No matter how many posts you have published on your blog, you won’t get enough traffic unless you have done the proper keyword research.
Keyword research is nothing but to know what exactly your target audience is searching for. Let’s understand it with an example.
Suppose, I want to know about various breeds of cats, then I have to search for cats breed on Google. Similarly, if someone wants to know what cats eat, then they might search for keywords like cats food, or cat diet.
In the above example, cats breed, cat foods & cat diet are the keywords. Of course, what cat eats & various breeds of cats may also be keywords.
If we summarize everything, Keyword research is to know what keywords or keyphrases are people searching for?
Well, no need to worry, if you don’t know how to do it. In this complete guide, I will teach you everything from scratch.
After reading this post, you will be able to:
- find short & long-tail keywords
- check their search volume &
- to analyze the SEO difficulty for various keywords.
You can use the below table of contents for better navigation!
What is a Keyword?
A keyword as discussed earlier is something that people search over the internet. On the basis of length, there are two main types of keywords:
i) Short-Tail Keywords
ii) Long-Tail Keywords
Let’s discuss each of them.
Short Tail Keywords: Keywords that are three words or less are called short-tail keywords. Generally, the search volume of these keywords is very high and as a result, so many bloggers write content on them which results in higher keyword difficulty. Example: yoga tips
Long-Tail Keywords: Long-tail keywords are those keywords that are more than 3 words long. These keywords are highly targeted, less competitive & have lesser search volume. Example: yoga tips for back pain.
Note: The competitiveness of a keyword is based on the amount of relevant content available on the internet for a specific keyword. It may be less for a short tail keyword & high for long-tail keywords.
Benefits of Keyword Research
We have discussed a lot about keywords but do you know why keyword research is so important? Well, I have shared some of the top benefits of doing keyword research below.
- Keyword research can help you to find a number of short & long-tail keywords on which you can write articles & blog posts.
- If you are a beginner who has just started blogging, then you can choose keywords with less SEO (Search Engine Optimization) difficulty so as to rank fast & gain authority.
- You can skip those topics that have zero to less search volume.
- Overall, it can help you in boosting your website traffic & saving a lot of time.
Below is an infographic from Search Engine Land which can help you to know some more benefits of doing keyword research.
Doing keyword research doesn’t always mean that you should not write content on topics with lesser search volume.
It is so because search engines may not be your only traffic source. The content that has lesser search volume might be very engaging on social media platforms. This is what you should keep in mind while writing blog posts.
Well, these are some of the top benefits of doing keyword research. Let’s discuss some commonly used SEO metrics that every blogger/content writer should know.
SEO Metrics for Keyword Research
Before we begin our Keyword research journey, you should be well aware of all the search metrics that I have used in this guide.
Here is a list of some commonly used search metrics while doing keyword research:
1. Search Volume: It refers to the number of searches performed by users for a specific keyword during a certain time frame.
2. SERPs: SERPs refer to the search result page displayed by the search engine when a user enters a certain query or keyword. It stands for Search Engine Result Page.
3. Keyword Difficulty: According to Ahrefs, Keyword difficulty evaluates the chances of getting into the top 10 search results.
4. Clicks: The average clicks, search results receive during the time span of one month.
5. CPC: it stands for Cost per click & refers to the average cost of each ad click, an advertiser is willing to pay for a specific keyword.
6. CPM: CPM stands for Cost per mile. It is the average cost that advertisers pay for every thousand impressions generated.
7. Backlinks: Link from one website to another. If someone links to your website, then you have a backlink.
Part 1: Finding Keyword Ideas, their Search Volume & SEO Difficulty
Finding keywords relevant to your niche is not a difficult task. I have shared some of the best free & paid ways to find great keywords below. Some tools only provide keyword ideas while others do provide Search Volume & SEO Difficulty data too.
You can use these techniques for finding keyword ideas that you can include in your articles & blog posts.
