How to do keyword research for SEO? | SEO Blogger Tips

How to do keyword research for SEO?

Keyword research
is the process of discovering terms and phrases that people use in search engines with the ultimate goal of SEO optimizing the content on your site or blog and ranking for those terms.

Well-chosen keywords are the foundation of all SEO activities, especially when it comes to on-page SEO. If no one is looking for what you're writing about, you won't get traffic through Google search, no matter how good your content is.

This guide aims to show you how to:

  • Find relevant keywords for your site
  • Use some of the more popular keyword research tools
  • Choose the right keywords to optimize your site for


If you are new to SEO, I recommend that you read the On-SEO and Technical SEO guides after this guide to learn more about SEO activities that can help you optimize your site.

In short, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a way to optimize your site for better search engine rankings. As Google ranks for each term entered individually, you need to choose the right keywords for which you want to rank.

Before we look at how to find keywords for your site, we will go through some basic terms that you need to know to follow the guide.

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What are keywords?


Keywords are terms that users type into a search engine to find a solution to their problem. For example, if someone's cell phone breaks and they're in Los Angeles, they're likely to type "Los Angeles phone repair" into a search engine.

What are long-tail keywords?


Long-tail keywords are phrases that contain 3-4 words or more and, although fewer users search for them than shorter terms, long-tail keywords can be a great source of traffic.

These terms are a good opportunity for newer sites or sites that are in a very competitive environment because it is not so difficult to rank well for them.

Unless you operate in a very narrow niche market or already have a well-optimized site, long-tail keywords should be your main focus.

Once you build a reputation on search engines and start ranking at the top of the results for such terms, you can start optimizing your site for more competitive terms.

Example:

  • "Phone repair" - higher search volume, more competition, less specific search
  • "Los Angeles iPhone repair" (long-tail) - less search volume, less competition, more specificity

Branded keywords


Branded keywords are queries that include the name of a brand or website and are unique to each brand.

In the case of this blog, the branded keywords would be:

  • “seo blogger tips”
  • “seo blogger tips blog”
  • “seobloggertips.com”


Even if you haven't worked on optimizing your site so far, you're probably already ranked first (or at least on the first page) for your branded keywords. If this is not the case for some reason, ranking for your brand appointments should be your priority. You don't want someone to enter your movie name into Google, and the competition site comes first. 

What is keyword research, and why is it important?


Keyword research is the process of finding the keywords you want to rank for on search engines. To achieve this, you need to understand how your users think and have specific information about the keywords they use.

Bearing in mind the example from before, this may sound simple, but what if instead of “repairing Los Angeles phones” people more often use terms like “iPhone repair urgently” or “android phones service Los Angeles”? In this case, it is less likely, but you would be surprised how different your customers' search habits are from yours.

You can guess which terms your users use to get to the products or services you offer. However, if you don't do keyword research, you can't be sure what the terms are, and you will surely miss a bunch of great terms for which you could rank well.

Keyword research will also help you learn:

  • How hard it is to rank on the first page for a particular keyword
  • How much traffic can you get if you rank for a keyword
  • What content do you need to create to rank

How do I find keyword ideas?


Many tools can help us in our research. In this guide, we will focus on two free tools that are most commonly used:

Google Keyword Planner - Google's keyword research tool. Free and reliable. You will need a Google Ads account to use, which you can create for free with a Google Account or Gmail address.

Ubersuggest - A great tool that can help you with a lot of things related to SEO in general. You can use it for keyword research, SEO analysis of your site, competition analysis, finding ideas for Content Marketing, and link building. Some advanced features are currently only available in a paid version that costs twelve dollars a month, and I highly recommend it. A free version is enough for this guide. 

If you are new to the SEO world, these two tools will be enough for you to do basic keyword research and learn how the whole process works.


Below I will use the example of an iPhone case to help you illustrate the keyword research process.


