Keyword research for SEO is not about search volume. I’m even going to argue that it’s not about traffic either.
It’s about choosing topics that potential customers are looking for, serving their needs, and eventually converting them into Customers.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is all about finding the keywords your audience uses when they’re looking for a product or service you offer, and using this information to guide your keyword strategy.
Without keyword research, you might find yourself lost in your own lingo and miss out on popular keywords that your target audience are already searching for.
Or you could end up competing with industry giants – a battle you may only have a small chance of winning, even with a great strategy.
So in this keyword research for SEO tutorial, I’m going to show you how to do the keyword research that will help you increase traffic and revenue. Pay attention.
What’s up SEOs? Elochukwu Chris is here with Search-pilot, the SEO blog that helps you grow your search traffic and dominate your niche.
This keyword research for SEO tutorial is going to be a little different than what you might be used to seeing.
Instead of focusing on things like low competition topics, I want to show you how to find and map keywords that will actually drive revenue for your business.
So whether you’re creating a new website or want to revamp your current keyword targeting, the processes I’m going to describe today will help.
Alright, so let’s say I’m starting a new e-commerce store that sells computers, software, and accessories.
Obviously I will need product and category pages. But I also want to use a blog to feed my Traffic.
keyword Research for SEO Step 1
Generate keyword ideas
I’ll be using Ahrefs Keywords Explorer for this. So I’ll start by writing some broad keywords related to my online store like computer, computers, laptop, laptops, and PC.
Next, I’ll go to the Has Same Terms report which shows us all the keyword ideas that contain the target keywords as a broad match.
And there are over 17 million keyword ideas.
Now the point of this exercise is not to find as many random keywords as possible.
It is about filtering and grouping them by search intent.
Search intent just means “the reason behind a searcher’s query. Now, these can generally be categorized into four groups.
First of all, they are informational keywords. And these are queries where a searcher wants to gain general knowledge about a topic in search engine.
For example, “what is DDR4 ram?”
Next are navigation keywords. For these, the searcher usually knows the destination they want to reach.
For example, something like “newegg DDR4 ram”. Instead, they are business research queries.
These generally show that someone is searching for information on something they want to eventually buy.
So these will often be comparisons and include keyword modifiers like “best DDR4 RAM.
“Finally, the transactional keywords, which show that someone is ready to make a purchase like “buy DDR4 ram.”
And if you’re familiar with the sales conversion cycle, you’ll see that each of these groups fit into one of the four stages.
Now, you might be asking yourself, why not just go after transactional keywords since these are the ones that are going to directly drive revenue?
Two things to note
1. You’ll limit your reach.
Generally speaking, search demand will be lowest for transactional keywords.
So if you’re ignoring things like information queries, you’ll miss out on opportunities to squeeze the conversion journey into your target audience.
Informational content can also help you build trust and authority, so that when someone actually gets to a business research point, they can recognize your name.
Or when they get to transactional stage, having previous exposure can be the difference between choosing you over a competitor.
2. Accelerate people’s buying journey
The second distinct advantage it has is that you can accelerate people’s buying journey through internal linking, retargeting, or any method of getting your content in front of them.
For example, if my store had a blog post on “what to do with an old laptop?” and the post mentioned a buyback program we do, I could quickly, convert.
Now how do you determine search intent for a phrase with some of them, you can’t find the keyword alone.
But a good chunk of them can be found using keyword modifiers. A modifier is a complement to a base keyword.
For example, that could be best, top, or current year. Here’s a short list to get you started. Take a screenshot and let’s move on.
Now I’m back in our keyword ideas report and I want to filter keywords by intent category So take our list of informative keywords, and paste them into the Include box.
Make sure you set the tab to “Any”, which will show us all keyword ideas that contain any of these keywords.
So the filtered results still show more than three million keywords.
So let’s set another filter. If you’re looking for low competition target keywords, then you can set a keyword with a maximum difficulty score of something low like 10.
Personally, I prefer to focus on search demand by setting the volume in tiers.
So let’s set a filter to show only keywords that have a minimum search volume of 1,000 monthly searches.
And we’ve narrowed our 17 million results down to about a thousand. You will now have to manually filter through these.
Since we are focusing on keyword research that drives revenue, you will need to focus on the business potential of a keyword.
At search-pilot we recommend 1-3. The higher the number, the greater the value that the keyword has for our business.
An easy way to determine the value of the business is to ask yourself this question: Can I connect my products or services in these networks naturally?
Or ask yourself, is someone looking for this query interested in buying my products or services? If the answer is no, then you should probably move on.
A quick way to sort this list is to sort the table by parent topic.
Since a single page can rank for hundreds or thousands of keywords, you can use the main topic to see if you can rank for your target keyword while targeting a more general topic about your page instead.