1. Search Suggestions
The best free way to find great keywords is to use the search engines themselves. Let’s see how you can do that.
Suppose, your blog niche is “fat loss” & you want to find relevant keywords related to it on Google. So what you have to do is to visit Google.com & search for your niche in the address bar.
Before you hit enter, you will see a list of related terms that you can use as a keyword for your blog posts. Here is a snapshot of the same.
If you add a little space from the left-hand side, some more keyword ideas will appear. This is how you will get a bunch of keywords that people are searching on Google.
You can also have a look at the Search related to & People also ask section for more keyword ideas.
In a similar way, you can find keywords that people search on other search engines. I hope you love this free & easy way of finding short & long-tail keywords.
2. Google Keyword Planner
Google’s keyword planner is a free tool offered by Google for advertisers to do keyword research. However, as a publisher, you can also use the same tool to find keyword & their search volume.
Two main things you can do with Google Keyword Planner are:
- Discover New Keywords
- Get Search Volume & Forecasts
Let’s understand each of them.
i) Discover New Keywords: You can use this feature to find new keyword ideas either based on your niche or based on your competitor’s website.
To find keywords based on a niche:
Step 1: Visit Google Keyword Planner & open the discover new keywords tab.
Step 2: Enter your niche in the search box, choose language & country & hit Get Results. You can also filter keywords based on content on your website. However, you can leave it.
Have a look at what I have found for the keyword Stock market.
Note: The competition shown in the above image does not represent competition for publishers. It is for advertisers only.
To find keywords based on your competitor’s website:
Step 1: Select the Start with a website tab.
Step 2: Enter the website address for which you want to find keyword ideas, select language/location & select use the entire site and hit Get results
Below is a snapshot of the keywords that I have found using the above method.
i) Get Search Volume & Forecasts: This tool can be used in the same way as above to find the exact search volume of any specific keyword.
Ahrefs is one of the best tools that you can use for keyword research. Using there Keyword Explorer you can find keywords for Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex & many other search engines.
It shows Search Volume, Keyword difficulty & CPC. Along with that, you can also use this tool to find competitor’s strategies. They offer a seven-day trial for $7 & their basic plan starts from $99 per month.
Here’s how you can use it:
Step 1: Log in to your Ahrefs account & access the Keyword Explorer in your Ahrefs dashboard.
Next, enter your niche or main keyword in the Search Box, select Search Engine, choose Country & hit the search button as shown in the above image.
Step 2: After doing this, you will be redirected to a new page where you can see the search volume, Keyword Difficulty, CPC, Clicks & other data.
Have a look at the below image.
Step 3: In the left sidebar, several ways of finding keywords are present. If you click on All Keyword Ideas, then it will show you the complete list of all the keyword ideas.
Let’s do that & see what happens.
Here comes the list of all the keyword ideas with Keyword Difficulty (KD), Volume, Clicks, & CPC (Cost per click).
This is how you can use Ahrefs for finding awesome keywords.
Pricing: 7 day trial at $7, Monthly pricing starts at $99 per month.
Semrush is another premium tool you can use to find millions of keywords online. Their pricing starts at $99.95 per month. However, you can also create a free account with limited options.
Here’s how to use it:
Step 1: Create a free Semrush account & login to visit the dashboard.
Step 2: Enter your target keyword/niche in the search box & hit enter. It will show you the complete overview of the topic.
Next, you have to click on the Keyword Magic Tool to find all related keywords.
Step 3: Here you will find a list of all the related keywords along with their SEO metrics similar to Ahrefs.
This is how you can find keyword ideas using Semrush.
Pricing: Free account with limited searches, Monthly pricing starts at $99.9 per month.
Answer the Public is a freemium tool that you can use to find keyword ideas for free. Keywords generated using this tool automatically get sorted as questions, prepositions, comparisons & alphabetical.
With their free plan, you can only perform up to three searches per day. However, their premium plan comes with unlimited searches each day & starts from $99 per month.
