Do you know the following situation?
Have you optimized your articles on keywords and have a green light on almost every article in Yoast SEO? Maybe you even switched to HTTPS, worked on your loading time, and wrote blog articles with 1,000 words or more?
But nothing is happening?
Your Google rankings have been stagnating for weeks, months, or even years?
Or maybe you’re also a very beginner looking for an introduction to keyword research (or maybe SEO in general)?
Then you are at the right address!
Because of no matter if you already know about SEO or not:
You should not ignore keyword research. Professional keyword analysis should be the foundation of all your SEO efforts.
And in my ultimate guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about it.
I’ll tell you to step by step what keyword research/analysis is, why it’s so important, what tools you should use for it, and how to find keywords like keywords that will bring you not just traffic but revenue.
Very well! Let’s start with the basics, namely the keyword itself:
1. What is a keyword?
As keyword (also keyword, keyword, keyword, or just keyword called) is defined as the totality of all the words that you type in a search engine in the search box:
In this case, our keyword would be keyword research.
Some keywords are searched more frequently on Google and some less often. Incidentally, according to Google’s statements, 15% of all search queries are made up of keywords that no one has ever searched for before.
Incidentally, this article is all about keyword analysis on Google, with Google having the highest market share worldwide at 90% and being the most essential SEO by far.
Other search engines like Pinterest, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Amazon, YouTube, Yandex, Baidu, or Ecosia are not considered. However, they can help us to find suitable search terms for Google.
But more on that later.
2. What is keyword research or keyword analysis?
As an expert, blogger, or entreprengereur, you are a problem solver.
People buy your products, book your services, or read your blog articles to find a solution to a specific problem.
And that’s where keyword research (also called keyword analysis) comes into play:
Keyword research is the process by which you identify which keywords enter potential customers on Google.
In detail, it serves:
- Find out if your audience is looking to Google for solutions to their problems or ways to reach their goals
- If so, which keywords your audience is using exactly
- To analyze whether it is worthwhile to create content optimized for these keywords (Are these keywords searched often enough, what is the competition?) Does the search request imply a buying interest, and so on …)
3. Why this is important?
Maybe you ask yourself:
“Fine, that’s nice and good. But what does that bother me? What do I get from that?”
Let me explain it this way:
Other SEO measures, such as link building or load time optimization, make sure that you show up in search results.
Through keyword research and keyword optimization, then you choose what.
And you should take advantage of this power!
You can also get many visitors through Google if you do not include keywords in your text and do not do keyword analysis.
But by far, not as many as you could get.
I keep seeing blogs or websites that could double, triple, or even grow tenfold Google traffic. If they sit down for a few days and optimize their top 10 articles for the right keywords!
But that’s not all …
There are other good reasons why you should not do without keyword research:
- You can use them to find a topic for your editorial plan, to structure the contents of blog articles and generally for market research.
- Analyze and research keywords to better understand your customers’ desires, fears, and problems.
- You will learn which language your customers speak.
- Keyword analysis helps you to assess better whether a blog article or quote will be well received or not. Because if a problem is googled many times, you’re more likely to get visitors for your blog article or find customers for your offer.
Sounds logical, right?
4. Which tools do you use?
You need these tools if you want to find the right keywords:
- Google Suggest (to find keyword ideas, possibly supplemented by search suggestions from other search engines like YouTube, Amazon, Pinterest, Bing, etc.)
- One or more classic keyword tools (also to find keyword ideas, but also for keyword analysis, eg, to find out characteristics like search volume, the strength of competition and CPC)
- Suggest tools, such as Answer The Public to find long-tail keywords and to illuminate the search intention
I have subscribed to the Basic version, which costs about $29.90.
That may sound like a lot. Still, it’s a worthwhile investment, as you’ll find other useful SEO tools, such as: For example, you can get SiteProfiler (for competitive analysis ) and SERPWatcher (a handy keyword monitoring tool). The SERPChecker is also helpful for showing you neutral (non-personalized) search results.
Of course, you can use the Google Ads Keyword Planner (formerly Google AdWords Keyword Tool) to find matching keywords. But then you have to painstakingly gather together essential data, or get exact search volumes (only approximate magnitudes are displayed, marked pink in the picture) and then get other properties from other tools.
I find that too cumbersome.
