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Keyword Research for SEO – The Definite Guide

You see that many websites have a very successful content ranking.

Now you might wonder how you can replicate their strategy.

First, you need to get an overview knowledge about keyword research.

1. Keyword Research Definition

Keyword research is the foundation for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Keyword research helps you figure out the intent and the purpose of a searcher.

Every time a customer enters a word or a phrase into Google search bar, that word or phrase can be used as the keyword.

Keyword research aims to study how to find out the specific keywords that the customers will type to reach a certain product or business.


SEO professionals use keywords and phrases to optimize the content of the web to reach better ranking on the search engine, particularly Google.

2. Keyword and Affiliate Marketing

As I mention as before on this post: What is affiliate marketing? And How does it work ?

Affiliate Marketing is a type of online marketing which is quite similar to the collaborator model.

With this model, you can look for the businesses which provide their affiliate programs, then create an account to become an affiliate or publisher and finally, promote their products and get the commission.

If you want others know what products you are promoting, you need keywords related to the productThen the buyer will find your website and purchase product through searching keywords on searching tool .


That is why it is important to understand about keyword research.

Not all the keywords are the same.

If you choose a very SEO difficult keyword with a very high CPC ( Cost per Click), you will obviously receive a much lower income for your promotion work.

If you want to improve your passive earnings as Affiliate Marketer, you need to understand what keywords to select and base your strategy around.

Now we can focus on the basics of keywords.

So you will agree with me that:

If you can understand what people type in the search field when they search for a specific topic, you can optimize your website to include these particular keywords.

It will make your content more visible.

Nonetheless, it will make your website gain more traffic than your opponent’s.

Most people think that they can simply pick a few keywords, use Google Keyword Adwords Planner to select a few random keywords for them.

No, it is not that easy.

Here is the detailed guide to help you understand more about Keyword research.

To have good keyword research, you need first to understand the niche topics of your content.

Now you may wonder yourself:

How to define niche topics?


The word ‘niche’ suggests that it is related to the small area, small market, something that not many people have done before.

Niche topics definition

That is why niche topics are like smart keyword researches.

They do not contain a very broad, general and popular keywords.

Because everyone else is using them, if you do not come up with your specific niche topics, your website will not be able to stand out on the crowded market.


In other words:

Niche topics are the highly specific long tails keywords that associate to related and narrow subjects of your content.

Niche topics are how you define your target customers because they are likely to research around these particular topics to know about you.

Therefore, if you are a marketing affiliate or an SEO professional, or just about to launch your new website, you need to know how to find your niche topics like the back of your hand.

From there you can explore better keyword researches, and finally pick out unique keywords for your content.

3. Below is the detailed guide to help you research your niche topics:

Brainstorming your niche topic list

It is just like how you create a mind map. Think of any topics that are related to your content. Now write them down so you can create an excellent systematic view over them

You can use free tools like Google Docs or even a text file to store your list quickly.

You do not want to come up with either too few or too many niche topics.

Around 5 of them would be a great start.

Expand on your niche based on your customer particular needs.

This is how you get to understand your target customer.

Every customer has a specific persona.

Let us define a buyer persona beforehand:

A buyer persona is a fictional creation of your potential customers. It is entirely based on customer characterization. 

There are many elements that form your buyer persona.

The more detailed researches about customer traits you can note down, the better your list will be.

The most common ones are:

  • Demographics: age, gender, income, education
  • Psychology: how do they feel, what makes them upset?
  • Behaviour patterns: how do they find out about your product, what makes them dislike your product?
  • Motivations and Goals: what do they aim to achieve?
  • Hobbies and Interests: what will attract their attention the most?
  • Communication preference: how should you contact your customers.?

Now you can see that:

A detailed buyer persona is a perfect way to guide the focus of your content. It helps you understand more about your potential customers, even better than your business rivals.

Suddenly, you will feel more confident to create a connection with your potential customers. You already know what topics to communicate with them.

A simple key to having a successful business is to let the customer come to you naturally.

If you can create a database of niche topics that tailor to the right audience, they will realise that your product and service are the best in the market. You will see a fantastic increase in your website’s traffic.

