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How to Do Keyword Research Like a Pro

by Caitlin
how to do keyword research

Now that you know the importance of SEO and have your site up to health, it’s time to talk about how to do keyword research.

In this guide you’ll learn my favorite keyword research tools and methods, along with access to a checklist that will help you write for Google every step of the way.

This is part two of my SEO Basics Guide for Bloggers. You can read part one here: What is SEO and Why Your Blog Needs It.

How to Do Keyword Research

Keyword research is a vital first step that should be taken before you write any blog post (or page, like your “About” for example). 

The research comes from the work you do to create a list of keywords that you wish a blog post to rank for. It can also be a way to develop new blogs if you run out of ideas.

What is a Keyword? Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. In terms of SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called “search queries.


To build your keyword list, start by digging into search engines and your target audiences.

There are many ways to do this.

What’s most important is that you open your eyes to what people are actually searching for, and why (in the SEO world, we call that “Search Intent“).

How I Research Keywords

The good news is that there is no universal method to keyword research…

It’s something you can spend five minutes doing, and or five hours. That part is up to you and how well you know your niche. 

Below, I’m going to share with you how I do keyword research, fast, quick, and on the cheap. 

1. Find a primary (focus) keyword to target 

Each page and blog post on your website should target one primary keyword. 

I usually start a blog post with an idea already in my mind. 

But before I ever start writing, I research to find out what would be the single best keyword to target for the topic.

I use a few different tools for keyword research, but some free ones I love to recommend include Ubersuggest (below), Answer the Public, and Google’s search engine (but always, always in private mode).

free keyword research tools

I also like to choose a keyword that is achievable, meaning it must have relatively low competition. 

But what if my ‘ideal’ primary keyword is not achievable?

No worries. I then start looking at long-tail keywords…

2. Don’t forget to research long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are just like they sound. They’re more specific and less common than other keywords.

The awesome thing about these keywords is while they may get slightly less search traffic, there is also less competition.

So take a keyword like “SEO guide”.

What are some long-tail keywords for that?

“SEO guide for bloggers”, SEO guide for beginners”, or even, “SEO guide for Wordpress”.

Even if my primary keyword isn’t a long-tail keyword, I look these up, usually on Google (below), to get a general feel of what people are searching for. That will help me understand the next step: search intent. 

google related searches

Note: Don’t Research in Public Mode, Do Research in Private Mode: It’s important to note that anytime you are using Google, please use a browser in private mode. That also includes when you search to see if your website appears for keywords.

3. Understanding ‘search intent’ 

Search Intent means, what are people hoping to get from using a search term. A video? A recipe? A map? An easy answer? 

This isn’t such a big deal for organic traffic, definitely something more for the paid side of search… Still, it’s good to have an idea of what the SERPs (search engine result page) look like for your keywords.

Recommended: How to Grow Your Instagram Account

4. Dive deeper into the questions people are asking 

I also love to research the questions people are asking about my primary keyword. My favorite tool for this is Answer the Public. (below)

answer the public

5. Make a keyword list!

Finally, I like to make a list and order all my keywords. Usually I rank them by a combination of search volume and competition, with my primary keyword being at the top. 

I keep this list within eyesight when I start writing my blog posts…

Time to Do Your Own Keyword Research!

So now you know how to do the research! It’s time to move on and start writing those blogs and bringing in organic traffic.

Now, head to part three of the SEO Basics for Bloggers Series: Blog Post SEO Checklist

If you found this post helpful, please share it with a friend! Have a question about how to do keyword research? Drop it for me in the comments below, I’d love to help!

Use these images to save this Keyword Research Guide for later!

SEO Basics for Bloggers Keyword Research
Keyword Research for Food bloggers
How to Do Keyword Research for Free

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