As a free alternative to KWFinder comes Ubersuggest into consideration. The tool is also great for finding and analyzing new keywords.
In addition to the search volume, CPC, and the strength of the competition, similar to the KWFinder, the search results for a search term are also displayed on the right-hand side.
5. The most important keyword properties
The keyword is not the same keyword!
Before you build wildly and aimless keywords in your texts, you should take your time and analyze them in detail.
Otherwise, you may be optimizing for search terms that will not bring you, visitors. Or on keywords that bring you visitors, but no more customers or revenue.
In the following, I explain to you, which data and characteristics you should pay attention to and what they mean in detail:
5.1 number of words (specificity)
How many words a search term consists of is an essential factor in determining how profitable it is.
Because the number of words provides information about how specific this is.
If a search term consists of only a single word, it is often a significant issue.
Such a top topic is typically searched more frequently, but the competition is higher, and the conversion rate (how many visitors to customers are in percent) is lower.
The longer and more specific a keyword is, the lower the competition. Also, the conversion rate increases, as searchers are more precise in their search target:
In “SEO” one distinguishes between short-head (also short-tail ), mid-tail and long-tail keywords :
As your main keyword, you should ideally choose a mid-tail or short-head keyword, so a major topic tends to be.
5.2 Search Volume
The search volume (also abbreviated SV) is one of the main criteria in search of a good keyword.
It indicates how often a search query (usually per month) is entered on Google and thus the visitor potential:
The higher the search volume, the more visitors can land on your website if placed accordingly.
For keyword analysis, it is therefore very important that you at least use a tool that displays the search volume, such as Eg the KWFinder :
Note: The displayed monthly search volume is an average. In some months, the number of search queries can be significantly higher or lower.
To do this, you can either sort the displayed search words and phrases in the table by search volume () or filter them by the search volume.
I often use a filter to exclude search terms with a few searches (for example, less than 500) per month:
Please note that this is only a guideline. It may also be worthwhile to optimize for search terms whose search volume is less than 500.
First of all, you should never optimize your content to just one keyword, but to a whole topic (also called keyword cluster or Keyword Family ), which consists of several related keywords.
Second, a monthly search volume of 500 does not mean that your search result is clicked 500 times.
Because a large part of the clicks will also be distributed to your competitors:
After months of optimization work, you’re finally ranked # 1, playing angelic trumpets and unicorns raining rainbows?
Even if you end up in search of a search term in the first place, only 20% of all visitors may come to your website (in some cases even less).
Most of the traffic is spread over the first 4 places. At number 5 – 10, you have to count on significantly less traffic.
If you are on the second page (11th to 20th position) it is even as if you would not stand for it:
Not for nothing is this joke so popular in the SEO scene:
Where is the best place to hide a body? On the second page on Google!
Avoiding competition for a keyword is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in the keyword search.
Because a search term with a high search volume will not hurt you if you mess up on the second or even third page, then you will get little or nothing from the cake.
Practically, the KWFinder offers an integrated competition analysis!
From various backlink metrics, the LPS (short for Landing Page Strength ) is calculated, which indicates how strong the link profile for each web page is.
From the LPS, the KWFinder again calculates the keyword SEO Difficulty (on a scale of 0 – 100), which indicates how difficult it is for a keyword on the first page to come:
The LPS and keyword SEO Difficulty are not always one hundred percent accurate, of course, out of which it is composed, as well as the metrics. However, they give good indications as to whether you should rather keep your fingers off a search term.
Expert Tip: Do not just look at the keyword SEO Difficulty, but also the LPS of the individual pages. Because it brings you little to be on page one, if you do not get beyond 9th or 10th place, your goal should always be the top 3!
5.4 SERP Features
Depending on the search term and user, Google will display additional items above, below or in the normal search results (also called organic search results ), such as:
- Text ads via Google AdWords (now also with ratings, call-to-action-buttons, phone numbers, product variants, etc.)
- Notes on matching apps (when searching with smartphone or table)
- Google Maps
- Google Shopping
- Google News
- Google Flights
- YouTube videos
- Direct Answers / Google Knowledge Graph (the query will be answered directly by Google in a box above the search results)
- Featured Snippets (shows text excerpts of a website that directly answers a search query)
These so-called SERP features are usually bad for you. Because it reduces the click-through rate on the organic search results, which will give you less traffic over a keyword than you could.
