ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Do Keyword Research

Updated on June 17, 2019
brendonthomas profile image

My core interests are history, psychology, philosophy, and, of course, personal development.


Before proceeding with on-page optimization such as keyword targeting and writing the content, you will need to take a structure process of picking a topic to search, brainstorming keywords, reviewing the keywords value and prioritizing keywords.


Pick a topic

Focus on one topic or theme at a time and attempt to imagine what the webpage you want to optimize looks like.

Brainstorm keywords

Research similar meaning keywords around a closely related topic - quantity over quality at this stage.

Review keyword value

Gather keyword data to help decide how useful the keywords are and whether they are within reach.

Prioritize keywords

Decide which keywords are the most important ones you wish to focus more on.

Pick a topic

A topic could be a product or service (transactional keywords), a source of information (informational keywords) or around a brand or person (navigational keywords).

Have a webpage in mind that you would like to optimize, even if it is not created yet. This will help you filter keywords that may be too specific or too broad.

The biggest mistake SEO newbies make in keyword research, is focusing on short keywords that are too generic for the page they wish to optimize. For example, targeting the phrase "shoes" on a running shoes page is too generic and relevant enough for search engines to choose and the searcher to be happy with.

When typing a keyword into Google and most search engines, you will notice related suggestions below. If you put an * before your keyword, often you will get more specific topics suggested. Another way is to look at the related searches which tend to be at the of the SERP (search engine results page).

When going off topic recall what the page/topic you are researching might look like and ask whether the keyword is best served on it or on another page. If it is better served on another page , then you should put the keyword to the side and re-visit it when you conduct research for the other page. As this is the brainstorming stage these related keywords can be used for another project.

Google's Keyword Planner is part of Google Adwords and is a great way of brainstorming and researching keywords.

This keyword research tool provides you with related keyword ideas that you may find useful, plus some extra data like keyword search phrases.

It does require an Adwords account though and if you are not spending money on Google adverts, the keyword search volumes are presented in vague ranges. However, the results from the Google Keyword Planner are usually on topic.

Brainstorm keywords

Keywords Everywhere is a useful tool that reveals precise keyword research volumes in Google Keyword Planner, Google Search Console, Google, Amazon and many other sites. It works as a browser extension in Chrome and Firefox.

You will need to edit your Keyword Everywhere's setting and supply a free API key which is provided on sign up. Also select the right country and currency with every search.

SEMRUSH and SPYFU are tools that report what keywords a URL or website ranks for. This can be great for brainstorming keywords and keeping tabs on what competitors are up to. Both offer a free package.

When compiling your list of keywords that closely relate to your topic, aim for 12 and more. Also include the search volume of each keyword, however, very niche topics, 3-6 keywords may only be possible, but aim for as many as you can.


Review Keyword Value

For beginner SEO's deciding which keywords are the best for your topic, there are two considerations, search volume and topic relevancy score.

These considerations are available to everyone and should also be used.

Search Volume

We tend to target keywords found in Google Keyword Planner/Adwords to a country level, so select the most relevant country that you wish to target.

Relevancy Score

This is subjective grading between 1 (high) and 3 (low) on how relevant a keyword is to a topic. Judging the relevance score is subjective and you may need a second opinion from a more experienced colleague or SME.

Prioritizing Keywords

Title tags need keywords but it's not possible to fit all relevant keywords in there and we may also be penalized for keyword stuffing as well. Instead we need to focus on the most important keywords and that's why prioritizing them helps.

For on-page optimization, keyword targeting and priority keywords is important.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Brendon Thomas


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)