Keyword Research in SEO: Part 1

This will be an in-depth tutorial on how to do keyword research in SEO.

Part 1: Picking the Main Topic to do Keyword Research On

Choose the right keywords for your keyword research.

Keyword Research Reports

First of all, you have to pick the main topic that you want to research. Why do you want to research in the first place? Perhaps you want to find out what keyword phrases are searched for the most and most relevant for your pay-per-click campaign. Or, you want to find out which keyword phrases to target to help your website rank, gain traffic, and gain more sales. Or, you may want to do research to help with your affiliate website. Whichever the reason this tutorial will go over any aspect that you want keyword research done.

Let’s do the phrase ‘SEO Tools’ as an example to use.

Right away you should enter ‘SEO Tools’ into your spreadsheet to use.  On my spreadsheet, I have a tab labeled, “Main Keyword Phrase Stats” to enter in my first main ideas. You may think that will be the topic you do research on but that is not true. What you want to do is check the thesaurus first to see what other combinations are out there. When I did this there was not much to be found. Only ‘search engine optimization’ for the SEO part and for tools only ‘instrument’ and ‘gadget’ came up. So I only bothered with this on my list.

  • SEO tools
  • search engine optimization tools

The next thing that you want to do is brainstorm what people will want to type in for ‘SEO tools’. I came up with a few more ideas like ‘sem tools’ and ‘search engine marketing tools’. ‘Online marketing tools’ also came to mind. So my list expanded. It is also a good idea to ask other people what they would type into Google when they want to find a program to help them with marketing your website. DO NOT ask them what they would type in that is like ‘SEO tools’ or they will get into the mindset of coming up with something like that. We need their unbiased opinions. I just asked the first person I saw and they came up with four more phrases that I did think of. And, of course, what they related to me in asking that way was all ‘website marketing’.

  • SEM tools
  • search engine marketing tools
  • online marketing tools
  • website marketing software
  • website marketing apps
  • web site marketing software
  • web site marketing apps

So our list grew a little more. Let’s try typing in ‘SEO tools’ into Google and see what pops up. When looking at the SERPs (search engine results pages) we discover that there are a couple of ads at the top of the listings, a snippet definition popped up on the right (If you wanted your website displayed in the info snippet then write a better page with a better answer than what is displayed there. It will help but will not be a guarantee), the search results of websites that Google thinks is pertinent with SEO tools and then more ads and related searches along the bottom.

Of course, the SERPs will be different on my computer when compared to yours so if possible use a private search engine that is not influenced by your browser history, location, and being logged into your Google account. One such private search engine is Search Encrypt. You will find very different results. Out of using Google and Search Encrypt, I came up with these added keyword phrases.

  • SEO checker
  • SEO software

If you are lucky enough to have an SEO Tool already like SEMRush you will discover that you can examine the SERPs from within their tools. With SEMRush you will get clean search results that are not influenced by your search habits, location, etc. You will find the search results between all three are very different. This is why it is hard to rank a website in a #1 position when there are different search results for different situations. The main objective of a digital marketer like myself is to concentrate on raising the traffic to your website and increasing the sales instead of being hung up on being #1.

I’m willing to bet that ‘SEO tools’ will be the winner and be the most searched for phrase out there. Do not be concerned about how difficult it is to rank for any keyword phrase yet. We are just getting the main topic to use to do the research with first.

Now we have 11 phrases to do ‘quick research’ on.

  • SEO Tools
  • search engine marketing tools
  • SEM tools
  • search engine marketing tools
  • online marketing tools
  • website marketing software
  • website marketing apps
  • web site marketing software
  • web site marketing apps
  • SEO checker
  • SEO software

I punch these numbers into SEMRush’s Keyword Difficulty Tool and come up with these results. A word of warning here. Even though Google AdWords planner can get you there estimation of searches for free the numbers are way off! You can consult Rand Fishkin’s article on this. You may be able to find other free SEO tools out there that use the API of the paid SEO tools. An example of this is Small SEO Tools that use SEMRush’s API.

I did some research comparing SEO tools for their accuracy of search volume and posted the results in this blog post. In summary, Moz was the best, SEMRush came in second place, and Ahrefs third place. All are very good tools and you can read my reviews to find out which one would do the best for you. I based my research on current customers websites that have #1 positions and looked at Google Search Console’s results for visits and impressions then compared it to Google Analytics reports getting the most accurate estimation of traffic for these keyword phrases. Then I inputted these keyword phrases into the three SEO tools I tested to see who came the closest.

  • SEO Tools (6,600 searches per month)
  • search engine marketing tools (30 searches per month)
  • SEM tools (170 searches per month)
  • search engine marketing tools (30 searches per month)
  • online marketing tools (390 searches per month)
  • website marketing software (10 searches per month)
  • website marketing apps (not in database)
  • web site marketing software (not in database)
  • web site marketing apps (not in database)
  • SEO checker (5,400 searches per month)
  • SEO software (2,400 searches per month)

The phrases that were not in the database were definitely not worth going after. To me, there are only three that really mattered. ‘SEO Tools’, ‘SEO Checker’, and ‘SEO Software’. If it was me, I would do keyword research on all three but for the sake of this article, we will only use ‘SEO Tools’ to do research on.

That was quite the process of just determining what to start your keyword research on wasn’t it? Well, you don’t want to waste your time researching the wrong phrase. ‘SEO Checker’ never even occurred to me and it is very close to ‘SEO Tools’.

When starting the keyword research I will also include the top three phrases found. Who knows? Maybe ‘SEO Checker’ will be easier to rank for than ‘SEO tools’ and that may be the one we will go after!

Part 2: “Using the Best Resources to Start Your Keyword Research” will be coming soon!

 

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