Using Reddit to find the right topics

If you do not know about Reddit, I suggest that you find out about it now.

Reddit is ranked #3 as the most visited site in the US and #6 in all over the world. It is the grand and aggregated social news and media information forum.


Registered users can submit and share various contents in the form of links, text posts, images, videos.

Each thread or post is then organized into sub-boards called “subreddits”.

Most of the defaults and popular subreddits are news, movies, science, video games, music, food, etc

How to use Reddit for keyword research:

  • Come on to Reddit, enter a general topic into Reddit search bar.
    Now you see a lot of smaller subreddits.
    Choose a few most popular subreddits (that have the most subscribers).
  • Then search for the most popular posts in these subreddits.
  • Now you already got a topic and a lot of keywords to choose.

  • Rinse and repeat.

Using forums to find the right topics

A forum is another way to find your group focus.

Each forum will usually focus on a specific range of topics (for example movie forum, food forum, sports forum)

One of the simplest ways to find out a related forum is to type your keyword then combine it with the forum word below.

Here are the examples of forum keyword research:

“keyword forum”

“keyword” + “forum”

“keyword” + “forums”

“keyword” + “board”

“powered by vbulletin” + your keyword. (Vbulletin is the favored platform used to create forum)


Each forum will also split out into smaller content sections. You can now use these sections as your target niche topics.

Once you find a forum, note how the forum is divided up into sections:

Each of these sections is often a Niche Topic.

You should also remember that:

Using the navigation bar or search function, you can continue to get more ideas about your niche topics.

Each forum will have statistics of posts, comments and active users. You can use this information to measure the quality of their niche topics.

The power of Wikipedia as keyword research


I am sure that you have visited Wikipedia before.

If not, do not waste any second and start your researching with Wikipedia.

If you still wonder why, check out the reasons below:

Wikipedia is the world’s biggest online storage of information.

By default, that makes Wikipedia a wealth of information for keyword clusters.

Thanks to its free contents, multilingual support, Wikipedia will most likely have an entry or the topic that is related to your niche topics.

How to use Wikipedia for keyword research

  • Enter whatever keyword you need on Wikipedia search bar.
  • A list of topics related to that keyword will show up
  • Select one of these topics
  • Inside each topic is the table of contents
  • Check out these contents carefully. They often will include a list of other niche topics
  • Voila, you got your niche keywords now

See how easy it is?

Now you must agree with me the importance of niche research

Once you already have your niche topics, do not stop.

Continue to read below.

Here is the comprehensive guide to keyword strategy:

To make it easy for you to understand, I will divide the types of keywords into 3 categories

They are:

  • Seed keywords
  • Short tail keywords
  • Long tail keywords

You must be curious about the advantages and disadvantages of each distinctive type.

Do not worry; I will help you understand them thoroughly

4. The definition of seed keywords, the root of SEO keyword research

Seed keyword is the root keyword that creates other suggestions or ideas. It is the base to expand onto other related keywords.

Type the word ‘weight loss’ into google search bar.

You will see other (bold) keywords that are related to ‘weight loss’. Your weight loss is the root or seed keyword.



Now you can see that:

Clusters of short tail and long tail keywords are created as an expansion from seed keywords. They are the base of your grand ideas.

However, there is a catch:

The disadvantage of seed keyword

You can see the obvious that if you use only seed keyword, your content will be very generic. It does not make your content to stand out and visible to the front page of google.

There will be millions of other websites that are overlapped to your general seed keyword.

5. The definition of short tailed keyword

A short tail keyword is a research word with no more than 3 words. They are used to query for specific and precise topics or activities.

Now take a step back and think a little bit about your customer’s perspective.

When they enter a keyword to search for a specific product or service, they often use words precisely like short tail words.

Your customers will always want the fastest results that they can get.


For example:

If your customer wants to order food service, they will think about short tail keywords such as: pizza delivery, Asian food, nearest Mcdonalds, etc.

Now you will realize the advantage of short tail keywords

They are heavily focused by all of the online marketers and affiliates.

