Keyword Research: Steps to Doing Effective

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today you are going to learn how to conduct effective keyword research. We will explain what has changed and how to do effective keyword research for our business today. 

Our goal is that you can generate a brutal list of keywords that will be the beginning of your content strategy.

How to do effective keyword research?

First of all, I have to warn you that keyword research has changed a lot in just 6 years and will continue to change in the same way in the coming years, so if we don’t keep up to date we could end up doing more harm than good to our SEO strategy .

Actually, as of today, in November 2020, keyword research has also changed compared to how research was done just 3 months ago since Google has changed its keyword tool.

Why is it important to do keyword research?

Because keyword research will be your first step to generate an effective positioning of your website, and as you know, in any online business, the positioning of the web plays a vital role for the survival of the business.

If positioning is vital for online business then how can we achieve the best possible positioning?

One of the best ways to position your website is by offering a solution to a specific problem that people have.

How do we know what problems people have?

Thanks to the searches that users carry out on the web, we are able to interpret what they need and offer it to them.

But how do we get it?

To achieve a good positioning we must create a content strategy that generates value for the users of your company . This strategy will meet the objective of creating visibility, that is, attracting qualified traffic to your website thanks to content marketing.

If you just thought “marketing of what?” You may not have planned the content that your audience needs . It does not mean that you do not know what your audience wants, but that you do not have it planned with an order (You may not know what your audience wants either but that is another topic that we can address in another article in which we will talk at length about marketing of contents). That is why I recommend that you start planning it as soon as possible. As they say in marketing “trying to kill flies with cannon shots has never been a good strategy.”

“Trying to kill flies with cannon shots has never been a good strategy”

Let’s continue, in any SEO content campaign, obviously the content plays a totally essential role for visibility. That is why when writing content we always have doubts such as:

Will anyone look up this that I am going to write? What will be the best title for SEO? Does this content add value to my SEO strategy?

To answer these questions , the keyword research process acquires a special relevance since it will help us to know:

  1. What type of keywords our audience uses
  2. Which of those keywords have the highest search volume
  3. Which of those words have a high or low difficulty
  4. If those keywords have real value for my business

This process will help us to better define the effective web structure.

It will help us to generate a list for each part of the web, that is, to generate:

  • Keywords for the purpose of the main page
  • Keywords to use in categories
  • Keywords to use in products or services
  • Keywords to generate articles
  • List of words that we can use in the SEM strategy

Now, you might be thinking, okay, I already know the importance of keyword research, I know that it will help me to separate the keywords for each content on the web, but…. how can I do it and where do I start.

How to research keywords for your SEO strategy?

First of all, I think everyone’s thinking is what tool do I use? Which one offers me the volumes of the keywords? Is there a free tool that offers us an approximate volume of searches that a keyword had per month, year, or at a certain time?

If you are one of those who have thought about these questions first, it is normal, but this is not the correct way to start. Before all this, the most important thing is to create your process to do an effective investigation. As we explained at the beginning, the tools change over time, which implies using others and adapting to new ones.

We are going to explain the following steps to achieve an infallible investigation process that, although the tools change, will continue to serve you after the years.

These steps will help you to generate a keyword research for your website and your content strategy, so that you are able to find out what words can generate content, and what concepts will be discussed on your website.

Step 1: Make a list of relevant topics about your business

To start this process it is very important that you know well what services you sell , what solutions you bring  to your ideal client and what you are good at or better than others.

These general topics will help you mark the content line of your online business.

The content strategy begins in this phase.

Well, now you will be thinking and what tool we can use in this step. Well, you have to use the most effective tool of all, your brain. Here you just have to create a list of up to 10 vital topics for your business and translate it into your Excel template.

Step 2: For each topic a general list

For each topic we are going to carry out a brainstroming and obtain a wide list of keywords related to the topic.

If we already have the list of vital topics for your business, now is when we want to identify the most important keywords for each topic. Think for each topic, keywords that you think your customers are looking for. Use your criteria to get a list for each topic.

In this phase it is always good to brainstorm with your co-workers, or with your friends, family, clients, etc. Don’t be afraid to add keywords that you think will work, the more the merrier.

Keep in mind that we are in the second step, it is not the definitive list of your keywords, however we need it to be a very broad list of keywords related to the term.


Empathy: Ask yourself what your audience wants to find on your website.

If a person wants to find “tools to research keywords” it is very likely that he will also look for:

  • Free keyword research tools
  • How much do these types of tools cost, can I afford it?
  • They are for large or small companies, what type of companies use these tools?

With this trick I want to make it clear that the word “keyword research tools” is the general concept and that from there you will be able to generate many more words. They will be keywords that help answer the questions that your audience asks and that serve to give answers to the problems.

We must make use of tools that help us obtain words related to the term.


Google Instant

Typing a keyword in google appears in seconds 4 or 5 ideas related to your keyword.

Keyword planner

Many SEOs use this tool to start and almost finish keyword research. With this tool we can easily discover and extract almost all the keywords we need.

The problem, Google decided to change its tool in August – September 2016 and now the keyword planner has stopped showing the search volumes of those keywords and only shows them the figures as intervals.

