keyword research

What is Keyword Research: An Unlimited Guide to SEO

Are you here to find out what keyword research is and why is it important in SEO? Let’s find out. 

Before we start, do you know what keywords people use to find answers to their queries online? or Do you know what terms and keywords you should use to harvest traffic to your site? Not exactly.

Several questions like this can annoy website owners and businesses willing to boost traffic to their sites. And without knowing visitors’ intent, you cannot optimize your site for users and search engines.

There comes Keyword research and its importance for SEO.

Researching keywords can support you in understanding your target market better and help you determine how people are searching for your content, products, and services.

By doing proper keyword research, you can find out the terms, keywords, questions, and phrases that people are searching for and help you rank easily on search results.

After reading the above, you must have understood the basics of keyword research, and now let’s dive deeper into keyword research and find out how to perform proper keyword research to craft content that can meet the needs of search engines and your users.

What is keyword research in SEO? 

Keyword research is the method to determine the possible terms, keywords, or phrases that people search online using various search engines such as Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, and many more similar to these. The main purpose of keyword research is search engine optimization and marketing.

Keyword research can help you find out the terms, queries, keywords, or phrases related to your business along with their statistic data such as keyword difficulty, search volume, popularity, and much more.

It is the first step to SEO. You perform it before everything to determine whether the path or term you choose is worth spending time on or not.

Why Keyword Research Is Important for SEO?

Keyword research is very important from an SEO point of view to grow and brand your business.

Finding the right keyword is essential to attracting potential users and customers to your site that can help boost your rank and search presence.

With the insight into what people are searching for, you can plan your content strategy and your marketing strategy as well.

By performing good keyword research, you can find the keywords that are easy to rank and avoid the keywords with great difficulty.

A wrong keyword can negatively affect your SEO. It can affect your bounce rate and user experience on your site, and you may not be even visible on the search result pages.

Therefore keyword research is important for finding the right keywords as well as avoiding the unsuitable ones.

Further, if you are competing for a search term with bigger brands such as Wikipedia and Amazon, ranking for you will be a far goal to achieve; instead, you can work on a less competitive term and enjoy the ranking in the short term.

From a different point of view, our content is for users, so we should create content focusing on what they are interested in instead of what we want to offer them. It makes a much difference. Just think of it! Done?

So this is where keyword research is necessary. 

In short, it can help you to:

  • Understand and reach your audience
  • Uncover new relevant topics
  • boost traffic to your site
  • Get potential leads  
  • Boost sales 
  • Improve ad campaigns
  • Find out your business trend 
  • Improve search ranking 


How to perform keyword research?

Now, we’ll structure a simple step-wise process to perform keyword research that can support you find out the keywords that will help you to come in front of your targeted audience. Let us move on to it.

 1. Finding keywords related to your business

First of all, start with yourself. Think of your business, your products, and the services that you offer to your customers and users. You must have the key terms in your mind that you want to talk about and want to be searched for. So these are the main keywords or seed keywords from which you can start your keyword research.

Now, let us find out the keywords, get content ideas, and make a list out of them.

For example, we are a digital marketing firm, so we would consider what our targeted customers will be interested in knowing and what they will search for?

The terms that instantly trigger our mind could be: 

  • Social media marketing
  • content marketing
  • SERPs
  • PPC
  • Website optimization  
  • Website traffic 
  • SEO 
  • Link building 

Now, these are the topics but not exactly the keywords yet. Let’s move to the next step.

 2. Keyword research manually

Now we’ll perform manual research to find the related keywords for our business to step forward. In this step, we will discover methods you can find related keywords manually without using any tools. 

  • Using Google, Bing, and YouTube AutoSuggest 

The search engines such as Google, Bing, YouTube, and others autosuggest the keywords related to your query to make the search process easy and convenient. You can utilize this to find out the related terms or keywords to get an idea related to your query.

Let us explain how you can do this. We have created the list above related to our business. We are picking a topic from it- ‘Content marketing.’ 

Put this in Google’s search box and look for the suggestions. 

These are the keywords you can include in your list. If you are thinking, why and are they important? So yes, they are. 

These are the direct and relevant suggestions from Google for your search term. Google shows what people search for, and this is what we need.  

But these are not the only suggestions, and you can try Bing and YouTube suggestions too. 

YouTube Autosuggest:

Bing Autosuggest:


  • Using the People Also Ask section in Google. 

People Also Ask is a section in Google that displays more questions related to your search queries that people ask for. To find more keywords or questions related to your keyword, you can enter your query in Google and scroll down to this section on SERP. 

  • Using the Related Searches section in Google 

You can also get more keyword ideas by scrolling down to the bottom of your search result page. At the bottom of every SERP, Google displays a list of related searches that people search, which can help you to find more content ideas. 