An extreme example is the keyword of coconut oil. It will display two ads on the top, Google Knowledge Graph on the right, Google Shopping results, and headlines (Google News) on the first page, completely enclosing the first organic search result.
This probably reduces the click-through rate for first place to below 15% and that of second place to below 10%!
Therefore, it is often better to search for keywords in which the results are as natural as possible.
It does not always have to be bad for Google to match the search results.
Because when Google ads appear in search results, it may indicate that a keyword is profitable.
The reason for this is simple:
If someone is willing to pay for clicks on a particular search query, those clicks must also be worth something.
Which brings us to the next point:
The CPC stands for cost-per-click, so the cost per click.
This is the average price you would pay for a click when you switch to an ad on Google for a search term.
And that’s not only interesting for advertisers but also search engine optimization:
Because the higher the CPC for a keyword, the more advertisers there are who serve ads for that query. And that means that visitors are worth a lot of cash over this search term. Maybe also for you, For example, by selling their services, their own products, or affiliate marketing.
5.6 Search intention – Very Important
The search intent (also called user intention or search intent ) of analyzing a keyword is extremely important in the keyword search.
At least as important as an analysis of the search volume or the competition.
If not more important!
This includes learning about:
- what goals or problems searchers have that enter a specific term on Google
- what kind of search results you expect
- which sub-aspects of a topic interest you
That’s the only way to make sure that you do not optimize on search terms that come for you worthless visitors. That means visitors who …
- do not buy your products or services,
- Click on affiliate links or
- subscribe to the newsletter (becoming potential customers).
In addition, you need to know the search intent in order to tailor your content better to search engine users.
That’s the only way you can keep your back-to-SERP rate as low as possible and not only get into the top five but stay there as well.
The back-to-SERP rate is the percentage of visitors who look at your website but jump back to the search results page (SERP) (mostly because they did not find what they are looking for).
But what are the search intentions? And what should your keywords have?
The 8 different search intentions
As part of the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, Google has itself categorized keywords into these five search intentions:
- Do (also called transactional )
- Know (also called Informational )
- Know Simple
- Website (formerly Go, also called Navigational or Brand )
- Visit-in-Person (also called Local )
This layout is very good, but it does not go far enough for me. Therefore, I have extended these by the following subcategories:
- Do Commercial
- Know Commercial
- Know News
Do and Do Commercial
Seekers want to do something, such for example, download something, buy something, register for something, make a reservation.
To distinguish between is whether it is a commercial keyword or not. Because commercial keywords in which someone is ready to action, are much sought after.
The reason for this is simple:
Seekers have already made a purchase decision and are in the final phases of their customer journey.
These include. For example, keywords such as:
- book hotel berlin
- movie tickets star wars today
- buy backpacker backpack
- buy led tv
- iPhone 8 price comparison
- tv online shop
Incidentally, those keywords often show results from Google Shopping.
Do keywords also include non-commercial keywords, such as: For example, if someone is looking for a specific software or video:
- meditation guide download
- knead yourself make video
- Personality test online
- Calculate BMI
Know and Know Commercial
Know keywords account for about 50-80% of all searches, according to Google.
Users who enter such search terms are looking for some information or solution to a problem.
The focus of your keyword search should be largely on such keywords because they are the most likely to find matching keywords.
Accordingly, you should focus on search engine optimization on the following types of content that can be optimized on know-keywords:
- Instructions (How-Tos)
- Guides articles
- Why article (Why is topic XYZ important?)
- Test and experience reports
- Lexicon and Knowledge Articles
- Knowledge and idea-collections (eg, 50 weight loss tips )
The more complex the problem, the more you can help someone. And the bigger the chance to get top positions for this keyword.
Keyword: niche or long-tail keywords!
As with Do, I also differentiate here between commercial ( know commercial ) and non-commercial keywords ( know ).
