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Picking the right keywords is an essential part of on page SEO for your website. It involves picking terms that align with your content, and business, and can enhance your SEO ranking, leading to increased organic traffic. Discover the “Keyword Research Checklist,” your simple guide to mastering SEO keyword research in 9 easy steps.

SEO Keyword Research Checklist: 9 Steps to Choose the Right Keyword.

Know your audience:

To excel in SEO, it’s crucial to have a strong grasp of your audience and their search preferences. This knowledge should serve as the foundation for your content marketing strategy, SEO keyword research process, and all the content present on your website. By having a clear grasp of your audience, you can identify the keywords that matter to them, regardless of relying simply on SEO tools.

Task to-do in the keyword research.

Choose your main topic and location:

If you have started your journey of creating website content and conducting keyword research, initiate your SEO keyword research checklist by including your main product or service as a foundational keyword.

Afterward, input this keyword into either Google or an SEO tool to observe the generated results. This process is particularly significant in the country where you intend to make sales, as search outcomes tend to vary significantly across different countries.

If your intended audience lives in another country of your own, it’s advisable to configure your SEO tool to target that specific country or, when using Google, consider utilizing a VPN.

By utilizing Google, you can obtain a comprehensive overview of relevant keywords. However, for more precise data and to accelerate your keyword research process, using an SEO tool is recommended. 

Understand the search intent:

An important aspect of this SEO keyword research checklist involves identifying the underlying purpose of the discovered keywords.

Irrespective of the initial seed keyword put into Google or your chosen SEO tool, a range of related searches will emerge.

These queries are influenced by search intent, which generally falls into four categories: transactional, commercial, navigational, and informational.

Transactional or commercial keywords come into existence when individuals are actively seeking to make a purchase. Examples of such keywords encompass terms like:

  • buy
  • sale
  • discount
  • near me
  • services
  • packages

The other prominent category of keywords revolves around informational queries. These often involves a question-based format and structure terms such as:

  • how to
  • why
  • what
  • how to

Do your keyword mapping:

Moving on in the SEO keyword research checklist involves categorizing various types of keywords and allocating them to specific sections of your website. To make this task easy you can use a keyword research tool.

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The transactional or commercial keywords are most suited for your product, service, or landing pages. You can explore an SEO case study that showcases the use of buyer intent keywords to generate orders.

When your audience is actively seeking to make a purchase, it’s important to provide them with a dedicated page that outlines your offerings.

On the other hand, informational keywords are ideally suited for your content-based pages, such as blogs.

If you’re looking to identify informational keywords using Semrush, you can easily select them by employing the Intent filter.

Filter by Volume:

The chances of achieving a higher ranking increase when the keywords you’re competing for demonstrate significant demand, indicating a decent volume of searches.

This emphasizes the significance of volume in this SEO keyword research checklist. SEO tools offer insights into the monthly search volume, revealing the number of individuals actively searching for that specific keyword each month.

For instance, if the volume surpasses 1000 searches, it’s generally considered a favorable indication of potential.

On the other hand, if a keyword has a volume of just 50 searches, it shows that only 50 individuals are conducting searches for it each month in a  country like the US.

a tool like Semrush (bearing in mind that each tool varies), I would recommend narrowing down your focus to keywords with a minimum of 250 monthly searches.

It’s worth noting that this is only why I suggest you pick up a robust SEO tool for conducting keyword research. Although Google’s suggestions might present diverse keywords, informed decisions about which ones to target can only be made using metrics such as monthly search volume.

Choose medium-tail keywords:

 A widely shared suggestion within keyword research is to opt for long-tail keywords, which consist of multiple words. 

In most scenarios, I would also advise this approach, and it’s a common phenomenon in various SEO keyword research checklists. 

However, there’s an important consideration to bear in mind. The effectiveness of this strategy depends on the length of the keyword, and it might not always yield the best outcomes if the search volume is excessively low.

Filter by keyword difficulty:

The next step in this SEO keyword research checklist is figuring out how difficult it might be to show up high in search results for a specific keyword. 

Think of this as a “Keyword Difficulty” number that is usually between 1 and 100. Different tools calculate it in different ways. So, we can’t apply a single rule to every tool 

However, generally speaking, if the Keyword Difficulty is above 60, it’s tough to rank for that keyword unless you have a big website. 

A lower Keyword Difficulty is more favorable.

So, when you’re looking at your list of keywords, try to pick ones with a Keyword Difficulty of around 30% or lower.

Review the SERP:

Review the SERP involves a thorough examination of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), which displays a list of web pages following a user’s keyword search. This process delves into analyzing the content, structure, and rankings of the displayed pages.

Medium-Tail Keyword Example: “Best wireless earbuds under $100”

Keyword Difficulty: 45%

In this example, the keyword “Best wireless earbuds under $100” reflects a medium-tail keyword. The associated keyword difficulty score of 45% indicates a moderate level of competition for this specific keyword. This signifies that while it’s not the easiest keyword to rank for, it presents a feasible opportunity for content optimization and targeting.

Research related keywords:

Research-related keywords are identifying and utilizing keywords that are closely linked to a particular topic or subject. This practice involves exploring and understanding the language and terms commonly used by users when searching for information related to the topic. Researching related keywords helps enhance content relevance, improve search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, and connect effectively with the intended audience by addressing their specific queries and interests.

So let’s recap the 9 steps in the SEO keyword research checklist:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Choose your main topic and location
  3. Understand the search intent
  4. Do your keyword mapping
  5. Filter by Volume
  6. Choose medium-tail keywords
  7. Filter by keyword difficulty
  8. Review the SERP
  9. Research related keywords

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