Keyword Research: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need

Keyword research is perhaps the most important activity when it comes to search engine marketing campaigns.It is the foundation of content marketing.

There is no doubt regarding the value a good keyword research provides since it serves as the basis of all other activities. Get this wrong, and you’ll lose both valuable time and money.

Whether you want to use keyword research for building a niche site, come up with article ideas for your business website or simply want to gain more insight into what your customers are thinking, it takes a lot of time to actually find a good key phrase to target. But, the time spend is research is time well spent.

Aim of This Post: This in-depth keyword research guide is aimed at people who are total newbies as well as advanced SEO experts who are looking to step up their game with some advanced keyword research tactics.

Table of Contents

Basics of Keyword Research

What is a Keyword?
keywrod research basics Keyword or a key phrase is what people enter in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo (Yahoo uses Bing for their search engine results). If you wanted to find out about the best restaurant in New York, you’d probably enter “restaurants in New York” in the search engine search box without the quotes and browse through the results displayed. What you searched for is the keyword and what you saw as results is called SERP or Search Engine ranking Pages.

Our goal with keyword research is to come up with good keywords related to our business or website and appear on the top 5 position of the SERP. The reason why I specify top 5 is because we hardly visit the other 5 results even on the first page. If we don’t find a good site within that range, we normally go back and modify our search criteria. So let’s not even talk about pages 2 and beyond.

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Some Common Terms You Need to Know

Head Keywords/Head key phrases: These are the most popular one or two word long keywords with a lot of popularity. It’s usually words like “health”, “weight loss”, “finance”, “credit”, “marketing”, “business” and so on. You get the idea. It’s pretty difficult to rank for such keywords unless you have million dollar budgets and a hugely popular business.

Long tail keywords/Tail Key phrases: These are keywords that are probably 3 or more words long. One good example would be “marketing advice for small business” or something like “credit card for college graduates” and so on. If you are on a budget and is just starting out, it’s highly recommended that you focus your efforts on long tail keywords.
Keyword Matches
Broad Match: This is a matching technique where your keyword will be matched with other keywords that are similar to yours. If your keyword is “dogs”, then it may be matched for “dog training”, “dog foods” or even “cats”. To help understand better, think of the words you enter directly in a Google search box. Those are usually matched with other broad matched keywords.

In broad match, type order in which the keywords appear is not important. Google will consider your page on “shoes” relevant for searches such as “shoes or “red shoes” or “running shoes” or any such variants. You would also be matched with even variations of the term shoes or related words such as “footwear”.

Phrase Match: This is another matching technique where your keyword is matched with other keywords which are the same as yours or contain your keywords. If your keyword is “dog training”, it will only be related to keywords containing “dog training” in it like “dog training Seattle” or “Tips on dog training” irrespective of where the keyword occurs in the search phrase.

To see phrase match results you will have to enter your keyword along with quotes in the search box. The order of the keywords is important. If your keyword is “red carpet”, it will NOT be matched with “carpet red” or “yellow carpet”.

Exact Match: In this matching technique, your keyword is only matched with that word. If your keyword is “dog training”, it will be matched with only “dog training” and not any variations. Here the order matters. To see exact match results you will have to use square brackets ([), with your keywords in the search box.

Negative Match: This matching technique is useful where you don’t want to get results associated with a particular word. Say you want to search for shoes but you don’t like Adidas shoes. In that case, you can use the negative keyword as “Adidas Shoes” and you will see search results which are about shoes but not about Adidas shoes.

The identifier for negative match is a hyphen (-). Use this before the start of the keyword or within another phrase. E.g. “running shoes” – “Adidas shoes”.

LSI Keywords: LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing is the latest buzzword in keyword research. It’s just a fancy term for synonyms. If your page you want to rank is about cats, the search engine robots will check the page for related terms like feline or pets or even dogs. The premise behind LSI is that if a document contains LSI keywords, then it must be relevant to the topic.

Competition: If you use keyword tool by Google, then you’ll come across this term often. Competition refers to the number of people who have ads running for that particular keyword. A higher competition means more number of people advertising for that keyword. Many people confuse this for the SEO competitiveness.