For example, you’ll see high-volume keywords that all have the same parent theme “xbox controller driver.”
Instead of creating numerous dedicated articles in these queries about connecting an Xbox controller to a PC,
just choose the one with the highest search volume as long as it provides value for your business as shown in the image below
For example, this keyword on “what is a computer worm?”
could be a good one for our computer store since we provide antivirus software.
So while it’s an informative topic, you could easily link to the different software products in our store. So I’m going to add a checkmark to it, as shown in the image below
Next, select the rest of the keywords in your filtered list by analyzing the primary topic groups.
Now, before you switch to the next page, scroll to the top and click “Add To” and create a list with the keyword category like Name.
So these would be informational keywords. If you find that your keyword list is too short, then just change the volume filter.
Since we’ve already gone through searches with 1,000+ monthly searches, I’m going to set the following for searches that have 500-999 monthly searches and do the same until you have a big enough pool.
Now, do the same for your other keyword category, and you should have a good list of topics to target at each stage of your journey.
But there is still work to be done.
Keyword Research for SEO STEP 2
Analyze the top 10 search results on Google.
This is a very important step for keyword Research.
The top 10 pages are going to give you insight into things like content format and help you understand how difficult it is going to be to rank in Google for your target keyword.
For example, if we click on the SERP dropdown menu next to this keyword, you will see the top 10 ranking pages.
The first thing you want to analyze is the titles of the ranked pages. You can immediately tell that all the pages are blog posts.
You will also see that the titles talk about what computer worms are and how they work, as seen in the image below
Instead of completely reinventing the wheel and trying to position this with a product page, you’ll want to stick with the content format.
So for my site, I could create a post called, “What is a computer worm? How do you fix it when you’ve been infected?
Now, just to show you how the SERPs can differ, if you look at the top 10 “monitors 4k”, “you will see that the SERP is dominated by products and categories, which to me shows more transactional intent.
You can also do this step by running a Google search for a keyword you want to rank for.
Assess how difficult it will be to rank in Google for this keyword.
There are a few things that I’m going to look at here. First of all, will be the number of unique websites linking to these pages.
It’s called referring domains. In this example, it doesn’t look like the top ranking pages have that many unique links outside of Wikipedia with “499”
In fact, some of the pages in the bottom half of the SERP have 0 unique links pointing to them.
as i look through referring domains, I’ll also look at domain rank, which represents the overall strength of a website’s backlink profile.
In this case, you can see that the ranking all the pages come from quite powerful domains.
So if your website has a DR of say 15, you have to take into account the fact that you will be competing against very powerful sites.
In general, you want to play in the same ballpark domain rating, or be prepared to build more links than the higher ranking pages.
Analyze Topical Relevance.
Since a computer worm is in the “antivirus” category, you’ll see that a lot of the top pages are antivirus companies.
So this can also tell us that it will be a bit more difficult to position, but not impossible.
With all these things considered, I’d put an estimated number of unique links I think we’re going to have to rank for this topic.
From there, I’ll decide if it’s worth putting my time and resources into ranking.
it’s just a matter of doing this for all the keywords you’re interested in targeting.
And I highly recommend creating a spreadsheet of some sort so you can track your keyword targeting plan.
Alright, so at this point, we’ve gone through most of the example keywords where the search intent is easy to identify using keyword modifiers.
But not all keywords are going to include our seed keywords, like “computer”, “laptop”, “laptop”, or “pc”.
A great way to get more keyword ideas is to reverse engineer the topics that are driving traffic to your competitors’ websites.
To do this, go to the Ahrefs Site Explorer. Just enter a competitor’s domain and then go to the top pages report.
if I was looking for product pages that I want to rank for, I would look for a site that has a ton of rank product pages.
Or if you were looking for blog posts, you could look at the top pages report for a site with lots of traffic
Now, it’s just a matter of skimming the Traffic and Top keyword columns.
And if you want to find lower topic competition, then just look at the referring domains column to get a basic understanding of ranking difficulty.
Once you find a topic you want to target, then go through the same process of ranking by search intent, assigning a business value, and analyzing ranking difficulty.
Getting traffic from keyword research for SEO is great and all, but as you go through this process, you want to make sure the keywords you are targeting are serving your potential customers.
And that’s why it’s so important to assign keywords to the problems they face.
And you have the opportunity to show how your products and services will make their life easier, and guide them towards their ultimate goal, “A conversion”. Which implies that keyword research for SEO is an important factor.
Did you learn anything new from this post? If you enjoy this post,
then please share and subscribe to get notified anytime we post a new article and if you have any questions about keyword research, please leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.
So keep working, and I’ll see you in the next tutorial