Best SEO Keyword Research Process campaigns are driven by keyword mastery, the guiding force behind them. You write content, develop marketing strategies, and use it to promote your business. It is a crucial component to business success.

Using keywords also allows you to gain insight into the needs and desires of your target audience, offering backdoors to high-traffic SERP rankings and offering different competitive advantages.

Keywords play an important role. But why does keyword research receive so little attention? Why would you ignore such an important part of your SEO strategy? If you wouldn’t run a targeted Facebook ad campaign based on gut instinct, why would you fail to invest in it for SEO?

You can use, re-use, and modify this checklist according to your own specific needs; by the end of this check-list, you will have covered all of the most important aspects of a good keyword research process.

Let’s get started.

Identify initial SEO Keyword Research

Identify initial SEO Keyword

In order to start, you’ll want to compile some keywords that roughly describe what you’re trying to accomplish. Keywords are a good place to begin your research and help define your niche and the needs of your target audience.

Take a moment to consider your intent. You need to put yourself in the buyer’s position if you’re promoting a product or business online. Can you imagine the search terms that they might use to find the solution to the problem you are solving?

Think of all the ways in which people might look for your product, or how you would describe it in your own words. 

Create a spreadsheet template to store keywords

Take a look at Google Sheets and create a new template to store your keywords if you aren’t using a keyword database.

Make sure your table includes at least the following columns:

  • Keyword
  • Volume
  • Competition
  • Keyword difficulty
  • Notes

Search for related keywords

Search for related keywords

Build a list of related keywords from the initial keywords you collected in the previous task.

There are countless ways to research related keywords, but this task provides some of the most tried-and-true.

Keyword research tools like Ahrefs and their Keywords Explorer are excellent for digging for related keywords that aren’t simply exact phrase matches.

You can enter your initial keyword(s) into the Keyword Explorer and take a look at the results.

Another option would be to use a keyword research tool such as Soovle , UberSuggest , or AnswerThePublic .

With these methods, you will discover some obvious variations of keywords, but others will be related topics or entirely different keywords.

Don’t forget to add all relevant discoveries to your database after researching. 

You can record some metrics about keywords discovered from organic social channels, such as Reddit, Facebook groups, and Quora, by running them through the Keywords Explorer tool, for use in sorting them later.

  • Update your keyword database with new keywords

Take note of as much information about each new keyword as possible (volume, difficulty, CPC, etc).

Sort by clicks and volume of searches

The most important thing is to look at the keywords with the highest search volume, but that’s just one part of the puzzle.

Exact keyword phrases and keywords with high search volumes let us know a few things. That is, there is currently a high demand for something related to this keyword – whether it is a product demand or a general information search. 

Keywords with high search volume can also be a good indicator of what people are searching for in the immediate future. 

You should also keep in mind the number of clicks a specific search term gets in order to identify the information from the commercial intent.

It’s important to keep a lot of things in mind. Please use the sub-checklist below to filter your related keywords and eliminate those that don’t fit. Take into account your business goals and needs, as well as the resources you have available for SEO.

  • Search volume
  • Clicks
  • Cost per click
  • Clicks per search
  • Select the best fit keywords
  • Add them to your master keyword database

You should select and add the most relevant keywords to your master keyword database once you’ve applied a few filters and considered the results.

When it comes down to it, keyword optimization is all about ROI. As a search engine operator, it’s your job to figure out what business intent to look for in a keyword.

Regardless of their click rates, keywords with high volume are the best choice if you want to increase traffic and brand awareness. It isn’t enough to simply count conversions when measuring commercial value. Having the right keyword at the right time is determined by your business strategy.

Filter by keyword difficulty

Filter by keyword difficulty

If you want to know whether a keyword is worth targeting, you need to look at who ranks for that term already.

If you discover that highly popular and authoritative sites are ranking for your target term, you’re in for a tough time.

In addition to low PRs and DRs (less than 30), sites with a low backlink count are susceptible to overtaking. By writing better content, optimizing it properly, and building quality links, you can force an inferior page off of the first page of Google.

A high keyword difficulty does not necessarily mean you should give up on a keyword. All is dependent on the balance between the business value offered by a keyword versus the difficulty of ranking for that keyword.

Gather highest ranking competitor keywords

highest ranking competitor keywords

The best idea is to filter these pages to those that rank the highest for thousands of extremely tightly related keywords.

You can successfully reverse-engineer the ranking indicator by observing what competitor pages are ranking high for certain keywords.

Find more keywords in your less-than-specific niches, while keeping in mind everything you learned from the previous two tasks (keyword difficulty, volume, clicks, and how they relate to your business plan).

Check each item off as you go by following the instructions in the sub-checklist:

Get to know your customers by asking them why they use your products

You can easily overlook the fact that keywords are the missing link between your business and your customers. It is important to understand that keywords represent the wants and needs of your customers.

As long as you can get behind that, you will surely see the importance of communicating with your audience and asking for their feedback.

Answers to this type of question should be crammed with insights into the customer’s mind. In addition to letting us know all about their goals and pain points, this type of mini-testimonial will also reveal some of the organic language your customers use to describe the solution they are looking for.

These gems will improve your products and help you target better keywords.