how to do keywords research

Ultimate Guide of Keyword Research and How to Search Keywords for SEO

In a recent survey by Hubspot, a leading CRM software, it was revealed that keyword research remains the cornerstone of successful digital marketing strategies, influencing over 70% of website traffic growth. 

This statistic underscores the undeniable impact that a well-executed keyword strategy can have on your site’s visibility and engagement. With the right keywords, you’re not just optimizing; you’re opening doors to potential customers who are actively seeking what you offer.

My journey into the world of SEO began with a humble blog that struggled to reach its target audience. Despite pouring hours into content creation, the silence from the online community was deafening. It wasn’t until I delved into the intricacies of keyword research that the tide began to turn. 

By aligning my content with what my audience was searching for, I saw a dramatic shift in engagement and traffic. This personal breakthrough highlighted the transformative power of strategic keyword use, reinforcing its value in any content creator’s toolkit.

Brian Dean, a renowned SEO expert and the brain behind Backlinko, often emphasizes the importance of not just any keywords, but the right keywords. “It’s about getting your message in front of the people who are in the throes of decision-making,” Dean explains. 

He advocates for a focus on search intent, suggesting that understanding why someone types a query into Google is just as critical as the keywords themselves. This insight serves as a reminder that at the heart of keyword research is a quest to connect and provide value, transforming the impersonal world of search engines into a landscape of meaningful interactions.

Definition and Importance of Keyword Research in SEO

At its core, keyword research involves identifying the terms and phrases that people use in search engines related to your product, service, or content. It’s the art and science of understanding your audience’s language and leveraging that knowledge to optimize your online presence. The importance of this process cannot be overstated. It guides your content strategy, influences your website’s structure, and informs your marketing decisions. 

Without precise keyword research, you’re essentially walking blind in the digital landscape, missing out on valuable traffic and engagement opportunities. It’s the compass that directs your SEO efforts, ensuring that you’re not just visible, but visible to the right audience at the right time.

The Impact of Keyword Research on Website Traffic and Ranking

Keyword research doesn’t just influence your strategy; it directly affects your website’s traffic and search engine ranking. Websites optimized with well-researched keywords are more likely to appear in top search results for those terms, driving higher volumes of targeted traffic. This is because search engines aim to provide users with the most relevant results. 

By aligning your content with the specific queries your audience is searching for, you increase the chances of your website being considered relevant by these search engines. 

Moreover, keyword optimization helps in building topical authority, signaling to search engines that your website is a valuable resource in your niche, further boosting your rankings and visibility.

What are Different Types of Keywords

Understanding the various types of keywords is essential for crafting an effective SEO strategy. Keywords can be broadly categorized into three types: short-tail, long-tail, and intent-based.

Short-tail Keywords

Short-tail keywords, often referred to as “head terms,” These are broad, often single-word terms with a high search volume and high competition. For example, “shoes” or “marketing.” terms like “coffee” or “books” 

While they promise significant traffic, ranking for short-tail keywords is challenging, especially for newer or smaller websites.

These keywords are incredibly competitive due to their broad appeal. Every coffee shop or bookstore, regardless of size, aims to rank for these terms.

Long-tail Keywords

Longer and more specific phrases, usually three words or more, that are closer to what a user would type into a search engine. Examples include “women’s running shoes sale” or “small business marketing tips.” “organic fair trade coffee beans” or “science fiction books for teens.” These keywords have lower search volumes compared to short-tail keywords but are much less competitive and typically result in higher conversion rates.

These keywords typically have lower search volumes but also less competition and a higher conversion rate, as they target users further down the purchase funnel.

The beauty of long-tail keywords lies in their specificity. They allow businesses to target niche demographics and capture audiences who are closer to making a purchasing decision. 

For content creators and marketers, long-tail keywords offer the opportunity to create highly targeted content that addresses the exact needs or questions of their audience.

Intent-based Keywords

Intent-based keywords important in understanding the basic reason behind a search query. They go beyond the surface level of what is being searched, to why it’s being searched. 

This category can be broken down further into four types of search intent: informational, navigational, transactional, and investigational.

Informational Intent keyword 

Users are looking for information or answers to questions. These queries often start with “how,” “what,” or “why.” For example, “how to brew pour-over coffee” or “what are the best science fiction books in 2020?”

Navigational Intent keywords 

The searcher is trying to reach a specific website or page. For example, “Starbucks near me” or “Amazon login.”

Transactional Intent Keywords

Transactional intent keywords are used by searchers who are ready to make a purchase or complete a specific action. These users have moved beyond the browsing and research phases and have decided to proceed with a transaction. 

