For Long Term Success

Finding high-traffic keywords and creating a successful keyword strategy requires careful research and analysis.

By understanding the search intent behind each keyword, analyzing metrics such as search volume and relevancy, and studying competitors’ strategies, you can come up with an effective keyword list and a strategic plan for long-term success.

If that sounds like too much work, it’s okay to look for help.

Our team of SEO experts at Mongoose Media is equipped with the right knowledge and the latest keyword research tools to help you devise a keyword strategy that will bring more qualified traffic to your website.

Whether you’re starting a blog or performing keyword research for ecommerce, our amazing team would be happy to help.

Get in touch with us to learn more about our SEO services.

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