Keyword Research – The Ultimate SEO Guide

Every digital marketing campaign depends on trend and keyword research. It applies dispate if it is organic or keyword paid campaign. It helps us find our potential audience’s interests and gives us a chance to rank on those keywords. 

It is a regular process that helps us make our decisions and plan the content accordingly.

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This article will explain what a keyword is, the basics of keyword research, tools available for keyword research, and the tips for effective keyword research.

What is a keyword?

A keyword is a term consisting of single or multiple words. It shows the intent of your content. Mostly, an article is based on a single keyword. Furthermore, it is the search term that we want to rank with our content in search engines. Once it is ranked, we can get the type of visitors we want. 

For example, if we want to sell mobile covers, we will rank our website on keywords like “buy mobile cover.”

Types of keywords

A keyword shows the search intent of the users. Based on the search intent, there six types of keywords.

  1. Short tail keywords

Short-tail keywords consist of 1-3 words. These keywords are also known as head terms or theme keywords. Usually, these keywords do not have the words showing search intent. These keywords have high search volume. However, they are super competitive.

For example, “mobile phone” is a short tail keyword. It does not show whether the user is looking to read about new mobile phones, guides or wants to buy a mobile phone.

2. Long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are those keywords that consist of more than three words. These keywords have low search volume but are easier to rank. Moreover, long-tail keywords mostly show the search intent.

A research found that about 70% of all search engine traffic comes from long-tail keywords.

For example, “Buy mobile phone in New York” is a long-tail keyword. It shows that the user is interested in buying a mobile phone.

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3. Product defining keywords

These keywords describe the products. They show what an average user types when he wants to search that product. Furthermore, product defining keywords are broad, have less search volume, and are easier to rank.

For example, “Apple iPhone 12 pro” shows that the user is interested in only a specific Apple phone model.

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4. Customer defining keywords

These keywords define a portion of the audience. Customers usually use these keywords to express themselves. These keywords have low search volume, high search intent, and high conversion rates.

For example, “Best iPhone model for females.”

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5. Local keywords

Local keywords or geo-targeted keywords are targeted for users in a specific locality. It can be the country, state, city, or neighborhood. Mostly, local businesses use these keywords. These keywords have a high conversion rate, low search volume, and high intent.

80% of customers want the search ads customized to their city or zip code.

For example, “Best mobile phone store in Miami” depicts that the user is interested in a mobile phone store located in Miami only.

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6. LSI keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are keywords related to the main keywords. These keywords have low search volume and competition. However, they help in content creation and are also a reportedly ranking factor.

For example, when our topic is a mobile phone price, we can use the keywords like Mobile phone cost, Mobile phone price in USA,  cellphone price, etc. 

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Keyword research

It involves different factors that we use to find the search terms that different users type to find information, products, services, or answer to their questions.

Keyword research process

A keyword research process involves different tools and methods to find, arrange, and use the keywords. Following are some basic steps of the keyword research process;

  1. Find the seed words

Seed words determine the basic content theme of your website. You need to find the seed words to identify the type of users that might be interested in your business. You can use your experience as a search engine user to make a list of those words. Furthermore, you can use PPC data, your competitor’s data, or the Google search suggestions. 

This process is also known as niche research.

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Expand your list

Once you have found the seed words, you can use the tools like keyword planner, Moz, Semrush, or Ubersuggest to find all the keywords which revolve around the seed words.

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Arrange the list.

After finding all the required keywords, you need to analyze and prioritize the keywords in your list. You can choose the most important keywords and ignore those not highly related to your business. You can make categories of the keywords. It will help you write content perfectly. 

For example, you can separate the keyword you want to use for the product pages and the blog section.

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Build your web pages

Once you have finalized the keywords, you need to curate content and insert them into your content. Finally, don’t forget to optimize the keyword ratio in your content.

Keep an eye on trends.

 The search terms change over time. For example, the keywords which you searched in 2010 will no longer work for you in 2021. You need to be aware of the recent trends and update the list accordingly. 

Terms used in keyword research

Every keyword research tool has different terms assigned to different factors used in keyword research. However, the overall concept is the same. Following are some terms that we commonly use in keyword research;

  1. Keyword difficulty (KD)

KD shows how difficult it is to rank the given keyword. It depends upon different factors like the type of keyword and the number of related web pages already built on the given keyword.

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  1. Search volume

Search volume (SV) tells us the monthly or annual searches of the given keyword. Mostly, the shorts-tail keywords have high search volume as compared to the long-tail keywords.

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  1. Trend

It shows whether the given keyword searches are increasing, decreasing, or are stable with the passage of time. It gives us an overall idea of whether our keywords will be searched in the coming days/months/years or not.

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  1. Cost Per Click

Cost Per Click (CPC) shows what advertisers pay for each click to drive traffic on the given keywords. If we want to monetize our website with ads like Adsense, it also gives us an idea of our earnings.

