Keyword research: How to research keywords for blog posts [2023 Guide]

Keyword Research

Keyword research ensures you don’t create content for keywords with low search volume or high competition. 

And it’s not rocket science. IF you learn the procedures in this article.

This article explains keyword research from the very basics to an advanced level. Keep reading  

Keyword Research

A guide to keyword research

How to do keyword research [IN Depth procedure]

This procedure will cover 7 main concepts that target different aspects of SEO & will give you plenty of tools to work with. Simply put, you will excel at keyword research after reading this procedure.

Researching keywords via blog post topics

Start keyword research by making a list of blog post topics [Use our game plan that builds a list of topics FAST].

Remember, it is done to find blog post topics. So this method is reverse engineering the process. Here is the procedure:

  • Take your main topic keyword (For example, the topic keyword is coffee, podcasts, cabinet doors, etc)
  • Think of questions on that topic [Atleast 10 – 20] & jot them down
  • Search the main topic keyword on Google. Jot down any further topic ideas you get from the search results [This is ONE of the 30+ methods to get blog post ideas]
  • Go through your list & pick out keywords directly relating to the main topic keyword. Make a separate list of these keywords.

Researching keywords via software

In this step, you’ll use the list to find more keywords. With keyword tools.

With these tools, simply search your keyword on their platform. And they’ll provide countless relevant keywords.

It’s not sunshine & rainbows. Most of the results they provide will be useless. So, you must sift through their results to find highly relevant keywords.

Here are Google’s resources: 

Here are other keyword tools [FREE]:

Their free versions show limited data, but they still offer a ton of keywords that you can’t find in Google’s resources. 

If you can pay to get metrics, data, & keywords, spend on the following platforms:

These are industry giants in keyword research, specifically, SEMRush & Ahrefs. 

Moz is an All Rounder for SEO but still specializes in keyword research.

Ubersuggest isn’t as big as the rest but is still quite helpful in finding keywords. 

Use these tools to expand your list of keywords.

How to do keyword research for SEO

It’s important to gauge the metrics the above tools provide for the keywords.

Specifically, search volume & keyword difficulty. For SEO, the best keywords will have high search volume & low keyword difficulty[Did you know keyword research affects 4 of the 7 blog post SEO ranking factors]

If you’re a new site, create content with a search volume of 100+ & keyword difficulty below 30 [low competition].

What’s keyword difficulty? 

Keyword difficulty is a metric that considers the level of competition & CPC a keyword has. And produces a number based on them between 1 – 100 [1 is a low difficulty; 100 is s high difficulty]. This is mostly used by Ahref

Is the keyword difficulty number accurate?

No. But it gives you a rough estimate of the difficulty. It’s better to look at the 1st page results for that keyword & see which blogs you’d be competing with. That would give you a better idea [Assuming you know your competition well].

What’s keyword competition?

Competition is a metric providing 3 levels of competition: low, medium, or high. This is used by most free tools. Again, it is not fully accurate, but it gives you a rough estimate of the competition’s difficulty.

Once your blog’s authority improves [The Domain authority, Topical Authority, & Page Authority], then begin writing content around more competitive keywords.

Remember, keyword competition is built around 2 points: The search volume it gets & the revenue it can make you.

Start with low competitive keywords, & move up the ladder slowly.

How to prioritize keyword research for revenue

Keyword prioritization is giving importance to certain keywords that can increase revenue [Want proof of how blogs are making millions in revenue?].

For example, in the make money niche, keywords like web hosting or domains can bring in revenue. 

Because web hosting is a service & domain is a product. Any keywords referring to products or services will bring in revenue.

By creating blog posts on ‘The best web hostings’ or ‘Best domain selling platforms’, you can make affiliate revenue [Certain blog post types work better at making money]

Words like ‘blog post’ would make less revenue. Because there are few affiliations or ADs that directly focus on this term [These are only TWO of the NINE ways to make money blogging]

Does keyword prioritization work anymore?

Keyword prioritization is not so helpful nowadays. Because blog competition has increased throughout all niches, all bloggers are focusing on affiliate marketing & AD monetization. 