The keywords often include terms that signify a purchase or a commitment, such as “buy,” “deal,” “discount,” “subscribe,” or product-specific searches like “iPhone 12 for sale” or “best price on Adidas running shoes.”

Investigational Intent Keywords

Investigational intent keywords are used by searchers who are in the consideration phase of their journey. They are looking for information to help them make a decision but are not yet ready to commit to a purchase. 

These keywords often include words like “review,” “best,” “top,” “compare,” or specific questions about the features, benefits, or applications of a product or service, such as “best SEO tools for small business” or “iPhone 12 vs. Samsung S21 review.”


High Relevance: Matches content with user intent, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion.

Improved User Experience: By satisfying the user’s search intent, you enhance their experience, which can positively impact your site’s rankings.

Versatile Strategy: Allows for content diversification, targeting users at different stages of the buyer’s journey.


Complex Research: Requires a deeper understanding of your audience and their search behavior.

Dynamic Nature: Search intent can evolve, necessitating regular updates to your content and strategy.


A powerhouse in the SEO software space, SEMrush offers an extensive suite of tools for comprehensive keyword research. It provides insights into keyword difficulty, search volume, and even the potential traffic you could gain. 

With its Keyword Magic Tool, you can easily explore a vast database of keywords related to your niche, uncover long-tail opportunities, and understand the competitive landscape.

How to Use SEMrush

Enter your base keyword to discover variations and related terms.

Analyze the keyword difficulty and search volume to prioritize your targets.

Explore the questions tab to find intent-based keywords for content ideas.


Renowned for its detailed backlink analysis capabilities, Ahrefs is equally robust when it comes to keyword research. Its Keywords Explorer tool offers unique metrics like Keyword Difficulty, Clicks, Clicks Per Search, and Return Rate. Ahrefs is invaluable for understanding not just what people are searching for but how they interact with search results.

How to Use Ahrefs:

Utilize the Keywords Explorer to get thousands of related keyword suggestions.

Pay attention to the Clicks metric to estimate traffic potential beyond search volume.

Investigate the SERP overview to understand what content ranks well for your target keywords.

Mangools (KWFinder)

Mangools, particularly its KWFinder tool, is praised for its user-friendly interface and precise keyword data. It’s excellent for uncovering long-tail keywords with low competition, making it ideal for new websites or niche markets.

How to Use KWFinder

Search by keyword to find long-tail variations with detailed metrics.

Use the filter options to narrow down your search based on difficulty, search volume, and location.

Analyze the SERP Checker for insights into the top-ranking pages and their SEO metrics.


Keyword is a simple yet powerful free tool that uses Google Autocomplete data to generate a list of related keywords. It’s particularly useful for identifying long-tail keywords that might not appear in more traditional keyword research tools.

How to Use Keyword

Enter your seed keyword and select the specific Google domain if targeting a particular region.

Explore the questions tab for intent-based keyword ideas.

Although it provides search volume data in its paid version, even the free version’s keyword suggestions can be invaluable for brainstorming content ideas.

Finding Low-Hanging Fruits

Low-hanging fruits are keywords that have decent search volume but low competition, making them easier to rank for. 

Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can help identify these by allowing you to filter keywords based on their difficulty scores. 

Look for keywords with a difficulty score that aligns with your site’s current authority—lower scores for newer sites, and you can aim higher as your site grows.

Additional Resources for Keyword Insights

Beyond traditional keyword tools, several other resources can provide valuable insights:

Forums and Q&A Sites: Platforms like Reddit, Quora, and industry-specific forums are gold mines for understanding the questions and topics your audience cares about.

Social Media: Monitoring conversations, hashtags, and trends on platforms like Twitter and Instagram can reveal real-time interests and emerging topics.

Google Trends: This tool allows you to see the popularity of search queries over time. It’s especially useful for identifying seasonal trends or emerging topics in your niche.

By weaving these tools and resources into your keyword research process, you can develop a rich, nuanced understanding of your audience’s needs and interests. 

Remember, the goal of keyword research is not just to find high-volume terms but to uncover the queries that will drive the most relevant traffic to your site. 

Through meticulous research and strategic thinking, you can craft content that not only ranks well but also genuinely resonates with your audience.

Keyword Research for New Websites

Launching a new website presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities in the realm of SEO. Keyword research, the bedrock of your content strategy, becomes even more crucial as you aim to carve out a space in the competitive digital landscape. 

