The Ultimate Keyword Research Guide for SEO

The Ultimate Keyword Research Guide for SEO

Chris Porteous Chris Porteous Jun 27, 2023 9 mins read
Featured Image

Globally, there are 5.18 billion Internet users as of April 2023. The fact that more people are spending more time online emphasizes the importance of digital marketing. These days, potential customers browse the web for specific products or services. 

But the likelihood of losing those prospects is high if they can’t find your products or services online. Most likely, your competitors already use digital marketing to meet target audiences and drive online sales. 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is pivotal to any successful digital marketing campaign. It helps improve the visibility and ranking of your online site and content in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

A SERP refers to the page users see after entering a query into search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. People search for a product on a search engine before purchasing it on Amazon. They also start looking for a hotel before booking a new vacation. 

The higher your e-commerce website or content appears on the SERP, the more likely it is that users will discover and engage with it. An optimized website is the starting point for relevant search queries and increased visibility. Several components make up SEO. But understanding and targeting the keywords people use is critical to any SEO strategy. Do you want to enhance your chances of appearing in the SERPs? This guide will walk you through the basic concepts and step-by-step process of SEO keyword research.

Key Takeaways
  • Keyword research is critical to an effective SEO strategy. It helps you understand target audience searches and ranks your company’s site higher in organic searches.
  • It’s vital to understand the underlying motivation behind a user’s search query when developing a solid strategy for keyword research.
  • Working with an SEO expert is a great way to conduct proper keyword research and SEO strategy that aligns with the target audience’s needs and preferences.

Understanding SEO Keyword Research and Its Benefits

Regardless of your efforts, you will only generate traffic if there’s search interest for any piece of content you’re creating online. Unfortunately, many e-commerce site owners make that mistake. Likewise, it’s part of why 90.63 percent of web pages get zero traffic from Google. 

When thoroughly researched and optimized, keywords enable users to find what they’re searching for online. But which words or keyword phrase do people use when looking for products, services, or information related to your business? 

Effective SEO keyword research is the key to targeting relevant keywords that your potential customers are searching for online. It primarily refers to finding and analyzing popular search terms and queries that people type into search engines. 

Before starting your keyword research journey, learn more about how it can benefit your business. 

Improves search engine visibility

How well is your site performing in search engines for specific keywords and phrases? When users search for a particular keyword, how likely are they to come across your website? 

Search engine visibility is a metric that determines how visible your site is for a given search query or keyword phrase. Measuring it may vary slightly depending on the tools used. But generally, it’s calculated by the number of keywords the site ranks for, their search volume, and the domain’s SERP rankings. 

You will obtain the desired website traffic, engagement, and conversions with adequate search engine visibility. Thankfully, keyword research helps businesses gain insights into related terms people are looking for on search engines. 

With that, you can create a type of content that matches their needs and queries. Consequently, it will help your website rank higher and increase its visibility to searchers. 

Incorporates keyword-rich content

Search engines like Google use content to determine the usefulness of a page. They also rely on keywords when understanding and organizing the content on a web page. 

When your content is relevant or answers the related search queries, your page will be displayed with other related content. So to boost your site’s position on SERPs, you must incorporate relevant keywords into your content. 

By performing keyword research, you can get rich data about what your potential customers want to know about your niche, products, and services. As a result, you can create keyword-rich content that’s relevant to what the audience is searching for. 

Focuses on the right audience

Who will most likely become your customers? Targeting the right audience for your website is essential when making your business discoverable online. These people are searching for websites like yours whose interests and needs match what your site is offering. 

But how do you attract the right audience to your website who will be your ideal customers? You must be able to deliver content that answers their questions or solves their problems. The good news is that keyword research allows businesses to focus on and connect with the right audience. 

By conducting thorough keyword research, you can better understand the target audience’s needs, preferences, search frequency for a particular keyword, and how they like to engage. You can also check out Google Trends to find out what your audience is searching for.

Key Elements Needed When Conducting Keyword Research

The primary goal of any effective SEO strategy is to optimize your content to ensure that you appear in relevant search engine results. But that’s only possible by knowing what keywords to target

Your keyword research is the starting point for developing a strategy that helps people find your business. It’s worth noting that a website visitor decides whether to stay or look for another site or content within a second. 

Performing thorough keyword research can help you craft content that meets your potential customers’ needs.

Moreover, it allows you to increase visitors’ levels of engagement and convert them into actual and loyal buyers.  

But when you do keyword research, you must consider the following elements to evaluate the viability of the search terms: 

Search volume

Search volume represents the number of search queries for a particular keyword within a specific period, typically a month. Targeting keywords in your content that have actual research volume is essential. Otherwise, your content will not be discoverable.  

A high average search volume indicates that many users are actively searching for it on search engines. But it doesn’t equate to more people seeing your website. It will be challenging to compete with bigger sites if you only target keywords with a high search volume. 

Indeed, monthly search volume is a valuable metric for keyword research to estimate traffic. It can also help you determine which keywords and search queries to prioritize for optimization. Still, it would be best not to use this keyword metric as the only measure of value or consider it for a single keyword in isolation. 

Instead, examine the search volume for a cluster of topics. You may also consider using Google Keyword Planner when estimating search volume. Because it directly comes from Google, it’s widely regarded as the best data source for keyword search volume. 


Also known as keyword difficulty, keyword competition measures how easy or challenging it is to rank a particular keyword on search engines. Several sites seek to rank for the same keyword when it generates good results. It then creates competition around that specific keyword.

Remember that a keyword that’s difficult to rank will require significant time and attention before reaching your desired rank. Hence, assessing keyword difficulty can help determine whether the keyword or page you want to rank for is realistic. 

