Keyword Research

In the field of SEO, keyword research can be considered as one of the most important factor that affect the results. In campaign planning, it is not possible to create one when target phrases are unknown. Moreover, it is important that SEO managers know their competitors in order to properly estimate the costs and returns. Thus, knowing the proper way of doing keyword research is very important in SEO. In relation to this, there quite a few things that people in the field of SEO should learn about.


In general, keyword research involves the identification of phrase that are used in search engines by people who are searching for information. The process also includes determining the volume and competitiveness of the terms used.

In SEO, keyword research plays a very crucial role because its correct utilization serves as guide in the design and creation of websites as well as the development of their contents.

In most cases, keywords are dissected and grouped according to the number of words considered in the query phrases. For a keyword with a greater number of words, ranking the terms is much easier because there is less competition. However, what people should keep in mind is that such cases will not always hold true. In fact, several instances are possibly. For example, long tail keywords versus the head and the body keywords are given a keyword difficulty score. The body and the long tail keywords may have competitive scores, or in some cases, the long tail keyword is basically given a higher difficulty score.

Some people claim that the long tail keywords only become more difficult when the queries involve brand names.


It is a common problem for SEOs and even internet marketers to focus on optimizing for the traffic coming to a website and not on converting the visitors. However, they should regulate their effort in optimization based on the goals that they have in mind. For e-commerce or service-based business, resources should be invested in those that lead to the good ranking of the terms and thus a possible sale. This kind of approach aims at not only optimizing for traffic but for conversion of visitors as well.

However, in advertising or publishing business, where revenues are determined by the number of visitors or pageviews, focusing on increasing the traffic to a website seems more plausible.

In all cases, when planning for an SEO campaign, the optimization strategy should take into account the goals of the campaign. For the more straight-forward goals, including the increase in revenue, the optimization should focus on the can be effective in improving the profits of a business.


A keyword can be value depending on two important factors”

  • Monthly search volume compared with that of the competition

  • Potential for revenue acquisition or the conversion rate

The monthly search volume can be obtained through various methods, but Google Keyword planner is one of the easiest to use. Though it works differently from the previous keyword tool and it tends to focus on AdWords, Google keyword planner can still give the user useful data for the keyword research.

As a tip, Google keyword planner users should be aware of the toggles between the Ad Groups and Keywords. They may follow the suggestions below to make their work easier:

  • Switch the default from “ad group ideas” to “keyword ideas” after inputting the seed keywords.

  • Build an initial list then click “Review Estimates.” At this point, “Ad Group” should be changed to “Keyword.” Afterward, a bid can be entered to check for any important data.

When doing a synopsis of a SERP, the keyword researcher is advised to look for certain signals. For example, they can use the Mozbar extension for chrome. The tool can be used in glancing SEO data at the URL level, giving them an idea of the status of their competition.

Meanwhile, Term Explorer can be very effective in the comprehensive macro analysis of an organic SERP, whereas SEOmoz is popular because of its keyword rank report. However, SEOmoz cannot provide a whole view of the SERP, which makes Term Explorer the better tool for such purpose.

When using Term Explorer, people can use the Keyword Analyzer tool for gaining some macro SERP insights. Moreover, the results can be published if the user chooses to do so. In addition, the analyzer can provide a more condensed view of the mission critical metrics for each keyword that is put in. The data can then be further analyzed by exporting the level metrics to CSV.

During the export, date metrics are provided for the date points indicated below:

  • Keyword

  • Ranked URLs

  • Average monthly search volume

  • Average Cost per click

  • Binary indicating whether a keyword is included in a title, URL, page headers, or appears several times on a page

  • Word count on a page

  • Outbound links

  • Relevancy score

  • Backlinks to the page

  • PageRank of the page

  • Backlinks to the domain

  • Age of the domain

  • PageRank of the domain

  • Indication whether a domain is an Exact match domain

  • Trust score

  • Links score

  • Difficulty score

On the other hand, the individual URL Analyzer can be used in acquiring the data mentioned above based on specific sets of URLs.


With a Excel, a keyword researcher can organize his data and determine both the upper and lower maxima with regard to the overall SERP competition. In most cases, SEO experts would claim that utilizing a macro approach to dissect SERPs at the keyword level is very important, especially for enterprise SEO and for expanding websites.

The macro approach to keyword research is best for dealing with heavy-content websites but not in intent-focused keyword research, such as in e-commerce, software, and others.


Learning something about the psychographic of the target audience is necessary in conversion optimization. Moreover, the researcher must be able to identify the reasons behind the most common segments of search intent. In what are considered to be the four most common segments, keyword researchers should only focus on commercial investigation and transactional queries.

