While Google keeps rolling out new algorithms updates, keyword research remains constant.
However, the way you do keyword research and target those keywords into your content is changing over time.
Satisfying user search intent is more important now than finding the exact matching keywords.
In this informative guide, I will teach you, “How to do keyword research like SEO pros“?
If your content satisfy the user search intent, you don’t need to include the exact matching keywords.
Google displays the search results based on search intent rather than the presense of a particualr words in a piece of content.Greg Gifford – SEO consultant at SEMrush
So the question is, “Is keyword research still important?”
Yes, it’s still important to find out the topics and terms your potential customers use to search for your business or businesses similar to yours. This helps you discover the topic's popularity and audience language, allowing you to skyrocket your content marketing strategies.
The right keyword research will show you…
- Your targeted audience
- Right keywords to target
- Type of content you should create
- Monthly search volume for each keyword
- It shows the competitors
- User search intent behind the Keyword
- calculation of price for an Ad campaign or ad revenue
- Help you increase conversion
- How much effort is required to rank for a keyword?
- New topic ideas
I will keep this guide straightforward, first I will walk you through the basics of keyword research then I will show you how to find the right keywords for your blog.
By the end of this post, you will understand the process of keyword research and also be able to find the best keywords for SEO.
Understanding the basics of keyword research
What are the keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into the search engines to look for your business or business similar to yours.
For example –
Best gaming PC
Best PC for business
Shoes for men
These words are called keywords,
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of finding the keywords, analyzing them, and understanding the user search intent behind those keywords.
It also involves comparing the different keywords and prioritizing them based on relevance to your audience and business.
Why keyword research is important?
Keyword research is very important to avoid mistakes that cost you time and money. Most bloggers and businesses create content based on what they think is important for their business. As a result, they don't rank for search queries or generate organic traffic.
According to the case study conducted by Ahref, 90.63% of web pages don’t get any organic traffic from google.
To avoid getting listed under that 90.63% blog, dominate the search result, and be in another 9% blog, you have to perform strategic keyword research.
The right keyword research process allows you to create content around the quarries your potential customers are actually looking for.
To conduct keyword research like a pro, you have to understand the different terms of keywords. Let’s see the three types of keywords along with the example
|Seed (head) keywords||Body keyword||Long-tail keyword|
|Health Tips||Heath tips for baby||Health tips for newborn baby in winter season 2022|
|Keyword research||Keyword research strategy||How to find low competition and a long-tail keyword for SEO|
|Weight loss tips||Weight loss tips for teenagers||Weight loss tips for teenagers in high school|
Now you have understood what are the keywords, and why they are important for organic traffic and SEO ranking. You also understood the different keywords terms along with examples.
Let's understand the user search intent. This helps you to target the right keyword that allows you to dominate the search result and increase your conversion rate.
What is user search intent in keyword research?
Let’s understand the user search intent with the following chart…
Chart of user’s search intents
|Informational intent||Navigational intent||Commercial intent||Transactional intent||Local intent|
|Looking for some information||Always avoid these types of keywords because no one will ever click||User wants to buy something but he/she is doing some research||The user has already finished a product & ready to purchase||Local keywords have transactional intent|
|He/she has no intention to buy anything||They are looking for a particular website like facbook.com, Amazon.com||He wants to sure for best quality and price||Examples – Book flight, join an online class||The user wants to buy from a nearby shop not online|
|Keywords like – Covid – 19, celebrities, places, how to solve a puzzle||User doesn’t want to click and land on your website||He will use modifier like best, top, comparison, rating, review, size||High profit and High conversational keywords||Example – cake shops in L.A.|
|There are thousands of niches with that intents||High-profit keywords – Good for affiliates and selling online products||High competition and difficult to rank on page 1||Good for local business|
|Business can use some keywords to increase traffic and band building||Keyword research is important to find keywords with such intent||It’s a better idea to promote via google ads if you target these keywords||Can create a post for a blog or business strategy|
|Keyword research is important to find keywords with such intent||Good for google ads if you know how to use them||Create landing pages for keywords with transactional intent|
|These keywords are sometimes difficult to rank because google automatically show the main information result in the search bar as feature snipped so it is always better to check the search result before choosing keywords||Excellence Keyword research is important to find keywords with such intent|
Now you understood what user search intent is, let's get into the process of finding the keywords
How to do keyword research like the SEO pros: 4 Step guideline for beginners
Step – 1 How to find keyword ideas
When building the keyword list, keep two things in mind…
- What is important for your customers – While doing the keyword research you should not only think about your business or the services you offer but you should also keep the needs and desires of your ideal customers in your mind, it will help you discover the right keywords that will convert your audience into customer and increase your revenue.
