How to Research Keywords? Keywords are the foundation of SEO. No matter how hard you try, you won’t get traffic from Google if no one looks for what you’re writing about. That is why we have assembled this beginner’s guide for you. It shows you how to use a tried-and-true keyword analysis system that you can easily customize for your website and objectives. In just a few years, we increased our blog traffic search visits using the same system.
We also tried to keep it as jargon-free as possible while not skimping on information, and we included links to additional resources at the end of each section in case you wanted to learn more.
How to Research Keywords Basics
Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to find the best keywords for your company, let’s go over the fundamentals of keyword analysis.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the terms and phrases put into search engines. They are also known as “Google searches” or “SEO keywords.”
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the method of determining the vocabulary that your target consumers use when looking for your goods, services, and content. It then entails evaluating, matching, and prioritising the right keyword options for your website.
What are the advantages of keyword research?
The only way to find out what people are typing into search engines is to perform keyword analysis. You must be mindful of this in order to avoid making content on subjects that no one is looking for. That is a common mistake made by website owners, and it is most likely one of the reasons why 90.63 percent of pages receive no traffic from Google, according to our report.
Keyword analysis will also assist you in answering questions such as:
- If I rank for this keyword, how much traffic can I expect?
- How do I build content in order to rank for this keyword?
- Is it possible that people who look up this keyword will become my customers?
You’ll be able to pick your fights more wisely if you can answer these questions correctly.
How to Generate Keyword Ideas
Consider how potential customers may search for your company or website while conducting keyword research. Then you can expand on those ideas with keyword analysis tools to find even more keywords.
It’s an easy operation, but two things must be true for it to work properly:
- You must be well-versed in your business.
- You must understand how keyword analysis tools function and how to make the most of them.
We’ll go through a few practical ways to improve your knowledge in each of those areas while also uncovering potentially profitable keywords for your website in this chapter.
- Create a list of seed keywords.
- Look at the keywords that your rivals’ rate for.
- Using keyword analysis software.
- Investigate the market.
Brainstorm ‘seed’ Keywords
The seed keywords form the basis of the keyword research method. They help you define your niche and recognise your competitors. Any keyword research tool will ask for a seed keyword, which it will then use to create a huge list of keyword suggestions (more on that shortly).
Coming up with seed keywords is simple if you already have a product or company that you want to advertise online. Consider what people might type into Google to find out more about what you have to offer.
Seed keywords for coffee machines and appliances, for example, may be:
- French press
It’s important to remember that seed keywords aren’t really worth targeting with your website’s pages. As the name implies, you will use them as “seeds” for the subsequent steps in this method. So don’t obsess about your seed keywords. Finding them should only take a few minutes. Proceed to the next stage once you have a handful of broad ideas relevant to the subject of your website.
Investigate the Keywords that Your Rivals are Ranking for
Looking at which keywords are already sending traffic to your competitors is the best way to start keyword study. You must, however, first identify your competitors. This is where your keyword list from brainstorming comes in handy. Simply enter one of your seed keywords into Google and see who comes up on the first list.
Consider looking for specific “autosuggest” queries instead if none of the top-ranking websites for your seed keywords are similar to your site (or the direction you want it to go).
If you sell coffee equipment, for example, you’ll find more actual rivals if you look for “cappuccino maker” rather than “cappuccino.” That’s because the first is dominated by ecommerce stores like yours, while the second is dominated by blogs.
In either case, when determining competing websites, you must use your best judgement. You shouldn’t actually consider major brands like Amazon or The New York Times to be competitors if they rank for your seed keyword. Often search for websites that resemble your own—or the direction you want to take it.
If you’ve found a few sites that match the bill, enter them one by one into a competitive intelligence tool like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and review the Top Pages report. Then you’ll see their most popular pages ranked by average monthly search traffic. The “Top keyword” for of page is also shown in the report. The majority of organic traffic comes from this source.
- By checking a single competitive website with Site Explorer, we discovered a few interesting keywords for our hypothetical coffee shop:
- how to use a french press
- Turkish coffee
- Moka pot
- how to make coffee
- Neapolitan coffee maker
As you can see, even though you are very familiar with your business, researching your rivals can provide you with a plethora of new keyword ideas that you would not have discovered by brainstorming alone.
