How to Do Keyword Research - A Comprehensive Guide

How to Do Keyword Research: A Comprehensive Guide

A Comprehensive Guide To Keyword Research

This comprehensive guide will cover how to do keyword research to find powerful opportunities to help reach your target audience, grow your organic traffic and improve your SEO ranking.

Rest assured you will walk away knowing all the effective keyword research basics and keyword research best practices.

Keywords Are Relevant

We will also show you several keyword research tools that can help you at each point in the process.

To understand keyword research you need to know what a keyword is and what it does.

What is a Keyword?

A keyword is the phrase or word that consumers enter into search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing to find their relevant content.

Google Search

The goal of SEO  is to get your content to show up in the top results on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) for keywords that are relevant to your business.

If you do this correctly then you can increase your organic traffic and build brand awareness.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process marketers use to identify what phrases are popular and frequently searched for by their target audience.

It also helps them prioritise their keyword research strategy by understanding how difficult it will be for their site to rank for specific keywords.

Keyword research is an essential part of any paid or organic search marketing workflow.

And it also helps you really understand your target audience – their interests, needs, problems and questions.

A Comprehensive Keyword Research Process

Here are the steps we recommend following for a comprehensive keyword research strategy.

  1. Brainstorm seed keyword topics
    1. Getting Specific
    2. Seed keywords via Keyword Explorer
    3. Seed keywords via Google Search Console
    4. Seed keywords for new sites and topics
  2. Define your goals
  3. Prepare for your keyword analysis
    1. What are the different types of keywords
    2. Who are your audience
    3. Be aware of your Competitive Power
    4. Look at keywords you already get traffic and rank for
  4. Know your share of voice for top industry keywords
    1. What Is Share Of Voice -SOV
    2. How To Calculate SOV
    3. What Can you Measure with SOV
  5. Create a keyword research template
  6. How to do keyword research
  7. Finding SEO keywords: How to do keyword research for SEO
    1. Find Competitor Keywords
      1. Social Mention
      2. Google Keyword Planner
      3. SEOBook
      4. Marketing Grader
      5. Google Alerts
    2. Find Keyword Gaps
      1. What is Keyword Gap
      2. How To Perform Keyword Gap Analysis
        1. Spyfu
        2. Ahrefs
      3. Semantics Analysis
    3. Find Buyer Keywords
      1. What Are Buyer Keyword
      2. Which of the above is buyer keywords
    4. Find Long Tail Keywords
      1. What Is Long Tail Keyword
    5. Find Low Competition Keywords
      1. Why are Low Competition Keywords Important
      2. How to Find Low Competition Keywords
        1. Find with Google Search Console
        2. Find with Ubersuggest
        3. Find with Ahrefs
        4. How To Find Low Competition With High Traffic Keywords
        5. Find another low competition keyword with High Traffic
    6. Find Related Keywords
      1. What Is Related Keywords
      2. How to Find Related Keywords?
        1. With Ubersuggest (Free)
        2. With Google Related Search (Free)
        3. Alexa Keyword Difficulty Tool ( Paid)
        4. Alexa Competitors Keyword Matrix (Paid)
      3. How To Use Related Keywords
        1. In Blog Posts
        2. As Inspiration For Other Content
        3. To Guide Your PPC Campaign
  8. How to do keyword research for Adwords
    1. Identify Competitors
    2. Find Paid Keyword Opportunities
  9. What to do with your keyword research
    1. Create Organic Keyword Strategy (SEO)
      1. Target the best organic keyword opportunities.
      2. Create content aligned to search intent.
      3. Optimise content for keywords
      4. Check for proper on-page SEO
      5. Check your overall site SEO
    2. Create Paid Keyword Strategy (SEM)
      1. Target the best paid keyword opportunities
      2. Optimise campaigns for quality scores
  10. Keyword issues To Avoid
    1. Keyword stuffing
    2. Keyword cannibalisation
    3. Skipping keyword research and optimisation
  11. Start your keyword research

How to Start Keyword Research

Start your keyword research with the right mind-set and keyword research tools.

These steps will help you set a good foundation for your keyword research process.

1. Brainstorm Seed Keyword Topics

Before beginning any keyword research process you need a starting point or several starting points. These are your seed keywords.

Your seed keywords are used to grow the list that will become your keyword research strategy.

When coming up with seed keywords you often start with your best guess.

Here are questions you can ask yourself to help you brainstorm:

  1. What is my website about?
  2. What do I sell?
  3. What keywords do I think I want to rank for?
  4. What keyword ads would I buy?
  5. If someone were just beginning to research the topic of my site what words would they use to start?

Write your answers down since you are going to use them soon.

Getting specific

It often helps to get specific keywords when choosing seed keywords.

If you run a motorcycle shop in Manchester you might think motorcycle would be a great keyword.