Keywords from the Know Commercial category are always directly related to a product, service, or product or service category :
- Vacuum cleaner comparison
- LED TV
- iPhone 7 plus test
- facebook marketing course
- find php programmer
As with Do Commercial, you can often see shopping results at Know Commercial :
To know the keywords for include non-commercial terms. For example, search queries like these here:
- learn guitar
- convert wordpress to https
- make dough yourself
- the child does not fall asleep well
- bedroom ideas
- Attractions London
- bicycle driving safety
Even if they do not have a direct product or service, it may still be worth optimizing your content for such keywords. For seekers may well be interested in a paid solution to their problem:
Someone who wants to learn the guitar could, for. B. is interested in a video course to have.
Or someone who wants to change their WordPress site to HTTPS might be interested in having someone do it (with my guide, I still get requests for it regularly, although that has not been part of my offer for some time).
Know-Simple keywords are a subset of know keywords.
Unlike know keywords, know-simple keywords can be answered very quickly, for example, by a chart, a table, a sentence, a single word, or a value.
Moreover, such search terms are never ambiguous, controversial, or different from user to user.
For many of these keywords, Google now provides answers above the organic search results itself:
That’s why it’s usually not worth optimizing your content for it because it is simply not necessary to click on a search result.
- How tall is Chancellor Merkel?
- weather in Hamburg
- Opening hours ikea berlin
- how many inhabitants have Panama
Know-News keywords are also a subset of Know keywords.
For such keywords, users are also looking for specific information. However, this, in contrast to normal know-keywords, has a current reference.
As a result, Google also often displays headlines from Google News:
- running game Bavaria Munich
- euro dollar course (also classify as Know Simple)
- Apple share (also classified as Know Simple)
- European elections 2019
- Syria war
These are searches that ask users to go to a specific website or webpage (that is, a subpage on a web site) by entering the brand name, domain name, or whole URL.
As keywords for your blog articles, these are mostly irrelevant.
After all, users typically want to go to a specific website, not yours.
- toys r us
- twitter login
- amazon neck pillow
- facebook login
- Philips support
With such search terms, users search specifically for local places, such as: For example, restaurants, cafes, petrol stations or ATMs nearby for a personal visit in the future.
Such search terms are, therefore, of interest to all local companies that turn to customers from their own city or region.
- restaurant Hamburg
- gas station nearby
- Commerzbank ATM
- meditation teacher Hamburg
- cafe berlin
5.7 Phase of the Customer Journey
Closely related to the search intention is the question:
In which phase of the Customer Journey is the searcher?
And it’s essential to answer that question because it directly affects the conversion rate (that is, how many Google visitors who come to your site become customers too).
According to Wikipedia, the customer journey can be divided into the following 5 phases (there are other advanced models, but they should not be the subject of this article):
- Awareness (Inspiration): Awareness of the product is awakened
- Favorability: The interest in the product is increased
- Consideration: The customer is considering buying the product
- Intent to Purchase: The purchase intent becomes concrete
- Conversion: The product is being purchased
An example of this from Netflix customers:
- Video-on-demand, watch series online, streaming service, etc.
- Netflix vs. maxdome, Netflix experiences
- Netflix prices, Netflix rates
- Netflix sign up, Netflix probemonat
- The actual order of the subscription
We can also (at least partially) transfer this to our categorization of search intentions:
- Know Commercial
- Website or Know Commercial
- Website or Do Commercial
In addition to the average search volume of the primary keyword (as well as the long-tail keywords and synonyms), it may make sense to look at the search volume trend.
So you can see how the interest in a search term has developed over time and better estimate how much this could be in the future:
Recognizing whether a search term has seasonal variations is essential in determining when to post or update an item.
This is obvious with some search terms, such as B .:
- April Fool’s Day
But there are also some keywords whose seasonality only results from a more detailed analysis of the search volume and/or a more in-depth entry into the topic.
The most successful blog articles were those that were written a few weeks or months before the deadline.
6. How does a keyword analysis or search work?
You should always do a keyword analysis before you start writing a blog article.
This helps you to structure your article, to conceptualize content, and to serve the search intent of the keyword as well as possible.
I plan for about two to three hours per blog article. Please do not make a mistake to rush it with the research and take enough time for it!
I always add the keywords myself after writing an article.
This is how the keyword search does not distract me from writing.
Before you start with the actual research, you should take your time to brainstorm.
Keyword research is not all about keywords; it’s about one thing:
That means better understanding the person behind the search.
To better understand your desired customer . And to define and get to know this or this as clearly as possible.
