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Hungry for spaghetti and meatballs? If you type “Italian restaurant near me” into your browser, dinner is just a click away. Whether your business serves up pasta or provides consulting services, you need to know which keywords customers are using when they look for your site. Using the right keywords for your posts and pages is important if you want to be found online.

In other words, finding websites’ keywords that align with your content will significantly improve your search engine optimization (SEO). So, how do you know what the best keywords are? Read on to learn more about how to find the best keywords for SEO and discover the most effective strategies for optimizing your online presence.

Why should you optimize for search engines?

Building a website is not just about making it attractive for visitors. You must also make sure visitors can find your site. Research shows that less than 1 percent of searchers using Google venture past the first page and more than half never scroll down past the first three results on page one. So, what should you do? Optimize your posts and pages for search engines!

There are multiple ways to optimize your website, but it all boils down to creating quality content for your audience and making sure they have a great experience while browsing your site. Improve your site speed, have a well-structured website, and write high-quality content that your audience wants to read. And make sure you use the good keywords.

Conduct keyword research

Long-tail keywords

As we mentioned before, you need to know which keywords your customers use when they look for you. That’s why you should always conduct keyword research before choosing keywords. If you’re wondering how to find the best keywords for your content, one effective strategy is to focus on long-tail keywords. These consist of more than one word and are often less searched for than obvious and popular keywords. However, being less popular also means less competition. Which in turn means a better chance of ranking high.

For example, someone may type in “veterinarians”. This could mean they’re looking for a new pet doctor. We don’t know for sure. However, a person who types in “veterinarians in Boston who treat feline diabetes” is looking for a specific solution to their problem and likely needs a vet soon. If you aim for long-tail keywords, your chances of connecting with searchers who are ready to act are much higher.

Step-by-step guide to performing keyword research

Keyword research is the cornerstone of any successful SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. It’s the process of identifying the words and phrases that your target audience uses to search for information, products, or services online. 

By understanding these keywords, you can optimize your website’s content to attract relevant traffic and improve your search engine rankings. 

Below is the step-by-step process of performing effective keyword research to boost your online visibility and achieve your SEO goals.

Step 1: Research your niche

Before diving into keyword research, it’s crucial to gain a deep understanding of your niche or industry. Start by conducting thorough research to identify:

  • Industry trends: Stay updated with the latest trends, developments, and news in your industry. This knowledge will help you identify emerging keywords and topics.
  • Target audience: Define your target audience, including their demographics, preferences, and pain points. Understanding your audience is essential for crafting content that resonates with them.
  • Competitors: Analyze your competitors’ websites and content strategies. Identify the keywords they are targeting and the type of content that performs well in your niche.
  • Industry jargon: Familiarize yourself with industry-specific terminology and jargon. These terms may be crucial for reaching a specialized audience.

Step 2: Establish your objectives & goals

Clearly define your objectives and goals for your keyword research. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want to achieve with SEO?
  • Are my goals focused on increasing website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales?
  • What are the specific metrics I will use to measure success (e.g., organic traffic, conversion rate, ranking position)?

Having well-defined objectives will guide your keyword research and help you prioritize keywords that align with your goals.

Step 3: Create a list of relevant topics

Based on your industry knowledge and objectives, create a list of broad topics that are relevant to your business. These topics will serve as the foundation for your keyword research. For example, if you run an online fitness coaching business, your topics might include “weight loss,” “strength training,” “nutrition,” and “healthy lifestyle.”

Step 4: Generate a catalog of primary keywords

For each of the topics you’ve identified, generate a list of primary keywords. These are the core terms that encapsulate the essence of each topic. Use tools like Google’s AutoSuggest feature or brainstorm with your team to compile this initial list.

For example, if your topic is “weight loss,” primary keywords could include “weight loss tips,” “lose weight fast,” and “healthy weight loss.”

Step 5: Utilize effective keyword research tools

Keyword research tools are invaluable for expanding your list of potential keywords and gaining insights into their search volume, competition, and relevance. Some popular keyword research tools include:

  • Google Keyword Planner: This free tool provides keyword suggestions, search volume data, and competition levels. It’s a great starting point for keyword research.
  • Ahrefs: A comprehensive SEO tool that offers keyword research, competitor analysis, and backlink analysis. It provides valuable insights into keyword difficulty and click-through rates.
  • SEMrush: SEMrush offers keyword research, site auditing, and competitive analysis. It can help you identify your competitors’ top-performing keywords.
  • Moz Keyword Explorer: Moz’s tool provides in-depth keyword analysis, including keyword difficulty and SERP (Search Engine Results Page) features.
  • Ubersuggest: A free tool that offers keyword suggestions and competitive analysis, making it suitable for beginners.

Explore these tools to discover additional keywords related to your topics and primary keywords. Pay attention to search volume, keyword difficulty, and relevance when evaluating keyword opportunities.

Step 6: Analyze search intent

Understanding search intent is crucial for effective keyword targeting. Search intent refers to the reason behind a user’s online search. Generally, search intent falls into four categories:

  • Informational: Users seek information or answers to questions (e.g., “How to lose weight”).
  • Navigational: Users want to find a specific website or page (e.g., “Facebook login”).
  • Transactional: Users intend to make a purchase or take a specific action (e.g., “Buy fitness tracker”).
  • Commercial investigation: Users are researching products or services but aren’t ready to buy yet (e.g., “Best fitness apps 2023”).

Identify the search intent behind the keywords you’re targeting. This will help you create content that aligns with user expectations and provides value.