In reality it is so broad and so competitive that it would do you no good instead try being more specific.

Poor seed keyword
: motorcycle

Good seed keywords: motorcycle repair manuals, used motorcycle parts

Seed keywords for existing sites

If you have an existing website then a powerful place to find seed keywords is uncovering keyword phrases you already rank for.

These are phrases Google already finds relevant to your website and you are going to have an easier time ranking for phrases related to these seeds.

There are two quick ways to find seed keywords you already rank for.

1. Seed keywords via Keyword Explorer

One of the more powerful uses of Keyword Explorer is its ability to show you the ranking keywords for any website including your own.

  1. Navigate to the Ranking Keywords report
  2. Choose root domain or subdomain/exact URL depending on your needs.
  3. Enter your website or URL
  4. Select keywords ranking no:4-20 and adjust this based on your preferences
  5. By default the United States market is selected but Keyword Explorer also supports the UK, Canada and Australia
  6. Hit Analyse
Moz Keyword Explorer

When you get results the next part is very important: Sort the results by Monthly Volume from highest to lowest.

In this example your website sells motorcycle parts. Now we can select high-volume ranking seed keywords that are most relevant to the website.

Note that we selected keyword phrases ranking #4-20 which mean that we are filtering out keywords we already rank highly for.

It is fine to adjust this filter to any setting you want. By using this process we hope to find seed keywords:

  • with a good amount of search volume
  • that are relevant to our site
  • that we do not already rank highly for
Ranking Keywords By ....

In this case we found terrific seed words like motorcycle helmets. motorcycle jackets and bell helmets.

You want to ignore ranking keywords that may be irrelevant to your business such as Arai helmets assuming you do not sell them.

2. Seed keywords via Google Search Console

You can also find your ranking keywords in Google Search Console. Simply navigate to the Performance Report to view all your ranking queries.

Here are some top-ranking seed keywords for Moz.

Google Search Console

Note: Filter for Positions 1-10 and sort by impressions to find your most valuable seed keywords.

If you are building a new website and/or do not have any ranking keywords yet the see the next section.

Seed keywords for new sites and topics

If you are planning content for a brand new website or want to branch out into new topics on your website then you will be getting most of your data from third party sources.

Do not fear – this is a terrific place to start.

The easiest first step when gathering seed keywords for a new topic is simply to Google the specific keyword phrases that you want to rank for.

In this case we will search Google for motorcycle repair manuals.

Example of Google Search

If you can try to ignore large sites like Amazon, Ebay or Wikipedia that rank for everything and try to find sites that specifically focus on your keyword topic.

Next we will simply punch these sites into Keyword Explorer’s Ranking Keywords report. This report shows you all the keyword phrases the site or page ranks for.

Try looking at metrics for both the exact page and root domain to find the most helpful keywords.

To get the most out of this report it helps to limit results to keywords ranking in the top 1-10 and to sort your keywords by volume from high to low.

Example of Ranking Keywords

Using this technique we start to find some amazing keywords we might not have thought of otherwise like:

  • Haynes motorcycle manuals
  • Motorcycle repair manuals
  • Shop manuals
  • … and more

You will want to ignore most site-branded terms. For example if you were looking at Moz as a competitor then you do not want to try ranking for any branded keyword that contains Moz.

Be sure to export your seed phrases or record them in a spreadsheet.

As you perform keyword research you will come across hundreds of potential terms and phrases to use in your keyword research strategy.

An important part of learning how to do keyword research is knowing which keywords to choose and which to ignore.

Different keywords will drive different results. For example popular, broad keywords may have high search volumes and drive a lot of traffic.

Best-Digital Marketing Services - Define Your Goals

Alternatively less popular and more niche keywords may drive less traffic but more conversions.

Knowing your goals will help you determine which keywords to focus on.

A few examples of goals include:

  • Improving brand awareness
  • Driving more organic traffic
  • Attracting more leads or customers
  • Generating sales

To help you identify the terms that will produce the best results try to keep these keyword research tips in mind

As mentioned previously different types of keywords will drive different results based on the search intent of the user.

The types of keywords you should focus on will depend on the goals you defined.

For example if your primary goal is to drive new customer acquisition and sales then you might focus on creating product or service pages that target buyer keywords.

If your goal is to boost awareness among your audience then you might create a blogging strategy focused on long tail keywords that show educational intent.

To target the terms that your ideal customer uses and searches for you must know your audience. 

When you know their needs, questions and problems then you can target the terms that match the topics that matter most to them.

To help guide your keyword research – first create a buyer persona that outlines the characteristics, interests, demographics, values, goals, challenges, influences and buying habits of your ideal customer.

Target Customer Buyer Persona

When performing keyword research you want to target terms that you have the best chance of ranking for.

