Keyword Research for SEO: What It Is & How to Do It

April 4, 2024
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‍Proper semantics and SEO key work is a crucial stage associated with website promotion and building a loyal audience. The selection of the optimal set of key phrases, the analysis of their qualities and competitiveness, and the distribution across site pages play a huge role in increasing organic traffic and visibility. Keywords are included in informational and commercial articles and other content. Quality research and proper application of its results will allow you to get twice as many customers.

Keyword Research for SEO

What are SEO Keys?

‍These are the main words and phrases that are primarily used in the site’s text content and determine its thematic focus in the eyes of the search algorithm. They can be single-word or multi-word keyphrases. The optimal query length for SEO is 2 to 5 words.

‍Keyword functions:

  • Determine the theme of the site to find a category.
  • Increase the relevance of the site to the user’s intent.
  • Boosting targeted organic traffic.
  • They help analyze behavioral factors and identify users interested in your resource.
  • They are the basis for creating text and graphic content.
  • Used to set up contextual and targeted advertising.

‍Adequately selected words should be relevant to the topic and reflect the audience’s needs but not be too narrow or general.

‍There are low, medium, and high-volume keywords. All of them can be used to optimize texts:

  • Low-volume keywords are words or phrases that people search for relatively rarely. They can be very specific and have a long, large tail. For example, “buy red high-heeled shoes in an online store.” Such requests are made infrequently, but they can lead to targeted visitors. There is the lowest competition here, so you can have a better chance of getting to the top.
  • Mid-volume keywords fall somewhere in the middle. They are searched more often than low-frequency phrases but less frequently than the next category. For example, “buy high-heeled shoes.” More general level, but still fairly targeted queries.
  • High-frequency keywords are common and frequent queries, such as “buy shoes” or “online store.” People very often search for information on such small queries. Competing with them is hard, but they can bring in a lot more traffic.

‍For SEO, it is essential to use keywords of all three types of keys on a specific topic. It will aim at a broader audience and more targeted visitors. The main thing is to find the right balance.

How to Find Keywords

‍The business owner is believed to know what words to use for promotion. But often, this is not entirely true. The website creator does not think like its user. Therefore, promotion can be built on deliberately erroneous keywords, for example, emphasizing professional terms, while direct buyers do not know (or do not use) them.

Where can you get ideas for keys this year? Here are some simple solutions:

  1. Communicate with your target audience. A casual phrase suggested by a friend who buys spare parts can help promote a car service center or an online store of auto goods.
  2. Let the search engine tell you. Enter your query, and at the very bottom of the page, you can see what else users are looking for using similar phrases.
  3. You can use synonymizers. They expand the semantics and suggest more phrases, but the main thing is to use common sense and not “zero” keys.
  4. Analyze slang and professional vocabulary in your niche.
  5. Look for pictures of the topic and see what descriptions are given to them.

The Research Process

‍Let’s say you have a website offering haircuts, manicures, and pedicures — an online beauty salon. To analyze this topic, we will conduct a keyword analysis.

Keyword Research for SEO

Prepare a General List of Keywords for the Subject of Your Business

‍Initially, you should decide: “Who is the client?” and “What does he want to see on the web resource?” These answers will help you understand what exactly to do when doing SEO keyword research. For example, if the main contingent is the fair sex, then they need an extensive catalog of services with the possibility of online ordering (ideally). Based on this list of services, you can already create a list of phrases by which potential clients are looking for (can find) you.

‍These could be general phrases like:

  • women’s hairstyle;
  • hair coloring;
  • manicure;
  • applying gel polish;
  • pedicure;
  • haircut for men;
  • hair extension.

‍The list of keys can be much more impressive – everything is determined by the list of services actually provided. Additionally, it is recommended to add general phrases that characterize your business to this list:

  • beauty saloon;
  • salon;
  • manicure salon;
  • beauty salon + low prices;
  • beauty salon + haircut from “target amount”;
  • beauty salon + city;
  • beauty salon + district (neighborhood/street) of the city (if it is a large populated area).

‍If your website has a blog (desirable in the current environment), you should immediately consider potentially interesting topics for visitors to the web resource. These could be articles about choosing a color, combining colors when dyeing, types of hairstyles in accordance with your figure, height, face shape, techniques for applying varnish, etc. These topics should initially be written down and left for them in separate columns or tabs in Excel or Google Sheets.

Collect Keys Based on the Created List Using Specialized Services or Programs

‍When the main phrases that reflect the topic and services provided by your business are ready, you should write a list of queries that correspond to them. This will allow you not to miss something important. Those words or phrases can drive a large amount of targeted traffic to a web resource.