Global Monthly Searches/Local Monthly Searches: Number of people who search for the keyword on a global/local basis.

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4 Simple Steps for Choosing The Perfect Keyword Phrase

Step #1: What’s in it for the people who visit your site?

The best way to analyse which keyword to target is to analyze how well your content compliments the searchers intentions. If you sell SEO services, then if you choose a keyword such as “SEO Consultant” or “SEO service”, or “SEO expert”, it makes sense rather than going after general keywords like “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization” or “SEO tips”.

Google and other search engines are in business for one reason. They provide relevant results to theirs users. If the users search for something and they find sites irrelevant to their queries, they wouldn’t use the search engine anymore. Do you think Google will risk its billion dollar business?

That’s why it’s important to make it a win-win situation. The searcher wins because they find relevant information, the search engines win because they delivered what the user wanted, and you win because you got a reader or a customer.

Step #2: Are people searching for this keyword?

It makes complete sense to target a key phrase that people are actively searching for. If you have broccoli pan cakes for sale and no one is searching for it online, what’s the point of getting to the #1 position for that keyword?

It wasn’t easy to estimate what people are searching for online a few years ago. But now the scenario has changed. There are many tools that help you find what users are searching for online so that you can fine tune your keyword research based on actual data.

With Google introducing its own keyword tool, most other tools are more or less not required. Would you rather go with the data the world’s number one search engine (Google), which holds over 65% of desktop and laptop searches and over 90% of mobile device searches or choose another keyword tool company that provides data from lesser known search engines and affiliated sites?

With Google’s FREE keyword tool, you can easily find out whether your keyword has demand or not. By default Google keyword tool provides broad search results. I suggest that you choose phrase match or exact match to get a better idea of the keywords value and demand.

Step #3: Dig deeper into the data

Even though Google is the market leader, you still can’t blindly trust the data Google gives. Some time back I built a niche site on Channel mixers. The main keyword I chose supposedly had 1000 searches each month according to phrase match results. However, even after attaining #1 ranking and staying there for several months, the traffic to my site was just about 5-10 people a month.

So, you really can’t trust the data fully Google gives. So the best way to test how much traffic your keywords can get is by actually running an ad campaign. Run the campaign for a few days until you get 100 or more clicks for your ad. You can now see the impressions that your ad got, click through rates and conversions. So if you made 125$ for every 100 visitors, that means one visitor is worth 1.25$ to you. That’s your individual customer value.

Step #4: Repeat

Repeat the above 3 steps for all the keywords you want to target. Those key phrases that qualify are the best ones to choose and optimize your site for.

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Keyword Research Tips & Tricks

keyword research tips

  • When starting out, target long tail keyword. Once you start ranking for long tail keywords, you can start targeting the head keywords
  • Wait it out. Keyword research usually takes time. Especially if you are running Google adwords to test against the data you retrieved from Google keyword tool. Take the time to analyze each keyword. It is well worth waiting for a good keyword rather than choosing a bad keyword
  • Don’t use guess work. It’s easy to guess what people want. Use your guesses to mine actual data from keyword tools.
  • Do you have an already existing site to optimize for? You may already be ranking for certain keywords. Tools like SEMRush help you understand which keywords you currently rank for. If your site is new, the tool may not have much data about your site.
  • Spy on your competition. See which keywords they are optimizing for. You can use tools like Spyfu if you need insights into your competitor’s adwords campaigns. You can gain enough information for free by using tools like SEMRush or manually searching on Google and visiting the top 10-20 results for the keyword you want to rank for
  • Track results and changes in position continuously. You can use tools like Market samurai if you need to, but there are perfectly free services online that can help you track your ranks such as CuteRank
  • If you are going to build a niche site, it makes perfect sense to get a domain with the keyword on it. So, do proper research before choosing the domain whenever possible