Visit AnswerThePublic & enter your niche in the search bar & hit enter. After you do that it will show all the keywords in a visually appealing form.
Have a look at the keyword ideas I have found for “fat loss“.
Isn’t it amazing?
This is how you can have plenty of keyword ideas to write on. Well, keep reading we will also learn how to analyze a keyword in the same post.
Pricing: Free (3 searches per day), Premium plan starts at $99 per month with unlimited searches.
You might read articles on Wikipedia for a while without knowing that you can use it to find amazing keyword ideas.
Simply visit Wikipedia & search for your target niche. Let’s try the stock market as our niche.
So what we have to do is to search for the stock market on Wikipedia.
Have a look at what I have found.
Yes, Wikipedia’s table of content. It consists of a number of long-tail keywords. You can use these keywords for writing your blog posts.
7. LSI Graph
LSI stands for latent semantic indexing. It is a method used by search engines to compare the relationship between various keywords. LSI keywords are such phrases that are closely related to your main keyword.
LSI Graph is a free tool that you can use to generate those keywords.
In order to do that, visit LSI Graph & enter your niche in the search box & hit enter. As soon as you do that, it will scan all the LSI keywords & generate a list.
Have a look at the results for my search on fat loss.
What I love about this tool is it shows Search volume, competition & cost per click for each keyword.
Part 2: Analyze the Keyword
We have used several tools to find awesome keywords but just finding keywords is not enough. In this section, we will learn, how to analyze any specific keyword on the basis of various search metrics.
I am using Ahrefs for the same. If you are on a limited budget, you can go with Moz as they offer 3o day free trial.
In order to analyze any keyword, you just have to enter the keyword into the Ahrefs keyword explorer. Let’s say I want to analyze the keyword “how to become an investor” & my targeted country is the United States.
Pay close attention to all the boxes with a red border. These are some of the most important things to consider while analyzing any keyword.
- As we can see, for the keyword “how to become an investor”, the keyword difficulty is 12 which is medium. Also, it shows how many backlinks we need to rank in the top 10 SERP positions.
- The monthly search volume of my selected country “USA” is 900 which means on average, 900 people search this keyword within a month.
- Clicks represent the number of people click on results in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Page).
- Global Volume is the total monthly searches a keyword receives from all countries.
If you scroll the Ahrefs Overview page, you will find some more important pieces of information. Have a look!
Here you will find some of the top keywords having the same terms, similar questions, other keywords for which the same keywords can rank & some newly discovered keywords too.
I suggest you, to include these keywords in your article/blog posts as subheadings or in normal paragraphs for better on-page optimization.
Another section gives complete information regarding the top 10 results in SERPs.
It tells us why a website is ranking on the first position.
As you can see the first result in the SERP have Ahrefs Rank (AR) of 2.1K, domain rank (DR) of 88 & URL rating (UR) of 14.
Along with that it also has 3 backlinks referred by three different domains. Using this result you can compare two pages on the SERP which can help you make extraordinary content & do better SEO.
This is how you can use various metrics used to analyze a keyword.
Some Important Points regarding Keyword Difficulty
- If you are just starting a new blog, then I suggest you to, choose the keywords having Keyword difficulty less than 25. This is why because keywords having lesser SEO difficulty can help you boost your website traffic from the very start.
- You should only work on highly competitive keywords if you have enough content on your website & gained some good authority.
In this complete guide, I have shared everything you should know about keyword research. Along with that, I have also shared some of the best tools & websites you can use to find awesome keyword ideas.
I suggest all newbie bloggers to, first go with keywords with SEO difficulty less than 25 & once you start getting traffic then you should slowly move up. Along with that, also submit your site to Google Search Console for better tracking of keywords.
I hope you love this post. Let me know your thoughts regarding keyword research in the comment section.
I’d love to grow my readership. Can you please help me out by sharing this blog post? I’d appreciate.
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