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SEO Keyword Research Checklist 2023 | Tools to Improve Your Site

seo keyword research checklist

An SEO keyword research checklist can assist you in finding the best keywords to target and boost your search appearance.

Since keywords are the cornerstone of successful SEO, mastering this process is essential. This is one of the reasons it’s a high priority on Maslow’s Hierarchy of SEO needs.

As a website owner, learning how to use keyword research tools for SEO is becoming more and more important. But it can be hard to know where to begin.

This Keyword Research SEO Checklist will guide you through the steps to uncover the right keywords that will elevate your site’s visibility and drive organic traffic.

Keyword Research for SEO Checklist

To make the process easier, we’ve broken our keyword research checklist down into bite-size chunks. We list the key factors below and elaborate on them further on in the post.

  • Identify your competitors and analyze their keywords
  • Conduct a keyword gap analysis
  • Find your main “money” keywords
  • Find long-tail keyword
  • Find question keywords
  • Analyze the keyword search intent of the pages that rank
  • Create a keyword map
  • Find relevant keywords with low difficulty and high volume
  • Strategize based on page performance
  • Prioritize by search volume and difficulty

SEO Keywords Research Explained

Keyword research can be overwhelming, so here is a further explanation of each item on our keyword research checklist. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our SEO specialist.

keywords SEO

Identify Your Competitors and Analyze Their Keywords:

Start by identifying your competitors and analyzing their keywords to gain insights into what works in your niche. Keyword research tools for SEO, like SEMrush or Ahrefs, can help you uncover their top-performing keywords.

It’s worth taking into account the different types of keywords you’re likely to encounter and try to identify them as you go.

Conduct a Keyword Gap Analysis:

Perform a keyword gap analysis to identify keywords your competitors are ranking for, but you’re not. Closing these gaps can boost your SEO strategy. Then, it’s time to optimize your on-page SEO to target these keywords.

Find Your Main “Money” Keywords:

Identify the core keywords that directly relate to your products or services. These are often referred to as “money” keywords. High-value keywords like these are essential for driving high-converting traffic from search engines like Google.

Find Long-Tail Keywords:

Long-tail keywords are specific and less competitive, making them valuable for targeting niche audiences. Use SEO tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or AnswerThePublic to discover these gems.

Find Question Keywords:

Question keywords reflect user intent and are excellent for creating content that directly addresses your audience’s queries.

Tools like “People Also Ask” on Google can help you find these. There are also some keyword research tools like SERanking that offer a ‘questions’ filter for you to explore.

Analyze the Keyword Search Intent of the Pages That Rank:

Understanding the intent behind keywords is crucial. Analyze the search intent of the pages that currently rank for your target keywords and tailor your on page content accordingly.

Create a Keyword Map:

Organize your keywords by mapping them to specific pages on your website. This ensures that each page is optimized for a set of keywords, eliminating keyword cannibalization.

Find Relevant Keywords with Low Difficulty and High Volume:

Look for keywords with a healthy search volume and low keyword difficulty. These are the low-hanging fruits that can yield quick SEO wins.

Strategize Based on Page Performance:

Regularly monitor the performance of your pages and adjust your keyword strategy accordingly. If a page isn’t performing as expected, consider revising your keyword targeting. You can analyze your page performance using free SEO tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

Prioritize by Search Volume and Difficulty:

Prioritize keywords based on a balance between search volume and keyword difficulty. Focus on high-impact keywords that are both attainable and valuable to your site.

The easiest keywords for you to rank for will have low difficulty. If you can find keywords with high volume and low difficulty that are relevant to your business, prioritize them.

Best SEO Keyword Research Tools

best seo keyword research tools

To make things easier, here is a list of the best keyword research tools for SEO.

  • Google Keyword Planner: Provides keyword insights and volume data for effective SEO strategy.
  • SEMrush: Offers comprehensive keyword research, competitor analysis, and site auditing features.
  • Ahrefs: Provides keyword research, backlink analysis, and site auditing, making it a versatile SEO tool.
  • Moz Keyword Explorer: Offers keyword suggestions, metrics, and SERP analysis for optimal content planning.
  • Ubersuggest: A free tool offering keyword ideas, content insights, and competitive analysis.
  • Generates keyword suggestions from various sources, including Google and Bing.
  • AnswerThePublic: A unique tool for discovering question-based keywords and content ideas.
  • LongTailPro: Specializes in long-tail keyword research, ideal for niche-focused content strategies.
  • Serpstat: Offers a suite of SEO tools, including keyword research, competitor analysis, and site auditing.
  • Keyword Surfer: Keyword Surfer is a browser extension that provides search volume data within Google search results.
  • SpyFu: Focuses on competitor analysis, helping you uncover your competitors’ keywords and strategies.
  • SE Ranking: Offers keyword research, site auditing, and rank tracking, suitable for small to mid-sized businesses.
  • Keywords Everywhere: A browser extension that provides keyword data directly in your browser while browsing websites and search engines.
  • Surfer SEO: Offers on-page optimization insights and content analysis to help improve your content’s performance in search engines.
  • SEOquake: A browser extension that provides a range of SEO metrics and data for competitive analysis and on-page SEO optimization.
  • Google Search Console: Offers valuable insights into how Google views your website, including keyword data and indexing information.

How To Do SEO Keyword Research Template

Keyword research isn’t a one-time task. In fact, it’s an ongoing process that should evolve with your website’s goals and your audience’s needs.

This Keyword Research SEO Checklist equips you with the tools and strategies to uncover the keywords that will drive your site’s success in the ever-competitive world of SEO.

If you aren’t sure what to do or you’re looking for assistance, don’t hesitate to explore our SEO keyword research service. We’d love to help you.

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