Most keyword research tools include a competition score for search terms that shows how difficult it is to rank for them.

You want to target terms that have a competition level you can compete at.  

Keyword Explorer’s Ranking Keywords metric shows what level of keyword competition you are most likely to rank for based on the past performance of your website in organic search.

When a website has a high score then it will be more likely to rank for high competition keywords.

Knowing your Competitive Power is useful because it will guide you toward terms you can rank for and away from terms that have too much competition.

That way you spend time and resources creating content that will give you the highest return on investment – ROI. 

To find your Competitive Power you can use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool. This keyword research tool assigns a Competitive Power score for your site based on its past performance, and indicates on the keyword results list if your site is authoritative enough to compete for the search term.

Alexa's Keyword Difficulty Tool

d. Look at keywords you already get traffic and rank for

You do not want to add keywords to your strategy if they are already working for you. 

Research and find what terms you are already ranking for and which phrases are already driving traffic to your site to avoid keyword cannibalisation.

To find out which keywords already drive traffic to your site use Wordtracker keyword research tool.

Enter your keywords that are sending the most traffic to the main sites for that relevant key word.


Another way to find what terms you already rank for and how well you rank is to use Google Search Console.

Once your site is set up on Google Search Console – go to the performance page and select to show average position for the queries in the list.

The report shows which search terms are driving traffic to your site (queries) and where your site ranks for each term (position) on Google search results pages.

Example of Google Search Console

Share of voice (SOV) is a measure of the market your brand owns compared to your competitors.

It acts as a gauge for your brand visibility and how much you dominate the conversation in your industry.

The more market share you have the greater popularity and authority you likely have among users and prospective customers.

Share Of Voice -SOV

It has a broader definition that can include various elements of digital marketing and advertising, including mentions on social media and traffic for certain keywords.

By knowing your SOV – your brand has a better understanding of the challenges and your current position in the market, giving you more insight into how to achieve growth and captivate users.

This can be useful when deciding whether to focus on improving performance for existing keywords.

Divide a target metric that represents your brand by the total in your market or industry. Multiply that number by 100 to get your percentage of market share for that particular metric.

For example if your branded hashtags appear 40 times compared to 60 times for the whole market then you have around (40/60) x 100 =67% of SOV which means that you  are establishing yourself as the leader in your field.

Examples of metrics to calculate for SOV include:

  • Organic keywords
  • Pay per click (PPC) keywords
  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Revenue
  • Mentions
  • Hashtags

5. Create a keyword research template

As you go through the keyword research process always use a keyword research template to organise your findings, plan your future content creation and track performance.

Keep a track and document all viable keywords, performance metrics and contents that are created for each keyword to organise your work and results.

Air Table

Here is an example keyword research template we created using AirTable. It gives you a sample of the basic information we like to keep track of in our own keyword research and content planning.

6. How to Do Keyword Research

Finding keywords for Search Engine Optimisation – SEO is not exactly the same as finding keywords for Search Engine Marketing -SEM.

The processes are slightly different and the intent and goals of the keywords are not the same.

Best-Digital Marketing Services keyword research

It is important to know how to do keyword research effectively for both organic SEO and paid SEM campaigns.

Use these keyword research tools and tips to find valuable keywords for driving both organic and paid traffic.

7. Finding SEO Keywords: How to Do Keyword Research for SEO

Use these ideas to find keywords for your organic SEO strategy.

a. Find Competitor Keywords

Competitor keywords are the search terms and phrases driving traffic to sites that compete with you, share the same audience as you or publish content relevant to your industry and audience.

When you research competitor keywords you can identify the terms that already attract your target audience and leverage them for wider reach.

To find competitor keywords – first identify industry leaders who are excelling in search and then research their sites to see what keywords are driving traffic to them.

Note: There is more to learn from the leaders in your space than from direct competitors.

It is important to first research who is successful in SEO rather than assuming your business competitors are successful and worth emulating.

Identifying leaders can help you understand what it takes to succeed in search.

To identify competitors who share your audience you can use a few free keyword research tools.

Enter their website and start looking at your competitors. The report shows sites that might not be direct competitors but share an audience with you.

These sites and their keywords can help you find topics and keywords that attract your target audience.

This tool has lots of cool features that focus on blogs, video and social media cool stuff.

You enter in a search term either a keyword or a company and the tool will tell you what is being said about that term across blogs and social platforms.

You can see how many times and how often it is mentioned and you can even subscribe to an RSS feed for that term so you never miss a beat.

Social Mention

Best ways to use this tool:

  • Monitor and track keyword mentions
  • Monitor company mentions
  • Cross-analyse what is being said across different social networks

Price: Free

Formerly the Google Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator – now this tool seems to have it all.

Although it does not focus specifically on competitor analysis and more on your own website, finding competitor data is one feature of the tool. Because it is from Google and it is considered one of the best out there.