Let’s say You are a meditation coach and would like to offer your readers (and potential customers) knowledge and tips about meditation on your blog.
Then you could ask the following questions:
- What problems and goals do your dream clients have with meditation? (Can not sit still for 15 minutes, seems to bring nothing)
- Why are you looking for it on Google? What is a possible trigger for this? (Stress at work, too much brooding, partner left me, etc.)
- What solutions could they seek? (Step-by-step guide to meditating)
- Which meditation offers could you search for? (Online course, workshop, 1-to-1 coaching, mediation app, etc.)
- What questions do your customers have for meditation? (How often should I meditate? How long to meditate? What is the best sitting position?)
The goal is to end up with a long list of potential topics from which we can gain keyword ideas.
Expert Tip: For even better results in brainstorming, the creation of a Buyer Persona (also called Customer Avatar ) makes sense. This ensures that when brainstorming for the problems, goals, or questions of your desired customers, you have a concrete person in mind and can put you better in it.
6.2 Find keyword ideas
The second step in our keyword search is to collect potential keyword ideas based on our brainstorming.
These ideas will then gradually be sorted out and grouped in steps 3, 4, and 5 to create the actual content.
We can generally find ideas in three ways:
# 1 About Suggest functions
Suggest functions are used to give us a first overview of which keywords are searched for a topic.
Subsequent suggestions can then be entered into keyword tools for more in-depth analysis.
This section could, therefore, also be called “Brainstorming: Part 2”.
First of all, we look at the search suggestions from Google ourselves, for example. For example, in the autocompletion of the search box (also called Google Suggest or Autocomplete ):
Just like the similar searches at the bottom of every search results page:
The SERP feature Ask Users is also great for getting to know the issues and questions Google users have about:
When looking for keyword ideas, however, you can also consult other search engines, such as Eg Bing or from Amazon (especially helpful if you have an online store with physical products or are doing affiliate marketing):
YouTube also offers auto-completion of searches:
Then you collect all the keyword ideas that are interesting for you and your online business in an Excel document or with Google Sheets:
# 2 With Keyword Tools
Have you got a rough overview, it goes to the preserves:
We enter our topic and possibly first ideas from the search suggestions of Google, YouTube, and Co. into the KWFinder.
The big advantage of this is that in the KWFinder, keyword analysis of all ideas is displayed. Total search volume, the strength of competition, CPC, and the search results themselves:
Or at Ubersuggest:
The Google Ads Keyword Planner (formerly Google Adwords Keyword Tool) is also a great way to find, search, and potentially download new keyword ideas:
However, I prefer Ubersuggest and the KWFinder because there the search volume and other SEO-relevant data are displayed.
# 3 Find keywords in the competition
To get even more keyword ideas, we can also look at the competition.
In the past, paid SEO tools such as SEMRush or Ahrefs were needed.
But now it’s free!
Ubersuggest has offered a domain-based analysis since the beginning of 2019. You simply enter a domain instead of a keyword in the search field.
Then you will be shown an overview of the domain. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the overview, you’ll find a section called SEO Keywords that lists all the search terms for which a domain is ragged (sorted by the estimated traffic coming through the search term):
If you then click on the button, Show all SEO keywords for which this domain is placed, you will get even more keywords:
Although the tool has some limitations, and the database is smaller than the professional tools, but for a first overview, the tool is very good.
6.3 Filtering and sorting results
Now you should have a huge bunch of keyword ideas!
This heap should now be eliminated (duplicates, thematically irrelevant search queries, etc.) and analyzed in more detail.
To do this, export all data from all tools (many tools like KWFinder and Ubersuggest have export functions) and put them together in a table.
Then filter, sort, and group your spreadsheet. I often work with color tags:
6.4 Find matching main keyword
Once you have analyzed your keyword ideas and separated the wheat from the chaff, it’s time to find the right keywords for each keyword group.
Since I have no introduction for beginners for my (fictional) meditation blog, I would like to start there thematically.
So I look at all the keywords I put into the topic. What is this? Arranged.
There, the keyword meditation for beginners catches my eye, which is very well suited as the main keyword due to its high search volume and the still moderate competition.
6.5 Create a keyword cluster
Now it’s time to create a keyword cluster for our newly found main keywords.
