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The Definitive Guide to Keyword Research

It can be hard to get familiar with the ins and outs of keyword research. Here, we go through everything you need to know to get the most out of your keywords.

The Definitive Guide to Keyword Research

What is Keyword Research?

The cornerstone of what takes content marketing from good to great is keyword research. Simply put, this is the process you use to come up with a list of keywords you want to rank for online.

These relevant keywords and phrases help you define your content map. They also help with your editorial calendar while addressing user intent in a way that speaks to both the end reader and the search engines.

You can’t succeed with SEO if you don’t have a defined process for keyword research. In this article, you’ll learn the why and how of great keyword research. You’ll also learn how to establish a process you can turn to again and again to help your website rank for the right terms.

Within each of these articles, you might also reference the paleo diet, but it won’t be the main point of the articles you create first. Instead, these sub-articles will build up to the bigger topic, so that it operates as a “hub” of information.How to Do Keyword Research

Your final step involves taking your list and editing it. Use a keyword planning tool to check out your list of keywords. Here you can find search volume and traffic numbers so that you can pick and choose which keywords will serve you best. Aim for keywords that have a high search volume with low difficulty.

How to Do Keyword Research

Within each of these articles, you might also reference the paleo diet, but it won’t be the main point of the articles you create first. Instead, these sub-articles will build up to the bigger topic, so that it operates as a “hub” of information. Your final step involves taking your list and editing it. Use a keyword planning tool to check out your list of keywords. Here you can find search volume and traffic numbers so that you can pick and choose which keywords will serve you best. Aim for keywords that have a high search volume with low difficulty. 

Keyword Research Tools

There are many great keyword research tools to help you on your SEO journey. Here’s an overview of each tool and how they may help you out.

UBER SUGGEST

This handy tool takes a primary keyword target and automatically provides you with a multitude of similar keywords that may complement your SEO. Use Ubersuggest to help you brainstorm keyword and topic ideas to ensure that your content is relevant to your audience.

Keyword research on Ubersuggest
 For brainstorming, there are few better tools than Ubersuggest. ¦ Ubersuggest

 Here’s what’s interesting about Ubersuggest — while we already know that the primary search term we started with is competitive, we now have a breakdown of the chance to rank in the top 20 on this particular word. Ubersuggest makes for a great backup to Google Keyword Planner to make sure you’ve considered all aspects of your refined keyword list. Now let’s try a good long tail keyword.

keyword research on Ubersuggest
 In keyword research, it’s best to diversify your searches to find the best terms for you. ¦ Ubersuggest

 This shows me that even though the CPC is high, the search volume is lower and that SEO difficulty is going to be easier to target.

GOOGLE KEYWORD PLANNER

Select the right terms for your content marketing strategy through the use of Google Keyword Planner. This tool helps you with finding new keyword opportunities, analyze current keywords, and making a solid plan for your SEO. Earlier in this article you saw some examples of how to use KP for generating keyword ideas.

KWFINDER

KWFinder offers accurate keyword difficulty scores and provides a list of low difficulty keyword options that your competitors might be missing. Plus, this keyword planner tool will give you exact search volumes. This will help to give you a great understanding of the keywords you want to rank for. One of the interesting things about KWFinder is that you can see some other information. This includes the pages that rank well for this search term already and how many hits they get.

Keyword research on KWFinder
 You won’t be the first person to find a better keyword opportunity with the help of KWFinder. ¦ KWFinder

MOZ KEYWORD EXPLORER

This keyword tool provides a highly automated process that gives you useful keyword data. With Moz’s Keyword Explorer, you can sort through thousands of keyword suggestions. You can even explore a detailed analysis of keyword metrics. These metrics include search volume, difficulty, opportunity, and potential.

Keyword research on Moz's Keyword Planner
 If you want to take a deep dive into your keyword’s potential, this is the site for you. ¦ Moz’s Keyword Explorer

AHREFS KEYWORD EXPLORER

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer is a thorough keyword research tool with many great uses. With this power tool, you can:

  • Research keywords
  • Analyze the competition
  • Track keywords over time
  • Audit websites
  • Audit backlinks
  • Find link prospects from your competitors’ sites

Ahrefs is a great tool, but that’s because you have to pay to play. After your trial expires, the lowest-tier plan with only five campaigns is $99.

GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE

This free service offered by Google helps you to monitor and maintain your site’s rankings in Google. Google Search Console gives you an insider look at how Google views your webpage. Everyone with a website should take advantage of this handy tool from Google even though it doesn’t go as far as other keyword research tools.

Keyword research on Google Search Console
 Sometimes it’s best to get advice straight from the horse’s mouth. ¦ Google Search Console

SEMRUSH

Take the guesswork out of analyzing your competition and prospective market with SEMRush. SEMRush gives you a thorough platform for researching keyword and domain analytics. This will make your content market process a lot simpler. The major advantages of SEMrush are only unlocked when you have a paid account with this keyword research tool.

Keyword research on SEMrush
 If you want a catch-all analysis of your keyword strategy, SEMRush is for you. ¦ SEMRush

Summary

Keyword research serves as the blueprint on which we can build a well-optimized website. With a great keyword research process in place, you can drive customers to your website and encourage new business. Put simply, keyword research is the first stage in ensuring your content gets seen by the right readers. It also sends a signal to the search engines about which topics your site covers. Keyword research drives all of the content you create and helps you to establish your site in that industry. As a refresher, keyword research consists of three categories of keywords: head, body and tail keywords. To know which keywords to use, you need to analyze a few things: difficulty, CPC and search volume. To make this process easier, there are a number of great tools available. Your best results will be obtained by using paid tools, but you can certainly get a jump on your project by using free tools. Throughout this article, we have discussed what keyword research entails. We also covered why it is important, and how to go about starting your keyword research planning. Remember that it all boils down to user intent. From one specific article to many that provide thoughtful, well-written ideas, you can begin to grow your site and rank in search engines. With your newfound knowledge on keyword research in hand, there’s no time like the present to dive into your keyword research project and generate your first keyword list.

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Alexander De Ridder

Co-Founder of INK, Alexander crafts magical tools for web marketing. He is a smart creative, a builder of amazing things. He loves to study “how” and “why” humans and AI make decisions.

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    Michael Umansky April 07 at 1:34 pm GMT

    Thanks for the awesome guide Alexander. Really useful!

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