What is Keyword Research and How Do I Do It?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is how companies improve their rankings on the search engine results page and reach their most valued target market.

While many ingredients go into delivering a highly productive SEO campaign, keyword research remains a core component that can’t be ignored. 

By developing a sharp understanding of the words and phrases that relevant customers type into their favourite search engine, you can shape your website content to attract their attention.

Here, we dive into this essential digital marketing technique and highlight how keyword research strategies will help your business achieve its objectives.

What is Keyword Research? 

Every time someone visits Google, they are using keywords to find the information that solves their problem. Whether they are looking to buy a new pair of running shoes or find out who’s the Prime Minister of Denmark, keywords help people reach their online destination.

As a business, conducting comprehensive keyword research will help you develop a deep understanding of your target market, level up your search engine rankings and shape a content strategy that engages your ideal customers.

Using several helpful SEO keyword research tools and learning about industry best practices, you can ensure your organisation reaches its perfect target market with a precise message.


Why Does Keyword Research Matter? 

Taking a detailed approach to your keyword research is one of the best ways to enhance your digital marketing campaigns. This is because keyword research for small businesses helps you to understand the strengths of your products and what specific aspects your target market cares about most.

As many businesses rely on their content marketing strategies to reach their customer base, keyword research also offers a shortcut for developing engaging topics for your blogs, articles and infographics.

By orienting your website’s landing pages and content marketing around the terms your target market uses to search, you can capture the attention of Google’s algorithm and fight your way to the first page.


Tips for Conducting Top-Notch Keyword Research

Keyword research plays an essential role in any SEO campaign. But it can be a time-consuming and confusing process if you’ve never handled it yourself previously. 

Alongside a robust understanding of your audience, these tips will help you choose keywords that optimise your digital marketing strategy.

Quality Over Quantity

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for how many keywords your business needs to find, don’t waste your time identifying loads of terms that are largely unrelated to your needs.

As the content you create using these words and phrases shouldn’t be stuffed with heaps of keywords anyway, you’ll help your rankings by ensuring that everything you publish is highly readable. 

By selecting highly relevant long-tail keywords that capture your target market’s intent, you can attract a customer base that has a great chance of being interested in what you have to say.

Find the Ideal Keyword Length

As you develop a deeper understanding of keyword research, you’ll undoubtedly come across SEO-specific terms like short-tail and long-tail keywords. 

The former are broad phrases of less than three words that are ultra-competitive. For example, “running shoes” or “buy wedding ring”. 

However, most keyword research for small businesses should focus on the alternative, long-tail keywords. While these keywords will attract less website traffic overall, the people you reach will be far more targeted.

These might include examples like “best running shoes for flat feet” or “white gold wedding ring designs”. 

By using a combination of short- and long-tail keywords in your landing pages, product descriptions and blog posts, you can reach a sales-ready target market.


Understand Search Volume

Search volume is a crucial metric when it comes to identifying the right keywords. Typically, the higher the search volume for a keyword, the harder it will be for your business to improve its rankings. 

However, you don’t want to go too far the other way. If you decide to use keywords with a low search volume, there’s a good chance you won’t attract enough traffic to make a difference to your bottom line.

You must also remember that search volume may fluctuate throughout the year, as many products will increase in popularity during holiday seasons or peak use times. Stay on top of these trends to climb the search engine rankings.

Editorial credit: dennizn / Shutterstock.com

Use Keywords with Intent

Search engines like Google want users to find the information they seek as quickly as possible. As the algorithm understands that some keywords have different intentions, you can leverage this thinking in your own research to achieve your business goals.

For example, an e-commerce website selling running shoes will use buyer intent keywords to attract people looking to purchase new footwear right now. This might include keywords like “buy trail running shoes” or “running shoes size 10 mens”. 

Alternatively, informational keywords are helpful for businesses looking to spread brand awareness. Using keywords like “how to choose running shoes” or “what running shoes are the best”, you can create top-notch blogs and guides that climb the rankings.

Use keywords with intent
Image credit: Google search 1 Google search 2

Once you’ve selected a handful of core keywords that factor in your products, customers and business goals, you can use related search terms to find even more. 

Instead of using the same keywords and risking the algorithm viewing your content as spam, this can help you optimise your content with similar phrases that increase performance. 

Fortunately, it’s not hard to put together a great list. Simply head to Google Trends and enter your main keyword. Then, look at the Related Topics and Related Queries sections to find similar keywords.

Editorial credit: Ricky Of The World / Shutterstock.com

Consider Your Competitors

Whether you’re already leading the industry or trying to catch up, keep close tabs on what keywords your main rivals are using.

This will help you identify opportunities that are being ignored to expand your reach and drive more sales. Alternatively, you might notice a competitor has a great idea that you need to compete against or risk losing customers.

You can determine these keywords on your own or use an SEO keyword research tool that includes a competitor analysis feature.

The Best SEO Keyword Research Tools

Several extensive keyword research tools ensure your business cuts down the time and energy it needs to spend on this task. Check out some of our favourites below.

SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool

SEMRush has long been one of the leading keyword research tools. If you aren’t quite ready to invest in the full-featured suite, the free Keyword Magic Tool is a simplified way to identify everything from broad match keywords to related search terms. 

Alongside 12 months of search volume trends and advanced data filtering, conducting keyword research that achieves your business goals is made easy. However, with a daily limit of 10 searchers, you want to be careful about how you use your time.

SEMRush Keyword Magic Tool
Image credit: SEMRush


If you prefer your keyword research to be highly visual, AnswerThePublic is the perfect solution. Once you enter the main keyword for your search, users will receive a search cloud that breaks down related terms into the categories: ‘how’, ‘can’, ‘are’, ‘which’ and ‘will’.

While the search results will provide a myriad of questions – including some that are irrelevant to your needs – you have a quick route to discover the questions that matter most to your target market.

With this insightful information at your fingertips, you can design an SEO-friendly content plan that provides solutions to many of your customer base’s most important concerns.

Image credit: AnswerThePublic

Google’s Keyword Planner

Google is the undisputed search champ, so it makes sense to head straight to their official keyword planner. While this tool can also be used to map out your PPC campaigns, it’s also wonderfully helpful for SEO purposes. 

Once inside, the Discover New Keywords section will find related search terms for your chosen keyword. You can also filter by language and location to strengthen your results depending on your needs. 

After hitting search, you’ll be presented with a stellar list of keywords with data points on search volume and keyword difficulty. You’ll also receive cost estimates if you decide to launch a PPC campaign with the same keywords.

Image Credit: Google Keyword Planner

Chat to the Experts

Knowing how to conduct high-quality keyword research is one of the defining features of a successful SEO or PPC campaign

With First Page Australia having led hugely profitable campaigns for thousands of clients globally, you can trust us to deliver immense growth for your business. Also, we offer SEO services in Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane.

As our premium copywriting services level up your landing pages and take the engagement of your blogs to even greater heights, it won’t take long for highly relevant users to discover your website.  

Start a conversation with our digital marketing experts today to find out how our performance goes above and beyond the competition.