- What is important for your business – While keeping your audience in mind you should also think about your business goals and needs? What you are offering? And what action do you want your visitors to take after reading your blogs?
With that keep in mind, head over to the first step of doing keyword research like a pro.
Brainstorm the “seed keywords”
If you going to write a blog on any topic then you must be an expert on that topic.
The chances are you already know the details about the topic that your potential visitors will use to search your blog post.
Start brainstorming the different phrases and words that the potential visitor might use to search for the topic that you are going to write.
For example – if you are going to write a blog post on web hosting
What are the different key phrases that users will search to find about web hosting?
They might be…
- Best WordPress hosting
- Fast web hosting
- Affordable web hosting
- Cloud web hosting
- And later goes on….
Making a list of these key phrases will make your keyword research process faster.
Once you build the list, your next step is to validate it.
Now you have to analyze each keyword for different keyword research terms that we will discuss in Step 2.
See what keywords your competitors are ranking for
To quickly find out the keywords that you should be targeting into your blog, search for your topic on Google, and analyze the top-ranking pages to find out the keywords they are ranking for…
You can use keyword research tools like Ahref, SEMrush, and Ubbersuggest to analyze the organic keywords of top-ranking pages.
Let see how to do it…
I have searched for the topic, “Best WordPress hosting”
Now I will copy the URLs of these top-ranking pages and analyze them into the SEMrush tool.
Paste the URL into the site explorer bar and choose the. “Exact domain” option and click search.
Now click on the organic keywords, here you will get the competitor's all organic keywords.
Use keyword research tools
Again we will use SEMrush to find out all keyword ideas for our blog post.
Head over to the “keyword overview” type the main word for your topic and click search.
Here you will get tons of keywords ideas for your blog post, now you can choose the keywords based on the search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, and search intent that we are going to discuss in the steps below.
Study your niche
Even after using the keyword research tools and manually brainstorming the ideas on your own, you might still miss the most interesting keyword ideas that your potential visitors are constantly looking for.
To find out the keyword ideas that are popular in your niche, head over to the public forms and QNA sites like Quora, Answer.com, and Yahooasnwer.com, etc.
For example –
I am using Quora to find the keyword ideas for the topic “web hosting”.
Now analyze each question and answer note down the keyword ideas.
Step -2 How to find long-tail keywords
Answer the public.com
This is a free keyword research tool to find the long-tail keywords, it extracts the data from google auto-suggestions and represents it in a systemic way.
Let see how we can find the long-tail keywords with answerthepublic.com
Type any seed keyword from the list that you have built in step one, I am typing, “web hosting”
Now you will see all the long tail keyword suggestions to this seed keyword from google auto-complete.
It differentiates the data based on phrases like what, when, why, were, like, similar and compare, etc.
For example –
Google auto-suggestion is one of the best and quickest and way to find the long-tail keywords for any topic, it shows the data based on what special quarries users are searching for your topic.
For example –
Let’s find out some long-tail keyword for “web hosting”
(this is not right snapshot, type web hosting let the google auto-suggest, and capture the screenshot of auto suggestion bar)
As you can see I have just typed the main seed keyword and I found the related long-tail keywords.
Pro-tip – you can play around with the google search bar to find the more long-tail keywords. E.g. – Remove the one or two words from the beginning and then see if the suggestion bar is showing a different result.
Google search related
Google search related is much like the google auto suggestion but it shows the keywords that are closely related to the topic you put in the search bar.
It doesn’t mean you have to include all the keyword in your list, but you can use this section to extend your keyword list based on your audience’s interest.
This is the only best long-tail keyword research tool available in the market which can help you quickly find the tons of long-tail keywords related to your topic.
It is not necessary to buy this keyword research tool because it extracts the data from the google ad word tool. If you are not ready to invest in this tool then you can ultimately find the same long-tail keywords for your topic into the google keyword planner.
But the long tail pro shows the data Metrix for long-tail keywords like the keyword difficulty level, and traffic potential that is unavailable in keyword research tools like Ahref and SEMrush.
Question section in keyword research tool
The question section of keyword research tools can generate tons of keyword ideas within one click for your Blog topic.
You just need to type the name of your topic into the keyword explorer and click on the all “keyword ideas”
Now you can select and analyze these keywords by following the steps that we are going to discuss in step-4
Step – 3 Understand how user intent Affect keyword research and analyze accordingly
It’s very important to check the relevancy of the keyword for the type of content you want to create. Google always rank the pages based on user search intent instead of numbers of time a particular keyword is being mentioned in a piece of content.
So before you finalize the list of your keywords, cut it down on the basis of relevancy.
