How to do Keyword Research

Keywords are one of the great challenges that any webmaster faces when planning the positioning of a site. Therefore, choosing these key phrases well is a determining factor in achieving quality visits. Thorough research and patience will be fundamental in our particular search for the holy grail of amazing website traffic, and knowing how to do keyword research is going to help you go a long way.

In this very transcendental process for the future of our website, we have to try to forget what we “believe we know” about our audience or clients. In many occasions, we will be surprised of which are the words by which they look for us. The owner of an online shoe store may think that their ideal key phrase is “fashion shoes” when in fact what their potential customers are looking for is “cheap shoes online”.

Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable and highly profitable activities in the field of search engine optimization and marketing.

It’s not always about getting visits to your website, but about getting the right visits. The usefulness of this intelligence cannot be overemphasized – with keyword research you can predict changes in demand, respond to changes in market conditions, and offer the products, services, and content that users are already actively looking for. In the history of marketing, there has seemingly never been a barrier so easy to overcome when it comes to understanding the motivations of consumers in virtually every niche – it would be almost a crime not to take advantage of it.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the practice of finding the best search phrases for your website in order to rank organically and drive traffic from search engines as a result.

How to do Keyword Research for SEO

Keyword Research and Analysis Tips

What kind of keywords does our audience use?

Which of those keywords have the highest search volume

Which of those words have a high or low difficulty

If those keywords have real value for my business

Finding keywords based on this can help you segment them for these purposes:

Keywords for the purpose of the homepage

Keywords to use in the categories

Keywords to use in products or services

Keywords to generate articles

How to do Keyword Research

Often keywords are chosen with high search volume in a certain area, but they do not pay enough attention to the relevance of these keywords to their potential customers. You need to choose keywords that are according to the concerns of your customers.

For example, if you are looking for families of high socioeconomic status who are looking for good schools for their children, you should not choose keywords such as “economic public schools in NY” or “economic schools NY”. These families are not using those keywords. Instead of the, you should optimize for words like “best ny schools” and “elite schools ny”.

Each of your potential customers has different needs and concerns and use different words to perform their searches. You need to understand your customers and the language they use. Remember, each person seeks with intention something specific. Your page needs to be the right answer at the right time.

If you have a very large website with many possible combinations of keywords, you may be tempted to optimize for each of the combinations, to try to cover them all. For example type, color, price, size, etc. Do the math. This can mean an impressive amount of possible keywords.

You must, however, be very careful and do not stuff your page with the same keywords. This is known as “keyword stuffing” and it could get your website penalized. Always check the density of your keywords before publishing content.

Many of these combinations will have low search volumes and no one will be looking for them. Also, attacking too many keywords can distract you from the really important ones.

Concentrate on the keywords that have good search volumes and the potential to develop your business. The quality of the keywords is more important than the quantity.

Keyword Research Tips Before Getting Started

Common Sense

This is undoubtedly the best advice we can give you to select your keywords. Think about the users, their motivations and interests, ask your friends and relatives how they would look for them on the internet. You will obtain a valuable list of key criteria appropriate to reality.


Avoid being very generic, 2 to 5 words is the ideal length. If you want to be very precise in the choice of your criteria, you may be interested in longtail keywords.


One of the main uses that you will give to your keywords will be to generate backlinks (links from other sites) to your website, so it is important that you have different variations of the structure in your main criteria. Google likes naturalness and if you notice that you have 20 incoming links to your website, all of them with the same keyword as anchor text, surely they will not do you any good.


Look at the source code of the competition websites that appear on the first page of results. Look at their titles, descriptions and meta keywords, they will give you very valuable clues to make your list of keywords.

A very useful way to know if the key phrase you have chosen will be easy to position is to search on Google and look at the titles of the pages and snippets (mini descriptions that Google puts under the title). The more websites that appear with these characteristics, the fewer possibilities you will have to position yourself for that specific term.

Google Trends

Google’s tool to see search trends on the internet. It allows us to limit the results by time slot and by geographical location. Very useful for online stores that carry out their campaigns on a seasonal basis.

Google Analytics

Undoubtedly the best tool to monitor the traffic of your website and learn to use that information in your favor. From your control panel you can check what are the keywords that are bringing you more visits to enhance them and from them look for derivatives.

You can also look at other keywords that do not bring you as many visits but that the traffic they generate is of higher quality (lower percentage of bounce, more time spent on your site..), that is, with a greater likelihood of conversion.