Keyword Research Mistakes

keyword research mistakes

  • Not having a root keyword for each of your company products. if you have 5 products for sale, then you need to have root keywords for each of the products and also have sub keywords for each root keywords. E.g. If you have a CRM Software for sale, your root keyword can be “CRM software” and sub keywords can be “Online CRM Software”, “CRM Software Solutions”, and so on
  • Not focusing on keyword quality. You might think that any keyword is good as long as it sends you more traffic, right? Wrong!!! The goal should be on quality of the traffic, not quantity. Again taking the example of CRM software, if your software is not free, you might want to avoid getting traffic for keywords like “Free CRM software” or “Open source CRM software”. This is especially true when it comes to pay per Click advertising
  • Not using keyword tools. Although it’s a good idea to manually find good keywords when the volume is low, in most cases, you will need to spend hours or even days when doing things manually. Why not use the free keyword tools available at your disposal to find out the best fit for your usage?
  • Not testing your keywords for conversions. Would you prefer to be ranked #1 for a keyword that bring in 100$ per customer or for a keyword that gets you a 10$ value per customer? The answer is obvious, and that’s why it’s important that you focus your efforts on the keyword that gives you the best ROI
  • Being unrealistic. You have a 1000$ budget and you want to rank for the keyword “finance” or something of that magnitude. Head key phrases such as those require millions of dollars budgets and months or years to rank on page #1
  • Targeting too many keywords on one page. I have seen many businesses make the same mistake. They target all the keywords on their home page, right from SEO to software outsourcing. Instead, target one or two keywords per page and build additional pages for each extra keyword.
  • Not following anything mentioned on the “Tips and tricks section”

Why More Is Not Always Good When It Comes to Keyword Research?
long tail keyword data
As mentioned earlier, it’s not always good to go behind high traffic keywords. Usually they take more time and resources to rank for. Here is where the concept of long tail keywords comes in.

Although head key phrases can seem lucrative due to the high search volume associated with those keywords, it’s always better to target the low traffic keywords first. You can rank for the long tail words far more easily and on a lower budget than compared to head keywords.

Estimates suggest that less than 30% of the searches comprise of head keywords while the remaining 70% comprises of long tail keywords. If you have a keyword that gets 3000 searches a month, which means long tail keywords that are easier to rank have 7000 searches or more each month.

Long tail does not necessarily mean long keywords. In an ultra-competitive niche, even a long tail keyword like “weight loss secrets for men” can be a bit hard to rank for since the competition is huge. Whereas, for a low competition niche you could rank for head keywords easily. The trick is to find a balance between both.

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Advanced Keyword Research Techniques

We all love everything to be “advanced”, don’t we? In this section I am going to give you an advanced and actionable plan to do keyword research.

Step #1: Come up with a seed keyword

Rather than brainstorming keywords yourself, here are some advanced tips for getting keyword ideas

  • Ask a copywriter if you have one. Copywriters are those people who can play with words and make them sell. If your business has a copywriter or can hire one, ask him for suggestions. His ideas will probably be more effective when it comes to converting customers.
  • If you are working for a client, talk to them about their products and services. Ask their sales team about what’s the most important concern or problem people have in their industry. Understand what issue the problem solves and come up with related keyword ideas
  • Spying on your competitors keywords. It’s not always a fail proof method, but if they are spending money on advertising for particular keywords, then it means that those keywords are bringing them business. Approach this method cautiously because some companies don’t really measure ROI and advertise for just about any and all keywords related to their business
  • Get ideas from ecommerce sites like eBay or amazon. See what the best sellers in your area are. See related products as suggested by Amazon (Customers who bought this, also bought…)
  • Use Google keyword tool to find a keyword with high traffic volume. Don’t dig too much to find a seed keyword as you will be using this to find other keyword sets. If you find a too narrow or long tail keyword, it would be difficult to generate more keyword ideas

Step #2: Generate more keywords and analyze them with Google keyword tool

Once you have your seed keyword, it’s time to generate more key phrases related to the seed keyword. Head over to Google keyword tool and paste this in. Select the country where your target customers are located. Change the matching technique to exact or phrase. Generate keywords and export them to an Excel file.

It’s suggested that you sign up for a Google Adwords account and then use the keyword tool. Without sign up, you have 100 keyword generation restriction and also deal with annoying captchas. When you sign in, there are no restrictions and you also get access to cost per click values and other metrics not available in the non-signed in version of the tool.

