Effective Keyword Research: Tools, Steps, and Strategies

Use keyword research tools for SEO success.

Keyword research is an essential part of SEO. For your page to rank highly on SERPs, you need to do comprehensive research that will show you the keywords to target. You need to find and analyze the words people use to find products and services in your niche. You should then include and optimize them in your pages. When someone searches for that keyword, search engines produce your page on the SERPs.

Important Keyword Research Tools

For the best results, you should use the right keyword research tools. If you need a free tool, one of the most effective is the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. The tool will show you essential metrics like search volumes, CPC range, and competition level. Other tools you cna use when doing keyword research  include:

  • Moz
  • Ahrefs
  • Semrush
  • Ubersuggest

You can learn more about these tools in our review of the best keyword research tools

How to Use Keyword Research Tools Effectively

Here are  the steps to follow in using keyword research tools

Use Seed Keyword to Discover More Keywords

The seed keyword is a general term that describes your site broadly. This is what you will be using to get targeted keywords. For instance, if your site is about losing weight, you can use a seed keyword like weight loss. This is what you will be inputting in the keyword tool to generate more keyword ideas.

When using a tool like Semrush, enter the keyword in the search bar, choose the country you want to target with the keyword, and hit the enter button. The tool will suggest all the keyword phrases to use for that keyword. You can also group the keywords according to the topical groups and subgroups to find the more specific subtopics and their keywords. After finding the keywords to use, you should now drill them according to the following:

Search Volume

The search volume will show you the number of people who are searching for that particular keyword in a month. It’s a good metric to consider as it will show you the traffic you can expect from the keyword. 

Use keyword research tools to check search volume.

However, most sites tend to target keywords with a high search volume, as the higher the traffic, the merrier it will be for your site. That also means a high competition level, so you should not rush to choose a high-search volume keyword before considering our next metric.

Keyword Difficulty

This metric will help you determine the competition level you should expect from a keyword.  Most keyword research tools will show you this number. They often put it in a number ranging from 0 to 100. While different tools have different ways of measuring the keyword difficulty, they often consider certain factors such as:

  • Number of backlinks
  • Domain and page authority
  • Length of articles 
  • Authority of your own site
  • Relevance of the search query

However, when you compare the different tools, you will see their figures differ. Therefore, you should also manually check to see if it’s possible to outrank the top-ranking pages.

Determine the Business Value of a Keyword

Estimating the business value of a keyword involves determining the possibility of making a profit by ranking for a particular keyword. This is important as some keywords, especially informational, may be topically relevant but still have a low conversion. Therefore, you will need to choose keywords that can lead to conversion.

However, there are several advantages of ranking for keywords that do not lead to conversion. These  include:

  • The ability to get backlink
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Show your authority in the field
  • Get the relevant keywords

Identify the Keywords to Target

To achieve the best results with keyword research, you should understand the fundamentals of keyword research. Keywords cna be categorized into:

Primary Keyword

This is the focus keyword that you will be targeting on your page. In other words, you should build the page’s topic around this keyword. When determining whether a keyword should be primary, you must consider several factors, such as the search volume and the keyword difficulty.

Secondary keywords

These are keywords under the same topic but have lower search volume. You will also need to rank for them even though they aren’t your primary keywords. To determine if a keyword should be in the primary or secondary keyword, check search volume and whether there is enough information to cover the topic comprehensively. You can also check the SERP to see if there are sites targeting the keyword as their primary keyword.

Longtail Keywords

These can be primary or secondary keywords containing 3 or more words. The phrases are more specific, meaning that buyers are more likely to use them further down the buying process. This makes them a great choice for bringing more qualified leads. The competition level for these keywords is also lower as many high authority sites may not target them.

Determine the Search Intent 

To rank for a particular keyword, you need to determine the type of content people expect to see when searching for it. This could be categorized into informational, navigational, or transactional keywords. You can check out our guide on understanding search intent and how to optimize for it.

Creating Content On the Keywords

Now that you have found the right keyword, these will only be as good as how you use them. Ensure that you cover the topic comprehensively by:

  • Providing a unique angle to it
  • Cover the topic more deeply than the competition
  • Include original data
  • Add original media
  • Create an unmatched user experience
Keyword research helps with SEO.

In Conclusion

Keyword research is the most important step when creating a plan for your site. If you get it wrong, you will struggle to rank your site on the SERPs. But when you do it well, you will position your site to rank at the top of the search engines. Following our guide, you can leverage keyword research tools to get terms and phrases to bring traffic to your site.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.