Keyword Research Tutorial: From Start to Finish (2019)

Posted By on May 4, 2019



keyword research isn't about search volume I'll even argue that it's not entirely about traffic either it's about choosing topics that potential customers are searching for serving their needs and eventually converting them into customers so in this keyword research tutorial I'm going to show you how to do keyword research that will help you increase traffic and revenue stay tuned what's up SEO Sam oh here with eight reps the SEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic research of competitors and dominate your niche now this keyword research tutorial is going to be a bit different than what you might be used to see rather than focusing on things like low competition topics I want to show you how to find and map keywords that will actually drive revenue for your business so whether you're creating a new website or you want to revamp your current keyword targeting that processes l outlined today will help all right so let's say that I'm starting a new e-commerce store selling computers parts software and accessories I'll obviously need product and category pages but I'll also want to use a blog to fuel my traffic the first step is to generate keyword ideas and I'll be using HSV's keywords Explorer for this so I'll start by typing in a few broad keywords related to my online store like computer computers laptop laptops and PC next I'll go to the having same terms report which shows us all keyword ideas that contained the target keywords as a broad match and there are well over 17 million keyword ideas now the point of this exercise isn't defined as many random keywords as possible is to filter them down and group them by search intent search intent just means the reason behind the searches query now these can generally be categorized into four groups first are informational keywords and these are queries where a searcher is looking to gain general knowledge on a topic for example what is ddr4 Ram next our navigational keywords for these the searcher usually knows the destination they want to reach for example something like Newegg ddr4 ram third our commercial investigation queries these generally show that someone is looking to get information on something that they want to eventually buy so these will often be comparisons and include key word modifiers like best ddr4 ram finally our transactional keywords would show that someone is ready to make a purchase like buy ddr4 Ram and if you're familiar with a sales conversion cycle you'll see that each of these groups fit into one of the four stages now you might be wondering why not just go after transactional keywords since these are the ones that are going to drive direct revenue two things first you'll limit your reach generally speaking search demand will be the lowest for transactional keywords so if you're ignoring things like informational queries you'll be missing out on opportunities to squeeze yourself into your target audiences conversion journey informational content can also help you build trust and authority so that when someone actually comes to a point of commercial investigation they may recognize your name or when they get to the transactional stage having previous exposure can be the difference between choosing you over a competitor the second distinct advantage you have is that you can accelerate people's buying journey through internal linking retargeting or whatever method to get your content in front of them for example if my store had a blog post on what to do with an old laptop and the post mentioned a buyback program we do it could lead to a conversion quickly now how can you determine search intent for a keyword phrase with some of them you can't from the keyword alone but a good chunk of them can be found using keyword modifiers a modifier is an add-on to a base keyword for example that could be best top or the current year here's a short list to get you started take a screenshot and let's keep going now I'm back in our keyword ideas report and I want a filter for keywords by search intent category so I'll grab our list of informational keywords and paste them into the include box here make sure to set the tab to any which will show us all keyword ideas that contain any of these keywords alright so the filtered results still show over 3 million keywords so let's set another filter if you're looking for low competition keywords argit's then you can set a maximum keyword difficulty score of something low like 10 personally I prefer to focus on search demand by setting the volume in tiers so we'll set a filter to show only keywords that have a minimum search volume of a thousand monthly searches and we've narrowed our 17 million results down to around a thousand now you'll need to manually filter through these since we're focusing on keyword research that drives revenue you'll have to focus on the this potential of a keyword at eight reps we assign a score between one to three the larger the number the greater value of the keyword has to our business an easy way to determine the business value is to ask yourself this question can i plug my products or services into these posts naturally or ask yourself what someone searching for this query be interested in purchasing my products or services if the answer is no then you should probably move on a quick way to sort through this list is to sort the table by parent topic since a single page can rank for hundreds or thousands of keywords you can use the parent topic to see if you can rank for your target keyword while targeting a more general topic on your page instead for example you'll see high volume keywords that all have the same parent topic of Xbox one controller driver rather than creating numerous dedicated articles on these queries about connecting an Xbox controller to a PC just choose the one with the most search volume as long as it provides value to your business for example this keyword on what is a computer worm could be a good one for a computer shop since we provide antivirus software so while it is an informational topic we could easily link to the different software products in our store so I'll add a checkmark to it then select the rest of the keywords in your filter list by scanning the parent topic groups now before we switch to the next page scroll to the top and click on add to and create a list with the keyword category as the name so these would be informational keywords if you find that your keyword list is too short then just change the volume filter since we've already gone through searches with greater than a thousand monthly searches I'll set the next one to searches that have 500 to 999 monthly searches and do the exact same thing until I have a large enough pool now do the same thing for your other keyword categories and you should have a nice list of topics to target in every stage of their buying journey but there's still some work to do the next step is to analyze Google's top 10 search results now this is a super important step to keyword research the top 10 ranking pages are going to give you information on things like content format and it'll help you understand how hard it's going to be to rank on google for your target keyword for example if we click on the surf drop down beside this keyword you'll see the top 10 ranking pages now the first thing you want to analyze the titles and the ranking pages you can immediately tell that all the pages are blog posts you'll also see that the titles talked about what computer worms are and how they work rather than completely reinventing the wheel and trying to write this with a product page you'll want to stick with the content format so for my site I might create a post called what is a computer worm how to fix it when you've been infected now just to show you how SERPs can differ if we look at the top 10 rankings for 4k monitors you'll see that the SERP is dominated by product and category pages which to me shows more transactional intent you can also do this step by running a search in Google for a keyword you want to rank for the next part is to assess how hard it'll be to rank on Google for this keyword now there are a few things that I'll look at here first will be the number of unique websites linking to these pages we call that referring domains in this example it doesn't look like the top ranking pages have that many unique links outside of Wikipedia in fact some of the pages in the bottom half of the SERP have zero unique links pointing at them now as I'm looking through the referring domains I'll also look at the domain rating which represents the overall strength of a website's backlink profile in this case you can see that the ranking pages all come from pretty powerful domains so if your website has a dr of let's say 15 you have to account for the fact that you'll be competing against pretty powerful sites in general you want to play in the same domain rating ballpark region or be prepared to build more links than the top ranking pages the final step that I look at is topical relevance since a computer worm is in the antivirus category you'll see that a lot of the top pages are antivirus companies so this may also tell us that it'll be a bit harder to penetrate but not impossible so with all of these things considered I would put an estimate a number of unique links I think we'll need to rank for this topic from there I'll decide whether it's worth putting my time and resources into ranking now it's just a matter of doing this for all keywords that you're interested in targeting and I highly recommend creating a spreadsheet of some sort so that you can track your keyword targeting plan alright so by this point we've gone through most of the cookie cutter keywords where search intent is easy to identify using keyword modifiers but not all of the keywords are going to include our seed keywords like computer laptop or PC great way you can get more keyword ideas is to reverse engineer the topics that are driving traffic to your competitors websites you can do this by going to HR EFT site Explorer just enter a competitor's domain and then go to the top pages report now if I were looking for product pages that I want to rank I would search for a site like newegg.com that has a lot of product page rankings or if I were looking for blog posts I can look at the top page as a report for a site like Tom's Hardware now it's just a matter of skimming the traffic and top keyword columns and if you want to find lower competition topics then just look at the referring domains column to get a basic understanding of ranking difficulty once you find a topic that you want to target then go through the same process of categorizing by search intent assigning a business value in analyzing ranking difficulty getting traffic from keyword research is great and all but as you go through this process you want to make sure that the keywords you're targeting are serving your potential customers and that's why it's so important to map keywords to problems they face you have the opportunity to showcase how your products and services will make their life easier and guide them towards your end goal a conversion now if you enjoyed this video then make sure to like share and subscribe and if you have any questions on keyword research leave a comment below and I'd be happy to help so keep grinding away and I'll see you in the next tutorial

