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How to Crack Keyword Research: A Step-By-Step Guide for SEO

Every website owner needs to know how to do keyword research for SEO. Why? Isn’t it enough to develop excellent and relevant content? Yes and No. Search engines (read: Google) rank content that matches keywords people are searching for higher on search result. It totally makes sense when you thing about it. Using the right keywords […]

Every website owner needs to know how to do keyword research for SEO.


Isn’t it enough to develop excellent and relevant content?

Yes and No.

Search engines (read: Google) rank content that matches keywords people are searching for higher on search result. It totally makes sense when you thing about it. Using the right keywords increases your chances of ranking higher and getting more website customers. 

In this article, we discuss all the basics of keyword research for your content and website.

Let’s go. 

What Is Keyword Research and Why is It Important? 

Anything searched on a search engine is a keyword.  If this article came up because you searched for some phrases on Google, then what you typed is a keyword. 

Now, Keyword Research in SEO involves finding the terms, words, and phrases people type on Google Search Bar to find information on a subject. For example, someone looking to develop their website can search “web design services near me.”In this case, ‘web design services near me’ is a keyword. A keyword can be a single word, a phrase, or a sentence. 

As a website owner or business owner, you need a good keyword research strategy to find relevant keywords that will improve your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Searching information datakeyword research concept. Hand of man touching magnifying glass icon search

How to do Keyword Research For Website Step by Step

Keywords matter a lot for SEO and Google rankings. Of course, the quality of your content is essential, but it’s not enough to make your site rank high. You need to find a way to include relevant keywords in your quality content. Let’s take a look at some steps to do keyword research for SEO  correctly;

Step 1: Get Into The Mind of Your Target Audience

Understanding your audience is one of the first and most essential steps of conducting keyword research. It helps you understand your audience’s demography/needs and help you discover topics and subjects that will interest them. Understanding your audience also helps you formulate the goals for your keyword research strategy. 

Step 2: Brainstorm a List of Topics in Your Niche and Expertise Field

Now that you know your customers, it’s time to brainstorm topics that might interest them. What topics do people search for that are related to what your business offers? What are your customers’ questions and problems? 

These are some things to consider as a part of your keyword research in digital marketing. For example, if you offer hair growth products, relevant topics may include how to protect your hair, how to style your hair, and so on. Problems your target audience experience may include issues retaining hair growth, breakage, dry hair, and so on.  

Exploring a list of topics that may interest your topic not only helps with your keyword research SEO but also helps you create content relevant to your audience. Think of it as killing two birds with a stone. 

Step 3: Generate Seed Keywords

Once you brainstorm potential topics, generating seed keywords related to your topic and niche will be easy. All you need to do is go back to step one: get into the mind of your target audience; and think of what they will google to find content on your website. As a hair care company, some seed keywords examples might be hair care, hair products, and protective styles. 

Alphabet beads with text KEYWORD on concrete floor

Step 5: Analyse Your Competitors 

Another critical step on how to do keyword research is to check out your competitors. You can use some paid keyword tools to get insights into the keywords your competitors rank for. Also, some keyword tools let you enter your competitor’s website link to discover high-ranking keywords. 

Another option is to search for products or services you offer and see the websites that appear at the top. Then place the site domain of the competitor in  Google search bar alongside a relevant search term; the result will show other keywords the competitor ranks for.

Step 4: Use Google Keyword Tools

You can use specific tools to discover new keywords relevant to a topic, niche, and industry. These tools help you identify keywords that your competitors and people in your industry are targeting. In the later part of this guide, we listed some valuable keyword research tools. 

Step 6: Choose The Best Keywords

Now that you have discovered some keywords, you need to narrow down your option. While most tools will provide you with relevant keywords, they will not tell you the best ones, so that’s for you to figure out. 

You must go through each keyword and pick the best for your business. Also, remember that because a keyword has a high search volume doesn’t mean it’s best for your site. Some of the things to help you pick the best keywords to include: 

  • Search Volume

The keyword search volume is the number of searches a keyword gets in a country or worldwide. Search volume often varies by industry, so you have to figure out what is low and what is high in your industry. For example, a longtail keyword in the jewellery industry (like: jewellery for women) has a search volume of “201,000”. This is a good search volume.

a Page from a free keyword research tool showing the keyword and search volume generated

However, in the SEO marketing space, a long tail keyword like: “How to do SEO for website step by step” has a search volume of “1000”. This is also a good search volume based on the industry. 

a Page from a free keyword research tool showing the keyword and search volume generated

If a keyword doesn’t get enough searches, then there is no point in using it because it can’t help your website ranking. 

  • Traffic Potential

Another thing to analyse to get a good keyword is the traffic potential and click-through rate. Traffic potential estimates the search traffic your website would receive if it ranked on Google for specific keywords. There are instances where a website will rank high but may lack a click-through rate, so don’t rely on just the search volume. 

