How to do Keyword Research for Websites

Keyword Research is an important practice for doing proper SEO  and creating successful ad campaigns. When the keyword research is done properly,  the strategy and the content structure of the a website can be defined in the correct way. And this will effect the performance of these 2 approaches. In this article, we will explain in detail what is a Keyword Research? And how to do it right?

Note: If you have not read our SEO article about what is SEO, we recommend you do so first.

What is Keyword Research?

Basically, keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing what specific terms people use the most when they are searching for certain things on search engines- mainly Google. There are three main goals for doing this:

  1. Find out the most popular search terms for any subject, and target them in your website/ad campaigns to reach more people,
  2. Get new keyword ideas, and target them, again, to reach more people.
  3. Get an idea of how competitive a given keyword is, and get average costs for PPC campaigns for different targeted keywords

Why Keyword Research is Important for Websites?

Here’s an example- imagine someone wants to look up information on climate change. He or she opens Google -or some other search engine, for whatever reason- types in “climate change” and hits Enter. Someone else might wonder about the same thing, and search for “global warming”, while some other -and maybe a bit more dramatic- person might look up “climate crisis”. Now, if you have a blog post about climate change, all of these three people are your audience, as they are looking for more or less the same kind of information. But, Google data says the term “climate change” is searched for 1.830.000 times on average monthly, while “global warming” is searched for 90.500 times, and “climate crisis” is searched for just 5.400 times.

Now this is the type of data you cannot overlook. You want your website to reach more people, which means you want to optimize it to match with more searches. And to do that, what terms are used the most for searching is one of the most important things to know. Also -as we have mentioned above- keyword research give you ideas for additional keywords to target- meaning additional visits! Like, imagine you have written a blog post about the subject, without even using the term “climate crisis” once. Doing a keyword research & analysis on “climate change” will give you new keyword ideas, including that one, which will help you make your content richer, and your ad campaigns more effective.

And keywords are not only important in actual content and targeting ads. They are important in URLs and domains as well! For example, in this case, a lot of people would like to have their URL as:

instead of

This is, of course, unless they are specifically targeting those 5.400 searches for “climate crisis”, which would be a different SEO strategy. Long story short, the way people search for things is your number one clue when optimizing your website and ad campaigns, so you better do your keyword research right. And how to do it right? That, we will talk about in the following lines.

How to Do Keyword Research for your Website?

To do keyword research for SEO, beginners may follow these steps in general:

Start with what you know: make a list of topics

Before going into detail, start with a list of popular topics about your subject that you know. This is assuming you know a few things about your niche, but even if you don’t you can get ideas from other popular content sources. After coming up with a good 10 or more topics, you can then work on specific keywords.

Get search volumes for popular keywords, and find new keyword ideas

For each topic, think of a few popular keywords -these can be the actual topic names too- and put them in your keyword tool. Your keyword tool should be able to provide you with two important things:

    1. The monthly average search volume of the terms
    2. Popular keyword recommendations based on the terms you have provided

To continue from our first example, searching for the “climate change” in Google’s Keyword Planner -a popular keyword tool among others- will also return the following popular keyword ideas (the numbers are monthly search volumes for each)

keyword research

Having these data will give you a better understanding of what to target in your content. Obviously terms with high search volume look tempting, but one thing to keep in mind is that they have higher competition as well, which means it will be far easier to get better rankings for keywords with less search volume/low competition.

Build your final keyword list

Now you have your topics, and you have your keywords, time to build a keyword list for every page/content, so you now what to focus on. You probably don’t want to stuff your pages with keywords, as it is considered bad SEO practice.

Remember, creating a content that is actually helpful to readers is much more important than filling it with keywords, and Google’s algorithm is smart enough to differentiate good content from those “keyword pools” with little to no useful information.

