How To Do Keyword Research for SEO

Whether you have skin in the game or just starting out, your website is but one in an ocean of millions. That may sound like a page torn from a science fiction novel, but it cannot be any further from fiction if you are a content creator. You could just as well have your website for years, yet only have some of your posts gain traction. However, many others’ websites don’t get past double digits or less. 

Optimization could be that extra step needed to push your content to the top of search results. When it comes to your website’s optimization, it will not be on how impressive your webpage looks or how creative your content is. Although they are indeed important factors, they are not the only ones to consider. However, what you need to use to convince Google that your content is worth it to be placed at the top as one of the most searched topics, is keywords. In this article, you will learn the tactics that online businesses use to produce high-ranking content through proper keyword analysis.

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is a process that involves discovering which terms or phrases people search for based on your service or product. You will then use that data to analyze which ones will work within your content. Finally, deciding which of those keywords or phrases should take priority through your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. Keyword research is taking what terms people are searching for and then using them to accommodate their web surfing journey.

keyword research

The Importance of Keyword Research For Business

Keyword research allows you to have a better understanding of what people are looking for. What people’s search queries offer is more opportunities for companies to gather information to help them rank high within certain topics. The topics are grouped so that businesses or websites can put their gathered keywords in what is called a keyword or topic bucket. Businesses can use these buckets as reference points to streamline further terms of implementation. 

How To Do Research For Your Keywords

First and foremost, you should begin with idea generation. A great way to start keyword research is by thinking of seed keywords. Seed keywords are one- or two-word combinations such as “shoes,” “pizza,” or “chocolate” that are a jumping-off point in finding words closely related to your topic. For example, if you specialize in selling a specific type of shoe, using “shoe” as the basis of your business will make it so you must compete with far more businesses than you would care to. That is why it is called “seed” keywords. They are what give you an idea of what you need to be looking for in SEO. The progression of using seeds will start from “shoes” to something more specific, “sports shoes,” “running shoes,” etc.

They originally stem from keywords, which are what search engines keep indexed and what businesses use to increase their website traffic. Type it in the search bar and watch how many variations of that seed appear in the drop bar. This simple action can give you an idea of searcher’s intent, which will help you understand what it is people are looking for. Keyword analysis requires that the words you use apply coherently, whether semantically or literally, to your subject. 

Once you hit enter, scroll all the way down and you will see variations of those keywords appear at the bottom of the search engine results page (SERP). Those results can be used as additional search terms. Search terms are whatever you type within a search bar and used as the basis of your research. They come in the form of either search terms or search phrases and can be put into keyword buckets. Those buckets consist of three aspects intrinsically involved in keyword development, their relevance, volume, and authority. 

keyword relevance

Keyword Relevance 

Your research will eventually lead you to realize that your keywords will not just need to be closely related to the service, product, or content you are trying to produce. You need to acknowledge what customers are looking for. Earlier we mentioned searcher intent, such as what is the purpose behind what people are looking for and what questions they need to be answered. If you can know the intent of what a person looks for, some keywords may be fine-tuned to have a better reach to your intended audience. To reach that audience, you need to take your keyword’s relevance into account. To get in that direction, you would see that delving into latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords can help you. 

LSIs are also known as strategic synonyms and are considered relative to the primary keyword. They offer more context to your website and can be an invaluable asset in your research journey. This might sound counterintuitive to mention, but people do not normally type in single words and phrases that seeds and search terms have been defined as essentially one- or two-word inferences. LSIs are further optimized for the algorithm to detect those instances. In regard to relevance, including both LSI or long-tail keywords, will also assist in giving you authority to your ranking on SERP.

Long-tail keywords may yield more specific keywords that can help you narrow down your preferred audience. Long-tail keywords specifically relate to user search intent. Unlike search terms and seed keywords, long-tail keywords can contain three or more words. What makes them a good choice for keyword research is that they are not as competitive as typical keywords. Another benefit to using long-tails is that they are fantastic components if you plan on incorporating e-commerce into your website

keyword analysis

Keyword Volume

There are a lot of keywords that a lot of businesses nearly have a monopoly over. So when you use keywords without proper research, you could see yourself going up against titans of the industry without a fighting chance. Earlier, long-tail keywords were mentioned to narrow down your niche. Essentially, they are one of two types of keyword volume competition. 

What Is High Volume Competition?

Think of this as the equivalent of David against Goliath without a slingshot. High volume keywords are the words that businesses have succeeded in attaining authority over (more on that later). Including nothing but these words on your website will surely be an uphill battle. That’s not to say that you should not utilize them. In fact, using them effectively could yield clicks to your channel in a field filled with uncertainties. Though as you are starting out, it would be to your advantage to rank for keywords that do not have as much demand. These are low volume competitive keywords.

What Is Low Volume Competition?

With the least amount of competition involved with keywords, you may come out with more traffic given that you put in the effort trying to understand it. This is where long-tail keywords have the most benefit, considering long-tail keywords are in essence low volume. They provide a strong basis to other less competitive keywords. 

keyword authority

Keyword Authority

The online market is a popularity contest of brands, businesses, blogs, etc. crawling to the top. Crawling being the more appropriate term seeing as search engines send web crawlers or spiders to index websites. They then sort these websites based on certain criteria. Once the criteria is met, that website is awarded with authority over other competitive sites.  

It is not as easy to achieve authority even if you use keywords that fit perfectly with your service or product. Henceforth lies the often-debated practice of keyword difficulty (KD). An important factor of KD is the ability for you to gain backlinks. Backlinks are links that connect to your website from another. You gain backlinks by producing quality content. Another way is to create backlinks by creating the opportunity yourself through manual outreach. Backlinks will act as a signal to crawlers that your website is valid, which in turn, increases your authority in your topic. Backlinks are a part of the criteria crawlers must meet, that being information ranging from domain authority and the quality of your content.  

SEO Design Chicago Can Help You Kick Off Your Keyword Research Right!

It is a crazy concept to realize that your product, service, or website hinges on the very words you use to describe them. The word or phrase, no matter how closely related they are to your target audience, can have an astounding impact if you understand how keywords operate through a search engine and its algorithm. At SEO Design Chicago, there are experts who can help you crack that code the algorithm operates by and improve traffic to your website!


  • How do you do keyword research?
  • What are seed keywords?
  • What is the first step of keyword research?
  • How do you increase domain authority?
  • What three aspects are involved in keyword development?

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