Step #3: Filtering Keywords

Open up the excel sheet you downloaded from Google Keywords tool. Make another excel sheet with columns named Keyword, Local Search Volume, PR, Competition, Inbound Links and Social Media. The rest of the article assumes you chose phrase match while using Google keyword tool.

Back to our original excel sheet. Here, you need to look at keywords with at least 1000 monthly searches and eliminate the rest. You can set the maximum to any value which you feel comfortable with depending on the time available for the project, your expertise in SEO, other resources available to you such as fellow team members or outsourced staff, budget and so on.

If you have a high value product such as cloud solutions or something that costs huge amounts of money, you may want to lower the minimum search amount to 500 or 100 or even less. Usually high value products have lower search volume and hence the choice must be made on the demand for your product or service.

If your generated keyword list is small enough (less than 100 or 200), then you can simply copy all the data on to the new excel sheet. Once you have the new list of keywords copied to the new excel file, it’s time to gather further data.

Step #4: Advanced stats gathering for keywords

For each keyword, you need to figure out the PR or Page Rank, How many links they have to the page are ranking for, whether they are spending money on advertising and some social media metrics of the top 10 sites. Tools like Market Samurai can automate most of these tasks for you. However if you wish to do manually, here is how you can do that.

To Get Page Rank, Links

Get the SEO for Firefox plugin and activate it. You’ll get much more data than just PR and links. Make a note of the average PR and links of the first 10 competitors.

To Find Competition

Find out whether the company is running any paid advertisements. If so, mark yes in this field. Again, you can use Spyfu to find out if the competition is running ads.

To Find Social Media Metrics
topsy social mediaUse free tools like Topsy and Socialmention to find if your competition is appearing for the social media results when you search using the keywords. If they do, chances are they are utilizing social media too and you have an even tougher competition.

You can do advanced search on both these sites based on the social media sites you want to target, time frame in which you want to do the search and so on. This has many benefits for businesses including pointing out where most of the activity regarding your business takes place.

Step #5: Analyze the Data

This is the hardest path. You have to sit and sort through the data and find keywords that are most valuable to you. Here are some general guidelines to find the best keywords

  • Sort the list in descending order and start analyzing
  • Although PR is not a very good indicator of the competition, it definitely serves as a good yardstick to measure how Google sees the competition. A higher page rank means tougher competition in general. If most of the PR on page 1 is above 5, the keyword will be tough to rank for
  • The more inbound links a certain page has, the harder it might be to rank. Note that a single high value link can compensate a 1000 or more low value links. So don’t over emphasis on the quantity of the links. Analyze the quality of the links. If they are coming from highly popular and trusted sites, they are probably well established and tougher to beat. Market samurai has a good section that can check the quality of the links. If you want to manually check quality of backlinks, here is an excellent advanced guide on backlink quality
  • If your competition also spends money on ads in addition to appearing on organic listings, it’s a possible sign of high competition and also a higher value keyword
  • If your competition is doing social media aggressively, you will have a tougher competition

It’s really difficult to come up with a single equation for selecting the keywords. Most metrics vary from industry to industry. In some businesses social media might not be a good place to acquire customers and hence you shouldn’t give too much weightage to that. Analyze the keywords thoroughly and come up with a small list of keywords (5-10 for beginners) and start optimizing for them.

If you want to even drill down further, you can take each keyword; group them into sets and run a small adwords campaign on these keywords. From these tests, collect click through rate, conversions and sort according to the most profitable keywords.

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Keyword Research Tools

#1: Your Own Website

I surprised you, didn’t I? If you already have a website, the most overlooked aspect is digging into your own site analytics to find keywords relevant to your site. Optimizing for these keywords and related keywords will be far easier than doing with fresh keywords.

If you have Google Analytics set up (there is no special reason you shouldn’t considering it is free), check for the most popular keyword. Also check the entrance and exit pages. This will give you an overview of which keywords search engines and users consider is relevant to them.

#2: Google Keyword Tool:
Google Keyword Tool Results This should be actually the #1 tool if you are about to start a new website or do not have analytics on your own site. Whichever the case is, this is a free tool provided by Google and has lot of features including keyword search volume, related keywords, country wide targeting, Google Adwords costs for each click and lot’s more.

