The Ultimate Guide to Keyword Research

keyword research

Table of Contents

This is the guest post by Nikhil Aggarwal.

The most challenging questions people come across while posting an article or starting a business are:

“How can I find the perfect keywords that my competition doesn’t know about?”

“What is the best keyword research tool in the market these days?”

“How will I know if a particular keyword is too hard to rank for?”

“Should I still target keywords or try to look for topics instead?”

If you’ve got the same questions then you are at right place I will try to show you exactly how to find the perfect keywords that help you in marketing and business growth.

I’m sure there is no need of trying to persuade you into understanding that keyword research is easily one of the highest return CEO activities that as necessary for making you a marketing success as you are all aware of it already.

There is no shortage of articles around the internet that will give you detailed information on how to execute a professional keyword research which will help you rank high in terms of search terms and also help vastly improve your traffic from Google.

What I have observed is that most of these guides give you a different set of instructions which are not necessary a guarantee that you  will succeed. Not saying that what other websites are advising is wrong but there is no universal approach on how to execute a keyword research.

Each keyword research can vary as they are based on different factors.

  • Your website (quality of content, authority, number of pages, etc.)
  • Your goals and ambitions (exposure, traffic, branding, sales, leads, etc.)
  • Your budget and resources
  • Your industry and competitive surroundings

Start with seed keywords

long tail keywords

You should always start your keyword research by looking for seed keywords as they are the foundation of your research. They will define your niche and also help you identify your competitors.

If you are looking to showcase a product or want to promote your business online, you must come up with seed keywords which will easily describe that product or business with your own words or try to brainstorm how others would search for it.

Let us take an example – say you are looking to launch an online store of GoPro accessories. The keywords which most people would think of would be somewhere along the terms:

  • GoPro accessories
  • GoPro add-ons
  • GoPro gadgets

However, let’s say that you are looking to start an affiliate marketing website but you have no idea which niche you want to pick or which products you will be promoting. So the challenge of “picking a niche” is a big task to accomplish on its own.

Keyword Discovery

competitive keyword discovery

Another hugely important step for a successful keyword research is keyword discovery. It involved you coming up  with new ideas for keywords and then choosing the best ones.

Sometimes, this turns out to be the most difficult part as most people are not familiar with the keyword competition that select broad words to target like pizza, hotel, or New York.

Other people will try to pick obscure phrases such as SEO/Link Building/Social media that literally no one would ever search for. So, the first thing which you need to do is try to find some suitable and relevant phrases for your business.

Simply brainstorming is always the best methods to start. Look for the features that your website basically focuses on and then make a list of the keywords.

I would also suggest you do it in Microsoft Excel or any other Spreadsheet application as it will be convenient for you. Whenever you are ready, you can easily expand on these ideas of yours.

Understand keyword metrics

Whenever you are executing any aforementioned strategies, you will often find yourself sitting through ample keyword ideas and then trying to figure out which among these deserve to be chosen. To make it easier for you, you can consider these keyword metrics and then choose the best ones.

  • Search Volume – This one will show you the overall search demand on a given keyword, i.e. how frequently people around the world put a keyword into Google. Most keyword research tools used to get the numbers from Google Adwords but from past few years, Google has been taking data from SEOs.

You also need to keep in mind that certain keywords often show a hike in numbers at different times. For example – Take a keyword “Christmas Candles”, obviously it will prove to be a successful one during the month of December.

  • Clicks – Another important metric to keep in mind is the number of clicks a keyword gets. For example – The keyword named “Donald Trump age” will likely get a search volume of over 246,000 per month. You must have a massive amount of traffic if you are to rank at the top of Google for a specific keyword.
  • Cost per click (CPC) – This metric is highly important for advertisers rather than the SEOs. Most SEO professionals CPC as a method of measuring a keyword’s commercial potential. Another thing that you must keep in mind is that CPC is highly volatile and might change any minute.
cpc cost per click box

The CPC values which you might come across in different third-party keyword research tools is merely a snapshot of a certain timeframe. Use AdWords if you are interested in getting the actual data.

  • Always prioritise – Remember that Prioritisation is not necessarily the final step in your quest for keyword research but it is something that you tend to do naturally as you tend to move through the aforementioned strategies. While you are busy generation ideas for keywords, analysing their metrics, and then grouping them, you must be starting to notice these things:
  1. What should be the estimated traffic potential of the chosen keywords?
  2. How tough will the competition be? What should I do to achieve a high ranking?
  3. How many resources do I need to invest in order to build a competitive page and promote it?

You can easily solve this dilemma by adding few dedicated columns in your spreadsheet and give a score to each keyword idea. Finalise these scores and it will give you a clearer image on how to pick the best one among the lot.

You must always remember that it is not the “Easiest to rank for” keywords that you need to select, you must go for the ones with the best ROI.

Author’s Bio

I’m currently working as Content Manager with SEO Experts India. I have a great passion for digital marketing and I help small and medium-sized businesses improve their online presence and grow their revenue by formulating effective digital marketing strategies for them. Apart from Digital Marketing, I have a keen interest in Entrepreneurship, Online Reputation Management, Quality Link Building  Tech Consultancy, etc.
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Umesh Singh
Umesh Singh
Umesh is blogger by heart and digital marketer by profession. He helps small companies to grow their revenue as well as online presence.

3 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Keyword Research”

  1. In fact, I think you cannot rely on anyone Keyword Research tool as such because, in the long run, the search behavior keeps on changing and also fluctuates from country to country. Keeping all options open for a global traffic and targeting for the maximum possible targeted keyword phrases should be the aim for the keyword research phase.

    Instead of focusing on only the keywords recommended by keyword research tools and Adwords also concentrate on the possible psychologies of users from various geographic areas unless you are concentrating only on a very particular area where only the language and slang of that place concerns for the search of that site. Online users from different places, of different age groups and the various educational backgrounds, think differently and use different language and jargon.

    Instead of focusing on only specific fixed key terms we should work to keep the possibilities of a wider circle of permutations and combinations of key phrases open for the site. The analytics data, in fact, can give a proper meaning of what searches are actually taking place countrywide.

    Anyways, very informative article. Delivers some great points to light…

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