How To Do Keyword Research The Right Way

How to Do Keyword Research

How to do keyword research correctly is of utmost importance in SEO.

All your SEO efforts begin and end with your chosen keywords. By finding the right keywords for each of your content, people will find your site pages on sites like Google and Bing much easier.

In this post, you will learn the following on how to do keyword research:

  • why you need to find the right keywords for your content
  • the exact process on how to find keywords
  • free and freemium tools you must use to help you how to search for keywords

As mentioned, keyword research is key (pun intended) to the success of your SEO campaign. If you choose keywords for your site incorrectly, then you won’t be able to maximize traffic from organic search.

Benefits on how to find keywords for SEO

Below is a quick breakdown of what you can achieve if you conduct keyword research the right way:

Better understanding on how to optimize your content

By assigning your site pages with their respective target keywords, you get a clearer idea on how you should optimize your content.

Ideally, you must optimize for site pages using a main target keyword and at least two secondary keywords related to your primary one. Having these keywords let you write the best post possible not only from a reader’s perspective but also from an SEO point of view.

Increase conversion rate

Since you will focus on fleshing out your target keyword in your content for SEO, you also get to create a much more focused content about the topic. As a result, you can convince people to commit to your CTA.

If you’ve built enough trust with your content, people will be more than willing to purchase your products/services, comment on your blog, or share them on social media, whichever among these calls to action are your goals. All these are possible if you can find the best keyword to rank for your content.

Higher rankings on organic search

This is the biggest reason you should learn how to search for keywords from the start. SEO remains to be one of the best traffic-generating tactics for your site.

82% of marketers believe SEO’s effectiveness continues to grow which is further proof you need to learn how to do keyword research first to enjoy SEO for your site immensely.

How do I choose keywords?

To help give you a better idea on how to find keywords for SEO, you need to watch out for these factors to determine the best keywords for your site:

  • Monthly search volume -Refers to the number of times users search the volume on organic search. You need to target keywords with the most searches to increase the chances of your site for users to click on it once it ranks on organic search.
  • Keyword difficulty – Refers to how easy to difficult it is to rank on top of search results for the keyword. The higher the figure, the more difficult it is. Usually, keywords with high monthly search volumes have a high keyword difficulty score. Therefore, you need to strike the balance between finding keywords with relatively high search volumes and low keyword difficulty scores,
  • Keyword length – There are three types of keywords: head terms, medium tail, and long tail. Head terms are keywords with a maximum of two words. Medium tail keywords have around three to four words. Long tail keywords have over four keywords. The shorter the keyword, the higher its monthly search volume and keyword difficulty score.
  • Keyword intent – There are three types of keyword intent. Informational refers to a keyword searched by users to find information about it (ex. signs of pregnancy, how to roast chicken, etc.) The goal of navigational keywords is to load a specific website or URL (ex. Netflix, Twitter login, etc.). Finally, people search transactional keywords to purchase something (ex. buy condos in Austin, get insurance quotes, etc.).

As mentioned, you need to find keywords with high search volumes and low keyword difficulty scores.

The keyword intent depends on the website you need. For e-commerce sites, they need to find transactional keywords to optimize their landing pages. For blogs, bulk of their research is to look for informational keywords.

For keyword length, it is best to target medium tail in the long run. Long tail keywords are ideal when building your site up since they are less competitive to others although they also have the lowest monthly searches.

How to research keywords on Google Keyword Planner

After establishing the parameters on how to do keyword research, it’s time to for me to show how to use Google Keyword Planner.

Google Keyword Planner

The tool helps you find the range of monthly search volume a keyword has and brainstorm for keyword ideas. While it doesn’t show you the exact or estimated number of searches in a month for a keyword, it draws data directly from Google, the biggest search engine in the world. Therefore, you can expect reliable data using this tool at the least.

Once you’ve logged in to the Keyword Planner using your Google account, click on the Find Keywords box to search for keyword ideas and their respective search volumes.

Keyword Planner - find keyword

Enter the keyword on the search bar as your next step. It’s best to enter a head term as your “seed keyword” to generate keyword ideas from it. You can enter as many as you want but it’s better to research for one search term at a time.

search keyword

Once done, click on the “Get Started” button.

brainstorm keyword ideas google keyword planner

The results page will show you keyword ideas from your seed keyword and the range of their average monthly searches. The other data is unnecessary unless you’re running a Google Ads campaign. If not, you can ignore them and just focus on the monthly searches. Look for keywords with the most searches in a month. For starters, look for keywords with at least 1k searches. However, it really depends on the keyword you’re searching. Some keywords have lower search volumes due to external factors such as the niche, industry, and others.

How to research keywords using Ubersuggest

If you want a free keyword research tool that will show you the exact monthly searches for each keyword, you can use Ubersuggest.


Ubersuggest was a keyword brainstorm tool back in the day. After Neil Patel purchased the site, it’s a now a more comprehensive tool similar to Google Keyword Planner but provides the exact number of month searches for each keyword.

After looking up for your keyword or phrase in the search bar, the site will direct you to the result pages.

ubersugget results

The search volume row shows the number of monthly searches a keyword has. You can filter the results based on the search volume and the CPC/competition (for AdWords). You can toggle the suggestions by checking the boxes for Google Keyword Planner or Google Suggest.

