3 Simple Steps to Effective Keyword Research for SEO

  • May 24, 2022
  • SEO
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If you’re looking to learn how to do keyword research for SEO, then you’ve likely heard of the importance of keywords.

In this article, we’ll explain what keywords are and how to use the right keyword research tools to properly build and expand a comprehensive keyword list for your online marketing strategy. Whether you’re an individual, an existing business, or a startup, continue reading as we guide you through the process.

What are Keywords?

According to wikipedia.com keywords can be “an index term, subject term, subject heading, or descriptor, in information retrieval, is a term that captures the essence of the topic of a document.”

Keywords can be in the form of a single word, a phrase, or even an alphanumerical term.

So think of a very big library with lots and lots of books on different and diverse topics. If you wanted to find a book to show how to make a kind of dish or recipe, you might want to start with the cooking section or home management section of the library the keywords in this case will be “cooking” or “Home Management”.

Types of Keywords

There are 2 types of keywords namely:

  • Single Word Keywords
  • Multiple Word Keywords

Single Word Keywords

Single Word Keywords also known as generic Keywords are more general and can be used to target a general topic but are not ideal for a specific audience.

Examples of Single keywords can be Cooking, Service, Market, and more.

Using “Service” as a keyword can refer to a broad range of services from car repair service to laundry service hence making it a broad term.

Multiple Word Keywords

Multiple Word Keywords are also called Specific Keywords and as the name implies they are more specific. They come about by adding two or more keywords together to target a more narrow audience.

Examples of multiple-word keywords can be “Digital Marketing, Cooking Service, Laundry Service or even SEO service.

Adding the words together gives it more meaning and refers to a more narrowed topic. Using this type of keyword greatly improves your search ranking and is the most ideal kind of keyword for SEO.

Multiple Word Keywords can further be subcategorized into three types:

  1. Generic Keywords

These are Keywords that are limited in the specification for instance “Digital Marketing”.

  1. Broad Match Keywords

These are more specific keywords like “Digital Marketing Services” that refer to a definite need for prospective searches. They are more SEO friendly and greatly narrow down search results and lead to more conversions.

  1. Long-Tail Keywords

Thirdly, we have Long Tail Keywords which are whole sentences entered by a visitor in search of a very specific need. A good example of this can be “where can I get the best digital marketing service in Lagos, London” or whatever factor or factors that can qualify the need based on product, services, location, niche, or even gender.

Doing a Keyword Research

Now that we know what Keywords are, let’s define what it is to research them.

Keyword research is simply using keyword research tools to find out what keywords a visitor would input into search engines to display their desired search results which would be in line with the products, services, or content you offer. This process can be greatly beneficial to your overall SEO and marketing strategy.

Keyword research takes a few important steps to follow to narrow down your specific target keywords, so keep reading as we’ll be having a look at them in the coming sections.

3 Steps to Effective Keyword Research for SEO

Step 1: Make a list of topics

The first thing to do is make a list of topics you want to be ranked for, and these topics might or might not be keywords in themselves, and this can be easy with the help of search engines themselves.

  • Using Google search to find possible keyword topics for your strategy.

Go to your Google search console and type in a topic you have in mind. Notice as you type Google suggests possible searches based on the text you input. These are good topics to start you up on your list.

When you hit enter and the search results come in, scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll notice it says something like searches related to “the topic you entered” and this can further add to the list of topics you want to consider on your list.

You could further click on a suggested topic on the list below and then also scroll to the bottom of that page too to see more suggestions and it continues in a loop.

  • Using Reddit to find possible keyword topics for your strategy.

You could also head over to Reddit and do a broad topic keyword search relating to a product or service you offer (remember from above, “single keywords”) then pick a Reddit where your target audience might be, noting the ones with more comments as potential picks then add these to your list.

To make it more convenient you could use Reddit’s free keyword tool called Keyworddit which scans Reddit for keywords and keyword phrases (multiple keywords) that people are interested in and it helps to sort these phrases by the monthly search volume.

Step 2: Using Keyword Research Tools

This is where we get our hands dirty with the list from above with the aid of some popular research tools.

  1. The first one in the lineup is Google Keyword Planner. Everyone knows that Google is the most reliable source of information online; winks. So it makes sense that if you want to rank on Google you’d avail yourself of this reliable keyword tool.

What you want to do is look for search queries with a high number of average monthly searches and build a list.

  1. Second, on the list is Ubersuggest which lets you enter a keyword or URL  and generates ideas from Google’s search suggestions. It goes further to give more information like CPC, search volume, and keyword difficulty.
  1. Number three is an amazing tool being free yet giving valuable data from top search engines like YouTube, Google, and Bing. Keywords Everywhere runs as a Chrome browser extension and integrates with a large number of sites and gathers detailed keyword information. It also shows information on search results for Google search engine.
  1. Even though SEMrush is a paid keyword tool, it comes HIGHLY recommend. SEMrush is very thorough and saves you a whole lot of time. One unique benefit is the tool tells you the exact keywords a website already ranks for and this makes for an excellent competition keywords tracking tool.

Step 3: Pick the Right Keywords

Now that we’ve gathered our keywords how do we know which to use and lead to a profitable strategy?

To do this we need to consider a few factors.

  • Search Volume

This is the number of people searching for a keyword, and this can indicate high traffic though it may vary for different Industries.

While a high search volume is good, it is important to know the right keyword volume for your industry, then choose the right volume based on your niche.

  • Keywords Difficulty

This is another key factor to consider especially for a new website that hasn’t quite gotten some traction.

If you fall in this category, you need to target less difficult keywords and when you start getting the traction you can go for more competitive keywords.

  • Organic Click-Through-Rate

This is the estimate of how many clicks you can get from the first page for Google ranking.

To see the organic CTR you could the SEO tool MOZ.com.

  • Cost Per Click

This tells whether people searching for those keywords convert and spend money.

This is useful to let you know if you’ll get a good ROI if you choose to invest in those keywords on paid ads. So you want to look out for an average CPC for conversions.

  • Keyword Trends

You can check the popularity and growth of a keyword using Google Trends.

Just slide the keyword into Google trends and it will display the interest for the keyword over a period of time.


Putting all this together, a key takeaway will be to organize your content based on the intention of the visitor; you need to know if their intent is Commercial, Navigational, Informational, or Transactional. Knowing this will help you create useful content for your audience.

We hope this has been helpful and we look forward to helping you achieve all your marketing goals.

Read More: 10 Steps to Conducting an Effective SEO Competitor Analysis




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