How to Do Keyword Research for SEO

Carrying out keyword research allows you to find the right keywords to draw people to your website. Sadly, 92.42% of keywords get ten or less monthly searches. Very few people know how to use keywords to generate website traffic.

Website traffic allows you to make sales, generate leads, and give your brand some much-needed exposure.

Keywords should be a part of your Search Engine Optimization strategy. They make you visible and pull traffic towards your website.

In this article, we take a look at:

  • What keyword research is
  • Why keyword research is important
  • How to do keyword research

Let us begin.

What is keyword research?

Keywords are also known as search queries or SEO keywords. They are used to refer to the words that people type into search engines when looking for something.

The right keywords make your content relevant and easy to search. You can find these search queries through keyword research.

The process of finding keywords is known as keyword research. It involves searching for and analyzing keywords that you want to rank for on a search engine.

When carrying out keyword research, you need to understand your target audience. Recognize how your audience search for content, products, and services. Use this insight to generate high traffic through high volume search terms.

Why is keyword research important?

Whether you are writing a blog or running a business website, you need to stay ahead of the competition.

The right keywords make you visible on search engines and allow you to compete with other businesses within your niche.

The process of keyword research helps you identify:

  1. Things people search for.
  2. The keywords you should target.
  3. The number of people is searching for similar keywords.
  4. The ranking difficulty of different keywords.
  5. What format people prefer information in.
  6. The amount of much traffic you are likely to get if you rank for a specific keyword.
  7. The kind of content you should create to rank for a particular keyword.
  8. Whether or not a person searching for a particular keyword is likely to become your customer.

How to do keyword research

Do you know how your customers search for your business, products, and services?

Proper keyword research combines your knowledge of your target audience with other methods to generate keywords.

Below are six steps to help you find the perfect keywords.

  • Study your niche
  • Create a list of seed keywords
  • Identify long-tail keywords
  • Identify what keywords your competitors rank for
  • Use keyword research tools
  • Identify a searcher’s intent.

1.    Study your niche

Understanding your niche area and your niche market is the first step towards finding appropriate keywords. You need to understand the type of jargon, phrases, and references your target audience uses. Try browsing through industry forums, groups, social media discussions, and Q&A sites. This a great way to mine for content ideas as it allows you to identify pain points that your target audience struggles with. In addition to this, you get to interact with potential customers and understand their content preferences. You can then tailor your content to these preferences.

2.    Create a list of seed keywords

Seed keywords are also known as focus keywords. They are your best guess of how people search for your business, products, and services online. Creating a list of seed keywords is easy and should only take you a few minutes. Consider asking yourself the following questions:

  1. What is my website about?
  2. What do I sell?
  3. What topics come up during a sales conversation?
  4. What keywords do I want to rank for?
  5. What keyword ads would I buy?
  6. What words would someone use to search for my topic or website?

Ensure that your seed keywords are specific. Broad keywords can be very competitive and are harder to work with.

3. Identify long-tail keywords

Seed words are often short terms related to your brand or topic. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are more descriptive, more specific, and more likely to result in a sale.

Consider this, someone searching or a jacket is probably just browsing. However, someone searching for a purple lady’s jacket is ready to make a purchase.

Long Tail keywords attract the relevant audience, one that is more likely to pay for your goods or services.

4. Identify what keywords your competitors rank for

Keyword research alone will not guarantee you a high ranking. You need some insight into the kind of content other people produce within your niche. This can help you identify keywords that are easy or difficult to rank.

Looking at your competitor’s content helps you identify keyword opportunity gaps. These are words related to your niche, brand, or product that have medium or low competition level. Improving your ranking on these keywords can help you corner part of the market.

Some keyword research tools allow you to carry out a keyword search on your competitor’s website.

Once you know what keywords your competitors use and how they rank for them, you can craft a better SEO strategy.

5. Use keyword research tools

Keyword research tools help you generate more keywords based on your seed keywords. When you put in your seed word, the system automatically generates additional: words, phrases, and questions related to your keywords.

The most used keyword research tool is Google Keyword Planner. However, there are other tools such as AhrefsSEMrushUbersuggest, and keyword tool which serve the same purpose.

6. Understand your user’s search intent

Search intent is the reason behind a particular search. You can determine intent by entering the keyword in a search engine to see the results. Keyword intent tells you:

  • Why a user is searching for a particular keyword.
  • If a user is looking for a specific website.
  • If a user is searching because they want to purchase something.

Google determines a web user’s intent by comparing their query to their search terms. Your website is relevant if your content addresses a searcher’s problem.


Keyword research is an easy way to improve your ranking. Remember to re-evaluate these keywords, periodically adding more and more keywords to your lists to maintain your ranking. Keyword research can enrich your marketing activities be it for a blog or business. Hopefully, this article will help you find the right words for your SEO strategy.