You find SEO keywords by using keyword research tools to estimate the amount of search volume you might see monthly. You can use free keyword research tools like Google Ads keyword planner, or a paid keyword research tool like SEMRush, either way, the search volume suggested is never accurate. However, it’s a good guideline to estimate what type of monthly traffic you can expect.
You then use your data to further analyze the ACTUAL search volume through Google Search Console or Google Analytics and refine your SEO keyword research strategy from there.
Keyword research is the backbone of a solid search engine optimization strategy. The search engines are built around user searches, and we tend to call those keywords. Even though semantic SEO is changing the keyword research process, that still doesn’t change the fact that people type in a set of words into the search engine and expect results that satisfy that search query.
Let’s get more specific on how to find keywords SEO and estimate our search volumes.
My Favourite Keyword Research Tools
Using a keyword research tool is the easiest and fastest way to find keywords to use for SEO purposes. Here is a quick list of my favourites:
- Keywords Everywhere
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Search Console
- and many more
There is no shortage of keyword research tools to find keyword ideas. I would highly recommend SEMRush since that is what I use, but the process of finding keywords for SEO is the same for most of these tools.
I will walk you through an example with SEMRush so you can see how to find SEO keywords and create a solid content marketing plan.
Why do you want to find keywords?
The best place to start is to identify the purpose of your content. This will help you identify keywords with the right search intent to add to your keyword list.
Intent is incredibly important to keyword research and the #1 thing I see business owners and marketers get wrong.
Brainstorm phrases, terms, or topics for your industry
Simply write down a list of potential topics, phrases, and terms related to the types of keywords you want to write about.
For example, my website is about SEO, and so I write down a variety of terms related to SEO so I can dig in further and analyze keywords related to my industry.
- Keyword Research
- Rank better in Google
- Website rank
- Website optimization
Start jotting these keyword phrases down so we can plug them into the search engine.
Long Tail Keywords: Quick tip. Long tail keywords are essentially just longer versions of a search term. For example, the seed keyword might be “SEO”, however a long-tail keyword version might be something like “SEO for ecommerce” and an even longer-tail keyword might be “SEO for ecommerce in Canada”
Plug Keyword Ideas Into a Keyword Research Tool
Now you want to start using keyword research tools to find more ideas and analyze keywords by intent, search volume, and keyword difficulty.
These tools will tell you how difficult it might be to rank for this specific term, and you can base your strategy around that.
Let’s start with SEO.
Using SEMRush you just type in the search term, select which country database you would like to use, and the tool will spit out some results.
Hundreds of results.
You can see the tool starts generating different variations and sorts them by the largest search volume monthly.
Next to the search term and the monthly search volume, you can see the keyword difficulty rating from 0-100. 100 being the most difficult and 0 being the easiest to rank.
As you start getting further down the list, you will start to see more long-tail keywords that a searched much less often. These are often much easier to rank for and is a great place to start if you just starting out.
Or you can filter and sort by various parameters. j
Let’s try filtering by keyword difficulty.
You can see our options have changed dramatically, and there are a variety of SEO type name queries where Seo is actually someones last name. We obviously need to sift through these keyword ideas while doing our keyword research and only add the right ones to your list.
For example, you can “Kelowna SEO”, is an potential option to use going forward for an SEO Agency in Canada.
If you scroll down even further, it gets more specific.
One of my favourite ways to break down this list is to actually sort and filter by question. I love writing informational type blog posts, so this type of filter works really well for me.
Let’s try and sort by questions and see what populates from there.
The results really start to get better for what we are looking to do with our keyword research.
Now it’s a great idea to create a list and start adding the most relevant keywords and keyword phrase to that list.
This is one of the best ways to research keywords and search queries for your project. Keyword tools are just the beginning, optimizing and creating good content surrounding that keyword is the next phase.
If you already have a website, and you want to use a free keyword research tool to find the right keywords to go after, then you can use the Google Search Console to find ways to increase your search traffic.
How to find keywords with Google Search Console
The Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google to help you manage your website. Within the Search Console, there are a variety of tools that can help you, including keyword phrases.
Google Search Console (GSC) will show you how many times someone clicked on a keyword term within Google to find a specific page, and will also show you how often someone searched through and your page showed up within the search results, they call these impressions.
The best way to use this tool is to sort by the number of impressions you are getting for a specific term, and then identify a term where you receive a low amount of clicks.
This means you can optimize a page for this specific term, or improve your headline to attract more visitors to click on your result. Super simple keyword research for existing sites!
There are a variety of ways to do keyword research and develop new keyword ideas. I still believe the BEST way is to start with a data-backed approach, even if the data is slightly inaccurate. Any type of data here is better than just making up an article topic.