Step 7: Understanding keyword intent

Keyword intent aligns with search intent and helps you determine the type of content to create. Keywords can generally be categorized into three intent types:

  • Navigational intent: These keywords indicate that users are looking for a specific website or resource. Typically, they are not ideal for content creation, as users have a specific destination in mind.
  • Informational intent: Keywords with informational intent signify that users are seeking knowledge or answers. Content types for these keywords can include blog posts, how-to guide, and informative articles.
  • Transactional intent: Transactional keywords indicate that users are ready to act, such as making a purchase or signing up for a service. Content geared towards these keywords should focus on product pages, landing pages, and e-commerce solutions.

By categorizing your keywords based on intent, you can tailor your content strategy to match user needs and drive desired actions.

Step 8: Find out about your competitors

Analyzing your competitors’ keyword strategies can provide valuable insights and help you identify keyword opportunities. Here’s how to do it:

  • Identify competitors: Determine who your main competitors are in your niche or industry.
  • Competitor analysis tools: Use SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to analyze your competitors’ websites. Look for the keywords they are ranking for and the content that performs well.
  • Keyword gaps: Identify keywords that your competitors are targeting but you haven’t explored yet. These can be valuable additions to your keyword strategy.
  • Content gap analysis: Determine which topics and keywords your competitors are ranking for, but you aren’t. This can help you identify content opportunities.
  • Competitor backlinks: Analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles to discover high-quality websites linking to their content. Consider reaching out to these websites for backlink opportunities.

Helpful Tools for Effective Keyword Research

If you’re having trouble coming up with long-tail keywords, we recommend you use one of the following tools to help you out to find website keywords

1. Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a great tool if you want to find new and related keywords. However, you should ignore the search volume data! This data is only useful for keywords that you’re going to spend money on to advertise. Be aware that you do need to sign up for an AdWords account. However, you aren’t required to invest in any paid advertising.

Relevant content is timely, helpful, and interesting. When you’re looking for blog topics and informational tidbits to keep your followers up to date, Google Trends is a great place to start. Select from categories like business, health, tech, entertainment, and sports to find the best keywords for your business or industry.

What’s more, Google Trends allows you to compare traffic for different keywords. You can even see the difference between keywords depending on geographical regions.

3. SEMrush Keyword Research Tool

SEMrush has a useful overview tool that allows you to keep an eye on metrics for any keyword in their database. It shows the search volume, the search intent, different variants and even in what questions the keyword appears! You can also get inspiration from real ads based on your target keywords. In conclusion: SEMrush Keyword Research Tool will give you valuable insights to help you optimize your website and find keywords to write content about.

4. can generate more than 750 long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term. Plus, you can specify the Google domain name and language preferences, so the suggestions are relevant to your business and audience. You don’t even have to create an account!

5. Chat GPT

Emerging as a frontrunner in AI-driven solutions, ChatGPT provides a fresh take on keyword research and content creation. By leveraging its massive training data, ChatGPT can brainstorm keywords, provide context around their usage, and even draft sample content to demonstrate keyword optimization in real time. Its conversational approach allows for an interactive experience, making it easier to clarify, refine, and evolve your keyword strategy dynamically.

6. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

Ahrefs is renowned for its extensive backlink database, but its Keywords Explorer tool is equally impressive. It provides a rich set of data on any keyword, including search volume, keyword difficulty, and click-through rates. The tool also suggests keyword ideas based on phrases, questions, and more.

7. AnswerThePublic

While not a traditional keyword tool, AnswerThePublic visualizes search questions and suggested queries as they relate to a primary keyword. It helps uncover the questions people are asking, providing insights for content creation.

8. Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz’s tool offers both keyword suggestions and SERP analysis, allowing users to choose keywords based on their potential to rank. It gives insights into keyword priority, organic CTR, and even a “difficulty” score to show how challenging it would be to rank for a specific term.

Keep Evaluating Your Keyword Ranking 

You’ve conducted keyword research and written amazing content that matches the search intent of your audience. What’s next? We recommend you wait a little while before you check your rankings. This way, you get a more accurate result when you look at how your post or pages in Google Search Console.

Conclusion: Want to Learn More About Effective Keyword Research? 

Choosing the best keywords takes practice. So don’t worry if you don’t get it right straight away! If you remember to always conduct keyword research and write quality content for your audience, you’re already doing great. However, if you’d like additional help improving your site’s SEO, don’t hesitate to contact us.

FAQ on How To Find The Best Keywords

What are keywords, and why are they important for online content?

Keywords are words or phrases users search for on search engines. They’re crucial for online content as they connect content with user queries, improving search visibility. Strategic keyword usage enhances content’s relevance and drives organic traffic.

How can I conduct keyword research effectively for my content?

Effective keyword research involves identifying topics relevant to your audience, using tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to explore search volume, competition, and related terms. Choose keywords aligning with your content’s purpose.

What is the significance of long-tail keywords in SEO and content strategy?

Long-tail keywords are more specific phrases with lower search volume but higher relevance. They target niche audiences, improving content’s chances of ranking higher in search results and attracting more qualified traffic.

How do I determine the competitiveness of keywords before using them?

Assess keyword competitiveness by analyzing factors like search volume, competition level, and domain authority of top-ranking pages. Focus on a mix of high and low competition keywords for balanced optimization.

What strategies can I use to find keywords that match my target audience’s language?

Understand your audience’s language by researching industry terms, customer feedback, and social media discussions. Use online forums, surveys, and competitor analysis to identify commonly used words and phrases.

How often should I update and refresh my keyword strategy?

Regularly revisit your keyword strategy to adapt to changing search trends and user behaviors. Update keywords when launching new content or when targeting new audiences. Stay flexible to maintain relevance.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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  1. Thanks Tiffani, I really enjoyed your article. It was very informative as well as under understandable for a newcomer like me.

  2. Shahina Dio Reply

    Thanks for the helpful advice! I appreciate the reminder to focus on keyword research and quality content for better SEO. If I need further assistance, I’ll be sure to reach out.

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