As you will realize it is a chore, yes, I know, a great chore, but as I have told you before, in SEO like everything in life you have to adapt or die.

What can we do with this tool?  

Get a wide list of words related to the search you have done. Remember that this search is the keyword that we have identified in step 1 and it can help you find words to write articles, categories, and important pages of your business.

In the next article we will talk in depth how to use this tool after the changes and especially what alternatives exist to obtain search volumes like those provided by this tool.

Another tool that is used to obtain words related to a term and that is free by registering is SeoBook.


It helps you to obtain related words and the monthly search volume. It performs the same function as the google tool with the only difference that it offers a lower number of keywords.

Another tool that I use to generate a very broad list of keywords is


This tool is very useful to generate a wide list of words related to the term we are looking for.

The advantage of this tool is that it offers variant keyword results. These variants are arranged in alphabetical order.

Other tools you can use to get suggested keywords are:

Related searches that appear in google

Step 3: Collect all the keywords in an excel document

Remember: We pass all the keywords of all the tool lists through the google planner again and thus we will have a homogeneous total list.

Once you have all the exported keywords in several sheets of the same Excel, I recommend that you put them all together in a single Excel sheet to be able to separate them later.

In the template that you can download at the end of the article you will see how we do it.

What we do in this step is to gather all the keywords that we have obtained in the various tools and we pass them all at the same time through the google keyword planner tool to obtain traffic estimates and possible impressions.

It is true that now since Google changed its tool we do not have the volume of the exact words, however, we can order the words by the estimated impressions or by the competition that that word has and thus we can discover which are the ones with the best numbers. .

Until September 2016, this tool offered the estimated volumes for each of them, but now only the intervals appear, such as 1k to 10k, and in that interval the truth is that many volumes fit.

Step 4: Checking the positioning of your website

This step is for those websites that have been around for a long time and that have a greater or lesser background and therefore are already receiving visits. If you are reading this article because you are going to create your blog, company website or e-commerce, do not worry about this step for now.

In this step we want to check which keyword from the previous list is currently positioned and if so, know what content it is associated with.

Normally a word positioned in google directs the user who clicks on it to a specific URL on your website . I say normally because it is sometimes true that you can position two content for the same keyword.

You have to be careful with this since you can generate what is called “keyword cannibalization” that occurs when the same or similar keywords are used on several landing pages of a website. When this happens, Google is not able to decide which content is the most suitable for the user and in the end it does not show any.

In summary, this step is very important so as not to create service pages, or vital categories for the business with the same words, and to avoid “keyword cannibalization”.

What tools are we going to use in this step: Search Console:

If your website already has a background and it has been working for a long time, it must be registered in the old Google WebMastertools (GWMT) now called Search Console. If you have not registered, what are you waiting for, here is the link.

Search console shows you in its search traffic / search analysis section a complete list of the keywords by which your audience has found you. The list tells you for each word how many clicks, impressions you have received and where you appear in google.

For each word it also tells you the page it leads to, so in addition to obtaining a complete list of keywords, you will know what type of content is causing the greatest impact on your audience.

Download the list in Excel and you will be able to join it to the list that you have created with the other tools and thus you will know which keywords are already on your website generating traffic.

Step 5: Filtering and Segmentation

This is the most important part of keyword research, where we wanted to get to once the post started: Segment the keywords.

«Segment the key words for each section you have»

If we remember the objective of the article is that you can develop a brutal list of keywords to be the beginning of your content strategy.

To finish the investigation correctly you must join in a total list of Excel all the words, some will be positioned and others will not, don’t worry that the ones you have positioned will also be segmented by each section and we will see if it corresponds to the ones you currently have. As you have seen before, we want to avoid using the same keyword in different sections of the web.

By having a list for each section, it will only be necessary to know which words are most important and which ones we should use to write our texts for the web.

This work, since google adwords updated its keyword planner tool, it becomes more difficult for us without any payment tool since it does not show us the real value of the search level, so with these tools you can segment using the level bid as it would correspond to the level of competition that word has.

To know in depth the level of searches and the difficulty of keywords we can use the following payment tools:

  1. Semrush.
  2. Ahref.

Meanwhile, you can use the columns offered by the google planner such as:

  • Competition. As cited by Google: “Competition” is the number of advertisers shown for each keyword compared to all Google keywords. How to use it: It will let you know how competitive an ad placement is for a given keyword.
  • Search level: The average number of searches for this keyword and its close variants based on your targeting settings and the date range you selected. You can use this information to see how popular your keywords are during a certain period of the year.

Conclusions from this guide to doing keyword research

I hope this guide helps you see the importance of the correct choice of keywords before starting and writing content for the sections of your website and your blog content.

It is always good to follow the three maxims of Plan, develop and control in any project you do on your website, but especially in keyword research.

Discard the keywords with which you cannot compete, always keep in mind that you have to be realistic in your research.

Keyword Research Article Summary:

  • Segment your services
  • Research keywords for each service
  • Store your words in a document
  • Check if you are already positioned
  • Filter every word in every section

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