StartBlogWebsite maintenanceKeyword research guide: How to find suitable keywords for search engine optimisation

Keyword research guide: How to find suitable keywords for search engine optimisation

A laptop on the desk - the opened screen shows a Google search box. Example of SEO keyword research.

You have a great homepage with exciting articles or an online shop with super products? Great! Then the world should get to know your website! But how do you manage to attract the right customers? With search engine optimisation (SEO), you can greatly increase the chances that the desired target group will find your site. Therefore, you should start taking effective measures right now. The first step is SEO keyword research. You will learn how this works step by step in this keyword research guide: We explain to you exactly which keywords you should use. You will find a summary at the end of the article.

First step: Brainstorming phase

With search engine optimisation, you want to achieve that you land at the top of search queries in Google, Bing or other search engines. This is the most likely way for users to click on your homepage. In doing so, you should specifically focus on the search queries that best fit your theme. For example, if you sell gifts for hobby gardeners, the first step is to think about what people who would buy such items might type in. Brainstorming is the first step of SEO keyword research: Write down all word combinations that revolve around the words "gifts for hobby gardeners". Sometimes use the singular, sometimes the plural, swap the order of the terms and think of several similar, related terms for each word.

You can also take inspiration from the auto-complete function in search engines. Start typing a possible keyword in the search box and check which other words are displayed in combination with it. Also look at the related search queries - Google shows these below the hit list. Write everything down, for example: "gifts for hobby gardeners, gift for hobby gardeners, gift hobby gardeners, hobby gardener gift, funny gifts for gardeners, exclusive gifts garden" etc.

Check keyword ideas with SEO tools

In the second step of the SEO keyword research, you check your initial ideas with special SEO tools. There are some free programmes for this like SEORCH or conditionally free tools like AnswerThePublic, ubersuggest or SemRushwhich you can use free of charge with limited functions or until you reach the daily limit.

Enter your search terms here to have other keyword suggestions displayed based on them. You will also receive details on the respective search volume. This means that these tools show you how often people search for these exact keywords. You can also check the keywords of your competitors as a suggestion. To do this, enter the website addresses of others into the SEO tools and you will receive a list of the stored keywords of your competitors.

Which keywords to use?

Now you have collected a number of keyword ideas, but how do you decide which one to choose? You should have an idea of how many keywords you will need in the end. Each page of your homepage gets its own keyword. You should avoid duplications. The keywords are distributed hierarchically - the most important keyword is stored on the main page, the other keywords are distributed to the sub-pages according to the topic.

To determine the main keyword now, look closely at the analysis in the SEO tool. The perfect keyword is one with a high search volume and relatively little competition. This way, you are most likely to hit exactly the right niche where your website will be displayed high up. SEO tools help with this - many show the keyword difficulty (KD) for each keyword. This value describes how difficult it is to achieve a good search engine ranking for this term. For new websites, the KD should be below 20 percent.

Look closely at the analysis for all words and word combinations. For example, the order of the terms can make a big difference in search volume. If users enter "gifts for hobby gardeners" much more frequently instead of "gift hobby gardeners", but both have a good KD value, then opt for the keyword with the higher search volume. The aim of the SEO keyword research is of course also to find a keyword that is searched for relatively frequently, as this is the prerequisite for clicks to your website. According to this principle, define a separate keyword for each individual sub-page of your homepage.

Evaluate SEO keyword research with Google Search Console

Tip: Connect your website free of charge with the Google Search Console. Here you can see at any time how many clicks on your homepage are achieved for which keyword. Here you can also see the current position in the hit list for the respective keyword. This way you can keep an eye on whether your search engine optimisation measures are working or whether you should test other keywords.

In a nutshell:

- SEO keyword research is the basis of search engine optimisation
- In the first step, collect all possible search terms (single words and word combinations) that your target group might be interested in
- Get inspired by Google autocomplete as well as related search queries
- Check your collection of ideas with special SEO tools to decide which keywords to use
- SEO tools offer additional keyword suggestions, data on the respective keyword (search volume, keyword difficulty) and a competitor analysis.
- Choose a promising main keyword for your main page and a different keyword for each subpage.
- Perfect: Keyword has high search volume with little competition

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