Keyword research

Keyword research is a practice search engine optimization (SEO) professionals use to find and research alternative search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for a similar subject. Search engine optimization professionals research additional keywords, which they use to achieve better rankings in search engines. Once they find a niche keyword, they expand on it to find similar keywords. Keyword suggestion tools usually aid the process, like the Google Ads Keyword Planner, which offers a thesaurus and alternative keyword suggestions or by looking into Google Suggest.[1]

Importance of researchEdit

Keyword researchEdit

The objective of keyword research is to generate, with good precision and recall, a large number of terms that are highly relevant yet non-obvious to the given input keyword.[2] The process of keyword research involves brainstorming and the use of keyword research tools. To achieve the best SEO results, it is important to optimize a website as well as backlinks for the most relevant keywords. It is good practice to search for related keywords that have low competition and still a high number of searches. This makes it easier to achieve a higher rank in search engines which usually results in higher web traffic. The downside of this practice is that the website is optimized for alternative keywords instead of the main keyword; main keywords might be very difficult to rank for due to high competition.[3] There are three essential concepts to consider when conducting keyword research. Good keywords are closely related to the subject of the website. Most search engines use an internal quality system to check website relevance related to possible keywords, a non-relevant keyword is unlikely to rank well for a website.[4] Good Keyword that are highly competitive are less likely to rank in the top. Keywords that have no monthly searches generate no traffic and therefore are useless for SEO. Keyword stuffing in a web page should be avoided.

Types of keywordsEdit

From SEO practice point there are 3 categories of keywords which for professionals of Search engine optimization are important.

  • Short-tail keywords which are known in SEO World as "seed", "main" or "money" keywords which are consisted mostly from one to two words and they are mostly generic but with very high volume searches.
  • Middle-tail keyword which in SEO World are known as "targeted" or "intent" keywords because usually points to what the product is for, what kind of service is or what info some persona is seeking.They have three to four keywords. They have less volume searches than the generic ones.
  • Long-tail keywords are basically the most wanted and targeted keywords upon the keyword research from the professionals of Search Engine Optimization because if there is some commercial intent they have high rate of conversion. These keywords are very detail keywords and unique ones because the specific in them and intent they have and they have over 5 words in it.

Research examplesEdit

A very popular and highly competitive keyword on Google search engine is "making money." It has 85,300,000 search results, meaning that millions of websites are relevant or competing for that keyword. Keyword research starts with finding all possible word combinations that are relevant to the "making money" keyword. For example, a keyword "acquiring money" has significantly fewer search results, only 61 000 000, but it has the same meaning as "making money." Another way is to be more specific about a keyword by adding additional filters. Keyword "making money online from home in Canada" is less competitive on a global scale and therefore easier to rank for. Furthermore, keywords also have various intents which can affect whether the marketer would want to target that keyword. Multiple tools are available (both free and commercial) to find keywords and analyze them.

Keyword research toolsEdit


Google offers free tools to do some basic keyword analysis. All the results are based on data of the Google search engine.

Google recently released an update to the Google keyword planner and changes some of its policy by which the first campaign must be set in order to get the keyword planner back. This is a type of Google Ads account that is used by agencies and consultants to manage many different advertising accounts.

Features of Google Ads Keyword Planner: [5]

  • Get search volume estimates for the keyword.
  • Generate new keywords by combining different keyword lists.
  • Create new keyword variations based on primary keyword.
  • Provides Keywords used for websites – useful for competitive analysis.

Limitations of Google Ads Keyword Planner:

  • Hides long tail keywords data as the tool is made for Google Ads and not for SEO purposes.
  • Keywords generated by the device may not produce good results as the tool is targeted towards advertisers and not SEO.
  • The search volume displayed received a change in 2016, Google started limiting the output options to advertisers (or accounts) with lower or no monthly spending.[6]

Google SuggestEdit

Google has introduced Google Suggest in 2012. Google Suggest is typically used as a live feature while a user is typing a search phrase into the browser or Google website. Google Suggest uses the organic search input of billions of users and try to "guess" that way what a user might be searching for even before he completed entering the query or all the words of a keyword phrase.

This makes Google Suggest a relevant source for keyword research, it contains a large amount of organic keywords very closely related to a full or partial keyword and can be used to find additional most searched appending keywords that make the whole keyword less competitive. Google Suggest can be researched through the Google Search website or through a compatible browser for a small amount of keywords but also in large scale using free scraper tools.

Bing Ads Keyword PlannerEdit

The Bing Ads Keyword Planner[7] provides keyword and ad group suggestions and shows average monthly search volume trends, relative competition and suggested bids. Features of Bing Keyword Planner:

  • Get search volume data and trends.
  • Get performance and cost estimates.
  • Multiply keyword lists to get new keywords.

Limitations of Bing Ads Keyword Planner:

  • Bing holds only 20 percent of the U.S. search engine market share, the data provided may not be reliable at least not for optimizing websites for Google search engine.
  • Similar to Google Ads Keyword Planner, data furnished by the tool is for helping advertisers and not publishers.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Search using autocomplete - Search Help". Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  2. ^ Joshi, A; Motwani, R (2006). Keyword Generation for Search Engine Advertising. Data Mining Workshops. p. 493. doi:10.1109/ICDMW.2006.104. ISBN 978-0-7695-2702-4.
  3. ^ Jerkovic, John (2009). SEO Warrior. O'Reilly Media. pp. 213–236. ISBN 978-0596157074.
  4. ^ Ross, A. Malaga (2008). "Worst Practices in Search Engine Optimization". Commun. ACM. 51 (12): 147. doi:10.1145/1409360.1409388.
  5. ^ "Keyword Research & Strategy with Keyword Planner - Google Ads". Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  6. ^ "Re: Updates to the Keyword Planner Tool". 2016-08-12. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  7. ^ "Keyword Planner". Bing ads. Retrieved 2017-04-05.