Insight into the language searchers are using to find your website is powerful data that can be used across all of your marketing channels. From determining the way they describe your product or service, to what questions that may have about your business, keyword research can unearth a goldmine of opportunity and knowledge.

Often, we think we know exactly what people are looking for, but the results of keyword research can be surprising! There are often nuggets of knowledge that can help transform the way we create our content online, as well as how we deliver our services or products to our clients.

Keyword research allows us to have data, facts, and numbers to back up any hunches or gut-feelings we may have as business owners. Once you dive in, ou may be surprised at what you find!

Today’s post is going to outline how to get started with keyword research. Especially if you are DIY-ing your website and SEO, it can feel very overwhelming. I hope this post provides some clear, easy-to-follow action steps that can help set your site up for success!

Keyword Research Process

  1. Start with writing down your core keywords – product, service, location, etc., and create a spreadsheet where you can track your target keywords for future optimization and research.
  2. Then, determine what you are already ranking for. By going into your Google Search Console or Google My Business profiles, you’ll be able to see exactly what keywords and search phrases you are ranking for, and which are driving traffic to your site. You can also see which keywords you are receiving high impressions for, but few clicks – the sweet spot for website optimization and improvement!
  3. Now to look for new opportunities and to fill in any gaps you may have, its good to take a look and see what keywords your competitors are ranking for. This can help you determine which keywords you should prioritize, and find new phrases and keywords you may not have thought of before!
  4. Using your spreadsheet, match your new target keywords to each page on your website. Most pages should only target one keyword (product pages, service pages, menus, etc.). However, for your homepage, you will want to include secondary keywords along with your primary keyword (likely your main service, product, or business type). 
  5. Update your page titles, meta description, on-site headings and copy to focus in on providing the best, most comprehensive information possible for the keyword you identify for each page. You may also realize that you need to create new content on your website to best serve a user’s search intent!

Where to Find Keywords

  • Google Search Console: Google Search Console allows you to see all of the keywords and search phrases that you rank for, including impressions, clicks, and click-through rates. This is a great place to assess your content on an ongoing basis, as well as get an insight into where you currently stand for a given keyword. 
  • Google My Business: In your ‘Insights’ tab, you will be able to see what searches are being used by local users, and can provide valuable location-specific information for optimizing your Google My Business profile and website. 
  • Related Searches: When you perform a search with one of your target keywords, there are often ‘Related Searches’ at the bottom of your search result. These show what else people are searching for, using the real language of searchers. This can show specific modifiers, related services, or location language that can allow you to further optimize your content. 
  • SEMRush/Moz: These are free tools (limited functionality) that allows you to assess your website, but also your competitors! If you are working with an agency or SEO provider, they should be able to provide you with comprehensive reporting on your competitor’s keywords, backlinks, and traffic. 
  • Google Trends: Google collects and shows search trends from across the world, but allows you to choose custom keywords and specific areas to see search trends, related keywords, and up and coming topics in your industry. 
  • Google Ads Keyword Planner: If you already have a Google Ads account, using the keyword planner to get search volume and find related phrases can be very helpful. This can also let you know how competitive a keyword is, and whether you should use SEO or paid ads to target that phrase. 
  • Answer the Public: This website is awesome – type in your keyword, and you’ll get a massive list of questions people are asking. This is a great way to get ideas for blog posts, FAQ pages and even new services or products!

What Makes a Good Keyword?

  • Search Volume: Search Volume can be deceiving! For very high-volume keywords, this can mean that a topic is too generic, or can be highly competitive. However, search volume can be used to compare search phrases and make sure you’re targeting a phrase that searchers are actually using. 
  • Relevancy: You can target high volume keywords, but if your content isn’t relevant enough, it won’t rank and the traffic you drive may not be qualified or the right fit for your business. If you have a highly relevant keyword that has a smaller search volume, this can still be valuable because you can rank higher and drive traffic that is interested in your niche product or service.
  • Searcher Intent: Different keywords will show different searcher intent – are they wanting to learn more about your service in general? Or are they looking for a specific page on y our site? Maybe even a particular product, service location, or brand. Each of these keywords will require different types of content, from user guides, blog posts, and sales pages. It is beneficial to have a variety of content types that address each stage of a searcher’s journey.

How to Use Keywords on Your Site

  • On-page optimization (page titles, meta description, headings, content)
  • Content strategy (blog posts, landing pages)
  • Ongoing optimization (go back and see what related phrases content is ranking for)

I hope that its post was helpful in starting your journey with keyword research! Keywords are the foundation of any successful SEO strategy, and in future posts, we’re going to cover different types of keywords, why blogging is important for your business, and how to come up with blog post ideas – all of these start with foundational keyword research!


Tune in live on @thebuzzingblonde Instagram every Saturday at 9am PST/noon EST for our latest SEO Saturday, where I cover a new SEO topic. Have a request or a question? Send a message my way and we’ll be sure to over it!