How to Do Keyword Research for SEO

how to do keyword research for seo

If you are reading this article then we know you’ve probably heard of that golden SEO term called Keywords.

In this article we would tell you exactly what keywords are and how to use the right keyword research tools to properly grow and compile a keyword list for your online marketing whether you’re an individual, existing or startup business just keep reading and we’ll walk through bit together.

What are keywords?

According to 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 basically 2 types of keywords namely

  • Single Word Keywords
  • Multiple Word Keywords

Single Word Keywords

They also known as generic Keywords are more general in nature 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 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 also called Specific Keywords and as the name implies they are more specific in nature. They come about by adding two or more keywords together to target a more narrowed audience.

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

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

Multiple Word keyword Structure

Multiple word keywords can further be sub-categorized into three types

  1. Generic Keywords

These are Keywords that are limited in 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 for 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 is to do research on them.

Keyword research is simply using keyword research tools to find out what the 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.

SEO Keyword Research Strategy

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 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 you list.

To make it more convenient you could use a Reddit’s free keyword tool called Keyworddit that scans Reddit for keywords and keyword phrases (multiple keywords) that people are interested in and it helps to sorts these phrases by 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 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 high number of average monthly searches and build a list.

  1. Second on the list is Ubersuggest that 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 keywords volume for your industry, then choose the right volume based on your niche.

  • Keywords Difficulty

This is another key factor to consider especially for new site that haven’t quite got some traction.

If you fall in this category, you need to target less difficult keywords and when you start getting 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

  • Cost Per Click

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

This is useful to let you know if you’ll get a good ROI if you choose to invest in that keywords on paid ads. So you want to look out for and 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 take away 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. Feel free to contact Crank Digital for any comments or suggestions.




Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a procedure where a website is promoted using paid advertising to increase its visibility on the results pages of search engines. The process usually involves incorporating SEO practices.

All things considered; organic SEO is no doubt the best marketing strategy for long-lasting results. This is because the websites that rank high based on their organic SEO implementation and keywords get to enjoy constant traffic, industry recognition and so many other merits of SEO. Websites using SEM & Pay-Per-Click (PPC) on the other hand have to spend funds in order to get targeted traffic and the moment the payment stalls, the traffic ends. In the end, you get to decide what is best for your campaign. If the aim is to get fast traffic to your website, then it is best to start out with SEM while also working on your SEO for the site simultaneously. If you hope to set up an online business on a long-term basis without funds available for marketing campaigns, then stick to just SEO.

On-Page SEO refers to the SEO practices you can implement for the content on different pages of a website to enable their optimization for certain keywords. The aspects of these pages that can be optimized include meta titles, headings and subheadings [H1, H2], meta descriptions, body, correctly formatted URLs, image alt texts, etc.

Off-Page SEO is all about getting backlinks to your website. Backlinks can be described as references or links from other websites to your site. When many websites link to the content of your website, it allows search engines to trust your website as an authority in the subject. Your site ranks better when popular websites link to it on their pages.

There is a plethora of reasons why SEO is important. Some of the reasons include:

  1. Search engine users looking for specific content are more than likely to click any of the top 10 suggestions in the search engine results page (SERP). If your website constantly appears among that list, you will generate more traffic and conversions or sales.
  2. Good SEO gives users a comfortable experience when they visit your site.
  3. Your website’s trust is guaranteed when it consistently appears in the top results pages of search engines.
  4. Users who come across your website while looking for content are likely to share it on their social media handles. This spreads growth for your website and will eventually affect your business positively.
  5. SEO can help lift your business over your competitors. For instance, if you’re selling a common product or service that can be obtained from other websites, the platform that is best optimized will likely make more sales and boast more customers or clients.

After making all the necessary changes to your website and optimizing it as best as possible for search engines to pick up, it can be quite disheartening when you don’t see results after a couple of months. The truth is SEO takes time. Research, analysis and content production are all phases that you have to spend time on while infusing SEO on your website. At least, that’s an aspect you can control on your part. Search engine like Google takes time to identify your website among the several billions of pages out there. When you make changes to your website, it takes time for Google to analyze and recognize it. The same thing happens when visitors start trickling into your website and the traffic starts coming in. According to a Google webmaster video, the results of an SEO campaign can vary from 4 to 12 months. That looks like a lot. We know. However, there are many variables that come into play to determine how quickly you see results and by results we mean the web traffic coming to your website. Some of these factors that can determine how quickly you see results include relevant keyword topics and quality content, site design, website domain age, bounce rate or the time a user spends on your site, location, competition, your response to trends and updates and how swiftly you make relevant changes. When you consider all this, then you’d realize that as long as you want your online presence to continue its growth, SEO practices should be a continuous process. The moment you witness an early spike in your web traffic, you should maintain that growth and not stop because if you do, your competitors might overtake you on search engine results pages and you’d end up losing new potential customers. If you insist on getting traffic much faster, then employing a PPC/SEM campaign is your best choice.

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