Google Keyword Planner

Best ways to use this tool:

  • Find competitor keyword data – paid and organic.
  • Monitor your own website as well as those of your competitors

Price: You need to sign up for a free AdWords account to access the tool.

This is a really cool tool because you can place it right on your site and then get information about your competitors all in one place.

In other words it is more of a gadget than a tool which means that it is a little button you can use to find information using another competitive analysis tool which the installation will give you.


Best ways to use this tool:

  • Place the tool on your site for easy access
  • Gather information on your competitors in one place
  • Use it in conjunction with another tool of your choice

Price: Free

This is a cool tool because it gives each of your competitors an overall score based on social media activity, blogging success, SEO, and lead generation.

It is fun to see if their score fluctuates and then to notice if your score does the same.

Marketing Grader

Best ways to use this tool:

  • Monitor social activity of competitors
  • Monitor blogging and SEO success of competitors
  • Monitor lead generation success of competitors

Price: Free from HubSpot

This is a very simple and easy to use tool that will send reports right to your inbox.

If you want to know every single time your competitor is mentioned online, whether as a link or simply a mention then you will get that report.

You can monitor keywords as well and it is up to you what you want to track it.

Google Alerts

Best ways to use this tool:

  • Get competitors’ backlinks
  • Monitor social or other website mentions of your company
  • Monitor keyword mentions

Price: Free

Once you know the SEO leaders in your industry then you can research their keywords in the following ways:

  1. Research top keywords for a single competitor showing what keywords are driving traffic to that site plus other details such as their keyword share of voice, the percent of their search traffic that comes from each keyword and more.
  2. Find and combine the keywords for a set of industry leaders showing the top keywords driving traffic to that group of sites. The set of results can be filtered by various metrics depending on your goals and the types of keywords you want to find.

Keyword gaps are terms and phrases that drive traffic to your competitors but not to your site.

Keyword gap offers a side by side comparison between keyword profiles of up to five competitors.

 All you have to do is enter the domains and choose the types of keyword rankings whether it is organic, paid or PLA keywords to analyse.

The report will then show you all of the top opportunities for each site, total keyword overlap, common keywords shared by all sites and more.

This information is super beneficial to planning an SEO campaign as you can see exactly where the best opportunities lie in your niche. 

  • Instant SEO competitive analysis between you and your top competitors
  • See the unique keywords your competitor is ranking for that you are not
  • Organic, Paid and PLA (Google Shopping) analysis
  • Visual charts of keyword overlap between sites
  • Ability to compare mobile as well as desktop keywords
  • Ability to compare subdomains, subfolders and URLs which is available on many paid keyword tools platforms.

This type of analysis is available through any SEO platform these days.

Our two favourite ones are –

Spyfu offers an easy and quick way to find your keyword gaps. All you need is to enter your domain.

The tool will identify your organic or paid competitors and generate the list of keywords that you are missing.

In Spyfu the feature is called Kombat and it allows to research your keyword gaps based on the following intersections:

  • Keyword universe: Keywords unique to any of the entered domains
  • Weakness: Keywords both of your competitors are ranking, but you are not.
  • Exclusive keywords: Keywords that are unique to your domain (your competitors’ keyword gap).


The detailed view will let you see and export all your missing keywords together with their search volume and keyword difficulty that takes into account various factors like title optimisation, quality of backlinks pointing to the page and much more.

What we love about Spyfu’s tool is that it allows you to find keyword gaps for both organic and paid keywords.

Ahrefs’s content gap tool works similarly to Spyfu’s. What  is different about Ahrefs is that it helps you research a section of your site not just your domain or URL.

We find it pretty handy when looking closer at specific part of the site and identifying higher-level gaps.

Arhefs Content Gap Tool


For example if you were to analyse a flower shop using Ahrefs – you would be able to investigate keyword gaps for its /special-offers/ section including all URLs that are included into that section.

This is a very handy option to have especially if you are dealing with a large and/or multi-category site.

Unlike Spyfu and Ahrefs – Text Optimizer does not look at your specific competitors.

Instead it:

  1. Takes your search query
  2. Performs a search for it in Google or Bing
  3. Grabs search snippets those returned
  4. Applies semantic analysis to identify underlying concepts and entities
  5. Reads your content and identifies related concepts you failed to include in your copy.
Text Optimizer

There is no need to include ALL the suggestions in your content. But the more you include, the closer the gap between your page and its organic competitors will be.

We also like this tool because it pushes you to create longer, better-researched copy.

Buyer keywords are the phrases people use in search engines when they are searching to buy a product or service.

The intent behind buyer keywords shows that the searcher is actively in the buying cycle and is already aware of their need and seriously considering the solution they want.

So why should you care about buyer keywords? And how do you find them?