  • Ranking Difficulty 

Keyword research for google also involves evaluating the ranking difficulty level of a specific keyword. Ranking for keywords means competing with others already ranking for that exact keyword. The ranking difficulty shows how hard or easy to rank for a keyword major competitors in the industry are already ranking for.

  • Competition

Competition shows how many websites are bidding or paying to show up in keyword results with google ads. 

Step 7: Develop Keyword Hierarchy

There are three main types of keywords: 

  • Primary Keywords
  • Secondary keywords 
  • Additional keywords

Primary keywords are at the top of the hierarchy and should be the main focus of a particular page or article. A general rule of thumb is to have the primary keyword appear three times in an article: one at the title or the beginning of the content, one at the end of the article, and the third anywhere else. 

Secondary keywords are variations of the primary keywords, while additional keywords are what they sound like. They are keywords you add to increase your chance to rank.

Keyword Research Best Practices 

Here are some tips for doing keyword research the right way: 

1: Go for Less Competitive Keywords 

Choosing a competitive keyword can make it difficult for you to rank for that keyword, especially if your website is new. That’s why one of the best keyword research strategies is to go for less difficult keywords. 

A good tip is to use long tail keywords; they are usually less competitive and make up a considerable percentage of most online searches. Long tail keywords are usually long keywords, about four or more phrases long. An excellent example of a long tail keyword is “website content writing professionals.” Phrases like this won’t get many individual searches compared to say “content writers.”

2. Analyze Current Keywords

If you already have some content on your website, you can take an extra step to analyze the performance of your current keywords. A good keyword SEO tool can identify poor and successful keywords on your website. 

3: Include Keywords That Naturally Fit

Remember that value and readability come first when creating website content, so you don’t want to overfill your content with unnatural keywords. If, after adding a keyword, the sentence stops making sense or doesn’t read well, then the keyword is out of place. 

4: Look for Related Searches, and People Also Ask

When you google a term, you will find related queries and questions at the bottom of the page. You can improve your keyword research strategy by finding a way to include the queries and suggested terms within your content and outline.
A Google page Related searches generated from searching “how to do keyword research’

4. Create Relevant Topics

Relevancy is one of the essential criteria Google uses to determine how high a page ranks after a user query. The more relevant your topic is, the higher it ranks. So, it’s not enough to fill your content with keywords and expect it to rank; you also need to provide content value to the potential readers. 

Magnifier on a white background, inside the text is written - SEO

Where To Use Keywords For SEO?

Some major parts of your content to include keywords include: 

1: Meta Title

The title tag is another important part of your content that should contain your keyword. It usually comes up as a clickable headline on SERPs, and it’s one of the things customers check before clicking on a page. 

2. Headings

Another good practice on how to use keywords for SEO is including them in hour headings HI H2 and H3. They often appear in featured snippets and makes your content more scannable by readers.

3. Meta Description 

Meta description often helps Google determine the relevance and value of a particular page, which will tell whether your page will rank high for a particular search query. So it’s best to include a keyword, preferably a primary one. 

4. Images

Images make up a large number of google searches. Therefore, a strategic way to incorporate keyword research in digital marketing into your website is through images. Add keywords to your image description and alt text to increase your website ranking searches. 

5. First Paragraph

A good tip is to include keywords in the first paragraph of your article, usually within the first 100 words. This will help readers and search engine crawlers know what you are discussing and if it’s relevant to a reader’s search query. 

Best Keyword Research Tools

The best way to do keyword research for Google is using a proper keyword research tool. It’s good to brainstorm keyword ideas but to make the best keyword decision; you need to use a tool to validate and generate keyword ideas.

Here are some popular and great keyword tools you can use: 

  1. doesn’t cost anything to use yet helps users extract keywords from different databases, including Google, Amazon, and social platforms like Instagram and Youtube. 

2. Ahrefs

Ahrefs offers a suite of tools for boosting your website SEO strategy, including a Keyword analysis tool. This free keyword research tool helps generate keyword ideas and identify their competition level and related questions to the search queries. Ahrefs keyword research tool also offers a variety of features, including keyword suggestions, click-through rates, and a site explorer to see your competitors ranking tor a specific keyword. 

3. Google Keywords Planner

The Google Keyword Planner is one of the best free keyword research tools. The database for this keyword research tool is very reliable because it comes straight from Google and, as such, is very reliable. Also, Google keyword planner helps you find the estimates of the searches a specific keyword receives and the difficulty level. You only need to create a Google ads account to use this tool. 

4. SEMrush

SEMrush is worth your investment if you don’t mind paying for your keyword research tool. This keyword tool not only shows you relevant keywords but also the keywords that your competitors are ranking for. SEMrush keyword research tool also works as a search volume tool to find the number of searches a specific keyword receives.

Take Your Content To The Next Level 


One of the best ways to beat SEO regardless of your niche or resources is through keyword research. With proper keyword research for SEO, you can take your website to another level by ranking higher and increasing your readership. If you read this guide, you can beat SEO through keyword research. 

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