  • Using online forums 

Online forums are a great place you can find people of your interest. You can participate in it to find the trend and interests of people and their thoughts related to your business. 

You can use the given search strings in Google to find the forums where your audience may present. Replace the keyword with your actual keyword and search for it.

‘keyword forum’

‘keyword’ + ‘forum’

‘forums’ + ‘keyword’

‘keyword’ + ‘board’

After finding the forum of your interest, you can find out the potential keywords from each forum section and add them to your list. 

You can also find out other topics and keywords that interest your audience.


 3. Keyword research using tools

Now that we have researched keywords manually, there are plenty of keyword research tools that you can use to find out hundreds and thousands of keywords easily. Along with providing the keywords, the tools also give you a data report concerning the keywords that can help you find out the less competitive and more potential keywords for your business.  

Below are some of the finest keyword tools you can use for your keyword research-


  • Google Keyword Planner 

Google Ads Keyword Planner is a free keyword tool provided by Google. 

The keyword suggestion from it directly comes from Google, which makes it more reliable. It was designed mainly for the ads campaign for Google, but you can still use its keyword suggestions to get more keyword ideas. 

  • Google Trends 

Google Trends is another keyword research tool from Google. It can help you determine the popularity of a particular keyword by monitoring and tracking the changes in its search volume with time. It lets you decide whether you should go with the keyword or not. Additionally, it also offers related keywords to get more content ideas. 

  • is a tool similar to Google trends but better. 

It analyzes the searches, conversations, and mentions across the web and finds the terms about to trend. 

It allows you to sort the topics based on categories. 

  • Keyword Surfer 

Keyword Surfer is a free chrome extension that displays the search volume directly in front of the search result. 

It quickly displays search data, performs keyword research, and provides content suggestions in search results. 

You can use it by installing its chrome extension. When you perform a search, it will provide a list of keyword ideas with their data next to each.

  • Ubersuggest 

Using Ubersuggest you can use to find new keyword ideas. It is a free keyword tool that offers you related keywords, the long-tail keywords for your term, and data on their search volume, CPC, keyword difficulty, and much more.

  • Answer the Public 

Answer The Public is a free tool that gives you questions and phrases related to your term in a beautifully arranged wheel. 

It sources the data from Google and Bing, autocompletes the data, and gives you the related keywords you can use for your content.

  • Soovle 

Soovle is a free and simple keyword tool that utilizes the data of different sources, including Google, YouTube, Amazon, Wikipedia, and more, to provide you with the related keywords and content ideas.

  • SEMrush 

SEMrush is a paid keyword tool that is highly advanced and a time saver. It is a must-have tool for every individual that values SEO.

Its keyword overview report can provide a complete data report related to a particular keyword, such as search volume, keyword difficulty, intent, SERP features, etc.

And its topic research tool can provide you with hundreds of related keywords, topics, and concepts in different formats.

It can even provide competitive analysis with your rivals and let you peek into their website to find out the keyword opportunity.


  • Ahrefs 

Ahrefs Keywords Explorer feature is free to use. It is known as a link-building tool, but very few people know it also has a great keyword research feature. Ahrefs can provide hundreds of keyword suggestions along with the details of each. It displays the keyword difficulty, search volume, and traffic potential of the keyword. And it even suggests the expected clicks the keyword can receive.

These are just a few keyword research tools, but there are plenty in the market. If you want more details about the keyword research tools, you can see our other post on the 18 best keyword research tools ( free and paid ).  


4. Things you should consider for Keyword Research 

Following are the things that you should pay attention to while performing keyword research. 

Check out the following parameters for a keyword using a potential tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs 

  • Search intent 
  • Authority site
  • Keyword relevancy 
  • Monthly search volume 
  • Keyword difficulty 
  • Organic CTR 
  • Keyword trend 


Understanding Keyword intent and how it can affect your research 

Searcher’s intent with the keyword could be different from what you have.  

Accordingly, it is essential to answer the searcher’s need other than just having the keyword the searcher used. 

Searcher’s intent can affect you to a greater extent because it can affect your ranking ability. Therefore, it is important how you interpret the keyword. 

Keyword research is just not finding the keyword you can work on. Instead, you need to find different intentions with the keyword that the searcher can ask.  

For example, suppose you have created an article ‘how to start a blog.’ 

The word blog here could have different meanings. It can be a blog post or a complete blog website. Now, the searcher’s intent behind the keyword will determine the direction of your article. Does he want to know how to start a separate blog post? Or does he want to learn the way to create a blogging website? 

If your intention with the keyword is the first one, you should be clear in your mind before writing it and similarly for the second one. 

Therefore, before creating content using this keyword, you can verify the users’ intent by placing the keyword in Google. Analyze what results you get. Now, go ahead and create the content with the intent Google suggested to you.

  • The Authority sites gain more of Google’s attention. 