Before we answer these questions – it helps to understand how buyer keywords fit within the whole buying process and how people use search engines to move through that process.

The Buying Process & Search Keyword

The buying process for just about any product or service can be simplified into a set of stages.

Here are the stages we like to consider. You may see it differently but the purchase process stages are similar elsewhere.

  • Pain / Issue Awareness – This is where you recognise that you have a need for something. For example you might realise that your running shoes are causing some pain in your heels.
  • Research / Information-gathering – In this phase you do some general research related to your issue and possible solutions.

You may do some research to find out more about the pain in your heel from running, what kind of shoes prevent that and what doctors are recommending.

Example search phrases could be things like shoes to prevent foot pain, best cushion running shoes and things like that.

You are trying to quickly gather information about the issue and possible solutions. You will start to find some shoes that may help you with your problem. You may also find other things like inserts or other solutions.

You may even have found that some shoe manufacturers have created content like blog posts, videos, etc that talk about the issues you are facing.

This educational content is part of a content marketing strategy on their part.

  • Comparison / Narrowing – After researching the previous phase – say you have found a few shoe models that are focused on addressing the problem you are facing.

In this phase you will start to compare the quality, reviews, features and look of various brands and models of shoes that you have found.

You may enter things like Nike abc vs. ASIC xyz shoes into your favourite search engine.

The goal is to find out which model has the quality and features that you appreciate the most.

  • Risk-reduction / Buying – Once you know which model to shop for –  you are about ready to buy.

Now you want to find a store or vendor that you can trust. You want to find a good price and also reasonable terms such as a return policy or warranty.

If you want to buy it locally then you may search for things such as Nike abc London or Running shoe store London.

If you are price-conscious and can wait for shipping then you may enter things like Nike abc best price or Nike abc discount.

In the funnel phases above the buyer keywords are clearly those in no: 4 the Risk-reduction / Buying Stage.

In addition many of the comparison keywords from phase no: 3 are used at the same time as the buyer searches so you can lump many of those in as buyer keywords as well.

So in our shoe example the following would be considered buyer keywords—phrases used right when the searcher is ready to buy:

  • Nike abc vs. ASIC xyz – if I find the right comparison on your site as well as pricing and a buy button that may be enough for me to commit to a purchase.
  • Running shoe store London – I am looking for a place to buy shoes. Today.
  • Nike abc discount – if I find you online and you have a sale or coupon –  I am buying.

d. Find long-tail keywords

What is long -tail keyword?

Long tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which are very, very specific to whatever you are selling.

Whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy.

In every case, such very specific searches are far more likely to convert to sales than general generic searches that tend to be geared more toward the type of research that consumers typically do prior to making a buying decision.

Here are some examples of good long-tail keywords in the fitness niche:

examples of Long Tail keywords

If consumers have not made up their mind to purchase then they will be searching for informational keywords.

A few examples would be:

  • how to lose weight workouts
  • search engine optimisation tips
  • make money online with no money
  • make money on the internet free
  • free e-book download
  • top 10 free plugins for WordPress

However when consumers are ready to purchase then they would be using keywords of commercial intent.


  • survival knife review
  • buy fire TV
  • weight loss programs

Commercial keywords usually contain certain prefixes or words that appear before or suffixes or words that appear after which modify or qualify the long tail keywords.

Long Tail keywords - explained

Small business owners would do well to learn the buy words. Here are some of the popular ones:

  • Buy
  • Review
  • Purchase
  • Discount
  • Coupon
  • Deal
  • Shipping
  • Order

You will usually find both informational and commercial intent keywords in your research.

With consistency you can improve your search ranking by targeting the keywords with useful and detailed content.

Here are a few examples:

example of informational and Commercial keywords

e. Find low competition keywords

Low competition keywords that are within your competitive power are search phrases that you are likely to rank for.

They are low-hanging fruit opportunities you can create content about to help generate organic traffic.

Why are low competition keywords important?

We work with many websites that do not have a lot of domain authority (DA) so they struggle in the search rankings for highly competitive, short tail keywords.

The competition is simply too tough and the top websites have huge domain authority and many links point to their page about different topics.

How to find low competition keywords?

You will need at least one of these SEO tools.

We will look at each of them in the following:

Find low competition keyword with Google Search Console

Google Search Console provides some great insights into your pages that rank in Google’ search results and the keywords, position and clicks you receive.

You will need a ranking website and existing Search Console with a few months of data to use this approach.

Go to Google Search Console

Next to Performance click Open Report

Google Search Console - Open Report

Last 28 days from the date filter

Google Search Console - Last 28 Days

Ensure the clicks, impressions, CTR and average position boxes are all selected and highlighted then press pages.

Google Search Console - Tick Relevenat Fields

Scroll through your pages until you find a page with a high number of impressions and few clicks.

