How To Do Keyword Research (A Beginner’s Guide)

how to do keyword research

Keyword Research is an essential part of any Web Marketing strategy. It forms the backbone of your SEO, PPC, Web Content, Email Marketing, and even your product development strategy.

Most people overlook this essential part of building a web marketing plan, so today we're offering a useful "Beginner's Guide" to keyword research.  But don't be fooled -- even if you think you're a seasoned web marketing pro, this deceptively simple guide deserves your attention.

Step #1: Choose Your Keyword Research Tool

There are plenty of options for Keyword Research Tools, and many are completely free.  For this example, we'll be using the popular Google Keyword Planner because it's free and easily accessible for most everyone.  But while Google's keyword research data is certainly useful, it should never be your only source for finding great keywords.  Always remember that Google is solely focused on growing its own business which primarily consists of selling ads via its Google Ads program.

Here are a few additional Keyword Research Tools worth checking out:

Step #2: Create A Keyword Seed List

The goal of Keyword Research is to identify keywords you should be targeting for SEO or PPC -- or truly, both.  Before you can begin, you'll need a "seed list" of terms, products, ideas, content, etc.  

One safe & easy place to start is with a "Keyword Discovery Tool" that scans your website or your blog to help you identify search terms and phrases.  This is a very easy way to begin and something you should definitely do.  

To use Google's keyword discovery tool, simply click on "Start With A Website" then enter your website's URL into the field.  You can choose to scan your entire website or just one specific page, which might be best anytime you're trying to develop a keyword list for one specific product.

Google will then generate a list of potential keyword phrases, which you can then sort by search volume, competition level, ppc bid $, etc.

For a basic start, choose about 10 of these "seed keywords" to work with in the upcoming steps below.  Choose 10 seed keywords that you feel confident resonate with your business, your products, and your marketing goals.

Step #3: Expand Your Keyword List

Now that you have 10 seed keyword phrases, let's go back to the Google Keyword Planner and choose "Discover New Keywords" yet again.  This time, we'll stay on the "Start With Keywords" tab.  Go ahead and punch each phrase (one at a time) into the field and "Get Results."

Depending on each Seed Keyword, each entry should generate dozens or even hundreds of new "long tail" keyword phrases you can work with.  Again, grab a small list from each by using the sort columns and focusing on keyword phrases you find meaningful given your SEO strategy, PPC strategy, and overall business / marketing goals.

If you rinse & repeat this process 10 times (once with each Seed Keyword) you'll end up with a list of about 100 target keyword phrases.

Step #4: Put Your Keywords To Work

Your new list of 100+ keywords is an asset you can put to work again and again on a variety of Web Marketing projects.  

Landing Pages

For each of your 10 main keyword phrases, create one landing page with long-form content.  Start by just creating a superb piece of content.  Then, optimize the content by including all of the keyword phrases inside the content, meta description, internal linking etc.  

SEO Optimization

Add your 100+ keywords to an SEO Keyword Tracker to determine where your website stands today in terms of search engine rankings for each keyword phrase.  Decide which phrases you want to target for SEO Improvement and build an SEO program around those targets.

Blog Posts

Technically, you could use many of your 100+ keywords to create a blog post.  You'll likely find overlap between a lot of your keyword phrases, but this is where you'll need to turn your marketing brain on and determine where you can tease out new ideas for blog posts, social posts, etc.

Product/Service Optimization

Keywords are a great way to get a window into how your customers are thinking about your products and services.  You can make great use of this data to inform future product launches or to fine-tune existing product names, product detail pages, email marketing campaigns, etc.

Now that you've completed this simple "Keyword Research Process" we urge you to keep the ball rolling.  Try out some of the additional tools mentioned in step #1 above. 

Play around with keyword trees and keyword maps.  Like much of Web Marketing in general, Keyword Research is a little bit art and a lot of science.

Jason Clegg

Jason Clegg is the CEO & Founder of Convert With Content. He's on a MISSION to help small businesses convert tire-kickers into lifetime customers & raving fans with #ConvertWithContent marketing systems that work!

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