How To Do Keyword Research

What is Keyword Research In SEO?

Keyword research is the process of finding and selecting the best words or phrases to target on your website, to increase your web traffic and improve your search engine rankings. By understanding what people are searching for (the “keywords”), you can craft content that speaks to their needs, and increases your chances of being found by potential customers. Keyword research is essential for any online business and should be a part of your overall marketing strategy.

In this article, I will discuss how to do keyword research correctly.

Is Keyword Research Still Important?

Keyword research is the foundation of any search marketing campaign, whether that is with Pay Per Click Advertising or Search Engine Optimisation. Understanding which keywords to use within your marketing campaigns is vital for success and can help to increase the traffic to your web pages. The increased traffic can help to generate leads and sales for your business.

How To Perform Keyword Research

There are a variety of keyword research tools available online, some free and others paid. The most important thing is to use a variety of tools to get the most accurate data. The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a free tool (although you need to be logged into a Google Ads account to use it) that allows you to research keyword data for paid and search.
Another great tool is the Google Trends Tool, which shows how often a particular keyword is being searched on the internet. Google Trends also shows data from the past 12 months or even over years, with this data you can understand if your potential keywords are growing in popularity or dropping, this is also an important thing to consider when choosing keywords. If you find a keyword growing in popularity you may be able to leverage this to your advantage, as your competitors may not have identified these yet.

There are also other tools online such as or

These two tools use Google Suggest to identify lists of related keywords. These are particularly good for identifying “informational” searches or questions being asked about your products or services. These informational searches can be used to create content to answer those questions.

Answer The Public - Click to enlarge

My favourite tool for identifying potential keywords is Google Search Console. Google provides a “performance” report which can help you to identify the most popular keywords your website is currently ranking for. Using this information you can optimise your content to better target them (if you aren’t already). Google Search Console is great for bloggers looking for new keywords to target, I covered this topic in another blog post so go check it out…

Analyse your competitors to identify keywords

Once you have used the suggested tools above you can also start to look at what your competitor’s websites rank for, this may help you to identify keyword opportunities that you may have missed.

One way to do this is to use a tool such as which allows you to see the exact keywords your competitor is targeting and estimate how much traffic they are getting from those keywords.

You can also use which gives you an idea of what keyword phrases your competitor is bidding on in paid search. will also provide you with a list of keywords that your competitors rank for organically.

Finally, also provides a list of keywords a website ranks for organically, simply enter your competitor’s website address into the tool and it will produce a list of search keywords for you to look at.

Once you have identified a list of potential keywords, it’s important to analyse them to see which ones are the best fit for your business. There are a few factors to consider:

  • Competition: How competitive is the keyword (how many results does Google display for each)?
  • Monthly Search Volume: How many people are searching for these terms
  • Search intent, is the keyword an informational search or a buying search?

Once you have identified a group of keywords that you want to target, you can begin including them in your website content, titles, and meta descriptions. You can also use them in your advertising and social media campaigns. The more you target the right keywords, the more traffic you will see coming to your website.

Identifying Keyword Competition

Understanding how competitive a keyword or search term is will help you determine how much effort you need to put into ranking for that term. A keyword with high competition will require more work, and a keyword with low competition can be easier to rank for.
There are a few different ways to measure keyword competition:
  • SEOmoz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool
  • Google AdWords Competition
  • Number of results in Google’s index

The SEOmoz Keyword Difficulty Tool is a free tool that measures how difficult it would be to rank in the top 10 positions for a particular keyword. The tool looks at the number of sites competing for that keyword, and the strength of those sites.

Google AdWords Competition is a metric that is used to measure how much competition you will face if you decide to advertise for a particular keyword. The metric looks at the number of advertisers bidding on a keyword, and the quality and relevance of their ads. Although this data is primarily for Google AdWords you can still use the data for organic search as well.

"AllInTitle" Searches

Once you have a list of potential keywords it is worthwhile trying to understand which of these are actively being targeted by other websites for their SEO. One useful way to gain further information about the number of “SEO’ed” competitors for a keyword is to use a special search command within Google itself, the “All In Title” search operator.

By using the “allintitle” search operator you can see how many pages from the Google results are targeting a particular keyword in their title tags. As the page title tag is one of the most important tags for SEO we can assume that if a keyword appears in a page title it must be part of that particular website’s SEO strategy.

This is not a perfect measure of competition as it doesn’t take into account the content of those pages, but it can give you a good indication of how many websites are actively targeting a keyword.

Identifying Monthly Search Volume

Knowing how many people are searching for a particular keyword each month is important for two reasons:
  • It will help you to determine if there is enough search volume to make targeting the keyword worth your time and effort.
  • It will give you a rough idea of how much potential traffic your website could get if it were to rank on page 1.
The main tool for identifying search volume is the Google Keyword Suggestions tool, this tool will provide an estimate of the average monthly search volume for a keyword. There are many tools online which use the Google API to pull out this same data, an example would be (primarily a rankings checker), which checks the rankings for your website against a list of keywords. Search volume data is also provided for the keywords you enter into the tool. This is a great way to utilize another tool to quickly generate search volume data, rather than performing this research manually, you can simply utilize their software to do the hard work for you.

Informational Keywords And Buying Intent

There are two main categories of keywords, Informational searches and buying searches.

Informational search keywords are those that people use when they are looking for information or have a specific question that they would like to answer. These keywords generally have low purchase/buying intent. These keyword types are perfect for blog post topics, leading to traffic and also the potential of attracting backlinks to your website naturally.

Buying search keywords are those that people use when they are looking to buy a product or service, these keywords generally have a high purchase intent. Buying terms should make up the majority of your keyword targets if you are an eCommerce retailer or a service business.

It is important to understand the difference between these two keyword types as they require different marketing strategies.

LSI keywords & Synonyms

LSI Keywords are a must-have tool for creating well-written pages that accurately express your content’s topic to the search engines. LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing) are words that are related semantically to your target keyword. They are not exact synonyms, but they’re words that help to clarify the subject of your information.

You may improve your page’s ranking for your target keyword by including these semantically linked terms. You will help the search engines to better grasp the subject of your page, which may lead to a higher ranking for your target keyword.

Synonyms are words or phrases that mean the same or nearly the same thing as another word or phrase and may be used in place of each other. Including synonyms in your keyword targeting can help you to rank for a wider range of keyword phrases, and help to strengthen the overall topic of your content. has a great blog post that explains LSI keywords in more depth.


Keyword research is the process of finding and targeting keywords that have the potential to bring traffic to your website. Knowing which keywords to target is important, as you want to focus on those that have both high search volume and low competition.

Keyword research is the foundation of your website and putting in the groundwork at the beginning will help your site become successful online.

If you would like to help perform your Keyword research then I would be happy to have a chat with you, please contact me directly on 07581 073 926 or use my contact page form.