Short tail keywords offer high volumes in larger topics that are related to these keywords. Which also brings out its most expensive setback.

The disadvantages of short tail keywords

Because short tail keywords are extensively and exhaustively focused around the web’s content, it is tough to reuse them to gain traffic and ranking.

6. The definition of long tail keyword

Contrary to short tail, long tail keywords are more than 4 words phrase. That makes them very specific regarding content focus.

Remember our short tail keyword ‘pizza delivery’?

Now with a long tail keyword, it could be ‘pizza delivery under 30 minutes

They might come in a low volume of search daily, but they actually hold a majority part of internet searches.

The challenge with long tail keywords is that you must come up with very specific and particular search phrases and keywords. There might be a drop in visits from your customers.


However, those who come to your website or business will have a higher chance to stay and buy your product or service.

That results in higher conversion.

It is vital for your business because:

They are your long run investment. If you want to gain fast ranking and high conversion, I would suggest focussing on long tail keywords.

Compare between short tail keywords and long tail keywords.


From the illustration, we can take note that:


7. The purpose of using the right keywords

To understand why you need to use the right keywords, you have to understand two types of keyword information and buyer keyword

Information Keywords definition


Information Keywords are the keywords with high volume of searches.

These keywords will produce a lot of information for the searchers however they will not turn into direct sales.


Because they are only provide general information. They contain no comercial or transaction value.

The best way for you to understand information keywords is to compare it with buyer keywords, which I will provide below:

Buyer Keywords definition


Buyer keywords are the typical phrases that the buyer will use when they search for the information of a product or a service.

Buyer keywords are important because the searchers that use buyer keywords are often experienced with the selection process until they can reach the final stage of purchasing a product or service.

Now let’s say a customer want to find out the right type and brand of pair of running shoes.

You can take a look at the different stages in the list below.

  • Issue a demand – “good running shoes” – information keywords
  • Research information – “sports shoes for running” – information keywords
  • Filter information – “Nike shoes vs Adidas shoes” – information keywords
  • Buying decision – “Best price on Nike running shoes” – buyer keywords

Issue a demand phase: This is the stage where the searcher comes up with a demand. They will perform a simple search to get an overview of what is available.

Research information phase: After a good screening process, the searcher will now understand that sport shoes are the most suitable for running purposes because of material, design, etc.

Filter information: This is the stage that a searcher already has seen many suggested for sports shoes. They narrow down all the information to the most 2 famous brands – Nike and Adidas.

Buying decision: The searcher decides to go with Nike brand and will finally search the the specific price of Nike running shoes.

The buyer keywords are in the last stage. If you set your buyer keywords to some other previous stages, the buyers will most likely ignore them because they are still in the selection phase.

Buyer keywords like “best price on Nike running shoes” or “top discount Nike running shoes” will definitely catch the buyer’s attention.

They contain commercial and transaction value words like “price”, “discount”, etc.

So now you will agree with me that:

If you can decide correctly the final purchase stage and come up with the right buyer keywords, you will have a very high conversion from keyword to sales.

You already have a good understanding of keyword research and niche topics. You think you have enough knowledge.

It is a huge mistake.

They are only theoretical knowledge.

You need to turn these theories into execution. Which this list below will help you do that.

8. How to use free tools to find (long tail) keywords

Google’s Keyword Planner


Google’s Keyword Planner is the must-have tool for those who want to create and expand rapidly on new content.

With Keyword Planner, it is straightforward to expand on groups of keywords, generate new keyword lists, and keep track of their performance through the internet searches.

Step by step to use Google’s Keyword Planner

  • Register a new account on //adwords.google.com
  • From the “Tools” bar in your Google Adwords account, press on “Keyword Planner.” This will take you to the Keyword Planner page. Alternatively, enter this address in your browser //adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner, they will take you directly to the keyword planner function.
  • You have to enter your website in this option.


  • Begin to type in your keywords that you need. Use your knowledge of keywords to enter the right keyword.

After entering your keyword, there will be another page for you to fill in more information.

