The Only Keyword Research Guide a Writer Will Ever Need

Your content is not always as popular as it should be? You spend a lot of time researching the topics you write about and writing good-quality, in-depth, reader-friendly content, but your pages still rank far from Google's top 10 and barely anybody gets to read them? Maybe it's time to focus more on the keywords you're using! And it doesn't have to take you half a day. With this guide you will learn how to find the best and most beneficial for your website keywords and do so in no time. Let's get started!


What are keywords and why are they important?

Keywords are words or phrases that people search for in search engines, like Google. Ranking higher on Google means that your page gets higher up in the Google search results. Ideally, it should appear on the first page of Google search, when somebody looks for the keyword you optimize your page for. It's important to drive the right traffic to your website. That means, that you have to have your targeted audience in mind, while coming up with your keywords.


How to look for keywords?

Now that we know what to look for, where do we look for it? There are many places online that can help you with finding the right keywords. Let's start from the very basics:

Check the competitors' websites

What are your competitors using that you are not, that make them rank higher on Google? It's easy to check - simply visit their website and look for keywords that your potential customers would search for. You can identify interesting keywords everywhere from the homepage, navigation bar, all the way to their blog posts. 

Think of how far they expand their topics to catch your targeted audience's attention. Are they only using keywords directly linking towards your industry? Or maybe also target your audiences' lifestyle or their struggles at work?

Let's say my business is all about gardening and one of my biggest competitors is Gardening Know How. As soon as I go on their website, I can start looking for good keywords and topics I could write about. I can look at the categories in their main menu, then go further in depth and scroll down each of the pages, looking for some good keywords related to gardening. Going even further, I get to their blog and look at the sub-categories in the blog menu. Looking through your competitor's blog posts and brainstorming what topics (related to what they already talk about) they are missing is also a great strategy. People will start looking for answers at your competitor's blog, but when they go further in depth, they will need more information and that's when they can find your blog post!


keyword research for SEO



Google search

Try writing down your keyword in Google search and instead of clicking on a Search button, focus on the suggestions that Google displays below. The displayed suggestions are the ones that people search for most often when looking for information connected to your keyword. That's a super simple and fast tip that can really help with coming up with some popular topics to write about. You can even take it a step further and build on the keywords you've found in the first round of search. E.g. in the first round I write down a word "gardening". Then among Google suggestions I find "gardening tools". Instead of writing about gardening tools, I take it for a second round and see what Google suggestions are for "gardening tools". In this round I find out that people often search for "gardening tools for seniors", so now I can write about e.g. "10 most useful gardening tools for seniors" or "best brands of gardening tools for seniors" or "5 gardening tools seniors love". 

Keyword research on Google



Look for inspiration on Buzzsumo. Simply write a phrase relevant for your industry and see what kind of articles with that phrase in the title are trending the most. This can not only help you with the keywords and phrases you should use to get more traffic to your website, but also show you some new approaches you can take to keep your audience entertained. E.g. if you only write articles with tips on gardening and reviews of different gardening tools, looking at Buzzsumo, you can notice that writing about interesting social cases can be an interesting read for your audience as well. 

Remember to check the amount of shares on Social Media, before picking one of the articles. Also have a look at the Evergreen Score - the higher the score the longer the article has been performing well online. A topic similar to a topic of an article with a high Evergreen Score will keep sending people to your website throughout a longer period. 




Google trends

With Google trends you can check when different topics within your industry trend the most. E.g. searching for "gardening", we can see that the topic starts trending with the beginning of spring and slowly becomes less popular by the end of summer. Then, however Google trends show a rise in searches for "winter garden". That's why it's important to know when to write about which topic, since in some cases it can significantly improve the amount of traffic streaming to your website.


Google AdWords / Keyword Planner

Get an account on Google Adwords and start using keyword planner - it's a great tool that helps you in finding new alternatives to the keywords you've already came up with. To start using keyword planner simply click on the "tools" icon when on your AdWords account and choose "Keyword Planner" from the "Planning" tools list. Then simply insert some of your keywords and the Keyword Planner will give you some suggestions of what other words people look for, that would be useful in your keyword strategy.  

Instead of inserting some of your keywords, you can also add your competitor's domain in the search box. Now, Keyword Planner will show you the keywords related to your competitor's website!





You can use SEMrush to spy on your competition some more. Simply write down their domain name in SEMrush tool and you can see the keywords they score for, the money they spend on online advertising and the position in the Google rank they have for each of the keywords. Try to find keywords that your competitors don't rank high for, that would fit your business perfectly. 


How to use SEMrush to find keywords



While using the SiteAttention plugin, after inserting your keyword, you can use the "keyword helper" tool to check which other keywords would be worth targeting. Compare the monthly searches (the more the better) and check the bar for how popular your keyword is among your competitors (the more popular the worse). Pick the words with the best ratio between the high monthly searches and the lowest popularity among your competitors. 
SiteAttention Keyword Helper for SEO


Building a Keyword Research Document

Now that you know where to discover keyword opportunities, you need to think about how you will prioritise and keep track of these. The easiest way to do this is via an excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet. This will allow you to group keywords together on different tabs in line with your business or products.

The example below comes from Jellyfish Training. You can access their Keyword Research template here.

Jellyfish Keyword Research Document



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