If you’ve reviewed all of the competitors in the search results but still need more keywords, use Site Explorer’s Competing Domains report to find more. Simply enter one of your established rivals, and it will recommend other similar sites based on the number of overlapping keywords that they rank for on Google.
You may repeat the process above indefinitely to generate an almost infinite number of keyword ideas.
Use Tools for Keyword Research
Competitors can be an excellent source of keyword suggestions. However, there are a plethora of keywords that your rivals aren’t targeting, which you can discover using keyword analysis software.
Both keyword analysis methods operate in the same manner. You enter a seed keyword, and they generate keyword suggestions based on that keyword from their database.
Google Keyword Planner is the most well-known keyword method. It’s free to use, and although it’s mainly built for advertisers, you can use it to find SEO keywords. Let’s try a couple of our seed keywords and see what comes up:
- Irish coffee
- flat white
- cold brew
- turkish coffee
- k cups
Even if your seed keywords aren’t present in Google Keyword Planner, it will show you essential keyword ideas. Consider the term “k cups.” Unless you’re a die-hard coffee connoisseur, you still have no idea what this has to do with coffee.
Aside from Keyword Planner, there are a plethora of other free keyword analysis resources. These are nice if you’re on a tight budget, but you’ll soon notice that their data and features are severely restricted because their purpose is to turn you into a paying customer.
You can bypass the free tier and start with a “professional” tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer if you’re serious about keyword research.
From only four seed keywords, the ‘Phrase match’ report in Keywords Explorer generates nearly four million keyword ideas.
There are 3.7 million ideas. That is only from the “Word match” article. Other keyword concept papers use a number of methods to align keywords.
Here’s how Keywords Explorer results fit keyword ideas:
- Phrase match: Keyword suggestions that include the word seed in its entirety. “Black screen chair” would be a fit if the seed keyword is “computer chair.” However, “black chair for computer” does not, despite the fact that it includes both terms.
- Use the same terms: In any order, keyword definitions contain all of the individual terms from the seed keyword. If your seed keyword is “machine chair,” for example, this article would include “black chair for computer.”
- Questions: Keyword concepts that contain each phrase from the seed keyword, as well as a “comment phrase” like “how,” “if,” “when,” “when,” or “why,” in every order. If your seed keyword is “computer chair,” for example, the expression “what is the best chair for computer work” would show up here.
That may seem to be an overwhelming number of concepts, and it is. But don’t be bothered. In the following segment, you’ll learn how to narrow these down right in the tool.
Study Your Niche
All we’ve covered so far is necessary to produce an almost infinite number of keyword ideas However, the mechanism leaves you “in the box,” since it is limited by your seed keywords as well as the size and freshness of the index of your preferred keyword method. As a result, you can almost definitely overlook some smart ideas.
You will overcome this by doing a more in-depth examination of your niche. Also, browsing industry forums, groups, and Q&A pages is a good place to start. This will assist you in identifying additional issues that your prospective customers are facing that did not appear in keyword resources and that none of your competitors bothered to address.
This person has a query about an Aeropress coffee maker. When we enter the subject into Keywords Explorer, we discover that it receives an average of 61,000 monthly searches in the United States.
Since it does not contain any of our seed keywords, we could not have found it using software.
Here are a few more important topics from that subreddit that might be worth discussing:
- Pour over without the use of a Hario filter
- how to cook a carajillo
- Coffee cultivation at home
- Ethiopian coffee is a form of coffee that is grown in Ethiopia.
- coffee subscriptions
If any of these keyword recommendations have any trends, you can use them as new seed keywords in Keywords Explorer to discover more. We will find thousands of keyword ideas if we use “aeropress” as a seed keyword and look at the “Phrase match” post.
Aside from reading forums, the customers can be a great source of keyword ideas. Remember, there are people you’ve always done business with. You want to draw more people who are similar to them to your website.
Here are a few methods for gaining insights from clients or customers:
- Have a face-to-face chat with them.