I always use Google keyword tool with phrase or exact match setting, select the country where my users are mostly based on and focus on local search volume. You also have feature in the tool to filter based on device used, search volume and lots more.

As said earlier, you need to test the data by running your own PPC campaigns. Otherwise you may get misled by the numbers.

#3: WordTracker

WordTracker provides both free as well as paid solutions. They pull data from less known sites like Dogpile and Metacrawler. They claim to have a database of over 330 million search terms.

Although it may seem to be less effective than Google keyword tool, it’s actually quite useful in discovering related terms and getting more idea about what people are actually searching for online. They have a free keyword tool you can use.

You can mine a lot of long tail keywords using WordTracker. I haven’t tested the paid version extensively, but from my experience, it’s a decent product. Beginners or DIY business owners won’t need it though. If you run a SEO company, you may want to take a look at it.

#4: KeywordEye
keywordeye keyword research tool KeywordEye is not a very popular tool, but looks promising. You don’t have to sort through any data as everything is presented visually for you. Based on color, size of text and hovering on the text for additional info, you can choose popular and low competition keywords.

Another good option they have is to analyze a domain and return similar visual results to understand keyword rankings for that domain. It’s powered by SEMRush. They have free as well as paid plans.

#5: Google Trends
google trends
This is an excellent place to search from current events that are being talked about. Google trends, lists the most popular and trending once on the home page. You can also search for the keyword you are going to target and see whether it’s getting popular or losing its popularity.

Another interesting feature is trends for website which displays the trend of websites. You can see related websites, regions where the site is most popular and also related searches. This is very useful to come up with competition analysis data.

#6: Spyfu

Spyfu is a very effective tool to spy on your competition. You can spot the best adwords keywords your competition is using. Spyfu can save you thousands of dollars and a lot of time testing different keyword sets.

You can find paid keywords, top ad competitors, organic keywords, top organic competitors, ad history, whether ad copy has changed and lot of useful features.

#7: Alexa

Although I don’t regularly use Alexa data, it can at times provide valuable insights into what keywords people use to get to your competitors sites. This can be valuable information. However, Alexa works properly only in the marketing/tech industry because they gather data from the Alexa toolbar which are installed mostly by marketing/tech audience.

#8: Google Webmaster Tool

Again another free tool from Google which will help you find out more about your site. This is extremely important because Google will show you for which keywords you stand a chance of getting ranked. Analytics shows only click through data. However, webmaster tool shows all keywords for which you received impressions or were ranked somewhere in the search results (Not necessarily even within the first 5 pages).

#9: Answer Sites and Online Forums

These sites are excellent sources that give you a good insight into problems your potential customers are facing. By searching around answer sites like yahoo answers, quora or stack exchange (for tech and programming related questions), you will get lots of ideas into the areas where people need help.

Online forums also provide a bigger insight into the problems faced by users. You can also look at repeatedly asked questions or most popular sub forums and get keyword ideas based on that topic. Say you go to a Search Engine Optimization forum and find the section link building to be the most popular. You can take link building as a seed keyword and generate more keyword ideas from that.

#10: Market Samurai Tool

Market Samurai offers a net little keyword research module with the main software. I’m going to explain in detail how well the module or market samurai works and how to get the best off it.

Choosing the “root” keyword

When you start a project, you can choose main keyword or the root keyword. All the research will be done based on this root keyword.

You can also select the location you want to target. If you have a worldwide audience, don’t make any changes. However, if your audience is geared towards a particular location such as the US, select the country using the drop down.

Interface of the Keyword Research Module

The interface of this module is simple enough for beginners to understand. Although it can freeze up at times, it’s pretty good most of the time.

Working of This Module

It pulls the data from Google keyword tool. It can load up to 100 keywords without a Google AdWords account and can generate up to 800 keywords with a Google AdWords account.

Just push the “generate button” and you will get lots of valuable keywords.

You can manually add keywords into the generated list of keywords. You even have the option of removing keywords which you do not want to list. Say if you are a SEO consultant, you wouldn’t want to bother with “free SEO consultant” as a keyword. So just include “free” in the “Negative Keyword” section and you are good to go.

It could take a while for the data to load. So you might as well go and get a cup of coffee.

