How to do keyword research in a smart way

Keyword research is one of the most important and valuable factors in an effective SEO strategy, with the highest return on investment (ROI) in the marketing field. It can be time-consuming, but the success of your research may just be the determining factor in the success of your website. By researching your competitors and market's demands, you can learn more about your audience as a whole, leading to more relevant and engaging content.

Your goal should be to always appear on the first page of Google. And you can only achieve this by winning the SEO game (Search Engine Optimisation).

Your preliminary goal is not only to understand your visitors, but also to attract the right ones to your website who can be convinced and converted into potential customers. Additionally, you can get an overview of customers' expectations and observe any possible shift in their preferences. This is very useful for your product, service or content development as you can adjust it based on what web searchers are seeking.

But let's start with the basics...

Keyword research...Where to start?

First of all, think of yourself!

  1. Who are you?
  2. What makes you different or special?
  3. What is your mission?

Once, you have clearly answered these questions, you are already one step further.

Next up! Do some keyword brainstorming. Try to get in the mind of your customers or audience and understand what keywords they would possibly search to find you. What naturally comes up as important or valuable for them?

Good keyword research guarantees that you use the same words as your target audience.

If you find this tough to start, then search on Google. As we all know, Google is our "good friend." If a web search helps you get the right attitude, then do it.

Also, if you have already built your product or service, check for which keywords are currently ranking for and make a list. Digging into the existing data, you'll be able to make safe conclusions and move on to next steps. Organic search also matters. What keywords are you organically connected with? Gathering all this information, you get useful insights to continue building your SEO strategy.

These are some of our favorite keyword research tools:

These tools not only make research easier, but they also give you an overview of the competition. In addition to that, you can get keyword ideas undiscovered by your competitors.

Next step... Check your competitors


In order to win the game, you have to study your competitors. What keywords are they ranking for? Which competitor is the strongest and why?

An important step in this stage is to prepare a SWOT analysis ( Strong, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) and identify all possibilities and improvements in the industry. Include their main keywords!

These are the keywords you have to be aware of, especially if your competitor is beating you in SEO rankings.

As I mentioned earlier, it's good to know your options so you can understand which game you stand a chance of winning. However, don’t spend a lot of time constantly worried about the numbers.

Take the challenge!

You shouldn’t be discouraged from testing more competitive words, just consider that it might be harder (longer) to achieve your goal.

What is Keyword difficulty - a major factor in your SEO success

Keyword difficulty reflects how difficult it is to achieve the top position for a particular keyword in search results. Having a greater understanding of this indicator will help you quickly determine what keywords to use in your strategy and give you an idea of where you will rank.

At this point, I'd like to give you an example.

I used the Rank Tracker tool in order to check the keyword difficulty of certain short and long tail keywords.

For each keyword, you can check where are you stand in different search engines (Google, Yahoo etc), as well as, how difficult is it to get into the top searches on a scale of 1-100.

Once you have the data, copy volume and keyword difficulty numbers on a spreadsheet, order the results using conditional formatting.

For better understanding and analysis, I set three categories:

  1. Cell formatting – greater than 0 – green
  2. Cell formatting – greater than 20 – yellow
  3. Cell formatting – greater than 35 – red
keyword difficulty

Based on the findings, the most difficult keywords to rank for, are "competitor analysis" and "competitor analysis tools." They concentrated the greatest search volumes but the highest keyword difficulty which basically means that there are very competitive keywords.

Keyword Search Volume

In the previous paragraph, I mentioned one specific term, "search volume", which really matters when it comes to the implementation of your SEO's content strategy.

Keyword search volume is associated with the volume of searches for a particular keyword and gives you an overall idea of the competitiveness of this keyword in a specific time-framework. Roughly speaking, it refers to how many people are searching for the keyword you're targeting.

It's important to target keywords that actually have real search volume.

You certainly have to be rational and select keywords with high volume but low difficulty. Despite the fact that they offer potentially broad exposure, extremely high volume keywords make the competition tough for your website and break your content's ranking.

So, there are 2 options for you:

  1. If you have a newly branded website, as a starting point it is better to target low - volume and low - competition keywords until you build stronger domain authority, an important benchmark for Off-site SEO that search engines take into consideration.
  2. Once, your website is properly set up and receives higher organic rankings, then you can get out of your comfort zone and move to a more competitive field.

Final words

Keyword research undoubtedly quite complicated. But according to Neil Patel, it should be the blueprint for your online efforts, driving every decision you make.

Intellyo has realized the importance of keyword research and the great impact it can have on our SEO strategy and general content marketing strategy as a whole. Responding to our audience's needs, we built a tool that gives marketers the opportunity to run a proper keyword research with the purpose of creating optimized content. Among various capacities, Intellyo's Creator Engine provides real-time content quality analysis with smart SEO tips and suggestions to achieve ever higher rankings.

More relevant articles to read:

How to Increase Website Traffic - The Beginner's Guide To Off-Page SEO

How to Increase Website Traffic - The Beginner's Guide to On-site SEO