Blog

keyword research

Keyword Research Made Easy with These 6 Steps

Keyword research is the process of finding the search terms you want to rank for. It is a vital process for reaching your target audience.  The goal of keyword research is to find search terms with decent search volume that align with your organization.

However, we know that finding quality keywords can be challenging. Most of the time keyword research is a daunting task, and for many, it’s hard to know where to begin. To help you get started, we compiled 6 easy keyword research steps that will improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and paid campaign success.

Here are the steps to follow while conducting your keyword research:

1. Brainstorm Your Keywords

Brainstorming is the quickest and easiest way to get started with your keyword research. While brainstorming, it’s important to think from your target audience’s perspective. Here are the three questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Which search terms do I want my organization/service to be found for?
  • How does my target audience search online for my organization/service?
  • How would I describe my organization/service?

2. Scan Your Website

SEO and content go hand-in-hand. Without content on your website, strong SEO will not follow. So, scan your website to see the most used keywords and topics on your website and identify the valuable pages that you would like to direct your target audience to. It is important to note that, just targeting and bidding on a keyword is not going to be enough for you to rank for that keyword. You have to associate your website with that keyword by having valuable content.

3. Analyze Existing Queries

It’s important to identify which search terms are already bringing users to your site via paid and organic search. To do this, you can use Google Search Console or the acquisition report in Google Analytics. In order to see search console data, you need to enable your search console.  Search console showcases search data for the last 12 months and offers valuable data to improve your site. By incorporating these insights into your research, you will be able to understand how users are currently finding you, and build out more specific keywords targeting your visitors’ search behavior.

4. Use a Keyword Research Tool

Up to this point you should have many seed keywords, next step is to plug them into your keyword research tool to learn about their search volume, competition, and bid amounts. Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner can also help you to expand your list with ideas for potential keywords. Search volume corresponds to interest and you may think that higher the search volume the better the keyword is. But don’t forget, if the keywords you’re trying to rank for or bid on are too popular, you might have a hard time getting on search results and end up overpaying for your ad clicks.

Pro Tip! Google Trends is another way to gather valuable insights about search terms and keywords. Read our guide for using Google Trends here.

5. Check Google’s Predictions and Related Searches

Another way to increase your keyword variety is to use Google’s autocomplete feature to see high-volume variations of search requests. Google’s predictions are based on real user queries that vary depending on language and location.

This is not the only way that you can utilize Google in your keyword research. You can also check Google’s related searches at the bottom for more keyword alternatives. Related searches are similar to the autosuggest feature mentioned above, except that “Related Searches” offer a broader mix of keyword opportunities.

6. Check out your Competitors

Just like in any other marketing process, it is important to analyze your competitors’ efforts and see how they’re spending their marketing dollars. Luckily, there are free online tools to help you analyze your competitors’ keyword strategy. iSpionage and SpyFu are great tools to see which keywords your competitors or similar organizations are targeting and bidding on.

Now you learned about the free tools and basic strategies that you can use to build out your keyword list. One more thing before you start – It’s important to remember that just because a keyword tool returns a keyword does not automatically mean you want to or can rank for it. Always think about your organization’s goals and continue analyzing and optimizing keywords to improve your results.


If you’re interested in learning more about how Media Cause can help you build your keyword list, get in touch! We’d love to help.



San Francisco

147 Natoma Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 938-6398

Washington D.C.

641 S Street NW
Washington D.C. 20001

Atlanta

800 Battery Ave SE, Suite 100,
Atlanta, GA 30339

Boston

170 Milk Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 804-0861