Note: In case you do not have an AdWords account added, you would be needed to enter captcha the first time. I have experienced in the past the need to enter captcha several times. I think it might be due to Google detecting scraping attempt. However, if you have an AdWords account, you can forget about this issue.

For this review, I am using the keyword “dog training”

Keyword Analysis of Generated Keywords

Once you have generated keywords, you have to click the “Keyword Analysis” button at the bottom to get more complex data.

As you can see, there are lots of options to find out the best keywords you want to target. There are built in settings or you can choose your own. Depending upon your expertise, you can vary each and every factor.

If you are a complete newbie , I suggest you don’t meddle with the settings there.

Important Metrics of Keyword Research

While using this module, I focus only on certain metrics.

SEO Traffic: This represents an approximate number of visitors you can expect if your site is ranked #1 for that keyword. It varies depending on whether you have set period to daily, weekly or monthly.

As you already know, not all visitors land up on the first link the ever see on a Google search result page (SERP.) Hence, it’s important to take into consideration that a vast amount of people will land up on other sites on page one as well. That means, if a keyword has 1000 searches a day, it might be that the number 1 ranking site might get only 700 visitors while the rest of the 300 visitors decide to go to other sites on the page.

Phrase-to-broad Match: It’s actually a ratio of phrase match searches to broad match searches.

If the phrase-to-broad match is high, that means the phrase searches are more for this keyword. The other way round, broad searches are better.

If you are building a niche site, then you can focus on a higher phrase-to-broad match keyword. However, if you can grow an authority website, then you can choose one with lower P2B match. This is usually beneficial in the long run for established websites.

I don’t usually look at other terms. That’s mostly because I have some experience under my belt and I visually choose the keywords.

AdWords Metrics: If you are looking to create content to sites which will be monetized by adsense, it’s good to take a look at the AdWords CPC and you will get an estimate of how much you will be paid per click.

Note that the value will be what a #1 ranked advertiser needs to pay Google. Not how much you will get per click. The amount you will actually get will be much lower.

Competition Metrics: If you are a beginner in SEO, you can use the default settings of MAX 100000 SEO competition. It’s not a good way to assess competition. Market samurai has another great module to do just that. So I usually leave these settings alone.

Commerciality Metrics: Don’t mind these. It’s usually not a good choice to assess the commercial value using algorithms. You may use them to get a rough estimate. Say the SEO value says 100$. That means it’s OK to spend 100$ a day/week/month for SEO efforts depending on the period (daily, weekly, monthly), you have set. Take that with a grain of salt.

Trends: This is actually helpful when it comes to predicting the future potential of a keyword. If you are looking to build a long term profitable website, it’s wise to consider a growing trend for the keyword you have chosen. If it shows a decline in trend, it’s probably going to be not very profitable as time goes by.

Extra Tips for Using this Module

  • There is a handy feature in market samurai keyword tool. Notice the “lock icon” beside the keywords? If you click on that, market samurai immediately opens up a new tab and you can do further keyword research, analysis on that particular keyword. How cool is that?
  • You can also download the keywords or selected keywords as an Excel file on to your computer. If you don’t have Excel, just upload it to Google Docs and you can view it from there
  • If you happen to use your own options every time while using this module, market samurai makes it incredibly easy to save the settings and use it as a preset the next time you do your research

Problems with This Module

Like any other software, market samurai has some problems too.

  1. Sometimes it crashes. This is not a problem with the module, but with the software as a whole
  2. When you change options, you need to press analyze button again to show the new values


It’s a great module within market samurai. This is one reason that I got market samurai in the first place. I use this module on a daily basis.

Here is how I use this module

  1. To find LSI keywords for blog posts
  2. To generate blog post ideas
  3. To find out which keyword to choose while writing an article so that I can spend minimum effort on SEO
  4. Niche site ideas
  5. Sell keyword research reports for clients on forums ort even Fiverr and make some money. I know it works because I have done it and have seen many people doing the same thing

You can get a free trial of market samurai. Check out the features and how well it works for you. Don’t buy the full version outright. See if it’s the kind of software you would like to use. Only then buy it.

