How to do keyword research like the SEO pros in 2021: A Beginner’s Guide

How to do keyword research like the SEO pros
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While Google keeps rolling out new algorithms update for SEO ranking, one thing remains constant, the keyword.

However, how you do keyword research and target that keywords into your content is changing over time.

Finding the exact matching keywords is no longer the important factor in the eye of Google, the user searches the intent tool over the place of it.

in this informative guide we are going to learn, “How to do keyword research like the SEO pros”?

If you match the search intent properly, you don’t necessarily need to include the exact keywords.

Google displays the search results on the basis of the search intent of the user instead of how many times the keyword is being mentioned in the 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 are searching for, understanding the language of your audience to speak it aloud in your content, and know the popularity of the topics.

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 can the increase conversion
  • How much SEO efforts required to rank for a keyword?
  • Competition analysis
  • New topic ideas

I will keep this guide simple and straight, first I will walk you through the basics of keyword research then I will show you how you exactly find the keywords for your blog.

Stick till the end.

By the end of this post, you will understand the process of keyword research and you will 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 you.

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 the keywords. 

It also involves comparing the different keywords and prioritizing them in order to find which keywords are best for your blog or business.

Why keyword research is important?

Keyword research is very important to understand to avoid the mistake the almost newbie does, what they do is they create the content based on what they like and what they think is important for their business.

Finding the right keywords is an essential step to creating the content around the quarries that your potential customers are actually looking for.

According to the case study conducted by Ahref, 90.63% webpages don’t get any organic traffic from google.

To avoid getting listed under that 90.63% blogs, dominate the search result, and be in another 9% blog you have to perform strategic keyword research.

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) keywordsBody keywordLong-tail keyword
Health TipsHeath tips for babyHealth tips for newborn baby in winter season 2021
Keyword researchKeyword research strategyHow to find low competition and a long-tail keyword for SEO
Weight loss tipsWeight loss tips for teenagerWeight loss tips for teenagers in high school
Types of different keywords in SEO

Now you have understood, what the keywords are, what the keyword research process is, and why it is important for organic traffic and SEO ranking.

You got an idea of the different terms of keywords along with their examples.

It’s time to understand the user search intent, it will help you to target the right keyword that will increase your conversion rate and domination the search result.

What is user search intent in keyword research?

Let’s understand the user search intent with help of this chart…

Chart of user’s search intents

Informational intentNavigational intentCommercial intentTransactional intentLocal intent
Looking for some informationAlways avoid these types of keywords because no one will ever clickUser wants to buy something but he/she is doing some researchThe user has already finished a product & ready to purchaseLocal keywords have transactional intent
He/she has no intention to buy anythingThey are looking for a particular website like facbook.com, Amazon.comHe wants to sure for best quality and priceExamples – Book flight, join an online classThe user wants to buy from a nearby shop not online
Keywords like – Covid – 19, celebrities, places, how to solve a puzzleUser doesn’t want to click and land on your websiteHe will use modifier like best, top, comparison, rating, review, sizeHigh profit and High conversational keywordsExample – cake shops in L.A.
There are thousands of niches with that intents  High-profit keywords – Good for affiliates and selling online productsHigh competition and difficult to rank on page 1Good for local business
Business can use some keywords to increase traffic and band building Keyword research is important to find keywords with such intentIt’s a better idea to promote via google ads if you target these keywordsCan 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 themCreate 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 
Chart of user search intent in keyword research

Now you understood what user search intent is, it’s time to 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 create the target 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 the needs of your business? What you are offering? And what action you want to take from visitors by 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 might be the different key phrases be that the user will search for to find about web hosting?

It 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.

After building the list of keywords don’t forget to validate this user list that you have created to base on your thought.

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

google keyword research

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.

semrush keyword research

Now click on the organic keywords and here you got all the organic keyword of your competitors without doing too many efforts.

organic keywords semrush

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.

semrush keyword magic tool

Here you will get tons of keywords ideas for your blog post, now you can choose the keywords best 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”.

quora keyword research

Now analyze each question answers that come as result and 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 –

(change this image into data format instead of this graph because nothing is visible here, check there will be option to change this graph into the date chart)

answer the public keyword research

Google autosuggestion

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)

google autosuggestion

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 like remove the one or two words from the beginning and then see if the suggestion bar is showing the different result, note them down also.

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.

google related search keywords

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.

Long-tail pro

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.

long-tail keyword research

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”

Question section in keyword research tool

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

Relevancy

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 related to the topic then you write a better blog post by addressing the missing quarries into your content.

Authority

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.

Let’s assume

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…

perform a google search

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 and they even have hundreds of doctors, nutrition, 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 this keyword is worthy to target.

Step 4- Analyze the keywords

Having a list of a lot of keywords is the best idea but how do you decide which keyword is best for SEO?

Till now you have to find the seed keywords, make a list of long-tail keywords, filter the list based on relevancy and authority but you still have the list of similar keywords 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.

keyword overview

Now you will get the tons of keyword Metrix into the Ahref dashboard.

Let me explain to you the keyword Metrix that is important for the keyword selection.

Search volume

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

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.

Click

As clear by the name, click Metrix will show you how many users are actually clicking on the search results after looking searching for the 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”

Google information box

I wanted to know the height of Burj Khalifa and I get our answer on the featured snippet then why will I open any search result?

Keyword difficulty

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 be the one to 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.

CPC

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…

  1. Search for the keyword into google and copy the URLS of top-ranking pages.
  2. Choose the option organic search, now you will get the detail like how much traffic the page it got from a particular
organic search results

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 like 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.

Conclusion

Don’t try to find the perfect keyword for your blog posts because there is no perfection exists in keyword research.

As I already told you above, the purpose of finding the keywords is to understand the popularity of your topic among your potential visitors and understand the language they use to search for your topic.

If you want to outcome your competitions and dominate the search result, you will have to go through the following steps.

Just buying the keyword research tools and using a topical 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.

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sarfaraz ansari
sarfaraz ansari
Sarfaraz Helps bloggers and businesses to increase revenue and build stronger, long-lasting Brands with result-driven content writing and copywriting. He set up voice tones for brands like Brokenshire, UV Gullas, and HX Enterprize.

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