Keyword research: Best practices and tips


Keyword research is an essential part of SEO. To make content that meets users’ needs, you need to know what they’re actually searching for.

If you do it the right way, your website pages will start ranking at the top of the SERP for specific keywords. In turn, this will significantly boost your organic Google traffic, potentially leading to an increase in sales.

In this article, we will analyze some of the essential elements of keyword research. After that, we will share some excellent tips that will help you during your SEO journey.

3 Main keyword research aspects

The research focuses on three main aspects. Aside from the fact your phrases should be relevant for your website; they should also have a high volume with low difficulty. This would justify your efforts when optimizing them.

1. Relevancy

Relevancy is the most important aspect of keyword research. If a particular phrase doesn’t attract the right audience, there’s no point in pursuing it. Ideally, you should write about topics that will not only drive traffic but could potentially lead to sales.

Creating content according to the user’s intent will allow your pages to place higher within SERPs. Keep in mind that your articles should focus on answering the audience's queries. If other content on the internet is more valuable than yours, then Google will position it higher.

2. Difficulty

It’s often hard to define keyword difficulty. The simplest explanation would be “the total number of articles in the Google search engine that rank for a particular phrase.” In theory, there are several hundred pages that could be perceived as your opponents. Luckily, only a handful of them should be considered real competition.

When determining the difficulty of a phrase, keyword experts often visit the first page results. If the page is full of extensive articles written by top companies, there is a slim chance that your piece will actually rank. On the other hand, if the first page is littered with no-name sites and low-quality posts, you can quickly overtake them in rankings.

3. Volume

In order to increase traffic to your website, it’s important that as many users as possible are searching for your keywords. It’s pointless to appear on the first page if nobody is looking for this particular phrase.

SEO experts use MSV to measure the number of searches. This acronym stands for monthly search volume, which counts how many times users search for a particular query during a period of one month.

7 Best tips for doing keyword research

These are some of the keyword research strategies you should stick to when creating content for your website:

1.Become acquainted with your audience

The first thing you should do when starting with keyword research is to get to know your audience and their specific needs. In addition to this, you should find out who your competitors are so that you can make a list of more relevant keywords.

Try looking up the keywords that are important to your audience in the Google search box. Then, you should check out all websites ranking on page one of Google. Focus on things such as:

  • How frequently do they post new articles?
  • What kind of content do they post?
  • What do their websites look like? (website design and architecture)
  • How often do they use social media? (which platforms do they use, are they successful, what do they write about, etc.)
  • Platforms such as Majestic and Moz will show you the exact domain power
  • Subscribe to their newsletter to get notifications about their new content.

All these steps will help you to get to know your opponents better. Furthermore, this will help you with some fresh content ideas. When doing keyword research, you should be realistic about your goals. Avoid pursuing keywords that you won’t be able to rank for.

If you just launched your website, always remember that some phrases will be completely out of your reach. In other words, you won’t be able to pursue them until you increase the overall website authority.

2.Create content buckets

During this phase, you should write down as many ideas as possible that cross your mind and that have to do with your business. Imagine yourself in the user's position and think of possible keywords they would search for in a browser.

If you still lack ideas, you can always "borrow" titles from your competitors. Just make sure they aren't identical. This method can provide you with some niche-related topics that you haven’t thought of by now.

SEO experts often like to place keywords in groups called content buckets. For example, you can write several similar topics, all revolving around digital marketing. Make sure they're unique enough so they don't cannibalize each other.

If your keyword research turned out to have many content buckets, do not let this discourage you. Remember that this is a part of a regular procedure. In fact, you will probably have to revisit your content from time to time and make necessary tweaks.

3.Focus on seed phrases

Once you have created your content buckets, you should transform all your ideas into lucrative seed phrases. In other words, you need to find semantically similar keywords pertaining to that general topic. When doing that, keyword search tools could be of great help.

Seed keywords are phrases that are relevant to your audience and, thus, to your website. Unlike some random keywords, they should actually provide value to your organization, potentially increasing sales.

Here are some of the most popular search tools on the market today:

4.Analyze the search purpose of each keyword

The next step is looking into the search intent of each keyword. In a nutshell, intent is the main reason why a person is typing a specific query in a search bar. For example, they might be looking to buy shoes, rent an apartment, or book a plane. Only by analyzing the search purpose can we truly answer their query.

For some keywords, the search intent is clear, but for others, you should do a further examination. The easiest way to figure out the audience’s search intent is to enter the keywords in the browser and look into the results that appear on the first page.

Google does a good job of perceiving the searcher's actual intent. That means that what appears on the first pages mostly matches the content users are searching for.

Your main task should be to eliminate phrases whose intent doesn’t align with your business goals. In other words, you need to rank for phrases that bring the right kind of traffic, potentially increasing your sales.

5.Search for long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are usually less competitive phrases that consist of three to five words. Unlike short-tail phrases, they don’t get the same high number of searches but are easier to rank for. Starting with the long-tail keywords is the best way to go about things, especially if your website was recently launched.

When it comes to long-tail keyword research, there are several options at your disposal. The harder way would be to search Google and take a look at the section “people also search for.” The easier way would be to use the Semrush tool and its functions, such as the "Keyword Magic tool" and "Topic Research."

Keep in mind that each of these tools works a bit differently. However, they are all intuitive, and it shouldn't take you too much time to get acquainted with the basics.

6.Perform competitive analysis

After visiting competitors' websites and carefully studying them, your next step should be to find out what they rank for. Also, try to get information on the traffic they get from Google.

Once again, SEO tools are of great assistance when performing competitive analysis. All you need to do is type the URL of a company, and a specific tool will return a list of the most lucrative phrases they rank for. While working within a platform, you can perform the same analysis for yourself and see how you compare to them.

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily have to pursue the same phrases as them. However, if several companies are ranking for the same term, this could be a good indication that the keyword is easy to optimize. Competitive analysis is especially fantastic if you missed something.

7.Think about the titles

Titles are the most important part of an article. Because of that, it's essential to put your main phase within them.

By browsing the top results in Google, you can quickly notice that specific phrases are constantly repeating themselves. If they're a bit different from the query, this might be an indication that you're pursuing the wrong term. In other words, you should tweak the keyword in your title.

No matter what, there are lots of reasons why you should focus on titles. Most importantly, they are crucial for users because they’re more likely to click on something catchy.


Performing keyword research is not that hard if you know what to look for. If you’re just starting within a specific industry, you should get acquainted with your audience. Learn what they need and what they’re searching for. This is the best way to discern relevant phrases from irrelevant ones.

After that, you should also focus on phrases that have high volume and low difficulty. Your target should be long-tail keywords that consist of several words and have a bit lower volume but are easier to optimize compared to short-tail phrases.

While doing all of this, make sure to subscribe to some of the best SEO keyword research tools. You simply can’t go wrong with platforms such as AhRefs, SEMRush, and Moz.

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