#11: Wikipedia
wikipedia keyword research
You can use the online tool to find out statistics of Wikipedia pages. Now, why this is important is because as you all know, Wikipedia is ranked at the top positions for many of the keywords, especially head key phrases. This will give you a good idea about how much traffic the #1 ranked site can receive via search engines without spending too much money on Google Adwords test campaign.

The data is pulled from Wikipedia itself, so there is no problem with the figures unless Wikipedia themselves are faking it. It’s worth a try as it’s completely free.

#12: Google Suggest

If you are typing in a really popular term, you might have noticed Google showing suggestions as you type. This is called Google suggest and sometimes useful when it comes to finding relevant related keywords.

However, the problem with this approach is that Google personalizes your search based on your previous searches and the suggestions cannot be guaranteed as relevant searches for others. There are lots of examples doing the rounds on Facebook. You see someone post a hilarious Google suggest screenshot and when you try it out, the results are completely different!!!

#13: Google Insights for Search

This is a bit complicated, yet very effective tool. You can use this tool to get data about search patterns, compare based on demographics and more. You can generate popular keywords by choosing “Time Ranges”, setting it for

“Last 90 days”, applying additional filter to select regions and category. You can even drill down to individual metro areas.

#14: Compete

Compete is yet another service like Alexa that lets you find out what terms bring search engine traffic to your competitors website. Similar to Alexa, compete is not very accurate in most cases. Their paid service is too costly and I suggest that you do not sign up for their paid account.

#15: SEOBook Keyword Suggestion Tool

This is a good tool by Aaron Wall of the SEOBook team. You need to register for a free account with them and expect heavy WordTracker promotion (SEOBook is a WordTracker affiliate). The tool is very convenient in that it provides one click data retrieval. You don’t get everything on the tool though since it mainly links out to related sites.

#16: LSIKeywords

A useful site where you can find LSI keywords to use on your page. If you haven’t started using LSI keywords, better start now. Click here to go to their home page.

#17: SEMRush
semrush keyword research
A very useful site to get information about keywords your domain currently ranks for, get Keyword suggestions and find organic competitors for your keywords. SEMRush has both Free as well as Paid Plans.

That concludes my keyword research guide. I hope you found value after reading this guide. If you have any questions of suggestion, please let me know in the comment section below. I would appreciate if you share this post through twitter and Facebook.

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  1. says

    Thank you for the Keyword Eye mention :) I hope you didn’t mean we are not a popular site in a negative way. If so, please get in touch with us and share your thoughts or any feedback you may have. We hope to get more popular in the near future!

    • Adarsh Thampy says

      No, not at all in a negative way. What Keyword Eye does is excellent and I hope I can help spread the word about useful tools like yours.

    • Adarsh Thampy says

      Hey Ben. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, keyword research is one of the few topics that has been covered in-depth.

      The reason whey I wrote this detailed guide is that most people skip this step and blame SEO doesn’t work for them.

  2. says

    Finally, I have found some good information on how to do a keyword research. I knew the free Google tools like webmaster and analytics. This surely tripled my existing knowledge on keyword hunting. Thanks.

    • Adarsh Thampy says


      Great to know that I could help you with this free keyword research guide.

      Good luck!

  3. Website Redesign says

    No doubt, i found here a quality information regarding the keywords research. At my end, I think Google keywords planner is purely depends on your budget and offered some advanced features for PPC.
    Here my question is that, how can we find the exact stats about our current keywords local monthly search.
    Most of the keywords tool offered just demo and trial version and show limited or little stats as sample work.

  4. Reshu says

    Very thorough and interesting article Adarsh! I also want to add two more tips here: 1) Instead of relying on a single keyword tool use 3-4 different tools. 2). Add seasonal keywords in your keyword list as it can help you in ranking a lot faster. Google Trends can be pretty helpful in picking up seasonal keywords, analytics is another great way to identify low hanging keywords.

  5. How to do keyword research with “Keyword Planner” says have shared a great explanation on keyword research. Thanks for share with us.

  6. says

    I prefer Google insight, Google trends and Google Auto-suggest to find out the right keywords. After getting some good combination, we can try Keyword Planner so we can get clear picture.

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