As in almost everything related to Internet positioning, haste will not help you. It is very normal that once you have selected your keywords and optimized your content for them, to spend 6 months until you start to see results. That is why it is so important that in the research phase we be thorough.

Step 1: Preparation

To start this process it is very important that you know well what services you sell, what solutions you bring to your ideal client and what the main purpose of your website is and what your visitors would be interested in.

Now you may be thinking and what tool we can use in this step. Well, you have to use the most effective tool of all, your brain. Here you only have to create a list of up to 10 vital topics for your business and translate it into your Excel template.

How to do Keyword Research

Step 2: Make a List

For each subject, we will do brainstorming and obtain a broad list of seed keywords related to the subject. When it comes to knowing how to do keyword research, a list will be essential for you every time.

If we already have the list of vital topics for your business now is when we want to identify the most important keywords for each topic. Think for each topic, keywords that you think your customers are looking for. Use your criteria to obtain a list for each topic using the tips we mentioned above.

In this phase, it is always good to do brainstorming with your co-workers, friends, family, clients, etc. Do not be afraid to add keywords that you think will work, the more the better.

Keep in mind that we are in the second step, it is not the definitive list of your keywords, however, we need it to be a very broad list of keywords related to the term.

These seed keywords will be the main ones related to the topic of your site and will help us to find related ones that we wouldn’t normally have thought of.

In this example, let’s say we have a health related website and we are looking for keywords about Weight Loss.

Our seed keywords would be “Weight Loss”, How to Lose Weight”, and “How to Lose Weight Fast”.

Once we have this list, we need to find keywords related to those to make an even longer list.

We use multiple tools for this, but an extension for Google Chrome or Mozila Firefox called Keywords Everywhere is completely free and a good way to find related keywords with volumes. Install that now if you can, as we will be needing it later.

Now, you can place those 3 seed keywords we made before into the following tools:

Ubersuggest will give you related keywords with a metric for Volume, CPC, and Competiton.
The volume is the estimated amount of monthly searches that keyword receives, the CPC is the amount that the average advertiser would pay per click on that keyword with an AdWords campaign, and the competition is the estimated level of competition for bidding on that keyword in an AdWords campaign.

Answer The Public will retrieve you an amazing keyword cloud full of related keywords to your seed.

LSI Graph will retrieve you another list of keywords related to your seed.

You can cherry-pick a bunch of keywords from Ubersuggest and categorize them in an Excel file.

You can then grab the keywords you like from Answer The Public and LSI Graph and paste them individually into a Google Search.

Keywords Everywhere, the extension that we installed before, will show you an estimated search volume and CPC for the keyword you just searched on Google.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the search engine results, you will see a related list of similar searches along with their estimated search volume and CPC. This is where you will build the rest of your list from.

Choose the keywords you like, take note of their search volume, search for that keyword on Google and scroll down to see the related keywords, and rinse and repeat. Build a list doing this and don’t just target the keywords with the highest monthly search volume as you will not be able to rank for all of them.

Even some keywords with a low monthly search volume of 500 or 1000 can be extremely difficult to rank for depending on the competition.

Step 3: Checking Competiton

Once you have compiled and sorted your list of keywords, look at the websites ranking on the first page for those keywords and look at the pages that are ranking.

Are those pages ranking on high authority sites, how long is the content, how comprehensive is it,can you do better?

Just because there is a 1000 word article on the subject of a longtail keyword you found such as “how to lose weight fast with exercise”, doesn’t mean you can outrank sites such as Cosmopolitan and Fitness Magazine with a 3000 word article and some link building.

Chances are the websites have a much higher overall authority and could still outrank you for that keyword based on their authority even though your content is better and laser-targets the keyword better than their page.

There are tools out there to check keyword competition scores based on their metrics like SEMrush but you normally only get a few searches per day/month without moving onto their paid model to get more results.

If you don’t want to pay monthly for keyword competition checker tools then you will need to spend the time to manually review all of your competition and determine which keywords are worth including on your site.

Step 4: Taking Action

After you have built your keyword list, broken it down, and rebuilt it you should have a finalized list of keywords that you can use for your site.

You can segment these keywords for different pages of your website.

The keyword we got before “how to lose weight fast with exercise” could be used as the title of an article and you can include related keywords in that article for the subheadings and content such as “best exercises to lose weight”, and “best exercises to lose weight fast”.

Now that you know how to do keyword research, you can start pumping out the content and target these keywords on your website.