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The complete keyword research guide for beginners in 2023

In this keyword research guide, you’ll understand what keywords are and how to utilize them for SEO properly.
Before we begin, let us first explain keyword research and its importance in your SEO journey.

What is keyword research, and why is it important?

Keyword research is the process of researching and identifying the search terms and phrases that are used most commonly by potential customers when looking for a product or a service. Also, keyword research is the process of analyzing the keywords and phrases that potential customers use to search for products or services similar to those offered by a business. This information is then used to optimize a website and other online assets to rank higher in search engine results and drive more relevant traffic to the site. This data can then be used to optimize content and tailor marketing strategies to the words and phrases that people are using to search for the product or service. Keyword research is important because it allows marketers to understand what terms and phrases are being used by their target market and to ensure their content and campaigns are tailored to what their customers are looking for. By understanding which words and phrases are being used, marketers can optimize their campaigns, create content that is more likely to find their target market, and better understand their customers’ needs and wants. This helps marketers create more targeted campaigns, more engaging content, and more targeted ads that are more likely to lead to more conversions.
Now let us consider some of the importance of keyword research. I know a lot of you are still wondering if keyword research is still important. YES! Keyword research is still very important in 2023.
Why keyword research is important in SEO?
Keyword research is important for several reasons but let us consider only four (4):
1) Better Understanding of Customer Intent: Keyword research provides insight into the language and terminology that customers use when searching for products or services, which helps businesses to better understand their customers and their needs.
2) Increased Search Engine Visibility: By targeting relevant keywords, businesses can improve their search engine rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find them online.
3) Improved Content Strategy: Keyword research can inform a business’s content strategy, allowing it to create content that is relevant and useful to its target audience, which can help to build trust and establish the business as an authority in its field.
4) Better Ad Targeting: Keyword research can also be used to inform and optimize pay-per-click advertising campaigns, ensuring that ads are targeted to the right audience and providing a better return on investment.
Haven saw some of the importance of keyword research, now let us see how to do keyword research for your blog SEO. The proper steps on how to conduct keyword research are listed below:

How to conduct keyword research

  1. Make a list of broad topics relevant to your topic.
  2. Expand each topic with a list of phrases you think your customers use.
  3. Find related search terms.
  4. Analyze the strength of your keywords.
  5. Determine how you rank in your industry.
  6. Verify search intent.

Let us explain these steps one after the other.

  1. Make a list of broad topics relevant to your topic.

In this first step, you want to create a spreadsheet with general categories or “buckets” for the keywords you wish to rank for. These might correspond to product categories or anything you believe your target audience would be interested in. If you blog from time to time, you may already have some topics you cover regularly.

2. Expand each topic with a list of phrases you think your customers use:

Next, with these general categories at hand, it’s time to identify the terms and phrases your target customer might type into the search bar to locate information, products, or services.

If you already have data from website analytics software like Google Analytics or HubSpot’s Sources report, look through your organic search traffic bucket to identify keywords consumers already use to arrive at your website.

This is not meant to be a final list of keywords but an opportunity to brainstorm for data points to make your research more targeted and fruitful.

3. Find related search terms:

There are many creative ways to add to your keyword lists.

  • Search a keyword phrase in Google and scroll to the bottom of the page, where you’ll see a list of related search phrases in bold.
  • For a deeper dive, click on one of the related searches and check out the list Google suggests at the bottom of that second page.
  • The website AnswerThePublic allows up to 3 free searches a day. It delivers a chart of phrases people are searching for related to your topic.
  • You can also type your keyword phrase into Google’s Keyword Planner or one of the paid tools listed below and see what other relevant terms people use.

  4. Analyze the strength of your keywords: 

The easiest way to accomplish this next step is with Keyword Planner or a paid keyword research or SEO tool. AhrefsSemrushWordtracker, and Ubersuggest are some of the most popular. Wordtracker and Ubersuggest both have free versions you can use to start.

Here’s what you’re looking for when you analyze your keywords.

  • What is the exact search term? Make sure your keyword phrase matches the precise search term people use.
  • How high is the search volume? If no one uses a keyword phrase, it won’t do you much good to structure a strategy around it. Look for the highest search volume available.
  • How steep is the competition? The paid tools differentiate between competition for paid ads versus for organic search. You want a higher search volume with lower organic search competition. That’s the sweet spot.
  • Check for related terms you may have missed that have high search volume and low organic search competition.

 5. Determine how you rank in your industry:

If you’re competing against big brand names that already take up the first page of Google for most of the terms you’ve identified, you’ll want to alter your strategy to identify less competitive long-tail keywords.

Check the SERP for your most desired search terms. If it’s filled with solid brand names that have more influence and market share than your company does (at the moment), go back and refine your list with long-tail keywords.

The one exception to this strategy is if your competitors haven’t been publishing quality content. If you know you can outdo their content in length, quality, and layout, then you may be able to outrank them even if they spend more money marketing their brand.

6. Verify search intent.

When a consumer enters a search query into Google, they are on a quest for something and every question needs a matching answer.

Make sure you understand your customers’ intent by typing your keywords into the search engine. What pages already rank for that phrase and what do they offer?

If a buyer is looking for information and you instead try to sell them a product, you may get a click, but they’ll bounce quickly, which will hurt your ranking. However, if a shopper is ready to buy and you deliver a product page, they’ll happily make a purchase.

Make a note in your spreadsheet about the buyer intent for each keyword phrase, or establish a habit for you or your team to check the intent of a keyword before creating content using it.

In summary, keyword research is a crucial aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing, as it helps businesses to better understand their customers and target their marketing efforts more effectively.


I'm Chima Chinaru.A Web developer, a website designing trainer, blogger, seo manager and internet marketer.Am a graduate of industrial mathematics and a php fullstack developer.

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