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 23 comments

  1. Great tutorial, really getting into Ahrefs! One question re the video. May I ask what tool was used to edit? At 4:03 mins in, I like how you can blur everything other than the focus point out. Anyways, thanks Sam and team!

    Reply
  2. It would be great if you can show real-world results from this strategy. Thats is, an example of how this strategy increase your ranking for one of your keywords. Thanks

    Reply
  3. Too bad, all your tutorials have information on topics that are interesting to any marketer, but since it requires your $1,000 per month software to do any of this it's pretty much worthless information. Not too many people have that kind of cash to spend on a software application when it's more than rent for the month.

    Reply
  4. Man, thank you so much for all of the valuable content you put out. THIS is how it's done – a company who creates something highly useful AND shows people how to best use it / harness it's power.

    Reply
  5. One of the best SEO videos I've ever seen. 1/2 of the reason is that ahrefs makes all other tools look like child's play. So I love it how you give totally actionable tips and stay always in the tool to show things that otherwise seem daunting for newb SEOs. I already started sharing this with some people I know that want to get into SEO or start their own online biz.

    Reply
  6. After watching this.. I don't need to buy expensive paid course. I know they are important too. Please provide full YouTube course

    Reply
  7. Sam, loved this new, fresh approach to KW research. Got a template you use to keep track of these and then map to existing pages?

    Reply
  8. This is really awesome! And thanks. : ) Two questions. If the volume is high for commercial investigation, would it be good to go for it rather than informational KWs? Side track a bit: What's the video software you use to create such nice videos?

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  9. Sam, your videos are awesome. They are informative and help a lot in understanding what needs to be done. Keep up the good work man.

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  10. Awesome as usual Sam! If you guys really wanted to ratchet it up to the next level I'd love to see Google sheets that we could copy to go along with your video tutorials.

    I made an example sheet based on this video:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kgZUgWNlgCspDcCwgryGx-U38JWjlmaBqVPw3ArSM_Y/edit?usp=copy

    Just by swapping out the last word in the url from "edit" or "share" to "copy" you should be able to make an easily copyable Google sheet (although I've said that before and been wrong).

    My sheet isn't crazy useful but I'm sure you guys have ones you use internally that pair well with the ahrefs tool.

    The nice thing is that you can make clean CTAs right in the sheet to your service along with creating another shareable asset.

    Reply
  11. Amazing and insightful as always Sam, but OH! 100mph – and cheat sheet link would be awesome, and my note-taking just doesn't keep up!

    Reply
  12. You always explain things for websites that have traffic and never for websites that have a few visitors. For those kinds of websites, each aHrefs feature gives back no data. It would be great to consider keyword research and all of your tips for a different target.

    Reply
  13. SAM OH..This is one of THE best if not THE best videos on KW Research I've ever watched. It take just a few mins to layout the concepts in SIMPLE terms for anyone to grasp. As always keep on CRUSHING IT!!!

    Reply
  14. Thanks for the tips , I had a question that's been bugging me. If you take a break from YouTube, and decide to come back, is it true that YouTube buries your channel for having breaks? I don't want to start over but I feel I might have to. Any response will help.

    Reply
  15. Hi Sam.
    My thumb up to this wonderful video.
    Please let me know how many time you spend to creating a thumbnail of this video.
    Your all thumbnail are unique and engaging.
    Is this your single effort to make the thumbnail or you take advice from experts.

    Reply
  16. I am Ahref subscriber. You should make one tutorial covering all the topics. So we can utilize the full potential of the Ahref

    Reply

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