How to Do Keyword Research for Blog Posts In 2018: The Beginner’s Guide

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Last updated on June 7th, 2018 at 10:06 am

I’m making a HUGE promise upfront: by the end of this tutorial on how to do keyword research for blog posts, you’ll have at least 50 keyword ideas that can increase your search traffic and website sales really quickly. 

Are you struggling to get more traffic to your websites? I know how it feels like. I’ve been there!

Did you know the BIGGEST reason why most blogs don’t get any traffic from search engines? Lack of keyword research.

There’s a huge debate going on whether or not to do keyword research for blog posts, but let’s cut all the noise and get this straight: if you’re a beginner, you better learn about how to do proper keyword research for SEO.

Hands down keyword research is the most important aspect of SEO. If you want to attract more visitors from search engines like Google to your site, you need to do keyword research.

That being said, most people don’t know how to do keyword research. If you’re also one among them, this simple step by step tutorial is for you where you’ll find out the best low competitive keywords for your next blog posts so you can start getting more search traffic.

How to Do Keyword Research for Your Next Blog Post: Step By Step

how to do keyword research for blog posts

Step 1: Pick your primary keyword

Before you write even a single word for your next blog post, it’s important for you come up with a primary keyword to optimize your content.

What are primary keywords?

Primary keywords are the main keywords that you want to rank for.

For ex: “SEO tools” is a primary keyword

So how do you find valuable primary keywords for your next blog posts?

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, here are few ways to quickly find great primary keywords that help you increase your search traffic and sales.

#1. Create a list of questions that your audience are searching for

Do you know what all the questions your target audience have in their minds to find your website? If not yet, you should start finding them.

Try to come up with at least 5 to 10 questions that your target audience have in their minds.

If you’re running a fitness related website, here are few questions your target audience might be looking for;

  • How can I reduce my belly fat (primary keyword can be: “reduce belly fat”)
  • How to lose weight without a gym membership (primary keyword: “workout without gym)
  • How to build muscle without lifting weights (primary keyword: “build muscle”)

Are you getting me?

The sooner you build a list of all the potential questions that your audience are looking for, the quicker you can come up with a list of profitable primary keyword ideas to increase your search engine traffic.

Suggested Reading: Top 10 Best SEO Plugins for WordPress to Rank At Top of Google In 2018

#2. Use Quora for brainstorming keyword ideas

I love Quora. It’s the biggest Q & A platform where millions of users get the best answers to their questions.

Quora can be also useful for coming up with a ton of keyword ideas.

Just have a look at the following illustration.

You can see from the above example that, for the topic “keyword research”, Quora is showing us a ton of keyword ideas in the form of questions.

Just enter a keyword idea on Quora search, and it will give you a lot of keyword ideas to work on.

#3. Use your competitors websites

Competitor keyword research has 2 biggest benefits.

  1. You can figure out what keywords are sending them the most traffic
  2. You can eliminate all the guesswork and work only on those keywords which are proven to send you more search traffic and sales

So how do you find out what keywords your competitors are using?

Competitor analysis gets much easier when you get access to the RIGHT SEO tools such as SEMrush. It helps you easily find out the best performing keywords of your competitors.

If you’re wondering about how to use SEMrush for competitor keyword research, here’s a quickly and simple tutorial for you.

Step 1: Head over to SEMrush, sign up for a free trial and enter any one of your competitor website’s URL.

Step 2: Click on “Top Organic Keywords” to find a list of all the keywords for that a website getting traffic from Google search.

Step 3: SEMrush allows you to filter all the keywords by position, volume, keyword difficulty, CPC etc but I HIGHLY recommend you to sort the results by keyword difficulty from low to high (so you can find less competitive keywords which are easier to rank for).

Here’s how it looks like;

You can also sort your results by using filters like Traffic, cost, SERP results, volume, position etc.

Alternatively you can also use Google’s Keyword Planner for finding your competitor’s keywords but the only problem with Keyword Planner is that it doesn’t give accurate results. That’s why most people who are serious about SEO prefer paid tools like SEMrush.

Step 2: Find LSI keywords for your primary keyword

Once you’re done with the first step of finding “primary keywords”, it’s now time to find LSI keywords for your primary keyword.

What are LSI keywords?

In simple terms, LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) are those keywords which are synonyms to your primary keywords.

LSI keywords are highly relevant to your primary keywords so you can bring more search traffic to your blog posts without keyword stuffing.

Examples for LSI keywords.

If your primary keyword is “picture”, LSI keywords can be;

  • Image
  • Photo
  • Snap
  • Portrait and so on..

Why should you find LSI keywords for your blog posts?

If you’re still wondering about how to do keyword research for blog posts in 2018, here are some of the benefits of using LSI keywords within your content.