- Examine previous emails
- Examine customer service inquiries
- Attempt to remember common questions that have come up in previous conversations.
Pay heed to the words they use when doing so. It will often vary from the language you use. Customers will look for system similarities if you sell coffee machines online, for example.
How to Analyze Keywords
Having a plethora of keyword ideas is great. But how do you know which are the most effective? After all, getting through all of them by hand will be near-impossible.
The solution is simple: before applying them to your content calendar, use SEO metrics to narrow things down and differentiate the wheat from the chaff. Let’s look at five keyword metrics that can help you do just that.
- Search volume
- Traffic potential
- Keyword Difficulty
- Cost Per Click (CPC)
Search volume represents the total number of times a keyword is searched every month. In the United States alone, the word “moka pot” attracts 40,000 monthly searches.
This number has three critical aspects to consider:
It’s important to note that the number of searches, not the number of people who looked, is important. In some cases, a person may search for a keyword multiple times per month (for example, “weather in Singapore”). These searches add to the search volume, even if they are performed by the same user.
It does not tell you how much traffic you will get if you rank. And if you place first, the traffic from a single keyword would barely reach 30% of the number. And that’s only if you’re lucky.
That is a quarterly average. A keyword’s monthly search volume is 10k (120k / 12 months) if it gets 120k searches in December but none for the other eleven months of the year.
This filter is useful for two purposes:
- Keywords with a sufficient amount of searches are taken out. You don’t want to sift through pages of keywords with 100k+ monthly searches if the platform is new then they’ll be competitive.
- Filtering for lower-volume keywords only. Perhaps you’d like to look for uncompetitive, low-volume keywords where you can quickly suck up extra traffic with short posts. Long-tail keywords are what they’re called.
DID YOU KNOW THE LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS MAKE UP THE MAJORITY OF KEYWORDS?
Long-tail keywords are those with a limited number of requests.They got their moniker from where they fall on the so-called “search demand curve:
As you can see, we have a very limited number of extremely common search queries near the top of the curve, such as:
- youtube — 181M
- Facebook — 168M
- weather — 52M
- google translate — 42m
- craigslist — 30m
These are referred to as “fat-head” keywords by SEOs.
Hundreds of millions of keywords with extremely low search volumes make up the long tail of the curve. Such instances are as follows:
- best fonts for a resume — 150
- four pillars of a man’s heart — 150
- definition of deuteronomy — 100
- 5 by 5 meaning military — 100
- how much is my overwatch account worth — 50
- angel food cake without pan — 50
- funny christmas cards for singles — 50
If you want to read more about dealing with different types of long-tail keywords, check out our full guide.
Keywords Explorer has 171 countries to pick from if you need to see search volumes for a region other than the United States. There are also global search volumes available (the sum of search volumes from all countries). Both of these solutions are useful if you do international business for two reasons:
- You should not limit your travels to only one country. If you sell your goods all over the world, the United States can represent only a small portion of your overall market. If customers are looking for what you sell elsewhere, you should be aware of it.
- Take into account the “purchasing power” of countries with high search volume. Perhaps you come across a promising keyword with 100k monthly searches, but 90 percent of them originate in a low-income region. In this scenario, the keyword might not be a suitable target since the “buying power” of the searchers is likely to be low.
Take the keyword “backlink generator,” for example. It has a global search volume of 13,000, but more than 70% of such searches come from low-income countries such as India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. As opposed to a keyword that receives 70% or more of its queries from the United States, ranking for this keyword may result in a lot of traffic, but the “market importance” of that traffic is likely to be very low.
Another thing to remember about search volumes is that they vary depending on the instrument. This is due to the fact that each method measures and updates this metric in a particular manner. Here and here are more information on the nuances of search volume estimations, as well as why even Google’s data isn’t completely “accurate.”
Be Aware of Keyword Trends
Provided that search volume is an annual average, testing the pattern graphs in Keywords Explorer for keywords you’re interested in is still a smart idea. If keywords’ popularity is seasonal, spiking, or decreasing, search volume may not be the best indicator of month-to-month traffic.
Christmas-related object searches are a fine example. They all peak in December before plummeting to zero in February, but search volume does not reflect this.
