Search by Category

What are the Top Keyword Research Tips To Keep in Mind?

Mar 09, 2021

Written by Casey Bjorkdahl

Profile Picture Casey Bjorkdahl of

Casey Bjorkdahl is one of the pioneering thought leaders in the SEO community. In 2010, Casey co-founded Vazoola after working for a Digital Marketing Agency for five years in New York City. Vazoola is now one of the fastest growing and most widely recognized SEO marketing firms in the country.

What are the Top Keyword Research Tips To Keep in Mind?

If you are wondering how you can increase the amount of traffic going to your website, you need to focus on keyword research. Keywords are one of the most important parts of your SEO strategy and there are a number of ways to search for keywords. The process of finding keywords and knowing the appropriate search terms can be difficult. If you want to better understand the question “what is a keyword” and how to find the best terms and phrases for your SEO campaigns, there are a few keyword research tips that you should keep in mind. What do you need to know if you are trying to research keywords for your website? 

Branch Out from Your Existing Content with Keyword Research

First, take a look at the existing content you have on your website. Then, figure out which pieces of your content are performing better than others. Do you have a few blogs or articles on your website that are outperforming the rest? Look at page views and other data using a tool like Google Analytics. If certain pages are performing well relative to others, take a look at the keywords and key phrases that appear in the page's content. 

One of the reasons why that specific article might be performing better than the others is because you have targeted the right keyword and thus, more people are finding this page when conducting a search online. Therefore, take this keyword and enter it into a keyword generator. See if there are other related keywords that come up. Then, you can use those related keywords to help you produce new content on similar topics. If you branch out from your existing content with the help of keyword research, you may be able to increase your website traffic. 

Try To Answer the Questions People Are Asking using SEO Keyword Research

In addition, you should also try to answer the questions that people are asking. Take a look at your existing content. Then, see if there are any questions that your content is currently answering. If you enter that question into Google, you will see several questions under the heading “people also ask.” 

As part of your keyword research, try to answer these questions as well. If you are able to use these SEO keywords to answer other questions, you may be able to generate more traffic with new content. If you are able to answer the questions that people are asking on the internet, more people are naturally going to gravitate to your website. A great way to do this is by creating an FAQ page that asks questions and provides detailed answers. That is one of the best ways you can position your website as an authority in your field. 

Target Questions That Nobody Is Answering with SEO Keywords Research

If you are wondering how to choose keywords for SEO, you should also target questions that no one has yet answered. For example, there are common questions that people ask all the time. There may be a lot of competition to rank for these common questions because a lot of people have already answered that question. Try to ask and answer more specific questions in your content, so you can show up in the search results if people are searching for more narrow questions. 

Even though there are other questions that may not be asked as often, these questions are also less competitive. Therefore, if you are able to answer these questions, you may be able to generate more targeted traffic for your website. If you are wondering how to find keywords, take a look at the questions that people are asking but that nobody is answering. If you are able to generate content that answer these questions, the traffic to your website may go up. 

Try To Target Local and Long-Tail SEO Keywords

If you are wondering how to search keywords, you should take a look at your local area. See if there are specific questions that people are asking in your vicinity. Then, see if you can generate content that answers these local questions. When people conduct a search in your local area, your website may show up. Take advantage of local search trends. 

In addition, you also want to target long-tail SEO keywords which are lengthier and more specific keyword phrases. Even though long-tail keywords may not be as popular, they are also going to be less competitive. It may be easier for you to rank for certain long-tail SEO keywords. Furthermore, remember that if someone enters a long tail keyword that you have on your website, they are already very interested in that specific topic, product, or service. You may have a better chance of earning a conversion if you generate traffic using longer keywords. 

Look at the Pages of Your Competitors for Keyword Research Tips

Finally, as part of your SEO keywords research, you may also want to take a look at pages from your competitors using a keyword rank checker. If there is someone who is always ranking ahead of you, you may want to take a look at what they are doing differently. Then, you may want to model what they are doing in an effort to catch up to them. Be careful, though, to avoid mimicking too closely or using wording that is too similar, because the search engines can recognize duplicate content, and you may be penalized and miss out on appearing in search results. Always make sure content is uniquely written when finding keywords on a competitor site and creating your own content based on the SEO keywords. 

Here's an example when looking at what competitors are doing. If you are wondering how to search for keywords, take a look at some of the pages that they have up on their site. See if there are any keywords they are targeting that you are currently overlooking. If you are able to create your own unique pages that target these keywords, you may be able to generate more traffic for your own website. It is important to keep an eye on your competition. That way, you can target the right visitors for your own website.

Your Keyword Research Foundation


Neil Patel emphasizes the importance of using the right keywords for search engine optimization (SEO), PPC, and content marketing. He summarizes the process of finding the right keywords as:

  • Start with a seed list of baseline keywords and phrases relevant to your business offerings as your foundation
  • Use keyword research tools to expand your list
  • Refine your list by doing competitive research

Keyword research is so important to Neil Patel that he bought and improved the Ubersuggest Keyword Research app. For some useful strategies on how to use this app, see: Powerful Keyword Research: the Key to Attracting More Traffic.


