How To Do Keyword Research for SEO and Beyond

Avatar for Vaiva Zdanoviciute
How To Do Keyword Research for SEO and Beyond

We all know keywords are crucial for showing up in search results, but they’re not just for that. They’re like your toolkit for creating great content, understanding your audience, and optimizing your social media. Here’s the deal— not every keyword is your best fit, and not every question about your niche is a big deal. That’s why you need to get the hang of keyword research. It’s like finding the gems in the digital haystack. This post is your guide to doing just that. You’ll learn how websites use keywords and get the lowdown on effective keyword research. Ready to dive in?

The Benefits of Keyword Research

1. Understanding Your Audience

Think of keyword research as a way to figure out what your audience is searching for. Knowing the terms they use gives you a peek into who they are and what they want in a product or service.

These insights are gold—they help you focus on your target audience and create different personas based on what they’re into. Plus, you’ll get the lowdown on how to meet their needs better. It’s like having a cheat code for understanding and connecting with your audience.

2. New Ideas for Content

Keyword research isn’t just about search rankings; it’s like a treasure map for discovering what topics people are into in your industry. Once you know that, you can create content that grabs their attention and meets their needs, making your content strategy rock solid.

For instance, if you check out the top search results for “e-commerce trends,” you’ll get a sense of what’s popular in the industry. We’ll dive deeper into using Google search results for research later, but even the suggested questions show you what info most people are after. Combine these insights, and you have a toolkit for brainstorming content that clicks with your audience. 

3. Easier to Measure Brand Sentiment

When you research your brand’s keywords, you’ll uncover the common terms people use to search for information about your brand.

Moreover, these branded keywords can be used for social media searches to see what people say about your brand. These search results can give you a sense of how people feel about your brand.

4. Keep an Eye on Your Competitors

Just like you check out branded keywords for your brand, you can do the same for your competitors. It’s a great way to see the keywords they rank for, what people are talking about them, and more. Keyword research can give you detailed insights into where they stand and how you stack up against them.

How to Do Keyword Research

Now that you understand the importance of keywords let’s explore how to do keyword research not just for SEO but also for social media posts, blogs, and more. While there might be slight variations in how you approach keyword research for different marketing strategies and channels, the core steps are pretty much the same. Let’s explore the fundamental steps for conducting keyword research:

1. Create a List of Relevant Topics

Begin by writing down a rough list of topics related to your business. What comes to mind when you think about your business or industry? For example, if you’re in the e-commerce business, your topics could include:

  • Online shopping
  • Product listings
  • Customer reviews
  • E-commerce platforms
  • Payment gateways

Remember, these are broad topics to kickstart the process of identifying more specific keywords later on.

2. Find Keyword Recommendations from Google

Then, enhance your keyword list by entering those topics into Google and listing down the suggested keywords

3. Explore Related Searches

Expand your list with additional keywords by checking the “searches related to…” section at the page’s bottom. This section displays popular keywords closely associated with your search term. This is a great keyword research trick that helps you come up with ideas for interesting content by pointing you to other terms that people are using and finding relevant to your content.

4. Filter Your Keyword List

While you may have an idea that these keywords are popular and relevant, you lack quantitative data to confirm this. It’s time to refine your list to focus on keywords that are likely to yield results. This step involves using keyword research tools such as the Google Keyword Planner. Also, note that an AdWords account is necessary to access this tool.

After you enter the keywords from your list, the tool will estimate each keyword’s search volume and traffic. You’ll learn how many clicks and impressions each search keyword is expected to receive. You can also see the average monthly searches and level of competition for each term in the “Keyword Ideas” section. This data, which gives you an estimate of the size of the possible audience for a keyword, is essential for organic SEO operations. By combining this data, you want to target keywords with medium to low competition and a high average monthly search volume, impressions, and clicks. This usually brings the SEO keyword research process to its conclusion.

Additional considerations such as cost and CPC come into play for PPC campaigns. You may observe that keywords with high clicks and impressions incur higher costs. The goal is to select keywords within your advertising budget that can still generate enough clicks. Sometimes, this involves targeting a more specific term or a niche audience, potentially attracting more motivated converting customers than a broader term with a high volume.

Useful Keyword Research Tools

There are numerous more keyword research tools available on the market in addition to Google’s Keyword Planner service. While some of these tools are more user-friendly than others, some provide more comprehensive data. Some keyword research tools can also help you find keywords for different aspects of your marketing plan, such as content and social media marketing. Here are some notable choices:

1. stands out as an excellent alternative to the Google Keyword Planner. It has powerful search features that efficiently organize your searches by channel. This positions it as a versatile tool for comprehensive keyword research, whether it’s for SEO, PPC, e-commerce optimization, or social media. This tool enables keyword research across major search platforms like Google and Bing. It provides valuable insights, including search volume, search trends, competition level, and CPC for each keyword. Utilize this resource to conduct keyword research for both your SEO and PPC campaigns. 

You can also identify popular Instagram and Twitter keywords to enhance the visibility of your social posts. The YouTube keyword search feature proves valuable for crafting video titles that stand out in YouTube searches.

In addition to these capabilities, provides Amazon and eBay search features tailored for e-commerce marketers. It also includes a Play Store search feature for app store optimization.

The Pro version of the tool goes a step further by presenting the most frequently asked questions related to your chosen keyword. This feature is particularly beneficial for bloggers looking to master keyword research, helping generate topic ideas and long-tail keyword suggestions.

2. Moz Keyword Explore

Moz Keyword Explore stands out as one of the most comprehensive free tools for keyword research. Beyond offering insights into keyword performance, it provides suggestions and makes finding keywords that rank well easier. 

For each individual keyword search, you gain access to monthly search volume, difficulty level, organic CTR, and priority level—enabling you to pinpoint the best target keywords for your campaigns.

The ranking keywords discovery feature proves beneficial for competitor research. If you aim to discover keywords on a website to understand your competitors’ strategies, simply input their URL into the explorer. The tool provides a detailed list of keywords for which the site is ranking, along with information on their ranking position, difficulty level, and monthly search volume.

3. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo stands out as a prominent content research tool, versatile for both blog and social media keyword exploration. While it may not directly generate keyword ideas, it offers valuable insights to enhance your content strategy.

Perform a BuzzSumo search using one of the keywords from your list. This process helps with discovering top-performing content topics associated with that keyword. You can determine the topic’s popularity by examining the number of links, engagements, and social media shares. This information assists in pinpointing which keywords and topics to focus on for your blog and social media posts.

Additionally, consider the evergreen score, a useful factor for those learning how to conduct keyword research for a blog. This score provides insights into the long-term profitability of a topic, helping you make informed decisions on where to invest your time and effort.

4. Sprout Social

Sprout Social’s social media listening tool doubles as an effective keyword research solution. It enables you to construct listening queries, making uncovering relevant conversations about your brand and products simple. Beyond helping in brand listening efforts, it provides insights into trending topics you can engage with through relevant social posts.

The Trends Report further focuses in on the trending topics and hashtags relevant to your brand, competitors, and industry. These can serve as valuable keywords for your social posts, enhancing post visibility.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, keyword research extends beyond SEO or PPC; it can power various aspects of your marketing strategies, including content marketing and social media. Leverage these foundational keyword research tips and tools to construct more impactful marketing campaigns, improve your entire online presence, and create an emotional connection with your target audience.

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