Let’s walk through a step-by-step guide to conducting effective keyword research for new websites, laying a solid foundation for growth and visibility.

Step 1: Understanding Your Niche

The first step is to deeply understand your niche. This involves more than just identifying the broad market you’re entering; it requires a nuanced understanding of your audience, their needs, preferences, and the language they use to describe their problems and solutions.

Research Your Audience: Use social media, forums, and existing industry research to gather insights into your audience’s demographics, interests, and challenges.

Analyze Competitors: Look at competitors in your niche to see what topics they are covering and how they are positioning their content. Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs offer competitor analysis features that can provide insights into the keywords your competitors are targeting.

Step 2: Identifying Your Primary Keywords

With a solid understanding of your niche, you can start identifying your primary keywords. These are the broad terms that are central to your business and content strategy. They should reflect the core offerings of your site and the main topics you plan to cover.

Brainstorm Seed Keywords: Start with a list of seed keywords that represent your main topics. Use your niche research to guide this process.

Use Keyword Research Tools: Input your seed keywords into tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Google Keyword Planner to generate a list of related keywords, along with data on search volume and competition.

Step 3: Evaluating the Competition and Choosing Less Competitive Keywords

For new websites, targeting highly competitive keywords can be an uphill battle. Instead, focus on finding less competitive keywords, often referred to as “low-hanging fruit,” to increase your chances of early success.

Analyze Keyword Difficulty: Use your keyword research tool to assess the difficulty of ranking for each keyword. Look for keywords with lower competition scores that are more achievable for a new site.

Consider Long-tail Keywords: These are longer and more specific phrases with lower search volume but also less competition. They can be highly effective for new websites, as they often have a higher conversion rate due to their specificity.

Step 4: Setting a Foundation for a Robust SEO Strategy

The keywords you select form the backbone of your SEO strategy. They should guide the content you create, the structure of your website, and how you optimize for search engines.

Organize Keywords by Intent: Group your keywords by user intent (informational, navigational, transactional) to guide the type of content you’ll create for each category.

Plan Your Site Structure: Use your primary and secondary keywords to plan a logical site structure that makes it easy for both users and search engines to find and understand your content.

Create a Content Calendar: Based on your keyword research, plan a content calendar that addresses your audience’s needs and covers the topics identified through your research. 

Prioritize topics based on keyword volume, competition, and relevance to your audience.

Conducting thorough keyword research for a new website is about understanding your audience, differentiating yourself from the competition, and strategically targeting keywords you can realistically rank for.

Researching Keyword for Existing Pages to optimize

For existing websites, refining and expanding your keyword strategy is essential for continued growth and improved rankings. Unlike new websites, you have a wealth of data at your disposal to evaluate performance, identify new opportunities, and optimize your content more effectively. 

Here’s how to systematically enhance your keyword research and strategy for an established website.

Assessing Your Current Keyword Performance

Start with a thorough analysis of your current keyword performance. This step is crucial for understanding what’s working, what’s not, and where there are gaps in your content strategy.

Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console: These tools provide invaluable insights into how users are finding your site and interacting with your content. Look for pages with high traffic but low conversion rates, as they might be attracting visitors but failing to meet their needs.

Analyze Keyword Rankings: Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can show you where your pages rank for specific keywords like ahrefs top pages report or semrush Organic Search feature . Pay special attention to keywords that are on the cusp of ranking on the first page, as small optimizations could push them higher.

Identifying New Keyword Opportunities and Areas for Improvement

With an understanding of your current keyword landscape, it’s time to uncover new opportunities and areas where your content can be improved or expanded.

Gap Analysis: Compare your keyword performance to your competitors’. Identify keywords for which your competitors rank well but your site does not. This can reveal gaps in your content that, once addressed, could yield significant traffic gains.

Search for Related Keywords: Use keyword research tools to find related keywords that your site currently doesn’t target. These can provide ideas for new content or for expanding existing content to address additional queries.

Updating and Optimizing Your Content for Better Keyword Alignment

Optimizing your existing content can often yield quicker results than creating new content from scratch. Focus on enhancing the relevance and quality of your pages for both users and search engines.

Refresh Your Content: Update older content with new information, ensuring it aligns with current search intent for your target keywords. Incorporate new, relevant keywords where appropriate.

Improve On-Page SEO: Review your titles, headers, meta descriptions, and content to ensure they effectively incorporate your target keywords. However, avoid keyword stuffing; ensure the usage is natural and adds value to the reader.