So, everyone is focusing on profitable keywords. Now, the best course of action is to work on topical authority.

Where you create closely knit content covering a few keywords under a small topic, IN depth. [Find out how Topical Authority is an advanced application of keyword research to rank high on Google]

Aside from that, remember that keyword research is one puzzle piece, but ranking for keywords is another long & difficult process. 

But, it’s easy with long tail keywords.

Long tail keyword research for blog posts

Long tail keywords are phrases or questions instead of 1 or 2 words. It’s easier to rank a long tail keyword than a single word

This is great when starting a new blog since you have 0 authority. Ranking for long tail keywords will allow Google to assess you & slowly level up your authority. 

You can then focus on more competitive keywords (1 or 2 worded keywords).

By the way, don’t just research long tail keywords, but time sensitive ones as well.

Time sensitive keyword research for blog posts

Keyword research by season & region focuses on keywords with a search volume dependent on season or region. 

Regional or local keywords are easier to rank for. An example is the ‘best restaurants in Oklahoma‘, which is a regional keyword. It’s easier to rank for this keyword since you only compete with other restaurants in Oklahoma, instead of competing with every restaurant in the world.

The same concept applies to seasonal keywords. For example, winter clothing is a seasonal keyword (it is pretty hard to rank for, but a keyword like ‘Halloween masks’ would be easy to rank for). People would only search for that when winter is arriving or during winter.

You can even do keyword research, specifically ECommerce keywords, on a platform like Amazon.

Keyword research for blog posts with Amazon

Amazon works similarly to Google. It also has an autosuggest feature in its search. 

But, unlike Google which holds all information, Amazon is only good for ECommerce. 

So, it’s a great way to find ECommerce keywords. ECommerce keywords are words or phrases users search for with the intent to buy.

Begin writing content for your list of keywords

Which keywords should I write content for?

  1. You should write content for any keywords within your particular niche.

    Never write content for any keywords outside your niche until you’ve covered your niche completely. This will build serious topical authority.

  2. Prioritize long tail keywords

    Prioritizing long tail keyword variations increases your ranking capabilities. Because everyone competes for the short words. And only a few focus on the long tail. So, you have far lower competition to deal with

  3. Answer all question based keywords in your particular niche

    Answer all questions independent of their search volume. This will build your topical authority.

  4. Group keywords into pieces of content

    Some keywords [Long tail or short] may not have enough content to write an entire blog post on. So, it’s better to add them to content with other closely relevant keywords.

  5. Use FAQ schema for short answers

    Certain keywords will need straightforward answers that can be answered in a few sentences. For such keywords, use the FAQ schema. This question and answer you’re reading are in FAQ schema.

How to keyword optimize your blog posts

To keyword optimize the blog post, simply include the keyword naturally throughout the blog post.

If you wrote a good blog post, it should already be keyword optimized. Because if you write about a topic [A keyword], the keyword should be present throughout the content by default [This can be reinforced with a strong outline].

Avoid overstuffing the article with keywords. Google states that keyword overstuffing negatively affects your SEO by displaying it under their SPAM policy.

How often should you use a keyword in a blog post?

You should use a keyword every 200 – 500 words in a blog post, on average.

You can avoid overusing keywords by not forcing them into your content. 

If the keyword comes up naturally in your mind while writing a sentence, write it, but don’t go through the article purposefully trying to insert it.

Keyword research [Basics]

Keyword research is the process of finding words that are searched on Google. Otherwise known as search queries. Each topic has countless keywords.

A keyword’s importance is based on how often it’s searched. Otherwise known as a keyword’s search volume. As a result, some keywords are more important than others, & websites want to be shown for keywords with greater importance.

The more important a keyword is, the higher its search volume, & the more competitive it is [More websites try to rank for it]. 

Why is keyword research needed?

Keyword research is important because your website gets ranked based on the keywords you use. 

Without proper research, you could rank for keywords with 0 search volume OR use competitive keywords you have a 0% chance of ranking for. 

