SEO Essentials Guide to Keyword Research

SEO Essentials Guide to Keyword Research

Keyword research is an essential aspect of optimising a website for search engines. In this guide to keyword research, we’ll share with you the absolutely necessary steps to get started.

There is no denying the fact that if you are looking forward to earning profit from your website, you cannot steer clear of keyword research and selection. You have to know somehow what the potential customers are typing when they are searching for the kind of product you are offering.

These days, there are plenty of tools available in the market that will help you analyse the keyword data for your site. However you have to remember that these tools might not be very accurate and it is best to depend on a time tested process of keyword research in combination with the tools. Let us now discuss the process of keyword research and selection in detail.

Put simply, the keyword research process can be broken down into following steps:

  • Eliminating misconceptions
  • Creating a list of keywords
  • Utilise keyword research software
  • Finalising your keyword list
  • Planning your action
  • Monitoring and repeating the process

Let’s now get into the details.

search engine optimisation knowledge

Step 1: Eliminating misconceptions

One of the common misconceptions among website owners is that they know what keywords the potential customers would type and hence there is no need to further dwell on the subject. However, this can’t be further away from the truth.

Actually what they have in mind are generic terms and technical industry jargon which are never searched by the customers. Most of your customers are not from your own industry and would not know the common words you use. Therefore, you have to consciously think about your target audience and make sure you understand their perspective.

Also remember that the keywords you shortlist should be related to your domain and not just some terms which can be used for high search engine rankings. The point is that such unrelated words may provide you with lots of traffic, however no one will stick around.

keyword research for SEO

Step 2: Creating a list of keywords

This task can be intimidating to begin with. However you have to keep calm and start slowly. You have to think of ways to increase your conversion rate through important keywords and phrases. For this, the best way is to brainstorm for words.

You can ask your friends, colleagues, and past customers to contribute as getting a different perspective to the whole thing is extremely important. Think on the lines of what is your site promoting? Have you covered all the words related to the products and services you are offering? Think of phrases that are targeted, simple, buying and research oriented.

When people are looking for something specific to buy they usually narrow their research by adding a list of words to their keyword. These long tail keywords can be anything from three to nine words long. You have to make sure that your site comes up in such searches as well as it might be very critical for your business.

Also, while preparing your list, don’t be afraid to check on your competitors. Their meta keyword tag will give an idea to enhance your own list.

Find the right software

Step 3: Utilise keyword research software

Once you have a comprehensive list, you might want to narrow it down to the most sought after phrases. This can be easily done by using a keyword research tool. In the initial days of SEO, people used to find out the effectiveness of their keywords by typing it in various search engines.

However now there are tools in the market that will help you determine how many people are searching a particular term and how many searches were actually converted to sales.


Guide to Keyword Research
Guide to Keyword Research

Best keyword research software

There is a plethora of keyword research software tools out there, some free, some paid and some ranging from a few dollars to thousands of dollars per month.

Rather than try to persuade you towards just one tool, here are six great keyword research software tools that I recommend you look at. All of them have free plans or a free trial, so you can see how they perform for you.

Ahrefs Keyword Generator

Google Keyword Planner

Keyword Sheeter

Moz Keyword Explorer



You might find that you have a particular preference, or that you end up using a combination of these tools for optimal results.

It is also important at this stage to test the activity of the keywords you have chosen. This will give you the accurate data regarding which ones are for keeps and which ones should be discarded.

keyword research for SEO

Step 4: Finalising your keyword list

Once you have tested the activity of keywords, you arrive at a final list of most important keywords related to your domain. It is advised that at this stage, you should create a spreadsheet and track each word’s conversion rate, search volume, and competition rate. These three figures will help you determine the viability of a term for your website.

You should narrow down your focus to those terms that are closely related to the subject of your website. These will be the terms you want to hold on to and make sure you have relevant content around them.

Create a mix of both keywords and phrases. Phrases will help you tell your customer what your website does and keywords will generate traffic.

keyword research for SEO

Step 5: Planning your action

Now that you have the final list of most appropriate keywords with you, you are now ready for launch. Create your pages with a maximum of 3-4 keywords on one page. The content should not look artificial and forced. If you don’t have content for some of your keywords, this is high time that you create it.

Keyword research process is not limited just to find the best niche for your website, however it is also required for all its pages and content, apart from inserting your keywords in on-page content, you can also place them in the following elements of your site:

  • Title Tag
  • Meta Description Tags
  • Meta Keywords Tag
  • Headings
  • ALT text
  • Anchor Text/ Navigational Links

As you have spent so much time finalising your keywords, you have to make sure that you get maximum benefits out of them by placing them on all relevant spots.

SEO research

Step 6: Monitoring and repeating the process

If you are thinking that the keyword research and selection process is behind you, you might be wrong. For it has been found that it is an ongoing process. You have to keep on monitoring your site’s performance and change the keywords if required.

This may be necessary because over a period of time, the needs of your customer might change and you have to take this important aspect into account too!

In summary

In Summary

So, the six steps for keyword research, again, are;

  • Eliminating misconceptions
  • Creating a list of keywords
  • Utilise keyword research software
  • Finalising your keyword list
  • Planning your action
  • Monitoring and repeating the process

All the best with determining the best keywords for your needs, and for higher rankings!

Similar Posts