Click on URL

Click the URL then queries then sort by impressions.

Google Search Console - Sort by queries and impressions

You will need the page to display multiple queries for this approach to work.

Look at the long-tail keyword we have highlighted

  • how to find low competition keywords with high traffic
  • 109 impressions
  • position 63
  • no clicks

then this long-tail keyword

  • low competition keywords with high traffic
  • 58 impressions
  • position 67

As mentioned previously we get 62 high converting clicks from a query with 156 impressions.

GSC - comparison

So 2 queries with the same number of queries represents similar opportunities.

We are ranking for these queries but the page does not answer the user intent very well hence the positions 67 and 63.

GSC - Final Step

So if we improve the page with more relevant content to better match the search intent or better answer than page then hopefully we will have a better chance to earn clicks.

This is from what we call a low competition high traffic opportunity.

How to find low competition keywords with Ubersuggest

Go to Ubersuggest

Enter a seed or root keyword in the search box, select your country and hit search


Select view all keywords.

Ubersuggest - view all keywords

Click the filter button and enter 5 in the max box of SEO Difficulty and press apply.

Ubersuggest -Click Filter and enter 5

The lower the number the lower in the SEO difficulty box should give you the lowest competition.

Look down this list of low search difficulty keywords.

Ubersuggest - Look for low search difficulty keywords

Obviously the monthly search volume will be low.

Just bear in mind the keyword ubersuggest vs ahrefs shows 0 searches a month in both – Ahrefs and Ubersuggest yet our page get 62 clicks per month.

Click the arrow next to the keyword.

Ubersuggest -Click Arrow next to keyword

Then on the right side of the screen look at the SERP (search engine ranking results).

Your best chance of ranking is to find pages in the top results that have clicks, do not have many links to their web page and their Domain Score (DS) are not really high.

Ubersuggest - Keyword Overview

SEO high competition keywords in the image above would be harder to rank for than best keywords for web design company.

The latter have less links pointing to the top 10 results.

Ubersuggest - best keyword for web design company

low competition keywords with Ahrefs

With an Ahrefs subscription you have the best keyword research tool and access to more search and click volume data.

When you say low competition what you really mean is low keyword difficulty.

You want to find keywords that are easy to rank on page 1.

Ahrefs measure low keyword difficulty based on the number of page links to the top ranking pages.

So KD of 5 means your page would need around 5 links to break into page 1.

It is a good measurement when doing keyword research.

But in reality we rank at number one for a local advertising query with 4 page links for a keyword with 43 keyword difficulty score.

Ahrefs Keyword Research Tool

It is easy to find more low difficulty keywords with Ahrefs than Ubersuggest and here is how:

  • Go to Ahrefs keyword explorer
  • Enter a seed keyword eg: sofa
  • Select phrase match
  • In the KD filter box enter 0 in the min and 5 in the max box and apply
Ahrefs - Getting Started

Look – 7775 keywords with low difficulty.

Ahrefs - Results

How do you find low competition and high traffic keywords?

Consider for a moment that around 50% of searches result in zero clicks.

Paid, Organic & Zero Click Search in Google

Then those who do click and those clicks are distributed between positions 1 and 10 and beyond.

So take this low difficulty keyword- 16,000 searches – 20,781 clicks.

Ahrefs - example

That means the clicks or traffic per month is greater than searches per month.

ie: low keyword difficulty and high traffic.

Now filter CPS greater than 1 or greater than 2 if you want to be adventurous.

You can also filter this keyword list, remove irrelevant keywords, include commercial keywords and much more.

Ahrefs - Click CPS greater than 1 or 2

Now you can click the SERP button and see the estimated traffic to the top search engine ranking pages.

Ahrefs - Click SERP Button

You will see these pages rank for multiple keywords and the top page earns 8159 clicks per month.

In a world with zero click searches and featured snippets this is a good example of low competition with high traffic.

Let us find another low competition keyword with high traffic

Filter keyword difficulty –KD from 0 to 0.

Filter by CPS; clicks per search

Ahrefs - Click KD and then CPS

For Danish sofa – this has 400 searches per month with 792 clicks.

Click the SERP button to see an estimate of the traffic to the top search engine ranking pages.

Ahrefs - Click on SERPS

Top pages earns 239 clicks and even the average page 1 result earns over 110 clicks per month excluding result 6.

f. Find related keywords

What Is a Related Keyword?

A related keyword is a term or phrase that is closely tied to a primary or seed keyword. It is semantically related or a synonymy or variation of a primary or seed keyword.

Related keywords are useful because:

  • When used on a webpage they further explain the content of the webpage so search engines can better understand, classify and rank the page.
  • They help marketers identify variations of phrases that searchers may be using to find content related to a topic. Marketers can use variations of their primary keyword to target other phrases in pay per click – PPC ads.
  • They help publishers and marketers discover other topics to write about on their website. The related keywords provide inspiration for other blog posts.

