How to do keyword research for SEO

If you’ve been struggling with SEO, here’s an advice – do keyword research well and all SEO will fall into place. And here’s how you do keyword research for SEO.

Wait, what is SEO?

Well, as if you didn’t know – SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. And SEO comprises of things that you do on your website and off of your website.

They are called on-site and off-site SEO.

Onsite SEO = Things you do on your website. (Like content changes etc)

Offsite SEO = Getting other websites to link to you, share your content etc.

So, how does keyword research fit in SEO?

Well, keyword research is the basis of SEO.

πŸ† Best SEO Software – SEMrush

What does keyword research do to SEO?

With keyword research, you’ll find what keywords/search phrases/topics do you need to target and get found for on Google.

For example, if your website is about apples, keyword research will find you how many people are searching for apples on Google and other search engines.

How many of those searches are for red apples and how many for green apples. And how many about the company Apple.

You see the value, don’t you?

So, keyword research is the first step to SEO.

πŸ†Best YouTube Tool – TubeBuddy

How to do keyword research for SEO?

So, here’s how you get started with keyword research for SEO.

Get a tool like SEMrush, Ahrefs or even Google AdWords. These are all great tools to do keyword research.

I’ll show you how to do keyword research for SEO with SEMrush.

First, go to SEMrush’s keyword magic tool and type in a “seed keyword”.

A “seed keyword” is the primary keyword based on which you will generate all the related search terms and keywords.

how to do keyword research for SEO

Once you do it, SEMrush will show you the following data.

  • Keywords people are searching for on Google
  • Search volume against each keyword
  • The overall trend of the keyword
  • Filters/themes to differentiate keywords
  • Advanced filters to narrow down

Let’s look at the advanced filters available to narrow down your keyword research.

Questions – Clicking on questions will show you all the questions related to the seed keyword.

Example: If seed keyword is “apple”, it will show you questions like “Can dogs eat apples?”

How to do keyword research for SEO - Questions

You could answer these questions in your website content.

What is “Broad Match”?

If “broad match” is selected, SEMrush will show you all and any variations of your seed keyword or keyword phrase in any order.

What is “Phrase Match” and “Exact Match”?

If “phrase match” or “exact match” is selected, SEMrush will show you all the keyword phrases and/or exact match keywords in various orders.

What is “Related Keywords”?

If “related keywords” are selected, SEMrush will show you all the related keywords to the seed keyword.

how to do keyword research for SEO - Related Questions

You can also filter/sort the keywords based on “Keyword Difficulty”, which will show you keywords that are hard to/easy do SEO for.

how to do keyword research for SEO - Difficulty

You can also “include” or “exclude” keywords from the list based on your preferences.

For example, if you want to avoid all mentions of “watch” from the list of keywords, you could do so, making the list relevant for only fruit related keywords.


So, doing keyword research for SEO is easy this way. Of course, you can take different routes and approaches.

Some SEOs prefer to do it manually, by just going to Google and looking for “related searches” suggestions from Google itself. But there are disadvantages. You’re not getting the actual search volume with this method.

But if you do keyword research for SEO with SEMrush, Ahrefs like tools, things are a lot more easier and accurate.

Not only you get accurate data, but you also save a lot of time from manual research.

The last thing you want when doing keyword research for SEO is ending up with hundreds of spreadsheets and spill over data.

All the best! If you have any questions, please ask in the comments section below.

πŸ† Best WordPress theme – Divi.

Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Startup Mentor, Tech Blogger & Entrepreneur.

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