Use Google Search Suggestions

‍Another source of information is search suggestions. They display the most common queries starting with the same words/letters as the topic query. This is an effective and simple opportunity to increase the list of keywords and generate new ideas for optimizing and promoting a web resource. So, for example, when you enter the phrase women’s hairstyle into Google, the tips suggest the following queries:

Keyword Research for SEO

‍Tip collection services will help speed up the process.

Collect Keys By Which Users Already Visit Your Web Resource

‍This recommendation is relevant and important if analytical services, such as Google Analytics, are already running on the promoted website. This free keyword research tool is handy: it allows you to discover the queries for which users come to you.

Expand Your Key Pool with Competitor Phrases

‍Another way to increase the semantic core is by adding working key phrases to see what keys users use to reach competitors. For a beauty salon, do this:

  • Use Incognito mode in your browser.
  • Write the phrase “beauty salon + your city.”
  • Identify the direct competitors of your online business.

‍A thorough analysis is required for the main opponents:

  • research key phrases used in URLs, link anchors, and page titles. To view meta tags on third-party web resources, use a convenient free keyword tool: Chrome extension – Meta SEO Inspector;
  • check traffic statistics if the corresponding counters are open;
  • use the Alexa service or similar SEO keyword research tool to research competitors’ keys and find additional information on these factors: ICS, DR, average ranking, number of indexed pages, presence in directories, etc.

Analyze Frequency and Discard Queries with Zero and Too Little Usage

‍Key frequency is the number of times users enter a phrase in searches. This indicator directly reflects the demand (popularity) of a particular request. In search promotion, keywords are divided into three groups based on frequency: low, medium, and high frequency.

‍There are no specific numbers for gradation since everything is very individual for different topics and niches. Manually checking the frequency of all queries suitable for promotion is highly problematic. Finding the best keyword research tool is essential. Special automated solutions exist for these purposes. In some programs and services, frequency is shown immediately, along with keywords, simplifying the optimizer’s work.

Check Keyword Competition

‍The level of competition or competitiveness is an indicator that reflects how difficult it is to appear on the first lines of Google or another search engine for a given request. Use a keyword analyzer to determine the places of your competitors. If the level of competition is high, then the TOP 10 contains authoritative sites, which will not be ousted from the first page without significant investments and serious efforts. If the competition is low, you can get to the TOP relatively quickly.

Group Keys

‍Clustering helps to collect keywords into groups. Thanks to special services, this automatic grouping is based on search engine results. It is needed for the subsequent distribution of keys among the promoted pages of the web resource. Without this stage, all previous actions are meaningless. For example, how do I understand and optimize one or two pages for the phrases “beauty salon Los Angeles” and “prestigious beauty salons”? To understand this, you need to perform clustering. Beginners and experienced SEOs use specialized services for these purposes, which we have already described earlier.

‍Another point is the relevance of queries to the promoted page. The times when meaningless SEO texts were posted on a website are long gone. Search engines ensure that the quality of content is as high as possible, meaning that texts optimized for certain groups of keywords must be unique and valuable for a potential reader. That is why readable, logical, and meaningful articles with a harmonious inclusion of keys without spam are demanded when drawing up a technical assignment for a copywriter.

Nuances of Selecting Search Queries for Young Sites

‍For sites that were created recently, have not yet been promoted in search engines, and have not gained popularity in search results, follow our keyword recommendations when selecting key queries:

‍Explore the top 20 results for targeted words and collect your competitors’ semantics. Remember to specify the desired region in the settings and analyze sites of the same type as yours (comparing a regional service site and a federal aggregator is pointless).

‍If your business serves customers in a specific territory, use local semantics: add city, district, street, and metro station to your key queries.

‍Collect as complete semantics as possible, including mid- and low-frequency. It is easier to display a website for low-competitive queries, and later, as the resource accumulates authority, positions for high-frequency keywords will also improve.

How to Collect Requests for Website Promotion: Checklist

  1. Collect bases – the main pool of requests that characterizes the product.
  2. Contact the company’s owner. In the first stage, you will weed out non-target semantics and supplement them with industry terminology, jargon, slang, etc.
  3. Expand your semantics using competitor analysis, collection of search suggestions and association phrases, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console statistics.
  4. Remove frequency and weed out SEO words with zero demand.
  5. Clean the kernel of junk requests.
  6. Perform clustering – distribute requests across sections of the site.


‍Compiling a semantic core is the primary stage in SEO website promotion. It largely determines the success of further promotion. Use different sources, be creative, and work with automated tools that will make the process of creating a network of keys efficient.

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