First, create an initial list of keywords that you think people would use to find your products or services. What terms do your customers search for that are related to your business?


In our example of an iPhone case, some of the terms our target group might be searching for are:

  • iPhone shield case
  • iPhone case with strap
  • iPhone case brands
  • iPhone case with card holder

Also, it would be useful to identify some competitors so that we can find out which keywords they are already ranking for so that we can use them for our SEO needs.

In this case, some of the competitors are:

  • https://www.apple.com
  • https://www.casetify.com
  • https://society6.com
  • https://www.nytimes.com 

Ok, now we have some terms that we assume users are searching for, a list of several competitors, and we know which tools we will use. In the following guide, we will look at how to use all of this to come up with a list of keywords we should focus on.

Google Keyword Planner

To use the Google Keyword Planner tool, you need Google and Google Ads accounts. If you already have a Gmail address (and I guess you do), you automatically have access to your Google Account.

Log in to your Gmail address and use this link to open a Google Ads account (if you don't already have one) by clicking the "Start Now" button.

How to do keyword research for SEO - Google Keyword Planner

The next screen will prompt you to create a Google Ads campaign. For this guide, we only need the tools of the Google Ads service, we will skip that part. Click the "Switch to Expert Mode" button at the bottom of the page.

Google Keyword Planner Create Acc
Then click on the "Create an account without a campaign" button.

Google Keyword Planner Create Acc 2

On the next screen, you can change the country for billing your Google ads, time zone, and currency. Again, we don't need this section, but you can enter the correct information if you want to create Google Ads campaigns with this account later. Click the "Submit" button and then the "Investigate Account" button.

Google Keyword Planner Submit

Google Keyword Planner Explore Account

You'll find yourself in smart Google Ads mode. To access the tools we need to switch to expert mode. Click on "Settings"> "Keyword Planner".

Google Keyword Planner - Keyword

On the next screen, you will see two different tools.

The first tool ("discover new keywords") allows you to get ideas for new keywords. The second gives you information about keywords such as the average number of monthly searches for the terms you enter, the cost of clicks on those keywords in Google campaigns, etc. Historical data is more important to us because future search volume predictions can be quite inaccurate.

Keep in mind that these two tools were created primarily with Google advertising, so you will see a lot of data that is not so useful for SEO. The most important data you can find here are new keyword suggestions, data on the average monthly search volume for keywords that you consider relevant to your business, as well as the level of competition for those terms.

Let's see what these tools allow you to do and how to make the most of them.


Discover new keywords

As you can guess, this tool is ideal for discovering new keywords.

There are two options available to you. Both options also allow you to specify the location where your audience is located to explore terms that people are searching for at that particular location.

"Start with keywords" allows you to enter keywords that are related to your products or services and get suggestions of similar keywords that customers search.

Enter a few terms that you consider relevant (separate the terms with a comma), select the language and geographic locations where your target audience is, and click the "Get Results" button.

Google Keyword Planner - Discover new keywords

"Started with a website" is a great way to get new keywords using your site or a direct competition site. You can get keyword ideas based on the whole site or just one page. Enter an address and click "Download Results".

Google Keyword Planner Get Results

Whichever option you choose, you'll see a list of keywords that Google considers relevant to your business on the next screen.

Google Keyword Planner - List of keywords

We'll sort this list below and determine which keywords are useful, and now let's take a look at another tool available to us.

Get search volume and forecasts

This tool is useful if you have a larger keyword list and want to check how many monthly searches those keywords have. Unlike the previous one, this tool does not show new keyword suggestions that you can include in your campaign.

Enter the keywords for which you want to check the average number of monthly searches and click the "Get Started" button.

Google Keyword Planner - Get search volume and forecasts

You will see a similar results page as with the "Discover New Keywords" tool. The difference is that you can see projected results for the keywords you've entered, and you won't have any suggestions for additional keywords that might be relevant.