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  1. Click-Through Rate

Click-Through Rate (CTR) tells us the percentage of the people who click on the given topic once they find it in search results.

  1. Search Engine Results Page

SERP (Search Engine Results Page) depicts the number of ranking websites on the given keywords in the search results.

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Tips for an effective keyword research

Go for long-tail keywords first.

As a beginner, it’s difficult to beat all those websites which have built their authority over time. Once a website has gained some authority, it focuses on ranking for the short-tail keywords because they bring a lot of traffic.

You can take advantage and start targeting the long-tail keywords first. Once long-tail keywords start ranking, short-tails start to rank automatically.

Bonus Tip: If you run an online business, you can create a blog section on your website. Then, you can target the informational keywords related to your products. Furthermore, you can link the informational pages with the product page to boost your traffic.

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Do not ignore the Keyword Difficulty.

As already explained, KD is a combination of different factors. As a beginner, we should focus on the keywords having difficulty levels less than 30. It will give us a chance to start ranking immediately. 

However, the problem is every keyword research tool has a different algorithm to show the difficulty level. We can solve this problem by analyzing the search results. Here is a complete procedure to determine the KD of a keyword manually;

  • Type the keyword in Google search
  • Go to settings and select to display the top 10 results only.
  • Analyze the top 10 search results. If there are low authority websites, irrelevant websites, or social media websites, you can target this keyword.
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Target keywords with high search volume

Keyword research is all about finding the perfect keyword. While we look for low competition, we can’t ignore the search volume. For example, if we target a keyword with 0 or significantly less search volume, it means we won’t be able to get much traffic even after ranking in the top 10.

There isn’t any tool that can tell us the exact search volume. Google Keyword planner is made for those who want to advertise. Also, it doesn’t show the precise search volume. It only gives us an idea by showing values like 0-100, 100-1000, etc. However, we can take advantage of it and get an idea of the search volume. 

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Keep an eye on Google trends.

The trend shows whether the given keyword searches are increasing or decreasing with the passage of time. Good keyword research involves properly analyzing the trends.

A keyword with decreasing trend means we should not expect much traffic even after ranking. Always select the keywords having stable or increasing trends.

  • Go to
  • Select the country or state you want to target.
  • Enter the keyword.
  • It will show you a complete graph. You can change the duration and analyze the trend of at least the past five years.
  • You can also compare the trend of different keywords in Google trends.
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Keep the search intent in mind.

Good keyword research does not ignore the intent, as search intent is everything. If we ignore the search intent, we won’t be able to drive the traffic that converts. It also results in a low click-through rate.

If you want to sell something, search the product-related keywords. If you’re going to give information related to something, search for informational keywords. Furthermore, if you want to review something, use only the keywords intended to provide a review.  

If you are running a local business, use the keywords that describe your business in the given locality. Remember to include the keywords related to voice search as voice searches are increasing day by day.


Do not ignore LSI keywords.

As discussed earlier, LSI keywords can help you diversify the content. These keywords also help us avoid keyword stuffing. Furthermore, it increases the readability score. In fact, LSI keywords are also a ranking factor nowadays.

Everyday, there are 15% new searches.

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The bigger advantage that the LSI keywords offer is that we can rank our website on these keywords. Usually, the normal keywords are difficult to rank; the LSI keyword can help us achieve top rankings. However, these keywords won’t bring us much traffic. Nevertheless, once combined, they can result in a lot of traffic. 

Once a page is ranked for some keywords, the search engine bots start to pick the other content keywords. Hence our main keywords also begin to appear in the search results.

You can use the “People also search” or “People also ask” section to get an idea of LSI keywords in the search results.

LSIGraph is a free tool that can help you find all the LSI keywords easily.

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Use the on-site search function.

Sometimes, it becomes really difficult to find out what customers are looking for. Moreover, many business owners struggle to expand the website content because there are no more keywords left. 

That’s where the on-site search function can help us in the keyword research process. 

If you haven’t already, place the search widget on your website. Go to Google analytics and enable the site search option. Once you enable this function, you can see the terms searched by users on your website. You can build content exactly on those search terms or use the related ones to expand the content. 

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Keep an eye on competitors.

When nothing works, you need to think out of the box. That’s where the competitor analysis comes into play. Mostly, keyword research tools like Semrush, Moz, and Ahrefs offer the ability to search the keywords competitors are using. You can even see the traffic they are getting from those keywords.

All you have to do is to insert the competitor’s link, and they will do the job for you.

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We explained the keywords types, keyword research process, and some tips to make the keyword research process effective. Remember that good keyword research is the fundamental aspect of SEO. It’s the beginning of establishing your authority over the internet world. If you fail to do it correctly, you won’t be able to achieve what you are looking for.

Remember, good keyword research gives us the keywords that describe our business and have some search intent. 

 Keyword research is a continuous process. Once you start to ignore it, you will find your competitors ranking above you.

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