Back To Basics: A Guide To Keyword Research

December 6, 2019

Kerrie Ashall

Keyword research is an essential SEO technique used to drive traffic, increase visibility, and boost revenue potential.

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything keyword related – from how to find the best keywords, to how to use keyword tools effectively. We will also provide you with some valuable tips to enhance your keyword research and maximise the benefits.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is a process that allows you to identify words and phrases that people use in search engines like Google. You can then use this information to optimise your content around those key terms.

The main aim of keyword research is to determine which words or phrases are most aligned with your business’ content. This allows you to tailor your content market strategy to increase visibility and improve search engine rankings. Businesses’ can use a number of tools to conduct effective keyword research. We will discuss these in more detail later in the guide.

Why is it important?

Keyword research has a significant impact on every SEO strategy within your business. It is an extremely powerful marketing tool that can be utilised to drive traffic, boost search rankings, and give you valuable insight into your target audience. Without keyword research, your marketing campaigns are likely to be ineffective and produce poor results. If people aren’t searching for your keywords, then they aren’t going to see your content, regardless of how good it is.

In short, to survive and thrive in the digital age, a business must be able to be found online. For that reason, keyword research should be one of the first steps in any SEO marketing campaign.

Step by step guide to keyword research

Now you know why keyword research is so important, we’re going to discuss how to conduct effective keyword research:

Step 1: Brainstorm a list of key topics

The first step is to brainstorm topics that users are likely to search within your niche.

Create a list of broad topics related to your business. For instance, if you run a finance business then you may consider topics like accounting, investing or the stock market.

Step 2: Use keyword tools to find specific phrases

Once you have a list of topics, you need to carry out keyword research to determine the best words and phrases within each topic. You can try typing the word into Google incognito and seeing what terms it suggests for you. This is a great way to identify keywords as Google only suggests terms that are searched frequently by users. You can also try checking the “searches related to” section at the bottom of Google’s search results for variation.

Keyword tools can be a highly effective way to identify the best keywords for your content. Here are three keyword tools that you can use to find specific phrases within each topic:

  • SEMRush – This tool offers both a free and premium paid version. The free version still offers plenty of valuable information, including a detailed list of search results for every individual keyword. The paid version provides a more in-depth analysis with 10,000 results generated on every report.
  • Ahrefs – The “Keyword Explorer” section of Ahrefs offers a huge selection of useful data on each keyword you input. This can help you decide whether a keyword is worth using.
  • Google Keyword Planner – If you have a Google Ads account, then you have access to Google’s free Keyword Planner. You simply log into your account and enter the “tools” bar on the top right.

Step 3: Consider search intent

It is essential that you consider search intent if you want to use keyword research effectively. You must understand why users search specific words and phrases and think carefully about what they are actually searching for. Knowing search intent plays a key role in successful keyword research and SEO marketing in general.

Tips for effective keyword research

Hopefully, you now have an idea about how to find keywords related to your business niche. Below, we are going to give you some useful tips on how to further enhance your keyword research:

  • Avoid using only high-volume keywords as these can be extremely competitive. Low-volume and long-tail keywords often generate much higher conversions.
  • Use Google search to check who ranks top for your individual keywords. If it’s major companies like eBay and Amazon, then it’s going to be incredibly hard to gain that top spot on Google. You should, therefore, consider choosing a different keyword that is less competitive.
  • Try to gain featured snippets on Google, as these can significantly boost visibility for your site. If there is one for a specific keyword you’re using, then look at what you need to do – Make a new page? Restructure content? Optimise?


Keyword research is an extremely valuable marketing tool that can be used to increase visibility, boost search engine rankings, and increase sales and profits. It should be the starting point of any successful SEO campaign. Hopefully, this guide has equipped you with the basic knowledge to find quality keywords and use them as part of an effective content marketing strategy.

The tips that we have provided can help get you started, but as keyword research can become more advanced or you find yourself falling deeper and deeper into the black hole of searches, an SEO expert will offer guidance and conduct research efficiently and quickly for your website.

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