Identifying related keywords helps with attracting search engines, creating editorial calendars and performing better in search engine marketing.

How to find related keywords?

You can use both free and paid tools to find related keywords.

1. Find Related Keywords with Ubersuggest (Free)

Ubersuggest is a free keyword tool that provides an extensive list of terms that relate to a primary keyword.

As its name implies – Ubersuggest creates a list of phrases that could be suggestions for words to follow a primary term.

For example if you use the keyword coffee Ubersuggest will return a list of phrases that begin with coffee.

The list is organised with top suggestions at the beginning of the report. It then goes on to list suggestions for every letter and number that could follow the key term.

Ubersuggest - Related Keywords

This is a great way to find related keywords that offer inspiration for content ideas and post topics.

2. With Google Related Searches (Free)

Another very simple and free way to find related keywords is using Google search. Search for your primary keyword and scroll down to see the searches related to your term.

Google Search

Google provides this list of results to guide users to search phrases that will help them get closer to the information that they want.

You can use their suggestions as a list of potentially related keywords.

Google search - related keywords

Note that Google’s related searches may include suggestions for phrases that are specific to your location or previous searches so not every suggestion will be useful.

Use your discretion to select the best keywords that will help add context to your content and match searcher intent.

3. Using Alexa Keyword Difficulty Tool (Paid)

Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool is a keyword generator that also includes performance scores that can help you qualify keywords to find the best and most powerful terms for your content.

Enter a primary phrase to produce a lengthy report of top keywords ranked by relevance.

Alexa's Key Difficulty Tool- eaxample

Use the popularity score which represents how frequently users search for the keyword and competition score which represents how hard it is to rank highly for the keyword to qualify terms.

If your goal is to create content that you can rank for and that will attract audiences then look for phrases that have a high popularity score and a low competition score.

And use those terms as inspiration for future content or as related keywords for blog posts.

4. Also with Alexa Competitor Keyword Matrix (Paid)

Another way to get ideas for keywords is to use Alexa’s Competitive Keyword Matrix.

This tool compares up to ten websites and displays a report of keywords that are performing well for each site.

Alexa's Competitive Keyword Matrix

With this information you can see what keywords your competitors are using and design a plan to target the keyword gaps that will give you opportunities to fill.

How to Use Related Keywords

In your blog posts.

Identify one primary keyword for each post. Then look for four to five related keywords that match the content and context of the page.

Use each of the related keywords at least once in the post.

If possible also use one of the related keywords along with the primary keyword in the post title, a subheading and the page’s meta description and SEO title.

Use related keywords as inspiration for other content.

Create a list of phrases that relate to a primary keyword for your site.

Look for high-performing, low-competition keywords that can be the primary phrase for other content you create.

To guide your PPC campaigns.

Allow your keyword research to guide your PPC campaigns. Identify terms that your ideal audience may be using to search for topics related to your primary keywords and incorporate them into your campaigns.

With these tips and tools, you can find related keywords that will enhance your content, user experience, and ability to appear on search engine results pages.

How to Do Keyword Research for AdWords

The following steps will help you find top keywords to use for driving paid traffic with pay per click marketing (PPC) campaigns.

1. Identify Competitors

Knowing your competitors is as important for PPC keyword research as it is for organic keyword research.

Go through the steps outlined above to identify the top sites that you will be competing with in your PPC campaigns.

2. Find Paid Keyword Opportunities

To find the best keywords for AdWords campaigns you can use Google’s free keyword tool, Ubersuggest or paid version like Alexa’s keyword research tools.

Use Google’s Keyword Planner to get bid estimates on keywords and then get more in-depth keyword data using Ubersuggest or Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix and Keyword Share of Voice Tool.

While using Alexa’s Competitor Keyword Matrix, toggle the reports to show only paid keyword data.

This shows you the keywords your competitors are paying to rank for and how much visibility they have for those paid search terms.

It also helps you find keyword opportunities as you can see terms that are popular but not used in competitor paid search strategies.

Google Keyword Planner - results

As you find keyword opportunities in Competitor Keyword Matrix you can run them in the Keyword Share of Voice tool to see the top sites getting the most paid visibility for a specific keyword.

Alexa's Keyword Share of Voice

What to Do With Your Keyword Research

Once you have a list of keywords then it is time to put them to work. Create a strategy to use your keywords for SEO and/or SEM.

Create an Organic Keyword Strategy (SEO )

An organic keyword strategy includes creating SEO content like a blog post or landing page that is optimised to rank for a specific keyword.

To create a well-rounded organic keyword strategy, first develop an annual content calendar to plan and organise the assets you create.

Then use these content writing experts to create content for SEO.

