How to Find the Best Keywords for SEO in 5 Easy Steps
A few years ago when I started blogging, I used to sit down and write a lot of long-form blog posts. But none of them were read or appreciated by people.
Do you know why?
Because I didn’t do any keyword research before writing those blog posts.
And guess what, they all were buried somewhere on the last pages of Google.
Keyword research is the ultimate way to find the best keywords that you can try to rank for.
In this blog post, we will see how to find the best keywords for SEO purposes in a step by step manner.
1. Find out what your audience is searching on the web
This is the very first step in keyword research.
You should know who your audience are and what they are searching for.
You can get keyword and content ideas from questions that people ask on various online platforms. Facebook and WhatsApp groups related to your niche are a goldmine of keyword ideas.
You can also go deep down into websites like Quora and Reddit where people ask genuine questions.
Also, many niche websites act as a great source of keyword ideas.
Apart from all these, there are two excellent tools that will help you find questions that people are asking.
First one is Answer the Public. In this tool, you can just enter your topic and get a boatload of questions that start with what, how, why etc.
Below given image shows the set of questions generated for the topic ‘digital marketing’.
The second tool is Question DB. It will show you relevant questions people are asking about your niche. You just enter the topic into the tool, and it will provide you with a list of questions which you can turn into keyword ideas.
2. Turn questions into keywords
Now that you know what your audience is asking on the web. But these questions directly doesn’t make good keywords often.
We’ll need to fine tune them a little to get good keywords.
But why do we need to do this?
Because there are three important factors to consider before you zero down on one keyword.
These are the length of the keyword (e.g. a long-tail keyword), monthly average search volume and SEO difficulty.
So, in most cases, we will have to modify the questions that we have collected into keywords that have better search characteristics (e.g. good search volume, low SEO difficulty etc.)
Both of these tools are free and easy to use. Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension available for Chrome and Firefox.
When you enter a desired keyword into one of these tools, it will give you different variations of that keyword along with other details like the monthly search volume.
Now, let’s see how to work with the three important factors we discussed above to find the best keywords for SEO.
3. Choose long-tail keywords
Honestly, if you try to rank for generic terms that are so common, I would say it is not even worth trying.
For example, it would be so hard to get a blog post ranked for a keyword like ‘digital marketing’. And often, it would be a waste of time to even try.
But you can target long tail keywords. These are keywords that contain 3 or more words in it. In the example I mentioned above, instead of ‘Digital Marketing’, you can try to rank for keywords like ‘what is Digital Marketing’ or ‘how to learn Digital Marketing’.
The possibility of ranking for such long tail keywords are much higher due to low competition and search volume.
4. Look at the search volume
This is probably the most important part of keyword research.
You should try targeting keywords that are having a decent search volume. Because if no one is searching for a particular term, what is the point of creating content or pages targeting that one keyword?
It is as simple as that.
Now, what is a good average monthly search volume for a keyword?
Well, there is nothing like a magic number. But you can start with 50 searches per month, especially when you have a new website. Low search volume keywords are generally easy to rank for.
However, if your site is 1-2 years old, and is seeing some traffic, you can try targeting keywords that are having higher search volumes.
But honestly, search volume alone won’t make a keyword worth targeting.
That is what we are covering in the next point.
5. Check the competition
First of all, this is not the ‘competition’ that you see on Google’s Keyword Planner or Keywords Everywhere, which is totally associated with search ads.
Here, we are going to look at the competing sites for one particular keyword.
Basically, if your website is going to compete for a keyword with sites that are having good domain authority and backlinks, it is going to be difficult to rank for that keyword.
To know how strong is the competition for a particular keyword, there are two methods.
First one is to manually examine the top 10 ranking sites. You can check for the domain authority, reputation and link profile of the competing sites using any tool.
But the second and easier method is to use a tool like Ubersuggest which can show you the SEO difficulty for a keyword for free.
If you find the SEO difficulty to be less than or equal to 20, it is an easy keyword. It gets tougher to rank for a keyword when the SEO difficulty goes above 20. However, all this will depend on your website’s domain authority (domain score), backlink profile and content quality. And though there are about 200 ranking factors that decide your position in the search results, these three are critically important.
Conclusion: Choosing That One Keyword
So, now we know what to look for in a keyword.
To put things straight, always go for long tail keywords. And look for the search volume and SEO difficulty using a tool like Ubersuggest.
The lower the SEO difficulty, the easier that keyword is to rank for.
Also, ensure that the keyword has enough search volume which can bring you a decent amount of traffic. But refrain from targeting generic keywords with huge search volumes as these targets mostly turn unrealistic, and would become a waste of time and effort. (But yeah, you can try if you’re Neil Patel or have a website that is really strong in DA and backlinks)
Hope this guide turns helpful to you in finding some of the best keywords for your website’s SEO.
Got any queries or feedback?
Leave a comment below, I would be happy to respond.