Many people will search Google for something, but that does not mean that all of them will click on the top-ranking results and visit the top-ranking pages. This is where Keywords Explorer’s Clicks metric comes in handy. It displays the total number of monthly clicks on a keyword’s search results.
Consider the question “how much caffeine in coffee?”
We will see the monthly search volume and clicks for “how much caffeine in coffee” using Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer.
Despite getting 48,000 monthly searches, it only receives 8,600 clicks. This is because Google has a clear answer to the question in the search results. People are not required to press in order to get the information they need.
Google is answering more and more questions in its search results. That is why Keywords Explorer’s Clicks filter is so useful. It can be used to filter out keyword ideas with poor search traffic potential.
Assume you’re worried of a keyword like “side effects of coffee.” This receives an average 1,000 searches and 800 clicks per month, according to Keywords Explorer.
However, bear in mind that if your page ranks for this keyword, it would almost definitely rank for a variety of relevant keywords and synonyms, such as:
- 450 monthly searches — what happens if you drink too much coffee
- impact of excessive coffee intake — 200 monthly searches
- side effects of drinking too much coffee — 200 monthly searches
- side effects of excessive coffee consumption — 100 monthly searches
Estimating the potential web traffic based on a single search query is a mistake since both of these search queries roughly mean the same thing. It’s better to look at how much traffic the latest top-ranking pages receive, which Keywords Explorer makes quite easy.
It’s very common for a website to rate for several keywords at the same time. We looked at three million search queries and found that the average highest-ranking page is also in the top ten for almost 1,000 more keywords.
What is the story’s moral? Don’t base your keyword evaluation solely on search volume (or clicks). Examine the top-ranking results to estimate the topic’s overall search traffic capacity. In most instances, a keyword’s search volume would correspond with the topic’s total “traffic capacity.” Being attentive to this information, on the other hand, will help you prioritise your keywords and recognise keyword opportunities that your competitors have missed.
Manually evaluating a keyword’s rating complexity is standard practise among SEO professionals. That is, they can look at the top-ranking pages for their goal keyword. They take into account a variety of factors to determine how difficult or easy it will be to rank:
- Number (and quality) of backlinks;
- Domain Rating (DR);
- The content length, relevance, freshness;
- Use of the target keyword, synonyms, entities;
- Search intent;
This process differs from person to person because there is no agreement on what is and isn’t relevant here. One individual may believe that DR is relevant, while another may believe that relevance is more important. This lack of consensus makes it impossible for keyword analysis tool developers to reduce keyword rating ambiguity to a single actionable score.
After speaking with a number of knowledgeable SEOs about the signs that a reliable Keyword Difficulty score should consider, we discovered that everyone agreed on one point: backlinks are critical for ranking. Finally, the number of specific websites linked to the top ten rating pages was used to measure our Keyword Complexity (KD) value.
Each KD score refers to the approximate number of websites that can refer to your page in order for it to appear in the top 10 search results, as seen in the image above.
Many people who understand how KD works manipulate the score by adjusting the filter from 0 to 30 and relying only on the “low-hanging” opportunities. They never bother covering high-KD keywords on their blogs, which is a major mistake for two reasons:
- You can target high-KD keywords as soon as possible, not later. Since you’ll need a lot of backlinks to rank, you should build your page and start promoting it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the head start you offer your rivals, making it more difficult to outrank them in the future.
- High-KD keywords should be viewed as connecting opportunities. The fact that the top-ranking pages have a lot of backlinks shows that the subject is ‘link-worthy.’ In other words, if you nail this subject, you could get a lot of backlinks.
Cost Per Click (CPC)
The cost per click (CPC) metric reveals how much advertisers are able to pay for each ad click that a keyword produces. It’s more of an advertisement metric than an SEO metric, but it can be a reasonable proxy for a keyword’s value.
Monday.com compensates for clicks on the term “project management programme.” Any time anyone clicks on this, they lose money.
The keyword “office coffee,” for example, has a reasonably strong CPC of $12. This is because the bulk of searchers are looking to buy coffee machines for their offices, which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. But it’s a different storey when it comes to “how to make healthy espresso.” This is because the bulk of searchers aren’t trying to buy anything. They’re looking for instructions on how to make espresso.