Personally, Ubersuggest is an excellent to teach you how to do keyword research due to its simplicity and because it’s the only free tool that shows the exact search volume. However, it doesn’t show the keyword difficulty score, a parameter only found on premium SEO tools.

Other tools to help you find keywords for SEO

If you want to learn the keyword difficulty score of your target keywords, then you need to use premium SEO tools that offer this function.

You can sign up to some of these tools for free but you can only enjoy a limited searches in a day or month. If you want to save costs, you can conduct your keyword research using Ubersuggest and verify their respective keyword difficult scores using the premium tools.

However, if you want to make keyword research much easier for you, then sign up for a monthly subscription to any of these sites so you don’t have to cross-reference data from different tools.

Below are my recommended tools to use for keyword research:

SEO Powersuite

seo powersuite logo

SEO Powersuite is the only desktop-based SEO tool in this list. That said, it also has one of the best keyword research tools in Rank Tracker.

What I love about this tool is the ability to conduct different approaches to keyword research.

Using the traditional approach, you can unearth keywords from an endless pit of ideas. You can find suggestions using Google Keyword Planner or use other search engines like Bing, Youtube, and others to expand your search.

seo powersuite - autocomplete tools

Rank Tracker also lets you research keywords that your competitors are ranking for. Therefore, instead of extracting ideas from a seed keyword, you can draw inspiration from keywords that are driving traffic to your competitors.

seo powersuite - keyword research - ranking keywords

For content creators, Rank Tracker allows you to find words and phrases that competitors ranking on the first page of SERPs are using. The TF-IDF Explorer shows you most used phrases across the top 10 pages.

rank tracker - tf-idf explorer

From here, consider using the most popular ones when creating your content to further optimize it.

Keyword Revealer

This is one of the best keyword research tools I’ve used. You can search for keywords according to a specific location (if you want to optimize your site for local SEO) or in generic (if you want to optimize your site on all search engines). It shows metrics similar to Ubersuggest, but it lets you compute for the difficulty of each keyword.

keyword revealer

It gives you an aggregate score for keyword difficulty based on the top ten results that appear on Google organic search. The score is a good index that tells you whether to optimize for the keyword on your site or not.

You can sign up for a free account on Keyword Revealer but you can always search for keyword three times and determine the keyword difficulty seven times in a day.


Serpstat is an SEO competitive research tool in the vein of SEMrush. It lets you find data on similar sites you can use to understand what you’re going up against and help you develop the SEO campaign that will put your site to the top of organic search.

Serpstat also offers a keyword research tool that shows the Google search volume for a specific database for the keyword and its difficulty score.

serpstat keywords

You can also find for related keywords and search suggestions to help supercharge your brainstorming session. TO help with your research, the tool shows you the top websites ranking for each keyword and the other keywords they are ranking for. Finally, Serpstat makes it easy for you to find questions you can answer for each keyword using its Keywords > Content Marketing feature.

Similar to Keyword Revealer, you can sign up for a Serpstat account and enjoy limited searches during the day.

SE Ranking

An all-inclusive SEO tool, SE Ranking provides SEO agencies all the help they can get to provide their clients with the best SEO experience possible. It lets you conduct competitive SEO research, explore backlinks of different sites, generate leads using its SEO audit feature, and more.

Its keyword research tool is simple and straightforward. Enter the keyword on the search bar, choose the database you want to search on, and click on “Start Search.” It shows the search volume of each keyword and their KEI (keyword effectiveness index). The higher the score, the more reason for you to optimize for it.

SE Ranking

The best feature of SE Ranking’s keyword research tool is the long tail keyword. It filters the most ideal long tail keywords your site must optimize for. Choose the best ones as your see fit.

Unfortunately, there is no free account for SE Ranking. However, for $7/month (onetime payment of $84), you can enjoy the keyword research tool and its other features.

Learn other keyword research tools to use

Find low-hanging fruit keywords that optimize your website with and generate lots of organic traffic!

Frequently Asked Questions

Good SEO keywords are those with high search volumes and low competition or difficulty. Oftentimes, keywords that have low difficulty have low monthly searches. A perfect example of this are long-tail keywords. If you can’t find keywords that meet these criteria, then you’re better off looking for long-tail keywords. Despite their low search volumes, they have a clear search intent that you can leverage to increase conversions on your site.

You must look into the relevant factors to help you weight each of the keywords you researched. You can start with search volume and keyword difficulty, but both aren’t the be-all-end-all variables of keyword research. And to help you find these keywords, you will need the help of a keyword tool to check these metrics.

The best keyword research tool vary from users. In my personal experience, Ahrefs has some of the best features for a keyword research tool. KWFinder is a budget-conscious alternative to Ahrefs and is equally just a good. Finally, Keyword Revealer is a fine stand-alone tool if you’re looking just for the ability to unearth keyword ideas.

You can choose Google Keyword Planner to help you find keyword suggestions based off your seed keyword. However, the tool doesn’t show you the keyword difficulties of each. Tools like SEMrush and Serpstat offer you free daily searches that show the keyword competition. But you need to subscribe to both if you want to unlock its true power.

Have you learned how to do keyword research with this post?

The process of keyword research is a challenging but fun experience. It requires you to be mindful of different factors and parameters so you can find the best keywords for your site. In fact, you must like keyword research as it sets the tone for your entire SEO strategy.

Learning how to find keywords with the most monthly searches and the lowest difficulty is a task you should prepare on doing correctly if you want to generate lots of traffic to your site.