Google prefers authoritative sources. If your site is deemed authoritative in Google’s eye, the chances for your content to rank higher in the search result is more. Therefore, you must make efforts to become an authoritative source. It would help if you create unique and valuable content and promote it to gain more backlinks and earn social signals. 

You can’t compete with bigger brands unless you are authoritative or your content is exceptional among all others.

  • Keyword Relevance to the content 

Keyword relevancy is the most important thing that can affect your search presence. Search engines rank the content if they are relevant to the searcher’s query. This is what we have explained above in keyword intent. 

You will only rank higher on search pages for a keyword if your content answers the searcher’s need.  

Furthermore, your content should be the best of all content present on the web for that particular query. 

This is because Google wants to offer the best content to its users. It ensures to rank the content higher that provides more value than other content that offers little value. 

  • Keyword’s search volume  

The search volume of a keyword is essential for the content value. It is measured by the monthly search volume. It means how many times a keyword is searched in a month by users. 

The more search volume for a keyword, the more traffic it can bring to your site. 

For a specific keyword, you may rank on the first page of search results or even in the first position, but if nobody searches for it, what value can it add to your site? It makes no sense to create content that nobody needs. You can use keyword tools to find out the search volume related to your keyword.

  • Keyword Difficulty 

Keyword difficulty is a measure to determine how difficult it would be for a keyword to rank on Google’s first search result page. 

It tells us the competition level for that keyword. The higher the competition, the more is the keyword difficulty. 

Now, we’ll see how keyword difficulty varies. Keywords can be divided into three categories. 

  • Head keyword- Highly competitive 
  • Body keyword- Moderate competitive 
  • Long-tails keyword- Less competitive
    • Head Keywords 

These are the main focused single-word keyword that usually has high search volume and high competition. These are the least specific.

For example, insurance, vitamins, machines etc., are the head keywords.

These are hard to target because the searcher’s intent could be different for the keywords.

When he searches for vitamins, maybe he wants to get information on vitamins, maybe he wants to buy vitamins, or maybe he just wants to find what it is. Because these are less specific, therefore hard to rank.

    • Body Keywords 

The next is the Body keywords. These are 2 to 3-word long phrases that are more specific than head keywords. These earn decent search volume and are moderately competitive.  

For example, ‘car insurance or ‘what are vitamins’ is the body keywords.

    • Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are generally longer and more specific, containing more than four words.  

For example, keywords like “life insurance for senior citizens” and “order vitamin D capsules online” are long-tail keywords.  

Because long-tail keywords are more specific, they do not get much search volume and therefore are less competitive. 

We can not say which category would be the best as both have their gains and losses. However, on a competitive level, long-tail keywords enjoy less competition.

Now, when we are talking about keyword difficulty, let us tell you that most of the keyword tools in the market offer some keyword difficulty features that can tell you the calculated keyword difficulty for a keyword to rank.

The SEO tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, KWFinder etc., include this feature.

We are showing it by Ahrefs:

  • Organic Click-Through-Rate 

CTR or Click-through-rate is the number of clicks you get.  

For example- If you rank on Google’s first SERP for a particular keyword. 

The keyword search volume is 2000 monthly, and your page got only 2 clicks. So your CTR is 0.1%. This suggests that your content is not relevant to the keyword. 

The reason for the low CTR could be the featured snippet on the SERP that answers the users directly and, secondly, if there are more paid ads on your SERP.

The search volume of a keyword is important, but you also must look for the organic CTR. 

To estimate the organic CTR, you can first look for a keyword’s SERP. If there are lots of ADS and featured images on the page, then it will be hard to get clicks for that keyword.

Secondly, you can use a tool that can display estimated the CTR. 


Ahrefs and Moz pro both can help.

Note: This does not mean ignoring the keyword just for the CTR. If it is on the first page, and many people search for it( search volume ), then, it is worth writing it.

  • Keyword Trends 

You can also check out the keyword trend for your site’s existing keywords and the new targeted one. 

For that, you can use Google Trends. You can find out if the keyword is growing in popularity or taking back steps. 

And then you can predict the future of the keyword.


This way, you can perform keyword research for your content so that you can appear in SERPs and attract traffic to your site.  

Firstly, analyze your business, generate your focused keywords, and then start finding the relevant keywords manually or taking help from the keyword research tools.  

Don’t forget to analyze the search intent. After all, it has the potential to give the direction of your content.

Using advanced tools like SEMrush, (the one we like the most) and Ahrefs, analyze the different metrics related to the keyword and pick the most potent keyword.

Finally, create well-optimized content for your site using keywords and synonyms, and related words to rank higher on Google’s search result page.

Keyword research is important as it can help you to choose the right keyword and avoid the ones with great difficulty. But content is king, as always. You must create unique and robust optimized content that can help you glorify the SERPs. 

We hope our keyword research guide has helped you understand how to perform keyword research.

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