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SEO keyword research

How To Do SEO Keyword Research?

To rank high in Google and grow your audience  (that will later turn into paying users) is the ultimate dream for every online business. But to grow your audience, you need to connect with the right users who will find what they are looking for in your content. High-quality keyword research can help you with that. 

In this blog post, you'll find an easy-to-follow process of how to do keyword research for SEO. You'll learn all about this process and will be able to implement it right away. 

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The Basics of SEO Keyword Research 

Before we dive deeper into how to do keyword research for SEO, we need to discuss the basics. Let's dive in: 

The purpose of keyword research: 

Your webpage should find its audience to grow your online presence. One of the primary tactics of SEO is to conduct SEO keyword research that will help you target your audience. 

What do we mean by that?

Every user has their intent behind their query. They either want to learn how to do something, to buy something, or to gain more insight into some topic. While researching their questions, they leave keywords that bring them to the answer they seek. SEO keyword research aims to find the right keywords and optimize our page so users can find answers on our website.  

You need to know three things before you begin your SEO keyword research:

Knowing your audience: 

If you know your audience well - you're already on the right path. The first important step in SEO keyword research you need to take is to analyze your audience. Get in the user's shoes, and think about: 

  • The needs of your audience;

  • Their main pains,

  • How they would most likely solve them,

  • How they would look for a solution

  • What is the language and professional slang?

Answering these questions, you'll be able to understand the main topics that will bring you closer to the right keywords. 

Knowing your product:

You know your product better than anyone else, and that's how you can find the right people to learn more about it. Think through: 

  • What does your product do?

  • What kind of pains does it solve?

  • What kind of people should look for it?

Knowing the answers to these questions and matching them with your buyer persona will give you great insights into where to look for the best working keywords that match user intent during your SEO keyword research. 

Knowing what you want to receive from your audience

An essential part of SEO keyword research is understanding that you must have a clear objective before optimizing your page. Here, we can divide the questions into a few groups. 

What do you want your audience to do:

  • Do you want them to buy your product? 

  • Do you want them to become faithful readers who will return for more content?

  • Do you want them just to check your page and go away?

  • Do you want them to stay?

What do you want your keyword to do:

  • To rank your page high?

  • To find the right audience?

The questions in this section can be endless. That's why you need to be very clear with the end goal. Creating steps to reach your goal becomes straightforward when you have an objective during your SEO keyword research.

Now, as we learned and explained the basics, we can dive deeper into how to do keyword research for SEO and how you can automate it with the best tools for keyword research. 

Read: How to Build a Keyword Strategy For SEO?

How to Find Your Keywords? 

Finding the right keywords is your SEO optimization strategy's primary and most crucial stage. So, to make it easier, we introduce a straightforward step-by-step process for SEO keyword research in this section. Let's go!

Step 1. Find "seed" keywords

Let's imagine you own a webpage that sells cat towers. You sell them in different sizes for other breads and houses made from different materials. They come in various shapes and have many themes that will suit almost all cat personalities. 

But how do you find keywords for your extensive choice of cat towers? The answer is that you're going to look for the seed keyword

The seed keyword is a term that describes your product the best without any necessary details. In our case, the seed keyword will be "cat towers." 

While using keyword research tools like Semrush or Ahrefs, your seed keyword will become a core of your SEO keyword research. But be aware that more than optimizing your page based on seed keywords is required. 

Seed keywords have a significant search volume, and your page will be lost in search results. To avoid this problem, we'll need to do some more digging. 

Read: What Is Content Seeding & How Does It Work?

Step 2. Find related topics 

To improve your keyword, think about the topics related to your product. In our case, it can be:  

  • Cat towers for big cats 

  • Cat towers for kittens 

  • Cat towers DIY 

  • Cat towers assembling instructions

The topics can be endless, but you must find the ones that match your page the best. Once you conducted this research, we can move forward.  

Step 3. Modify keywords

Use modifiers that will make your keyword more enticing to check out. Let's come back to cat towers: 

  • Best cat towers

  • Buy cat towers

  • Cat towers near me

  • Reviews cat towers for kittens 

Once you complete this three-step process, you can generate keyword ideas, giving you enough room for analysis and implementation. However, let's continue and take our SEO keyword research to the next level with the additional two steps. 

Step 4. What do your competitors do?

Your competitors already did most of the job for you. All we need to do is conduct a quick keyword competition research competitor keyword analysis. Check out how your competitors target their products and how they sell their pages to your audience. 

For that, you can use keyword research tools that will give you a quick competitor analysis. A wide variety of tools can help you; for example, the seobase Keyword Explorer tool can provide you with all the necessary information on your competitor's keywords and their use. 

Step 5. Check what you missed in the process

If your website is already entirely developed, you can analyze it with keyword research tools like Semrush. They take your website and explore both your and your competitor's pages. This way, they provide analytics on where your keyword is weaker and when it's stronger.

Read: Why Is Keyword Research Important For SEO?

