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How to Do Keyword Research for SEO – 4 Step Beginners Guide

Keyword research is when people use keywords to find and research actual search terms that people enter into search engines like Google. The knowledge about these actual search terms can help inform content strategy for creating blogs and landing pages or your website marketing strategy overall. I’m going to spill the beans on my personal keyword research process.

That way, you’ll be able to establish and execute a strong SEO keyword strategy that will help you get found for the search terms you actually care about on Google.

4 Steps to Creating an SEO Keyword List:

1. Pen & Paper

That’s right! It seems like almost everything we do at DM starts with pen and paper. In this first step,

We literally take a pen and paper and start jotting down everything we can think of. We put ourselves in the customers shoes and try to think of what they would type in the search bar of Google to find what they’re looking for.

We like to think of as many keywords as we can, but we also don’t want to spend too much time on this part of building the keyword list. The most important thing to ranking for anything on Google is having the content in the first place to rank! After anywhere from 5-15 minutes, this step is complete.

Feel free to take a little bit of time afterwards to refine this list down to about 50% of what you were able to come up with. If you took this seriously, you should probably have a page or two full of search terms you can use.

2. Google Intuitive Search

Next, we take the remaining keywords from the last step and type them into google. You don’t have to type them all in, sometimes just typing in the first word or two is enough to populate some great results from Google.

We do this because Google can give us new ideas! You never know what might pop up in the search bar. This is a great way to find “trendy” keywords to add to your list, but BEWARE. You don’t want trendy content! At least that’s not what we recommend you spend your time on.

Unless you’re a media outlet, magazine, or newspaper you shouldn’t be focused on fast content. Our SEO Experts will be able to guide you through what type of content is best, but ideally you would want content that will keep bringing in new potential customers to your website over the entire lifetime of your website.

After this step, you should have about doubled your keyword list!

3. Audit The List

Now it’s time to get serious about your keywords. The previous two steps are great and all, but now is the time to put some real data into the mix of things.

Take your list of keywords and put them in an excel/google sheets file, or enter them into your SEO tool of choice. We use a paid SEO tool call SEMrush for our SEO services, and recommend you use it too if you’re looking to tackle this yourself. After we tried just about everything in the premium SEO tool market, we really like this one for both accuracy and effectiveness.

Back to the topic at hand! Take your keyword list of plug them into your keyword tool. Now it’s time to run the audit on the keyword list. This should populate a table showing how many people search for the word in your target market, how competitive the keyword is, and a lot of other relevant details for each keyword.

Upon review of this audit, you should narrow down what keywords you want to create website pages/content for. Take on as many keywords as you can, but really make sure you’re creating valuable content. 1 keyword should take around 5 hours to create a landing page for, if not more if you have to shoot video/creative content.

4. Create Content

There’s a lot in between running the audit and creating the content, but for the sake of this post we’ll sum it up here. Search for your target keyword and look at all of the pages ranking on the first page of Google.

How many words do they have (300, 500, 1000, 2000)?

What types of content do they have (photo, video, tables, charts, etc)?

What specific subtopics are they covering? What is the tone of voice?

Is there any “filler” content or is every paragraph valuable?

These are all valid questions you should be asking yourself when viewing these pages. A well trained SEO expert would be able to point out a lot more than this, but these are the things you need to consider because you are planning on competing against them for the top spot on Google!

This is no easy feat, but we highly recommend you at least try to get your website ranking higher on search engines. If you ever find yourself needing help, give us a call at (972) 571-6777, send us an email at, or simply leave us a message in the contact form below.

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