For the data mentioned, the keywords should be categorized and grouped then analyze the potential stage of the conversion funnel. Through segmentation of keywords into funnels, the researcher can infer from the data the search intent.

The next step after identifying the search intent is relating the keywords to the search context. Keyword researchers that even word order can influence the meaning behind a query, and that they must ensure that they targeting the right keywords.


Fortunately for keyword researchers, there are now various SEO-related tools that can help them with their work. The tool may include a variety of functions, such as pulling search volume, providing related suggestion, competition in AdWords, and other types of information that may prove to be useful in keyword research.

Some of the most common SEO tools is the GOOGLE KEYWORD TOOL

Google keyword tool can be used in obtaining an average monthly search by setting the right criteria. The user should look for the box in the lower left hand side of the tool to do this. In addition, the data for the average monthly search volume may include the locally or globally obtained ones. However, users should take note the ‘local’ in Google Keyword tool pertains to the country index.

From the data provided by the tool, the keyword prospect list can be built, though other tools may be needed to make the list more comprehensive. And Excel can be used for such purpose. The user need only to click the download button that can be found on the upper left corner of the Google keyword tool to export the keyword list as CSV and open it in Excel.


A lot of SEOs neglect running the singular and plural versions of their terms during a keyword research. In most cases, one would notice that one of the forms may be higher than the other. Meanwhile, the plural version is more often associated with commercial intent. Thus, for keyword researchers, they should also focus on the difference in the monthly search volume for the singular and plural versions of a term.


In expanding the keyword lists, tools, such as the ubersuggest, can be used. Basically, ubersuggest works by running the keyword phrase against each letter of the alphabet and different number combinations to obtain the most frequently searched permutations.

Ubersuggest considers that root phrase before scraping the results suggested by Google. With this, all the potential permutations related on the target keyword can be captured.

Afterward, the user can now select the child keywords that should be added to the prospective keyword list. Clicking the “get” button will allow the user to create a modal window for copying and pasting the generated data.

The selected related keyword can also be rerun in the Google keyword tool to identify the keyword data goodness.

In a number of cases, the Google keyword tool generates more suggested keywords when the input is less than 10.

Meanwhile, there are other types of tools that can be used in acquiring data on keyword usage and competitiveness between paid and organic search. Some of those tools include the following:

  1. SEMrush

SEMrush is effective in providing data on search volume, average CPC, number of competing pages, rank results, related keywords, and the names of companies that are purchasing ad spaces. This is probably the easiest and most effective way.  Your competition has already done all the work for you.  Pick 3 LSI keywords plug them into google and find 3 or 4 quality websites and run them through SEMrush.  It will tell you which keywords are ranking for those domains.  Just make an aggregate list based on the top keywords your competition is ranking for. There is no real reason to complicate the process any more than this.

  1. SpyFu

SpyFu can be used in generating data about search volume, average CPCs per day, number of advertisers bidding on a keyword, and the AdWord ads that are currently active

  1. Keyword Spy

Keyword Spy provides easy access to data on PPC ads, related keyword phrases, competitors, and misspellings.


After analyzing the data on Excel, it is important for keyword researchers to be able to discern the opportunities that are being presented to them. To be able to take hold of such opportunities, the top queries should run through Google Trends in order to assess the seasonal volatility of the keywords. Moreover, focus should be paid to the average index of interest over time, as this tends to confuse a number of keyword researchers. In reality, what they should be looking for is whether the current interest has not declined completely. The generate graph can be used for this purpose. Then, third part litmus test should be utilized in validating the popularity of a topic.


An evaluation method should be used to avoid spending a lot of money in targeting keywords that won’t really bring back much profit. Experts in keyword research commonly utilize combinations of different methods to evaluate and to get a better of sense of the data in their hands. For example, some may use the keyword competitiveness scoring in SerpIQ with SEOmoz’s keyword difficulty score. Then, they can use different formulas to obtain their target score.


Page titles for search can be optimized and this can be done by balancing properly the volume and intent. The title keyword composition would greatly depend on the goals:

  • For traffic optimization, combinations should be used to maximize the use of high search volume terms

  • For conversion, intent is given more importance compared with search volume.

However, for the cases mentioned above, keyword researchers are advised to look for other ways by which they can combine exact match phrases to add more leverage to their strings of keywords.


In the field of keyword research, a certain amount of time should be spent on analyzing which of the keywords are working and making the necessary adjustments on the content and link strategies.