How to do Keyword Research in 2019

Have you wondered how to do keyword research, or need a refresher? Keyword research has not changed much over the years, but it is always important to keep learning. SEO of course still begins with effective keyword research and implementation, but how do we accomplish this in the modern age of digital marketing?

how to do keyword research 2019

What are Keywords?

Keywords are words and phrases that describe your content. You can think of keywords as the connection between what people are searching for and the content you are putting out.

Research of keywords entails finding keywords, or search queries, that are representative of you site or blog. When you are finished with your research you can begin to optimize your content for the keywords you picked and researched so you can appear at the top of search results.

Types of Keywords

Keywords are broken down into three categories; short tail, medium tail, and long tail, depending on the length and specificity of the keyword.

Short tail keywords are general keywords that have one or two words and are broad and generic. They are often indistinct, but have a high search volume. While they garner a lot of search volume, they tend to be too broad and competitive to do you any good to target them.

short tail keywords

Medium tail keywords are more specific keywords that have three or four words and are more specific than short tail. They are more targeted and therefore have a lower search volume.

Long tail keywords are very specific keywords that have four or more words. These are very detailed and specific and have the lowest search volume. Long tail keywords are worth targeting when creating content on your website because of how targeted they are.

By targeting very specific keywords on your website, you both greatly increase the chances that you’ll actually rank for those keywords given the far less number of competing websites for them, and more importantly this greatly increases the odds that you’ll be giving the few people who are searching for them exactly what they want given the specificity.

This results in more clicks in Google (and a higher ranking to go with it), and once they’re on your site, more purchases, sign ups, conversions, etc.

4 Pillars of Keyword Research

There are four keyword metrics which describe a keyword or key phrase’s value. You should keep all of these in mind when determining a keyword’s value to you, or in other words how worth it is to target that keyword for use on a page of your website. Here’s a brief rundown of each:

pillars of keyword research

Relevance – How relevant is a keyword to the focus of your website. If you have an infant care website targeting new parents, you don’t want to be targeting puppy care related keywords. That’s an obvious example, but more specifically you don’t want to be targeting keywords related to older child care if your website covers all things infant care.

So make sure that a keyword is relevant to both your website as well as the specific content on a web page. Otherwise one of two things will happen.

One, you plain won’t rank for that keyword at all.

Or two, you’ll temporarily rank for it but lose your audience as soon as they click through because the content doesn’t match their expectations/intent from the keyword they searched for. Needless to say, you won’t rank for that keyword for long.

Volume – Search volume refers to how often a keyword is searched in a given day, week, month, or any time frame you search by. Obviously the more users who are searching for a keyword, the more traffic the top ranking websites for that keyword will enjoy.

Competition – Search competition refers to how difficult it is to rank for a keyword. Keywords with greater search volume and commerciality (the next and final pillar) are much more sought after because of the traffic and conversions they bring.

Commerciality – Commerciality is how likely a keyword leads to any kind of conversions. This can be purchases, lead generations, etc. Any action which the webmaster wants from the user, the more likely the keyword leads to this action, the greater the value which can be referred to as the commerciality.

To gauge commerciality, think about the intent behind the keyword. Obviously it’s not always going to be as black and white as a keyword which includes the word “buy” in the phrase, but the more specific and longer tail the keyword, the more context and intent you can read into said keyword.

How to do Keyword Research in 2019

Now that we’ve given some backgrounds on keywords themselves, let’s get into how to do keyword research in 2019; the latest techniques of what are working today to find the best keywords for you.

how to find keywords

To find the words and phrases you customers and audience are using you will need some ideas. To do this you can go to places on the Internet where people are asking questions. It may be places such as e-mails, Facebook groups, Reddit, blog comments, forums, etc.

Next, you will have to search for relevant keywords using keyword research tools. There are a lot of places you can use to research the keywords you have chosen. Tools such as the Google Keyword Planner, Market Samurai, MOZ, KWFinder, and SEMrush are great resources.

You should now have a list of keywords to evaluate. When evaluating these keywords you should keep a couple of things in mind. You should be evaluating them and asking yourself if it is worth it.

Search volume is an approximate value and different search tools show different results in results returned. Keep in mind that you may have a high search volume, but this does not mean you are getting more traffic.

You are also evaluating competition and asking yourself if the goal is achievable. It is a must to know who you are competing with for a keyword. There are several metrics you can use to measure how you stack up against the competition.

Metrics To Know

  • Domain Authority (DA): Google likes to rank pages from authority sites such as Wikipedia and Amazon
  • Page Authority (PA): When you evaluate your competitors look at the combined scores of DA and PA.
  • Links: Not all links are equal in power. Links that come from a high authority site have more influence than those from a low authority site. That being said, do not worry too much about links. Just keep in mind that they are there and some higher power links will help you.
  • Content: You final metric involves how well you structure your content for the keyword, and is regularly referred to as On-Page SEO. An optimized page will usually have the keyword in the following places: URL, page title, main heading (H1), the first paragraph of the page, and the page subheadings (H2/H3 etc). That being said, these are not always needed. You do not want to over-stuff your keywords into places where they do not make sense; Google’s focus is in user experience. You will also need to make manual checks to see if there are related keywords anywhere else on your page. Check to see how useful the content is. Ask yourself if you the page has images/videos, references and links to authority sources, related subtopics, and internal links.

Sort into Topics

Now that you have your keywords you will have to decide what to do with them. Google now understands the meaning of search queries instead of matching specific words to the content of the page. The pages that match meaning do better than pages that only match a few words. Google favors meticulous content covering topics, rather than short content that focuses on individual keywords. This means that you can take a subject that has several separate posts of a related topic and combine them into a single detailed article.

Volume Isn’t Everything

One last thing to mention and reiterating the idea of the importance of long tail keywords. Just because a keyword only gets a handful of searches a day or even a month, this doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time.

low search volume

The more detailed a search phrase, the more the intent behind that search is revealed. And the more you understand the intent behind someone’s search, the more effectively you can craft the perfect content to respond to and address that search.

You can then take advantage of this by leveraging that laser targeted traffic accordingly, working in the conversions you want in the form of pushing that traffic toward your list sign ups/lead generations, purchases, etc.


That will do it! When you are starting your keyword research process be sure to go back and review this helpful guide. Happy hunting!

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