Those are the basics. And here are a few more keyword research tips:

  • Always consider competition – No matter what your site is about, you are competing with tons of other websites out there. Using your keyword tools -or just simple Google searches- check out your competitors’ rankings on certain keywords that are important to you.
  • Use Google search – Google itself can be a very helpful keyword tool! Its auto-fill function, as well as its related searches part at the bottom of SERPs, are all helpful tools for you to find new keywords.
  • Questions are important – When trying to come up with new keyword ideas on a topic, always ask yourself “what questions people would ask about this?” and some of the answers may give you valuable keywords. For example, if you are looking for keywords for a post about brewing good French press coffee, you should probably consider questions such as “how to use French press?” or “how to make good coffee using French press?” to get the best results.
  • Consider long-tail keywords – Long tails keywords are long and specific terms, and they have lower competition. For example, “dog food” is a major keyword, while “how to prepare healthy dog food at home?” is a long-tail keyword for the same niche.

What Are the 4 Types of Keywords?

When analyzing the users’ intentions behind searches, in digital marketing point of view, experts usually group keywords under four main categories, which are the following:

Informational Keywords

Informational keywords are those used when searching for information on a certain topic. They do not necessarily bring conversions in terms of sales, but they might get you a regular audience if you can consistently provide good content. Some informational keyword examples are:

  • french fries calories
  • 2019 oscar winners
  • largest ocean

Navigational Keywords

Navigational keywords are basically those searched with the intent of reaching a specific website/webpage. Usually, people who don’t remember the exact URL of a page or those who are not used to using address bars use navigational keywords. Some navigational keyword examples:

  • facebook
  • national geographic blog
  • bbc news

Commercial Keywords

Commercial intent keywords are those that show the users’ interest in certain products/services. They are used especially by those who are looking for more information before making their final decision about a product and/or service. Here are a couple of examples:

  • iphone pro max 13 reviews
  • fender vs. gibson
  • new york hotels

Transactional Keywords

Transactional keywords are keywords with a strong intent to buy a product/service and/or take direct action. Some examples of transactional keywords are:

  • buy plane tickets
  • motorcycle for sale
  • watch latest news
  • food delivery

Transactional keywords are good to be targeted using paid ads.

How to Choose a Keyword Research Tool?

When it comes to choosing a keyword research tool, you -as you would guess- have lots and lots of options. Then how to choose the best keyword research tool? Well, that’s not an easy question, but here are a few things you should always consider before making a choice:

  • Your budget: If you are building a website, you will be spending money on a number of things- domain, hosting, digital marketing, etc. It is of course always advised that you should have a budget for keyword research too, but keep in mind that there are a lot of free tools as well, so, especially if you are just starting out, you can opt for those.
  • Additional features of the tool: Determine what additional features do you need from your tool, if any. If you are just starting out, you might want to start with a basic tool, just to see the keywords with high search volumes and keyword recommendations, but some tools provide important data such as your competitor’s rankings, good alternatives for highly competitive keywords, etc.
  • Ease of use: You certainly do not want to overcomplicate things when doing your keyword analysis. The ideal keyword tool should be simple enough to use and get some solid keyword recommendations.

FAQs About Keyword Research for Websites

Q: How do I find keywords for my website?

A: There are a few different methods you can use to find keywords for your website. The first is to use a keyword research tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer. Both of these tools will allow you to input a seed keyword and then generate a list of related keywords. Once you have a list of relevant keywords, you can start to optimize your website for them. Another method for finding keywords is to look at your website’s analytics data. Look at which keywords people are already using to find your website and then target those keywords with your SEO efforts. Finally, you can also use Google Suggest to find keywords. Simply start typing in a seed keyword and Google will suggest related queries that people are searching for. These suggestions can be used as potential keywords to target.

Q: How many targets keywords do I need for a website?

A: No definitive answer exists to how many target keywords you should have for a website. However, a good starting point is to target 2-3% of all the potential keywords for your website. This will help you cast a wide net and attract a variety of visitors.


We have now established why keyword research is important, both for SEO and paid ads. But it is also important to remember that it will never loose its relevance. Some practices do- for example, having multiple microsites for the same audience was a thing years and years ago, but now it is more or less useless for SEO. Keywords, on the other hand, will stay a major part of search engine optimization, because people will keep using them as long as they search for stuff on the internet. So, whatever your niche is, remember to always perform a solid keyword research & analysis, before you fill your website with content, to get the best results.