To not miss any important topics as you move forward, make sure your seed list is thorough. HubSpot suggests starting your list by putting the topics you want to rank for in buckets.

They recommend using between 5 and 10 topic buckets as the basis for what will be your eventual specific keywords and phrases.

The best way to come up with topics or subjects your target market is interested in is to put yourself in their shoes. If you are looking for what your company offers, what terms would you put into a search?

For example, Vazoola helps clients build links and leverage influencers. Our buckets would contain general topics such as "SEO", "link building", "content marketing, "influencer outreach", and "guest blogging".

Some suggestions on how to identify your seed keywords are:

  • Use words that describe your products or services.
  • Analyze what people are searching for on your site. You can look at what they search, social media posts, blog comments, and support tickets.
  • Use Google’s related search function. See an example below of a related search for “link building”.


Keyword Research Options to Consider

There are many free and paid keyword research apps available to help you target the right audience to increase your traffic, get more leads, convert more to customers, and grow your business.

In addition to the Ubersuggest app recommended above, Robbie Richards asked 127 Search Marketing Experts the question: "If you could only use three apps for keyword research, which three would you choose"? The apps most recommended are:

  1. SEMrush
  2. Keyword
  3. Ahrefs


Considered an “all-in-one marketing tool”, SEMrush makes it easier for businesses to analyze the market and their online competition.

Their software includes tools for SEO and paid PR, traffic, content, and social media. Many SEO experts value the competitive research app SEMRush provides.

Understanding what your online competition is ranking for provides you with invaluable usable data when building your strategy to increase your organic visibility.

Knowing who you are competing with for specific keywords will enable you to try to identify unique keyword phrases that are not currently being targeted to gain market advantage.


When building your keyword bucket, Keyword is one of the big picture apps that can be very helpful in identifying a list of long-tail keyword suggestions.

Getting an understanding of what people are searching for around your business offerings can help you use the suggestions for SEO, content creation, PPC, and other online marketing activities.

The free version allows you to:

  • Generate search term suggestions for up to 750 long-tail keywords
  • Use the tool without opening an account or providing an email address
  • Reliably generate keyword suggestions and claims to work 99.99% of the time


The last phase of the keyword research process described above is to refine your final list of search terms.

Ahrefs is a powerful toolkit to help you research your competitors, monitor your niche market, and grow your organic traffic by providing useful metrics to give you a close-up view.

To outrank your competitors, you need to have insights into how and why they are ranking. Some of the features in the Ahrefs’ kit include:

  • Keyword research
  • Rank tracking
  • Content analysis
  • Web monitoring
  • Backlink research
  • Competitive analysis

Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, says“Ahrefs has a massive index (over a trillion links) that’s updated at least once a day. It’s also super-duper simple to use. Because of its excellent user interface and index, Ahrefs is one of the few SEO tools that I use every day.”

Because Ahrefs’ database has over 5.1 billion keywords, it can help you identify keyword suggestions that other software might miss.

Refining Your List

Once you have set your foundation for your keyword research, this next step is the most important. It is where you zero in and focus on the most relevant keywords for your business that will have the highest likelihood of converting.

Don’t make the mistake of putting too much emphasis on rankings while overlooking the most important reason you want to rank in the first place. Conversions pay your bills, not rankings. Some of the factors to consider when refining your list are:

  • Competition for a specific keyword or phrase
  • The volume of search
  • Additional terms that are relevant to your business

There are both free and paid keyword research apps you can use to help you hone in on the most effective keywords and phrases that are most likely to convert for your target market.

However, they will not help you understand the search behavior, demographics, characteristics, and preferences of your ideal customer.

Effective SEO writing requires a balancing act between writing for search engines and writing for your human audience.

Some factors to consider are:

  • Keyword or phrase competition: Ranked from low to high by Google, you need to understand that the more competitive words will be more challenging to rank for than the less competitive ones
  • Discard terms that are ambiguous: Try searching for your keywords or phrases. If you see results that are not exactly what you are targeting, remove them from your list

Get the Most Out of Your SEO Keywords Research

Ultimately, if you are wondering how to choose keywords for SEO, it is important to follow this keyword research guide. If you want to stand out from the crowd on the internet, you need to focus on the right terms. There are countless keywords and keyword phrases out there that websites are trying to rank for, and your SEO keywords could change from time to time. Therefore, it is a good idea to take advantage of a keyword research software and keep up with these changes. Better yet, working with Vazoola on keyword research and finding keywords to target can help you stay ahead of the curve and save time while getting results. When you work with Vazoola, you are working with a savvy SEO team that is able to adjust your digital marketing and SEO campaigns in real-time, so you're always one step ahead of your competition. We know how to choose keywords for SEO and can make a significant difference when you are trying to generate more organic traffic for your website.

Let’s Get Started...

Tell us more about your marketing goals.