  • Helps Google to easily understand what your content is all about
  • LSI keywords send you more search traffic because you’ll be using a wide range of similar keywords
  • Helps you easily optimize your blog posts without keyword stuffing

How to find LSI keywords for your primary keyword?

One of the easiest ways to find LSI keywords is through Google search. When you type a term in the search bar, you are automatically shown keywords related to the query you are typing.

Here’s how it looks like;

If your primary keyword is, let’s say “avengers infinity war” (have you watched it btw?) and Google is automatically showing us the LSI keywords that you can use within your blog posts to get better search rankings.

You can also use Google’s “Related Searches” feature to find LSI keywords for your primary keyword.

Here’s the example of how it looks like;

So there you go! Finding LSI keywords is easy and simple. Just make sure to find and use LSI keywords for every primary keyword that you want to rank for.

Suggested Reading: How to Get 1,000+ Visitors Per Day to Your Blog

Step 3: Check search volume and keyword difficulty

Not all keywords are the same. You need to filter your list of keyword ideas using the following 2 major metrics.

  1. Monthly search volume
  2. Keyword difficulty

Quick note: If you’re running a new website, I highly recommend you to pick only those keywords with super low competition (monthly searches between 10 to 20) so you can rank higher even without backlinks.

So how do you find keyword search volume?

You can use Keyword Planner from Google and there’s also a free tool which is the fastest way to find monthly search volume for any keyword within seconds.

Just enter a keyword of your choice and it will immediately show you the monthly searches. Here’s how it looks like;

You can find search volume for hundreds of keywords at once completely for free using this tool.

So what is the best keyword difficulty tool?

Now that you know how to find the keyword search volume, now you need to find the keyword difficulty so you can eliminate all the competitive keywords and target only easier to rank for keywords.

Although there are so many keyword difficulty checker tools out there, but I really like KWFinder (it gives you 5 searches a day if you register a free account which is enough for most people).

Here’s how the keyword difficulty score looks like (from KWFinder tool).

Important note: Finding keywords with keyword difficulty score under 40 takes time but you should always focus on finding such low keyword difficulty score keywords (if you want to rank easily without backlinks). So try to find keywords with a KD of 40 or even less.

Step 4: Commercial Vs informative keywords

There are basically two types of keyword intent that impact your blog’s traffic and sales.

  • Commercial intent keywords (money making keywords)
  • Informative keywords (traffic sending keywords)

If you’re doing keyword research, it’s important for you to know the “intent of your keywords” so you can easily target the right kind of keywords that increase your traffic and profits.

What are commercial keywords and what’s the benefit of using commercial keywords?

Commercial intent keywords are the holy grail of search engine marketing. These are the keywords that usually include “buying words” like;

  • Buy
  • Coupon
  • Discount
  • Offers
  • Shipping and so on

If someone is using commercial intent keywords, they are ready to make a purchase.

These are people who are ready to take out their wallets if they find the best deals or offers from you! If you want to increase your sales, you need to target commercial intent keywords.

What are informative keywords? What’s the benefit of using informative keywords?

Informative keywords create awareness about the products or services you promote on your website. If you’re running a weight loss niche website, you can create content around “how to lose weight fast” which is an informative keyword.

Informative keywords usually contain;

  • Free
  • How to
  • Ways to (and so on…)

These are are the keywords that you should be targeting when you’re building a new blog or website because people like to search for information before they buy anything from you!

If you want to increase your search traffic and user engagement, you need to target informative keywords.

Here’s the difference between both commercial intent vs informative keywords.

Commercial intent keywords help you increase your sales whereas informational keywords are more popular so they help you increase your website’s search traffic.

Start using these keyword research tools

So what are the best keyword research tools for beginners? Okay, that can be another blog post idea. But here are some of the free tools you can use for doing keyword research easily.

  1. Keyword Planner: Keyword Planner is a free keyword research tool from Google which is widely used and a great tool if you’re just starting out. It’s enough for you to start learning more about finding great keywords but as you grow your website, you need to start using better tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs etc to get accurate search metrics about the keywords you want to rank for.
  2. It is considered as the best alternatives to Keyword Planner and an incredible long tail keyword research tool which can provide thousands of keyword suggestions from real user queries.
  3. Serpstat: An all in one SEO tool useful especially for beginners where you can do everything from keyword research to competitor analysis with ease.

Final thoughts on how to do keyword research for blog posts in 2018

SEO is constantly changing. The SEO techniques that worked 2 years ago might not work today. But one thing is still constant and that is keyword research.

Most people don’t get any traffic or visitors to their websites because they don’t do keyword research at all. Or they do it all wrong by targeting highly competitive keywords.

So if you’re someone who’s struggling to increase your website traffic, start finding low competitive keywords to increase your traffic and sales. Did you like this tutorial on how to do keyword research for blog posts? Let me know if you’ve any questions in the comments.