With proper keyword research & blog strategy, you can rank high on Google. It’s further important for the following reasons:

Keyword research uncovers trends

You can discover marketing trends, which are time-sensitive by consistently doing some level of research. You can get ahead of your competitors by tracking down trends before they do.

And, as mentioned before, time sensitive content like trends are far easier to rank for if you are one of the first to write on it.

Keyword research improves traffic

A keyword is weighted differently because of several metrics (coming up) which determine their importance.

By ranking for less important keywords, you can rank faster [When starting a new blog] to gain faster traction. You can only determine which keywords are less important if you’ve done the keyword research.

Keyword research helps in understanding users

Always consider what customers are looking for. Know their search intent [Need a quick mastery over search intent].

You might create content around certain things, but what if that’s not what customers are looking for? This can be avoided with keyword research.

Is keyword research still needed in 2023?

Yes. You still need keyword research in 2023. In fact, it’s far more important now. 

Because competition online grows with the increase in blogs. Each blog produces its own content to rank for keywords. 

So the metrics surrounding keywords need to be consistently monitored to correctly judge which keywords are best to rank for next, & which you shouldn’t bother with.

Difference between keywords & topics

Keywords refer to the specific phrase or word you’ll be naturally using throughout the blog post.

And the blog post topic is a phrase that will only be really seen in the title.

For example, in this article, the main keywords are ‘blog posts‘ & ‘keyword research‘. And they’re used everywhere.

And the topic is ‘How to do keyword research for blog posts‘. The topic has the keywords, but the phrase isn’t used throughout the blog post, only in the title. [Need quick tips to improve your blog post titles?]

Before writing a blog post, understand what keywords you want to rank for. 

For example, In this article, I could use the topic ‘How to do keyword research for blog posts‘ as a keyword.

This means I would need to insert ‘How to do keyword research for blog posts‘ naturally throughout the article.

Whichever keywords you choose, that is what your blog post will most likely rank for.

So, if you choose a long tail keyword that is easy to rank for, throughout a blog post, rest assured you’ll rank well for it.

But, it should be naturally used. If it’s forced, it will affect you negatively.

Elements of keyword research

Metrics & data gathered on keywords make up the elements of keyword research.

You can determine whether to rank for a keyword or not, based on its elements. Here are 4 important elements:

  • Relevance: How relevant one keyword is to another
  • Search volume: How many users search for a keyword per month
  • Keyword Difficulty: How hard it is to rank for a keyword
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): The cost per click for an AD that is displayed for that keyword.


How many keywords are good for SEO blog posts?

TWO short keywords or ONE long tail keyword is good for SEO blog posts. Use them naturally throughout the blog post.

How do I know what keywords to target for my website?

Do keyword research to know what keywords to target on your website.

It will help you understand what topic your website is on, & your user’s search intent.

It further helps you decide what keywords to write about based on search volume, search intent, competition, etc. 

Are there free keyword research tools?

Yes, there are free keyword research tools including:
Answer the public; Keyword Sheeter;; Keyword surfer extension & Thehoth

Should you do keyword research for paid campaigns?

Yes, you must do keyword research for paid campaigns. It determines the keywords to rank for based on search volume & competition. 

Without keyword research, you’ll potentially spend on keywords with no search volume, high competition, or that are too expensive.

How does keyword research relate to SEO?

Keyword research relates to SEO like a pillar to a building. It’s the foundation of SEO. Simply put, it ensures you create content on keywords worth ranking for.

What are the two types of keywords?

The two types of keywords are short and long tail. Short keywords are highly competitive. And long tail keywords are far easier to rank for.

How do I choose the right keywords?

To choose the right keywords for your blog post, keyword research is required. Go through our keyword research procedure to understand the 7 methods to find the right keywords.

How do I create a list of keywords?

To create a list of keywords, take your main topic keyword. Think of questions on that topic [10 – 20] and make a list.

Search for the main topic on Google. Add any ideas you get from the search results to the list.

Go through your list and sift out words or phrases you frequently see and make a separate list of them.

Those are your list of keywords. This is one of the 7 methods to build a list of keywords discussed in this article.

How many keywords should I use for SEO?

You should use 1 – 2 main keywords per blog post for SEO