A keyword cluster is a thematic extension of a keyword group and consists of minor keywords that are thematically linked to your primary keyword. These include synonyms and long-tail keywords.
This is very important and increases the effectiveness of your keyword search by 200 quadrillion percent (at least!), Because …
- You’re also more likely to rank for these minor keywords
- It’s also better for the main keyword because with your blog article you cover different user intentions and language styles of your users and Google can better classify your article by topic
- You can replace the main keyword more often with a different keyword, so you do not scare readers into keyword stuffing
It’s not surprising that I keep recommending long articles.
Because this allows you to shed more light on the topic, cover more user intentions, and include more sub-keywords.
First of all, the inclusion of synonyms makes sense because your article does not sound so boring, and secondly, because you then open it to a larger group of users.
Because of you in your article, z. B. beside cream and the words whipped cream, or whipped cream are using, you show Google that your article also Sueddeutsche or Austrian turnest.
Synonyms for meditation for beginners would be.:
- meditation for beginners
- meditation for dummies
- meditation beginner
Synonyms can be found very well with the KWFinder.
Long-tail keywords can be found with KWFinder, Ubersuggest, or Answer The Public.
Answer The Public collects Google’s AutoComplete suggestions for each search term and graphs them:
The keyword suggestions are divided into questions and prepositions. At the very end, these will be listed alphabetically.
The following long-tail keywords would be suitable for our article:
- meditation for beginners lying down
- meditation for beginners courses
- meditation for beginners exercises
- meditation for beginners app
W-questions are all questions that are introduced with adverbs that begin with the letter W, such as a word. B. Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, Why.
They represent a subcategory of long-tail keywords and can, therefore, be found very well with the Answer the Public tool.
Using voice search and digital assistants such as Alexa or Siri, optimizing for W questions (or other keywords in question form) is becoming increasingly important.
Getting involved with W questions also helps you write better blog articles, find subheadings, and engage with the user intention behind your main keyword.
For our article, would z. For example, the following questions may occur:
- when does meditation work?
- When does mediation not make sense?
- When did meditation arise?
- Why meditation is good
- why meditation
- meditation how long
6.6 Keyword analysis after publishing
Check out a few weeks after the release for which keywords your content is now ranked and adjust it accordingly.
Keyword analysis for a specific page or blog article is best done using the search analytics feature in Google Search Console.
There you can see exactly how many visitors come to your website via which search queries and at which position and click rate.
Here are answers to common questions about finding and finding keywords:
7.1 What does keyword research cost?
It is quite possible to find keywords for free. There are many useful free tools, such as AnswerThePublic or Ubersuggest.
But some things take longer with free tools. A competition analysis with SEO tools such as ahrefs or SEMRush, which are both around the $100 per month, goes much faster.
7.2 How long does a complete keyword analysis take?
Finding, sorting, and grouping keyword ideas (steps 5.1 – 5.3) can take a long time.
The complete mapping of the keyword groups in a niche can take several days depending on the size of your niche and your target audience.
To find a matching main keyword and create a keyword cluster (steps 5.4 and 5.5), you’ll need to spend around 1 to 3 hours per blog article.
7.3 Which program is best for creating keyword lists?
Although Excel offers more features for professionals, Google Spreadsheets is more comfortable, clearer, and the workflow is better in combination with keyword tools because it’s also browser-based.
7.4 How do I find the search volume for multiple keywords at once?
Bulk retrieval of keyword data is possible with tools like KWFinder, SEMRush or ahrefs.
7.5 Which keywords have the highest search volume?
Branded keywords that is keywords with brand or website names, traditionally have the highest search volume.
Many people prefer to give the name of a service to Google rather than the full URL in the address bar.
These are the top 5 in the USA according to ahrefs ranking (as of July 2019):
- facebook (233,100,000)
- youtube (195.600.000)
- Amazon (104,800,000)
- Gmail (92,530,000)
- Google (84,920,000)
7.6 How do I best find the search intention?
By analyzing the top 10 on Google and creating a keyword cluster.
7.7 Is there a recommended WordPress plugin for keyword analysis of a text?
I can not recommend any concrete.
All plugins with integrated keyword analysis for blog articles, be it Yoast SEO, Rank Math or SEO Squirrly, put too much emphasis on a single keyword (the focus keyword).
Thus, they are only partially usable for text optimization.