1. Target the best organic keyword opportunities.

Find keywords that:

  • Are within your competitive power. Your site is authoritative enough to rank for the term and you can create the content needed to rank above currently ranking content.
  • Are regularly searched for. The search term is popular with users and has the potential to drive traffic to your site.
  • Are relevant to your audience. Your ideal customer uses the search phrase.
  • Match your goals. The search intent of the traffic will help you reach your marketing goals.

2. Create content aligned to search intent.

Go through your keywords and create content for them based on the search intent of the term. Search intent is the motive that drives audiences to search. Search intent could be:

  • Informational: The user wants to find general information or an answer to a question.
  • Navigational: The user wants to find information about a specific product, service, or brand.
  • Transactional: The user is looking for a page to buy a product or service and it is also known as buyer keywords.

Think about your marketing funnel and how your list of terms fit into the customer’s journey.

Create topics that fit into the funnel and position content ideas to match customer intent and need at each phase.

To learn more about creating content based on search intent -read: Creating Content Marketing Funnel That Works for Businesses.

3. Optimise content for keywords

For each page of content that you create make sure to assign one target keyword and optimise the content for that phrase or term.

Ensure that you properly optimise every new page of content for on-page SEO to help give your content the best chance of ranking.

Here is a helpful tip to use in your writing: Writing a Fully Optimised Content for Website.

4. Check for proper on-page SEO

Use an SEO checker to ensure that you properly optimised each page for the target keyword.

On Page SEO

To check on-page SEO, you can use Neil Patel’s SEO Analyser or Seobility.  Enter the page URL and your target keyword to produce a report on where you might have missed optimisation opportunities.

5. Check your overall site SEO

When your entire site is optimised for SEO you will be more likely to rank for targeted search terms. 

In addition to on-page SEO scan your whole site to identify any SEO problems or optimisation opportunities related to off-page or technical SEO.

Quickly check your entire site with Alexa’s SEO Audit Tool. The tool scans dozens of SEO best practices on your site and makes recommendations for how you can improve.

Alexa's SEO Audit Tool

Create a Paid Keyword Strategy (SEM)

A paid keyword strategy includes setting up pay per click – PPC or search engine marketing -SEM campaigns.

You select the best keywords and pay for placement on search engine results pages -SERPs.

Use these tips for successful PPC lead generation.

1. Target the best paid keyword opportunities

Find keywords that:

  • Are within your budget. Consider the CPC of each term and the ROI you can expect to receive from the campaign.
  • Are high converting phrases and terms. Choose bottom-of-the-funnel terms that quickly leads to sales.
  • Are regularly searched for. Select terms you know your target audience frequently uses.

2. Optimise campaigns for quality scores

Once you choose PPC keywords – create ads and landing pages for your campaign and optimise them for quality score.

Quality score is the rating that Google assigns to the quality and relevance of your keywords, ads and landing pages.

Ads with high-quality scores get higher ad rankings and lower cost per click -CPC.

To help boost your quality score try to incorporate target keywords in both your ad copy and landing page.

This sends consistent signals to AdWords that your ad and the destination URL are aligned to the searcher’s intent.

Keyword Issues to Avoid

Knowing how to do keyword research includes knowing what to do and also what not to do. 

As you go through the keyword research and optimisation process avoid errors that could negate your work or even worse lead to search engine penalties.

1. Avoid keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO tactic that attempts to stuff a page full of a target keyword to get search engines to rank the page.

Not only is this practice unappealing to users since users are forced to read repetitive, low-quality content – it is also unattractive to search engines.

Keyword Stuffing

Search engines could penalize your site for engaging in keyword stuffing.

To avoid search penalties do not stuff your content with keywords. Aim for a 2% keyword density in your copy.

2. Keyword Cannibalisation

Keyword cannibalisation happens when multiple pages on a website are optimised for the same keyword.

While it may seem like optimising multiple pages for the same keyword will help attract search engines to a site – it can have an adverse effect.

Keyword Cannibalisation

When search engines scan a site and see multiple pages with the same keyword and they cannot determine which page is the top page so they may not rank any page.

Avoid keyword cannibalisation by targeting one keyword per page on your site. And be sure to fix any existing keyword issues on previously published content.

3. Skipping Keyword Reserach and Optimisation

Not doing keyword research or assuming that you know which keywords are best can result in a waste of time, resources and opportunities. 

You will miss valuable keyword opportunities, put effort into ranking for terms that are too competitive and possibly focus on phrases that your target audience never searches for.

Recognise the value in keyword research and start all of your SEO efforts with the keyword discovery strategies as outlined above in this post.

Not doing it

Start Your Keyword Research Today

Now that you know how to do keyword research put these strategies to work.

Use any of the keyword research tools mentioned in this post and start setting up a strong keyword research strategy today.


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How to Do Keyword Research: A Comprehensive Guide