Enhance User Experience: Search engines favor content that provides a great user experience. Improve page load times,

Advanced Techniques: Using Analytics to Refine Your Keyword Strategy

Monitor Keyword Performance Regularly: Set up a schedule to regularly review your keyword performance. This helps you quickly identify trends, shifts in user behavior, or changes in the competitive landscape.

Utilize User Behavior Insights: Dive deeper into analytics to understand how users interact with your site based on different keywords. Look at metrics like bounce rate, pages per session, and conversion rate to assess the quality of traffic each keyword brings.

Implementing and targeting Your searched Keywords 

After meticulous keyword research, the next crucial step is implementing and targeting these keywords effectively across your website. This process is fundamental to ensuring your content not only resonates with your audience but also performs well in search engine rankings. 

Here’s how to seamlessly weave your researched keywords into the fabric of your website, enhancing both visibility and user experience.

Best Practices for Incorporating Keywords into Your Website

Strategic Placement: Place your primary keywords in critical positions where they are more likely to be noticed by search engines and users. This includes titles, headings, the first paragraph of your content, and the conclusion. However, the placement should always feel natural and add value to the content.

Use Variations and Synonyms: To avoid keyword stuffing and to enhance readability, use variations and synonyms of your target keywords. This approach aligns with Google’s Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), helping search engines better understand the content’s context.

Balance is Key: While it’s important to incorporate keywords, maintaining the natural flow and readability of your content is paramount. Your priority should always be to provide value to your readers.

On-page SEO Tips for Utilizing Keywords

Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: These elements are not just critical for SEO; they’re your first interaction with your audience on the search engine results page (SERP). 

Include your primary keyword in both the title tag and the meta description to improve relevance and click-through rates.

URLs: URLs should be concise, readable, and include your main keyword. A well-crafted URL can provide both users and search engines with more clarity on the page’s content.

Image Alt Texts: Search engines can’t “see” images the way humans do, so including alt text with relevant keywords helps search engines understand and rank your multimedia content.

Header Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.): Use header tags to structure your content for readability, making it easier for readers to navigate and for search engines to understand the hierarchy and relevance of your content.

The Role of Content Creation in Keyword Strategy

Content Diversity: A robust keyword strategy involves creating a diverse range of content types, such as blog posts, product pages, how-to guides, infographics, and videos. 

This diversity not only caters to different user preferences but also allows you to target a broader array of keywords and search intents.

Quality Over Quantity: Focus on creating high-quality content that thoroughly answers your audience’s questions and provides real value. High-quality content is more likely to earn backlinks, social shares, and higher rankings.

Regular Updates and Refreshes: The digital landscape and user interests are always evolving. Regularly updating your content ensures it remains relevant, provides ongoing value to your audience, and maintains its strength in search rankings.

User Engagement: Engaging content encourages more time spent on your site, more pages visited, and more interaction. These user behavior signals can positively impact your SEO as they indicate to search engines that your site provides valuable content.

Implementing your researched keywords effectively is not just about improving search engine rankings; it’s about connecting with your audience by providing them with the content they’re searching for in a way that feels natural and engaging. 

By following these best practices and continuously refining your approach based on performance data, you can create a website that excels in both user satisfaction and SEO performance.

Conclusion and Wrap up

As we wrap up our comprehensive journey through the intricacies of keyword research and its implementation, it’s clear that these processes are not just tasks on a checklist. They are foundational elements of a successful SEO strategy that requires insight, creativity, and ongoing refinement. 

From the initial steps of understanding and identifying your keywords to the detailed work of integrating them into your content and across your website, each phase is pivotal in connecting with your audience and enhancing your online visibility.

Keyword research is the compass that guides your digital presence, ensuring that your content resonates with your audience’s needs and search behaviors.

By strategically placing your keywords, you’re not just optimizing for search engines; you’re crafting a user experience that speaks directly to your audience’s questions, concerns, and interests. This approach not only elevates your website’s rankings but also builds a bridge of trust and authority between your brand and your audience. 

At Controlled SEO, we understand that navigating the SEO landscape can be complex and time-consuming. That’s why we’re here to help. Our team of experts is equipped with the knowledge, tools, and passion needed to elevate your website from unseen to unforgettable. 

We’re committed to not just improving your search engine rankings, but to transforming your online presence into a beacon for your target audience.

Whether you’re launching a new website or looking to revitalize an existing one, let us guide you through the maze of SEO to achieve tangible results and meaningful engagement with your audience. Our tailored strategies are designed to align with your unique business goals, ensuring that every piece of content and every keyword choice moves you closer to success.

Don’t let the potential of your website go untapped. Contact us today 

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