  • From here you can provide:
  • Your idea of product or service.
  • The landing page is your website.
  • The product category is a drop-down menu that you can choose from.
  • The “Targeting” section allows you to choose a particular country.
    You can also select a specific language.
    Google will show the ads on Google’s website alone or on its partners’ website as well.
    Finally is the list of negative keywords. this way, your ads will not be displayed when the people are typing one of the keywords on your list.

If you enter “google adwords” in the “Your product or service” text box, you can see a list of suggested keywords from Google.


You you can see, it shows you a cluster groups of keywords to choose from. 

Check out the ‘Avg.monthly searches’ column and also the ‘Competition’ column.

What you need is the ‘Low’ result in ‘Competition’ while still maintaining as many as monthly searches as possible.

Keep on changing the ideas in the group suggestion to change to a new range of keywords.

Continue until you find one that satisfies all the above conditions and your business.

You can see very detail guide here: //www.jeffalytics.com/google-keyword-planner-guide/ or here: //www.randombyte.com/ultimate-google-keyword-planner-tutorial/


Ubersuggest is a free and easy tool to use. If you want more data for your keywords, you can get a complete overview of them by using this tool.

They included volume, seasonality, cost per click data. You can use the tool as many times as you want without any limitations.


Step by step to use UberSuggest:

  • Head on to this website:


  • Type in your keyword and hit search. You will immediately see a detailed report of your keyword and how to improve them further.

I will enter the keyword here as ‘cat food’. Then search for this keyword. You can immediately view the results.


Now you can agree with me, if we use short tail words, you will have a huge search volume.

However it will be very competitive in the sense that it has high SEO difficulty and paid difficulty.

Scroll down a bit and you will see the ‘Keyword Ideas’ section.


From here you can see that it suggests a better keyword ‘cat food homemade’. It has a low SEO difficulty (green color) . Click on it and see where it takes us.


Wow, we can instantly see the overview for our ‘cat food homemade’ keyword. “This keyword is easy to rank for. There is a 77% chance you will be able to rank for it

It also shows use a first 10 pages that might contain this keyword.

You now have a good idea of the estimation of visits per month and how much that domain scores.

Remember that: the higher domain score the better ranking your page will be.

What you want is a balance of visits, social shares and domain score.

Now you already get the gist of it.

Keep changing your keyword selection to match your business. Make sure they have all the above criteria.

KW Finder tool

You can use this amazing tool here:

KWFinder consists of three components:


On the left is the Keyword Finder function

You can enter the seed keyword here, and they will show you the immediate result.

On the right, you will see SERP result where it displays the top 10 websites that contain that keywords and how they rank them in Google.

9. KW Finder The Definitive Guide

Let us take a close look at the left side first.

For example, my keyword is: ‘cat collar.’


There are 5 columns of data that is related to your keyword:

  • Trend over the last 12 months
  • Average monthly search volume
  • Average Cost per Click (CPC)
  • Average competition in Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Keyword SEO Difficulty

I want you to pay attention to these 2 sections:

  • Average monthly search volume
  • Keyword SEO Difficulty

The average monthly search volume should be at least 50, and the Keyword SEO Difficulty Score should be less than 39.

Keyword SEO difficulty is ranked on a scale of 0 – 100, the larger the number, the more it will turn toward red color, which means you should not choose it.


You can see that the keyword ‘personalized cat collars’ is green.

This might be the possible candidate keyword to choose from.

They have popularity score of lager than 50 (1963 search per month on average) and less than 39 SEO difficulty (23)


Click on that keyword and in right side panel you can see the top 10 websites that rank in Google for that keyword.


Immediately, in position #5, #9, #10 you can see some green positive results for this keywords.

That means it will likely to show up on the first page of google.

then we can  ‘Add To List’ button at the bottom of the page:


If you do not have a list, KWFinder will create a new list for you.

See how easy it is?

So now you can focus your content around the keyword ‘personalized cat collars’.


After finishing with your content and push it to a live website, it is essential to track your keyword to see how well they perform.

Set up SERP for this task

SERP function will let you track your long tail keyword to find the result of your page ranking.

