Step by Step SEO Keyword Research Tutorial

seo keyword research tutorial

Make no mistake about it, keyword research is the most important part of SEO. If you pick the wrong keywords, you will FAIL. It really is that simple. At best, you’ll get cents on the dollar. At worst, you won’t get any results at all. That’s how crucial picking the right keywords is.

STEP #1: Pick the right keywords.

How do you pick the right keywords?
Rule #1: You need to pick based on NICHE. This means that if the site you are promoting is about ‘basketball sneakers,’ the keywords you will target should have something to do with this type of sneakers. If you target unrelated keywords, you  might get a decent amount of traffic but these people won’t buy anything because they aren’t looking for basketball athletic wear.

There has to be a tight fit between the content of the site you are promoting with the content indicated by the keywords you’re using.

Rule #2: You need to pick keywords based on INTENT.

SEO success is all about intent. Just because you target niche-specific keywords, it doesn’t mean you will make money off the search engine traffic your keyword choice attracts. You can get volume traffic with niche-focused keywords but that doesn’t mean you’ll make money off that traffic.

To ensure that you can make money off the free search engine traffic your keywords attract, you have to select keywords based on INTENT. This is the part of keyword selection most online promoters trying to get search engine traffic FAIL in.

You can get TONS of traffic and FAIL to make money because you didn’t select keywords that match the INTENT your website converts.

STEP #2: Know how to determine the intent behind keywords.

To filter keywords based on intent, you must first have a clear understanding of what INTENT your website focuses on. There are 4 major intent clusters in online marketing: Know, Like, Trust, and Buy.

They are interrelated. For someone to buy whatever you are promoting, they have to first trust you. For them to trust you, they have to first like you. For them to like you, they have to first feel they know you. See how these all work?

Know the different intent stages and pick keywords accordingly

Too many SEOs pick INTENT keywords and drive them to a KNOW or TRUST stage. They then wonder why this traffic didn’t convert. The secret is to drive KNOW keyword traffic to web pages that focus on the know stage. Similarly, drive LIKE-targeted traffic to web pages that cater to the like stage. So on and so forth.

Also, these pages must have internal links so people who enter through a LIKE keyword can click a link that leads to a TRUST page once they feel comfortable enough on your website. In other words, you can interlink your pages to convert your search engine traffic by pushing your visitors through the know-like-trust-buy process.

How do you determine the intent of keywords?

You have to read through your keyword lists and make an EDUCATED GUESS as to what the intent of the person entering that search term into Google is looking for.

Compare: ‘buy Furniture’ with ‘Furniture’

‘Buy Furniture’ is obvious. The person entering this keyphrase is looking to buy Furniture. ‘Furniture’ on the other hand can mean the person searching for that term is looking for furniture design, furniture design software. You don’t have enough to go on.

If you target ‘Furniture’ and you get traffic for that term and point it to a page that sells Furniture, you might not get any conversions.

STEP #3: Find keywords with Adwords Keyword planner tool using general niche terms

Use Google Adwords to find keywords related to your target niche.

Login to Adwords.

Select Keyword Planner

Enter your niche’s main keywords one at a time.

Keyword Planner options

STEP #4: Find keywords with Keyword Planner by reverse engineering your competition

Find your biggest competitors’ domain by doing a search on your niche’s main keywords.



Enter your competitor’s domain in ‘Your landing page’ field


Get a list of keyword ideas.


STEP #5: Find more keywords by finding related competitors

Get more competitor domains and enter their domains into Google adwords Keyword planner to find more keywords. Keep repeating this until you run out of competitors. You run out of competitors when the same domains keep reappearing.



STEP #6: Make sure your keywords are actually related to your niche

Filter your keyword list based on whether they are actually related to your niche. Filter out unrelated keywords.

STEP #6: Filter your keyword results based on competition level

Enter the keywords you’ve found into Google search

Determine the amount of competing pages which feature that keyword


Pick only keywords with manageable levels of competition. These can range from 1,000,000 pages to even 2,000,000 pages and below. Your competition level depends on your niche. Some niches allow for higher levels of competition, others require a much lower level of competition.

STEP #7: Sort your remaining keywords based on intent

After you have selected the keywords based on niche specificity and competition level, the next step is to sort your remaining keywords based on intent types.

There are 4 intent types: know, like, trust, and buy



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