However, one thing to keep in mind about CPC is that it is much more unpredictable than Search volume. Although the search demand for most keywords remains roughly constant from month to month, the CPC can change at any time. That is, the CPC values shown by third-party keyword tools are snapshots in time. AdWords is the only way to get real-time results.
How to Target Keywords
For each keyword on your list, you must build the appropriate page and content to answer it.
Understanding how to do so is an important step in the keyword analysis process. Fortunately, you
can do it in two easy steps.
- Identify the Parent Topic
- Identify search intent
Identify the Parent Topic: Assume you have the following keywords on your list:
- how to make whipped coffee
- what is whipped coffee
- whipped coffee recipe
- how to make whipped coffee without instant
- whipped coffee without sugar
You might be wondering if you should create a separate page for each keyword or aim them all on a single page.
The response is primarily determined by how Google perceives these keywords. Does it consider them to be part of the same subject (for example, how to make whipped coffee)? Or does it consider them all to be separate topics? Look at the Google results to get a sense of this.
Some of the same pages rate for “how to make whipped coffee” and “what is whipped coffee,” for example.
This appears to mean that Google considers both of these keywords to be part of the same subject.
We have found that the bulk of the results for both searches are recipes for whipped coffee. This means that “what is whipped coffee” is a subtopic to “how to make whipped coffee,” which is a broader topic.
As a result, rather than making two different pages, it’s actually better to target all of these keywords on a single page. However, when we search for “whipped coffee without sugar,” we get the opposite result:
Almost all of the findings are for producing a sugar-free, organic whipped coffee, not just any whipped coffee. This means that “whipped coffee without sugar” is not a subtopic of the broader topic of whipped coffee production (even though a whipped coffee without sugar is, in fact, still a whipped coffee).To rank for this keyword, we’d most likely need to create a separate guide.
The drawback with this approach is that it is very manual and slow, so it will take a long time if you have a large amount of keywords to research.
In Keywords Explorer, we solve this problem by displaying a “Parent Subject” for each keyword. It indicates whether we believe you can rank for your target keyword when focusing on a broader subject instead.
We look at the top-ranking page for each keyword and see the keyword that drives the most traffic to that page to find the “Parent Topic.”
Let’s enter our earlier keywords into Keywords Explorer and look at their “Parent Topics.”
What we see here is consistent with what we saw in the search results. The majority of our keywords are linked to the same broad subject. “Whipped coffee without sugar,” on the other hand, deserves its own page.
Our Parent Topic feature, on the other hand, isn’t without flaws. Since Google’s search results are too unpredictable, it doesn’t always offer good instructions about how to best organise the keywords by page (in SEO, this practise is also known as “keyword clustering”).
I checked the Parent Subject for the same keywords as above shortly after publishing this guide, and got the following results:
In such situations, you might want to try using Keywords Explorer’s “Traffic share > By sites” report. It’s a quick way to see whether and where the same pages rank with your set of keywords.
Identify Search Intent
Assume you have the following keywords on your list:
- coffee grinder
- latte vs cappuccino
- single cup coffee maker
- arabica coffee
- how to brew cold brew coffee
- manual burr coffee grinder
If you run an online shop with a forum, you’ll need to consider which customers to target with blog posts and which customers to target with product pages.
This is evident for certain keywords. You wouldn’t make a product page named “how to brew cold brew coffee” because it makes no sense. Not where to buy brewing supplies, but how to make cold brew coffee is what people are looking for.
So how about “manual burr coffee grinder”? Can you use a blog post on the best burr coffee grinders or an ecommerce category page that lists all of the burr coffee grinders you sell to target this?
Provided that your objective is to sell more coffee grinders, your normal instinct is to create a category page that lists all of the grinders you currently have for sale. That will be a bad decision since that form of content does not match what searchers are looking for, also known as search intent.
What proof do we have for this? For this term, the top-ranking sites in Google are all blog posts on the best burr coffee grinders.
After analysing what we call the three C’s of search motive, you’ll learn how to target the keyword.