It will show you if these keywords are trending up or down.

If it gets stuck at a fixed position or drops down in ranking, it is time to make a new adjustment.

Now you may wonder again:

What is the best way to track the performance of your website?

It is effortless, just follow this step:

Click on the small downward arrow next to KWFinder and in the drop-down menu, click on SERPWatcher:


You can see a live demo of trackings in SERPWatcher


To use the professional tracking function, you will need to subscribe to the paid service to expand the maximum power of this tool.

How does KwFinder compare to other free tools:

First of all, you can agree with me that:

  • It is very intuitive and easy to use
  • Does not require registration if you just want to test out some keywords
  • It does not require you to go through a complicated process to find your suitable keywords
  • It has very detailed data display for you to make your decision
  • It offers you a lot more functions that free tools (of course)

Below is the competitive pricing of KwFinder

As you can see, with the lowest price plan, you have a large option of searching more than 100 keywords per day, along with the featured function of SERPWatcher that let you track the performance of your keywords.

These are the compelling options that you could not find in other free tools.


10. Transform keywords into content

At this stage, you should have a very lucrative list of carefully selected keywords.

It is crucial that you know the right step to turn them into contents that can retain the visitors’ attention.

Do not stop!!!

Continue reading below to know how to write content based on keywords.


How to turn keywords into content

Create a title based on the main keyword

Pick one of the keywords to based your content around.

They are the root keywords and should appear in the title as well as throughout your content post.

The title will be displayed on google search page so it is important that you create the right title that can perfectly match with your main keywords.

Produce a long content to insert in other related keywords

It is a rule of thumb that a well-written article with a great amount of information is more likely to make the visitors to stay and a short post.

Usually an article should have a size of more than 1000 words. Around 1000 words, you will have enough space to lay out the content nicely for your readers.

More importantly, a long content also improves the rank of your page on google search.

You want to know why?

Continue reading

Google has many algorithms to rank a page. And in order to do that, it has to scan through and understand what information a specific page is giving out.

That is why a piece of long content will provide more information to the Google’s algorithm. It will help the search engine to understand more about your topics.


Then your page / website will become more relevant to the topics when someone searches them.

Nonetheless, you will also have a lot of space for backlinks and social shares on your content, comparing to short content post.

But here is the catch:

Long content post is more difficult to plan out. You should not put a lot of keywords into one concentrated area in your content.

Rather you should spread out your keyword appearance in your long content post, make them appear naturally. This will create an organic growth and interest from the visitors.

Curious how to do that? I will show you below

Keyword Prominence

Keyword prominence is the density and the location where you should put your keywords in.

It also depends on what type of topics that you are delivering to the readers (for example How-to post, What-is-the-best-product/service – post, Questions-and-Answers post, etc)


A simple rule to follow is, use short sentence and short paragraph in your post. This will allow you to divide your topics into many sections. Each section is the perfect opportunity to put your keyword in.

Use good headings in the long content. Heading is the perfect tool to lead the reader from one section to another section. They are also a good place to put the keyword in.

Moreover, remember that:

It is crucial to add your keyword in as naturally and smoothly as possible. Do not force the readers to comprehend the keywords. Instead, guide them into the keywords throughout many sections in the long content.

One essential advice:

Writing a good long content with solid composite and layout is a very difficult process.

If you do not have any actual experience in this process, it is often better to hire someone else to write the long content for you. 

I recommend you use Fiverr or freelancer.com .

Many of the experienced freelance writers can produce a good article based on the keywords that you provide for them. Look for a freelance to get more professional assistance.

Onto the next essential topics

This extensive guide should show you the fundamental knowledge of keyword search, niche topics and what tool you can use to find your particular keywords.

You got all the powerful SEO repertoire to carry out the plan for your website’s content.

Do not hesitate, do not afraid of competition. You have what it takes to improve the quality of your contents over your opponents.

So that’s my ultimate guide to productivity.
Now I want to turn it over to you: what did you think about this guide? Or maybe there’s
something I missed.
Let me know by leaving a comment below.