How to Do Keyword Research in 6 Steps: A Beginner’s Guide

SEO
By Julie Snow | January 13, 2022 | 5 min read

Keyword research is one of the most important tasks for any SEO campaign because it allows you to see into the mind of your customer. When you find out what keywords your customers are searching for, you know what their needs are and what content you should create to satisfy those needs. 

The 6 Steps of Keyword Research

While this is not a comprehensive list, it’s a good starting point for how to research keywords and create content that will get in front of the right people. Below are the six steps for how to do keyword research for SEO. Following them will help you find insightful and valuable keywords to attract the perfect customers to your website.

To prove it, read some of our case studies. Big Leap helped: 

Step 1. Look at What Keywords You’re Already Ranking For

Maybe the easiest way to start your keyword research is to discover which keywords you already rank for. You can use a tool like Semrush’s Keyword Gap to enter your URL and get a report on all your ranking keywords. Then put these keywords into the Keyword Magic Tool to find other long tail keywords that are similar. Continue this process until you have a list that works for you.

Step 2. See What Keywords Your Competitors are Going After

Similar to the first step, look at your competitors keywords. Oftentimes, your competitors have done much of the legwork for you. You can quickly gain valuable insights by looking at the keywords your competitors are ranking for, or bidding on in Google Ads

To do this, use Semrush again, only this time use a competitor’s URL. This will give you a list of their keywords with rankings, competition, and volume. You can go further and use these keywords to plug into the Keyword Magic Tool in Semrush or Google’s Keyword Planner to find additional keywords that are relevant to your business.

Step 3. Use Google’s Autofill Suggestions and Related Keywords

Another way to research keywords is using Google search. You probably notice how Google will give you search suggestions when you begin entering something into the search bar. This gives insight into the product- or industry-related topics people are searching for. Use these keywords and related keywords to create content people want to read.

At the bottom of a search page, you can see additional searches that have been made. This is a great keyword research tip to help you find original search terms.

Step 4. Find Keywords That Are Location-Specific

The next step to take when learning how to do keyword research is using the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool to find location-specific keywords. Local Search is critical and an essential part of keyword research. 

In Keyword Planner:

  1. Choose “Get search volume and forecasts.”
  2. Paste in your keywords and services.
  3. Change the location to your local service area.

Step 4. Look at Forums Related to Your Industry

Forums are a great place to do keyword research. Many different sites, including Reddit and Quora, will have forums related to your topic. You can learn the questions people are asking and the terms and phrases your target audience is using.

Step 5. Decide Where to Put Your Keywords

Once you have keywords and are ready to put them into your content, here’s something to keep in mind—there is such a thing as too many keywords. How many keywords is too many? In short, proper keyword density is around two to five percent of the total words in an article. That means you should use less than 50 keywords for a 1,000-word piece.  

Now, where should you place those keywords? Have your main keyword in the article’s title and at least one subheading. The rest should be sprinkled throughout. Additionally, drop a keyword in your image’s alt text. 

Just for fun, can you spot the main keyword phrase we used in this article? 

Step 6. Track Your Keywords and Adjust Accordingly

After you find and use keywords, your work isn’t done. The ongoing reviewing and refining of your keywords is necessary to track their status, progress, and success. Here are the metrics you’ll be keeping an eye on:

  • Status: This shows if your keywords are running.
  • CTR (Clickthrough Rate): This shows low-performing keywords (those scoring lower than 1%). Remove them or refine them to be more specific and targeted.
  • Quality Score: This is how Google assesses the quality and relevance of your keywords. 

Hand Over Keyword Research

After learning what keyword research is and how to do it, maybe you feel the effort may not be worth it. Let us assure you—it is! The payoff is well worth the investment of time and money to do proper SEO keyword research because, without it, your business is likely to flail. Meanwhile, your competitors are making the effort and will surpass your sales in no time. 

Still, if you want help, hand it over. Big Leap has over a decade of experience in keyword research (among other digital marketing services), and we can do it all for you in no time.

Hand over your SEO keyword research to Big Leap!

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