How to automate keyword research


Conducting Keyword Analysis

After our long and thorough SEO keyword research, we should have a good list of keyword ideas. However, generating ideas is not the end of our journey - now we need to understand keyword analysis in SEO and how we can perform it.

In this section, we'll introduce you to valuable metrics to track to find the best keywords for your page. 

Monthly search volume 

MSV (Monthly Search Volume) is probably one of the most critical but tricky keyword metrics to track during your SEO keyword research. Search volume tells how often users searched your keyword in the past month. Let's see, the keyword "cat" has a search volume of 2.2 million during the last month. 

But here are some critical notes on this metric: 

  • Search volume is country-specific, so you must be attentive while checking the metric.

  • Search volume doesn't show the number of users that searched the keyword. It only shows the amount of overall searches. 

  • If your keyword has a lot of monthly searches, it will take a lot of work for you to rank. If your site is new, beating more established areas with better SEO optimization and a more extended online presence will be impossible. 

So, the key takeaway here is that when you check the monthly search volume, opt for a smaller volume. Smaller volume means less competition and more opportunities to establish your page as a leader. 

Keyword difficulty (KD)

During SEO keyword research, using keyword difficulty is where you can establish the right keywords. The easier your metric, the harder it's for us to rank. Here, we'll need to use long-tail keywords to increase keyword difficulty. 

Here, the system is pretty much the same as in search volume but has a bit more insight into it: 

  • The longer and the more specific your keyword is, the better ranking you'll have. You'll be able to attract more particular users and match their intent much better. 

  • Keep going even if your long-tail keyword has a small search volume. It only means ranking high and gaining more visibility using particular keywords.  

Traffic potential

Keyword research tools like seobase can also provide information on your keyword traffic potential. Knowing search volume and KD is sometimes not enough. All users are real people who think differently, so their queries may not match one specific keyword. 

That's why you need to test your keyword's traffic potential and be careful with it because, like search volume metric - it's country-specific. 

In this section, we learned more about keyword analysis and how it can influence your decision for SEO keyword strategy. At this point of your research, you should have a string list of keywords with excellent potential to rank your page higher.

Keyword metrics

How to Target Your Keywords

As we conduct our SEO keyword research, we must learn how to target the chosen keywords. Here is how we can do that: 

Choose the primary keyword

Let's return to our cat tower business. For example, we have a new product called cat towers for kittens, and we need to sell it the most during this season. We conducted SEO keyword research and now have a list of 10+ keywords. What do we do with it?

Yes, we have more than ten keywords, but we cannot target them all - that's why we need to choose the primary keyword that will help us target the topic. 

In our case, the primary keyword will be - "cat towers for kittens." 

The primary keyword - is the best representation of the topic on your page; you'll use it the most throughout your content and will use it in: 

  • URLs

  • Titles

  • Tags

  • Headings

At the same time, the other keywords will become secondary keywords that will be a supportive force to your primary one. They will have a lower search volume but are not the primary target. 

You'll need one of the most excellent seobase tools - SERP checker. Use the SERP Checker tool to use the keywords that will bring traffic and domain authority to the top.

Search intent

We've talked extensively about SEO search intention in  SEO keyword research, but what does that even mean? 

In simple words, what problem is your audience trying to solve? Nailing the search intent is the most essential part of any SEO strategy. There are four traditional categories of search intent, and we need to be aware of them:  

  • Navigational: Here, the user is looking for a specific page, for example, "Whiskas" (a particular page for cat food).

  • Informational: The user searches for general information on a topic, for example, "сan kittens climb cat towers."

  • Commercial: Here, the user is checking out the choices before their final decision, for example, "best cat towers to buy."

  • Transactional: The user searches for a specific product or brand to make a direct purchase, for example, "cat towers Amazon."

You can target the right keywords if you understand the search intent well. Luckily, keyword research tools like Semrush and Ahref directly answer the search intent behind the keyword. 

Also, remember that an essential step in identifying and nailing the search intent of a keyword is to do a SERP analysis.

Useful Tools for SEO Keyword Research

SEO keyword research is time-consuming if done manually. But luckily for all SEO specialists, there is a list of handy tools that can answer your question of how to automate keyword research. 

  • seobase Keyword ExplorerWith this tool, you can find keywords that can easily rank without spending a fortune on wrestling with your competition. We've got the most accurate search volume data on the market you can rely on.

  • Google Keyword Planner: It's a tool for those who want to run ads on Google. But SEOs, too, can get some value from using it.

  • SERP CheckerThis tool will help you select and manage metrics you want to use to analyze your SERP results. Detect Google SERP features to calculate what you need to use to outrank your competition.

    keyword search intent


You must know yourself, your product, and your audience to rank high. Tactics and keywords may change, but your audience will evolve with your product. On this journey of learning how to do keyword research for SEO, we discovered how to find the best keywords step by step, and we hope this guide was helpful.  

Use these SEO keyword research tactics now and see your online presence grow! To learn all SEO-related topics, check out the seobase blog. 

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