Search for each keyword on google and analyzes the search result, look carefully…
- What type of content is ranking?
- Are they blog posts or product pages?
- Are they listicle articles or how-to guides?
- What they have mentioned in their content?
- What is the format of their content?
- And what quarries they are addressing in the content?
I will also help you to understand the content gap, if the ranking blogs are missing something that targeted visitors searching often, you write a better blog post by addressing the missing quarries into your content.
To some extent, google always gives priority to the authority site no matter how good your content or keyword research strategy is, make sure your look at it thoroughly prior to choosing the final keyword for your blog post.
Before you finalize the keyword, perform a google search for it, and see if there are authority sites ranking under the top search results.
I have finalized the keyword, “quit smoking” and I want to rank for this keyword.
But let’s check google result for this keyword first…
Ops! I chose the wrong keyword, I can’t outperform the health sites like WebMD and helpguide.org that are already ranking for this keyword, no matter how good my content and keyword research strategy is.
The reason is, they are an authority in the topic, they exist for years and they have spent lots of resources to rank for this topic. They have hundreds of doctors, nutritionists, and medical experts around the world writing for them.
If you think you can also do the same efforts and outperform your strong authority competitors then you can go for this keyword but I won’t because I know that I'm unable to do this.
Step 4- Analyze the keywords
Having a list of different keywords is the best idea but how do you decide which keyword is best for SEO?
Till now, you have found the seed keywords, created a list of long-tail keywords, and filtered the list based on relevancy and authority but you still have many similar keywords in your list and you are wondering which one you should choose from the list.
That’s where keyword analysis comes into the existence.
Now you will analyze the keywords in your list with the help of SEO tools like Ahref and SEMrush.
I am using Ahref to show you the tutorials.
Put the keyword into the keyword overview and click search.
Now you will get the tons of keyword Metrix into the Ahref dashboard.
The most important keyword Metrix –
It will show you how many times this keyword is being searched on the monthly basis around a particular country. Having a higher search volume will result in more traffic but it will also increase the competition.
Trends show you the popularity of the keyword over time. It’s advisable to avoid the sessional keywords that spike up the search only at a particular period of time.
If a keyword doesn’t have enough search volume but its trend is increasing over time then it’s defiantly worthy to target this keyword. It’s gonna help you in long run.
As clear by the name, click Metrix will show you how many users are actually clicking on the search results for a keyword.
If you see the high search volume for a keyword then you should also check its click Metrix before you target it because sometimes people are behind the very small query and they get the result on either google snippet or Google information box.
For example –
“height of Burj Khalifa”
I wanted to know the height of Burj Khalifa and I got the answer on the featured snippet, why will I open any search result?
This is a very critical part of the keyword research strategy, it shows the difficulty Metrix chart from 0-100 based on the competition of the keyword.
Going after the keyword that is too competitive will kill all your SEO efforts because of no matter how hard you try if other authority sites already maintain their positions you can’t outperform them.
If you are a new blogger, it’s advisable to choose the keyword difficulty below the 30 that Ahref mark as a medium difficulty level.
Although this Metrix is for advertisers, if the primary earning source of your blog is Google AdSense then it is an essential part to discover. You will want to know which keyword is more profitable that will earn you a higher amount per click.
Keyword research tools don’t show the data of long-tail keywords, where to find it?
You might not be able to analyze most of the long-tail keywords in SEO tools, the chances are the data will be unavailable.
Here is my tip to check the approximate Metrix of any long-tail keyword…
- Search for the keyword into google and copy the URLS of top-ranking pages.
- Choose the option organic search, now you will get the detail like how much traffic the page is getting from a particular keyword.
Pro Tips –
Remember all keywords tools show the different Metrix based on the database they extract from Google keyword planner.
The data you see such as search volume, traffic, and clicks are not 100% accurate rather it’s estimated value.
You can use the Google keyword planner tool to see the exact search volume of a keyword but this tool is designed for advertisers hence it’s lacking in keyword research for SEO; It doesn’t show you the Keyword difficulty and search trend.
You can use other paid SEO tools to analyze these Metrix.
Based on my experience and what other bloggers in the industry prefer, SEMrush is the best keyword research tool to find all of the above-mentioned Metrix.
Don’t try to find the perfect keyword for your blog posts because it doesn't exist.
The purpose of finding the keywords is to understand the popularity of your topic among your potential visitors and understand their language.
If you want to outperform your competitors and dominate the search result, you will have to follow the above-mentioned steps.
Just buying the keyword research tools and using a topical keyword research approach will not help you to achieve your SEO goals.
So what is your take away from this guide on,”How to do keyword research like the SEO pros?”
Tell me in the comment section.