Don't pay too much attention to the projections but click on the "Forecast" tab where you will be able to see historical data on the volume of the search, which is much more useful.

Google Keyword Planner Forecast

Both tools eventually take you to a keyword research results page like the one shown above. Let's see how you can sort these keywords and choose the best ones when there are many.

Sort keywords

At the top, you will see four targeting options, “Location”, “Language”, “Search Networks” and “Time Period”.

The location represents the country or countries for which you want to get search information.


The language indicates the language used by the target group for which you want to obtain search term information.


Search networks allow you to choose whether you want to use only Google data or Google partner sites for your research (I recommend that you always leave only Google here for data relevance).


Time period is the period for which you want to get keyword data. I recommend leaving this setting for 12 months.


Below the targeting options, you can see the keyword results according to the settings you've selected. The most important data for our needs in this table are keywords, the average number of monthly searches, and competitions.

 

You must understand that competition here does not mean competition in the SEO sense. These are Google Ads tools, and they display competition data on Google ads. Nevertheless, this data is useful because it indicates the quality of SEO keywords.

 

The more competition there is for a particular term, the greater the chance that the term will be more profitable because people pay more to have their ads appear when someone searches for that keyword.

 

On the right side of the screen, you also have a "Download keyword ideas" button that allows you to export all the keywords from the list and then format them in Excel as you wish.

 

Google Keyword Planner - Download keywoard ideas

The keywords that interest us the most are those that have a minimum number of monthly searches of 100-1000 and a low to medium level of competition. Thanks to the weaker competition, we have the best chance of ranking for those keywords if we optimize our content. The volume of the search also allows us to bring a solid number of users to our site so that they are worth the effort.

You've probably gotten a list where not all keywords are relevant to your business or client. I recommend creating a simple Excel spreadsheet that will contain the columns "keyword", "search volume" and "competition". Enter keywords that are relevant to you in this table using the tools we've listed. 

The quickest way to research would be to enter terms that you’re pretty sure people are using in the first tool to get ideas for more keywords.

As I mentioned, if your site doesn't already have a built-in SEO position or is new, focus on long-tail keywords. Add the appropriate keywords and their data to an Excel spreadsheet.

Repeat the process until you have exhausted keywords that seem relevant to you and meet the criteria.


Ubersuggest

 
Ubersuggest is a tool for keyword research and SEO in general. In this guide, we will focus on Ubersuggest exclusively as a keyword research tool, and in future SEO guides, we will use other features available to us.

A free version is enough for this guide.

Keyword research through Ubersuggest works similarly to Google Keyword Planner. On the home screen, you can enter terms or links from competing sites and select the market (language/country) for which you want data. 

Ubersuggest - Keyword research
 
Also, at the bottom of this page, you can see more ideas for related keywords and links to pages that rank well for your keyword. Pretty good, isn't it?

Ubersuggest - Keyword Ideas

Ubersuggest Content ideas

This way, you can find more ideas to enter into your Excel keyword spreadsheet.

But what happens if you enter a link to a competing site instead of a keyword?

Ubersuggest Domain research

At the bottom of the page, you will find what we are interested in - keywords for which your competition is ranked on Google.

Ubersuggest SEO keywords
Ubersuggest also allows you to get more detailed information about keywords by clicking the "View all Keywords this domain ranks for" button.
 
As before, pick up keyword data that is relevant to you and enter it into an Excel spreadsheet. Repeat this process for all competitors.
 
Whichever of these two tools you use for research, you should end up with a minimum of 30-50 keywords (or far more depending on which industry and market you operate in). I recommend combining Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest because that way, you can come up with more ideas than using just one, and you'll get more accurate search volume data.
 
Based on the terms you have collected through research, you can begin to create content that will be optimized for those terms.
Jasmin K.

SEO Blogger Tips The main goal of this site is to provide quality tutorials, tips, courses, tools, and other resources that allow anyone to work online and master digital marketing.

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