- Content type
- Content format
- Content angle
The most common content styles are blog posts, products, categories, landing pages, and videos.The term “content format” refers mainly to “informational” content. How-tos, listicles, news stories, opinion pieces, and reviews are common examples.
The key selling point of the content is its content angle. When people look up “how to make a latte,” they generally want to see how to do it without using a computer or any other special equipment.
How to Prioritize Keywords
· Keyword prioritisation isn’t the last move in the keyword research method. It’s more something you can do once you’ve completed the previous steps.When you’re looking for keywords, analysing their metrics, and grouping them, consider the following:
- What is the keyword’s projected traffic potential?
- How difficult is the competition? What does it take to get it ranked?
- Do you already have content on this subject? If not, how much effort would it take to build and promote a competitive page?
- Do you already have a ranking for this keyword? Will you increase traffic by moving up a few places in the rankings?
- Will the traffic produce leads and sales, or will it just raise brand awareness?
That last point is especially crucial. Although search volume, traffic potential, complexity, and search purpose are all important factors to consider, you should also consider how much traffic from that keyword would be worth to your business.
How to Assess The Keyword Ideas’ “Financial Potential”
an acquisition According to conventional wisdom, the earlier people are in their path, the less likely they are to buy.
How do people accomplish this? The most common approach is to categorise keyword ideas into three categories: TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU.
Here are some Ahrefs TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU keyword examples:
Top of the Funnel (TOFU): What is SEO, and how do I increase website traffic?
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU): how to conduct keyword analysis, how to create ties, and how to conduct a website audit
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU): ahrefs vs moz, ahrefs ratings, ahrefs promo code
TOFU keywords, in general, have the most traffic potential, but tourists aren’t trying to buy anything just yet. And while MOFU and BOFU keywords can get you less traffic, those users are more likely to become customers.
At Ahrefs, we believe that this definition is both restricting and possibly misleading.
Here are three possible explanations:
For instance, it lacks the fact that you can take someone at the top of the funnel looking for something generic, like “online marketing,” and guide them through all stages of the buyer’s journey on a single website. Direct answer copywriters are well-known for doing just that. They don’t focus their commercials on TOFU/MOFU/BOFU. They produce a single advertisement that takes the reader from barely comprehending their dilemma to purchasing your solution.
Second, since things aren’t always that straight cut, it’s difficult to assign each keyword a definite TOFU, MOFU, or BOFU mark.
Third, some advertisers extend their definition of TOFU to the point that they cover unrelated subjects.
Given that they offer marketing apps, how do you think they’ll convert visitors to their articles on:
- famous quotes
- free email accounts
- resignation letter
- best website designs
To address this problem, we developed a clear and objective “business score” to assess the worth of a keyword. And this is largely determined by how well we can pitch our product in our material.
Keyword research tools
Before we go much further, let’s look at a few basic keyword analysis tools that will assist you with all we’ve discussed so far.
Google Keyword Planner (Free)
Because of the unique keyword tips and existing CPC values.
Google Trends (Free)
For trend comparisons and trend geography analysis.
Google Search Console (Free)
For determining the top 1,000 keywords for which you already rank and the amount of traffic generated by those keywords.
Ahrefs Webmaster Tools (Free)
For reviewing all of the keywords for which you currently rank, as well as their approximate search volumes, Keyword Difficulty ratings, traffic capacity, and other useful SEO metrics.
Keyword Generator (Free)
From a single seed keyword, hundreds of free keyword ideas can be created.
Keyword Difficulty Checker (Free)
To figure out how difficult it is to rate a keyword using Ahrefs’ Keyword Complexity (KD) scores.
Keyword Rank Checker (Free)
To see where you rank in every country for any keyword.
This is the guide to use if you’re adamant about choosing the best keywords for your website. You will find tens of thousands of keyword ideas in seconds, filter the keyword ideas reports for keywords that appeal to you, and assess their traffic potential and rating complexity easily.
This is all about keyword research. This way you can increase traffic and it is proven. We have more articles related to the blog. Kindly visit. If you love our job, please drop a comment and share this article with your loved ones. please follow our Facebook page and subscribe to our Youtube Channel.