After all, you wouldn’t want to invest your time and resources in keywords that won’t give you tangible results. But several factors go into determining a competitive keyword, including domain authority, content quality, backlinks, and competitors.

As much as possible, avoid targeting keywords dominated by high-authority sites. If you want to rank high quickly and get traffic, finding relevant, low-difficulty keywords will increase your chances. Focusing on long-tail keywords may also be beneficial if you’re just starting. 

Although such keywords often have lower search volumes, they’re more targeted and not difficult to rank. Likewise, monitoring your competitor’s keywords and leveraging them to create high-value content is a good practice. Tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Moz can help you get started on competitor analysis.


Search engines like Google use keyword relevance to determine what a web page is about. How relevant or helpful is a particular keyword or phrase on your web page? Target keywords related to your business and well-aligned with your target audience.

Search engines also decide the ranking of web pages based on their relation to a search query. So instead of merely putting keywords into content, you must also aim to provide helpful information. 

Remember that the algorithm will examine other pages users click on for a specific query. That’s where search or user intent comes in. It refers to the user’s purpose in entering a query into a search engine. 

Your content will only get a high ranking for a keyword if it addresses the searchers’ needs. Thus, the more you align your page with search intent, the better your chances of ranking. Search intent can be informational, transactional, or navigational. 

The search is considered informational if a user searches a keyword to learn something or learn more about it. Meanwhile, it’s navigational if they type a specific website or brand name into a search engine. The user’s intent is transactional if they want to buy something behind a search term.

A Step-By-Step Guide for SEO Keyword Research

Knowing how to conduct in-depth keyword research properly is as crucial as understanding its benefits. Thus, you need to be intentional about placing specific keywords that attract your target audience. Otherwise, your content will only result in low-value or zero traffic to your website. 

That’s where a keyword strategy comes into play. It’s a systematic approach to how you identify the list of keywords to target and what you do after narrowing them. This way, you won’t have to guess what your target customers want to see. 

Here’s a guide to help you start the SEO keyword research process. 

Generate relevant keyword ideas

Brainstorming ideas for relevant keywords is the first step in keyword research. You can list keywords based on what you know about your business. But it can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. Below are different ways to help you create a new keyword list. 

  • Audience: What words and phrases would your target audience use when looking for solutions to their problems? You can understand their pain points and preferences by visiting where they hang out online. From there, you can uncover what topics they’re talking about. 
  • Competitors: You can also find opportunities for the keywords your competitors are currently targeting. What are the competitor keywords that perform well in search results? What are those keywords that they targeted but failed to rank? Gaining these insights will help you enhance the content optimized for your website’s keywords. 
  • Site queries: Does your site already have an online history? If so, you can get information about the relevance of your site through Google Search Console. It’s an excellent way to find new keyword opportunities relevant to your business. 
  • Seed keywords: You can also unlock potential keywords using seed keywords. These are words or phrases that describe a topic broadly. It’s a great starting point to explore variants and related queries. When developing seed keywords, consider what people type into search engines to find what you offer. 

Analyze and select the best keywords

After compiling a list of keywords, the next step is to get more data about each keyword and sort them by value and opportunity. When analyzing and selecting the best keywords, you can use keyword metrics.

Search volume will help you determine if a specific keyword is worth pursuing. A low search volume may indicate no market or you’re using the wrong keyword. With keyword difficulty, you can find potential keywords that no one has targeted yet. This approach lets you get ahead of your competitors and rank high for that keyword. 

Likewise, understanding the business value of a specific keyword is essential when selecting the best keywords. Can you reference your products or services in a blog post about the topic or the targeted keyword? What would you get from ranking for a particular keyword?

Prioritize target keywords

Targeting the right keywords is crucial to attracting visitors and potential customers to your site. But how do you prioritize which keywords to target? Discovering the methods to effectively target the keywords you want to rank for is the last step of the keyword research process. 

To do that, you must understand the role of primary and secondary keywords. The primary keyword determines the central theme of your content. It has the highest search volumes and must be added to various article elements. On the other hand, the secondary keywords are closely related keywords to the primary search term you’re focusing on your page.

Did you know?

As of April 2023, Google is Canada’s leading search engine market, constituting over 92 percent of the market share.

Level Up Your Keyword Strategy With SearchEye

The keywords that attract users to your business website are as vital as your product and services. But what keywords can potentially bring you the highest number of visitors? You’ll need an efficient strategy to identify keywords that will help you rank pages and generate website traffic. 

Whether you want to level up your keyword research approach or implement tech-driven SEO strategies, SearchEye offers SEO services tailored to your business. Contact us now and see how we can help you achieve improved site rankings and increased traffic. 

Ready to delve further into keyword research? Find out how SearchEye experts can help you get better results.

FAQs on Keyword Research Guide for SEO

How much should you pay for keyword research?
Are free keyword research tools accurate and reliable?
When is the best time to perform keyword research?

Here’s what our users have to say...

“Fantastic platform. They did a phenomenal job from keyword research to article creation to finding quality digital PR. Great driver of traffic for us.”

Preston Holmes, Tech Startup

“Signed up and love the concept, made me a big believer in organic search. Looking forward to seeing more articles in the fintech and private debt space!”

Michael Shum, CEO, Cascade Debt

“Good service for link-building & PR!.”

Takeshi Young, Global SEO Lead, DiDi

“It’s a win-win for brands and publishers.”

Rayn Ong, Archangel Ventures

“The founders of SearchEye deeply understand the digital PR space and how to help companies of all shapes and sizes succeed…”

Casey Winters, Angel Investor

“SearchEye’s mission resonated and is directionally where we see the industry going with respect to growth.”

Jenny Fielding, Everywhere VC