How to do Effective Keyword Research for SEO


Comprehensive keyword research is the most important part of any SEO campaign. You need to use targeted keywords on your website for search engines to rank it when a particular keyword is used.

Your entire SEO campaign, including both on- and off-site optimization, will revolve around your chosen keywords. Therefore, you must ensure that you do effective keyword research before you do anything else.


Build a List

After you have chosen a niche, you need to research keywords which are connected to that niche. Your first stop should be the Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool. Enter your niche and the tool will return hundreds of related keywords for you.

Copy and paste all information into a spreadsheet. Then go through the list and search the tool for these keywords. It will then show even more ideas. Using this method, you should be easily able to build a list which contains thousands of entries.

To get even more keywords, you can use Google Trends to see what is popular at the moment. Research current trends and extract the keywords, then put these keywords into the Adwords tool, and it will return their number of monthly searches. Finally copy and paste this information into your spreadsheet.

You can get more ideas from Google’s auto-complete. When you type a keyword into the search bar, it will try to predict what you want to search for. You can use this information in the same way as Google Trends to add to your list. Similarly, you can do the same with “related searches,” which are located at the bottom of the search page.

Finally, there are other free tools you can use which will return a list of keywords such as . Enter in your keywords and it will return a list of related keywords for you. Again, put this into Google’s keyword planner, get the number of monthly searches, and add it to your list.


Cleaning the List

If you have thoroughly gone through this process, you should have collected a list which contains many thousands of entries. You’ll find that a number of them will be duplicates, which you want cleared from the list. Fortunately, Excel has an option to do this automatically for you.

Now you can sort your data according to the number of monthly searches. Your overall aim is to find keywords with a high number of monthly searches which are also fairly easy to rank.


Filtering the List

Depending on your niche, you will want to look for different types of keywords. For example, if your website sells shampoo, you’ll want keywords that contain the word buy or a synonym such as purchase, such as buy shampoo online or purchase shampoo. This will help to increase your conversion rates because people typing in these keywords are looking to buy something.

One the other hand, if your website is an informative blog, you may want to consider filtering questions, lists, and how-to guides, as they are all popular types of blog posts.


Keyword Difficulty

Now that you have started to reduce the number of keywords you have, you’ll need to assess their ranking difficulty. Try to find keywords which have a high number of searches and don’t have a lot of competition.

Here, you just need to type the keyword into Google and look at the competition on the first page. The websites listed on the first page of a search containing your chosen keyword will be your direct competition.

Check their domain authority and backlinks. The more authority and high-quality backlinks they have, the harder they are to outrank. Also look for exact title matches. If most of the first page contain exact title matches, it will also be more difficult to rank highly.


Automated Software

To save time, you can use tools such as Long Tail Pro and Ultimate Niche Finder to speed up the process. They can both automatically scrape huge lists of keywords and analyze the competition, meaning that a lot of the hard work has been done for you. They are premium tools with a paid subscription, but if you’re doing a lot of keyword research, they can both save you a lot of time.


Choosing the Best Keywords

After analyzing all the keywords in your long list, you should now have a list of your targeted keywords for each page on your website or article published on your blog. You should also use related keywords on the same page as your targeted keywords so that your keyword density for one keyword doesn’t get too high.

After effectively researching a list of keywords, you are now ready to start your SEO campaign and start tracking your SERPs. SEO is an ongoing process and you need to keep working hard not only get high rankings in the first place, but to also maintain them over time.

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