Keyword Research Strategies: Simple How-To

coming up with keyword research strategy based off of analytics

Table of Contents

Understand Your Target Audience

Before conducting keyword research, it is critical that you gain an in-depth knowledge of who and what kind of content your intended target audience wants to consume. Here are a few questions to keep in mind while conducting your audience research:

  • What are the demographics of your target audience?
  • What are their pain points or challenges?
  • What are their interests and preferences?

With answering these three questions, keyword research and content creation can be tailored specifically to meet the needs and search intent of your audience. Doing this increases your odds of ranking higher in search results while drawing more qualified leads into your pipeline.

Utilize Keyword Research Tools

To identify and use popular keywords in your content, it’s necessary to utilize various keyword research tools. These tools help in pinpointing search queries people are actively using. Here are some of the more renowned tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner: A free tool from Google that provides keyword suggestions and search volume data.
  • SEMrush: An extensive SEO tool with keyword research, competitor analysis, and more.
  • Ahrefs: A comprehensive SEO tool with a keyword explorer, website audit, and backlink scanner.

When using these tools, it’s wise to focus on keywords with higher search volumes and lower competition as well as long-tail keywords which we will discuss later in this article. By targeting these types of keywords you increase the odds of ranking higher in search engine results quickly while driving traffic directly to your website. If you still haven’t set up a site for your business, now’s the time! Go to our website design services page for more information, or get started by filling out our online form.

If you’re using Ahrefs, you can go to the keyword explorer, type in a search phrase and it will show you the estimated monthly traffic value, how difficult it will be to rank for that specific keyword in the top 10 and more. They also offer training on how to use their product for anyone that is just starting out.

person analyzing competitive keywords online

Analyze Competitor Keywords

Competitive analysis is an integral part of successful keyword research. By closely inspecting websites and content of competitors, you can quickly find out what keywords they target effectively, along with potential gaps or opportunities that you could capitalize on.

In order to perform a thorough competitor analysis, you should start off with:

  • Create a list of your primary competitors: This should include the top competitors in your niche or industry. Sometimes companies that you thought were your competitors turn out not to be.
  • Examine their content: Study their blogs, landing pages, and other online content to identify the specific keywords they’re targeting.
  • Use SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to gather data on your competitors’ keyword rankings and performance metrics.

After analyzing your competitors, you’ll be better positioned to decide which keywords to target and how you can improve your ranking performance in search results.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific phrases that users type when searching. Even though they have lower search volumes than short-tail keywords, they tend to have higher conversion rates because they’re more targeted. Not to mention they are easier to rank for initially.

Focusing on long-tail keywords is an excellent strategy because they’re more specific and less competitive. Users looking for them are likelier to be interested in your content and become leads or customers.

To identify long-tail keywords, you can use keyword research tools such as Ubersuggest or any of the other mentioned above. You can also brainstorm different phrases that your target audience might be asking and incorporating them into your content will help you uncover new long-tail keywords.

Long Tail vs. Short Tail Keywords Comparison chart

ParameterLong Tail KeywordsShort Tail Keywords
DefinitionSpecific, three or more words phrasesGeneral, one or two words phrases
Search VolumeLowerHigher
Conversion RateHigherLower
Cost per Click (in PPC)Generally lowerGenerally higher
TargetingMore specific, targets niche audienceMore broad, targets large and diverse audience
SEO DifficultyGenerally easier due to lower competitionGenerally harder due to higher competition
Example“Best vegan protein powder for athletes”“Protein powder”
User IntentClearer and specific (transactional or informational)Less clear and specific (navigational or informational)
SERP (Search Engine Results Page) PersonalizationMore likely due to specific queriesLess likely due to generic queries
Time to see SEO resultsFaster because of lower competitionSlower because of high competition

Optimize Your Pages with Keywords

Now that you’ve found the right keywords, it’s important to incorporate them naturally and strategically throughout your content. This includes using them in the following areas, particularly in your:

  • Title and headings
  • Include keywords in your meta description and URL, as this can improve click-through rates from search results.
  • Add keywords to the alt text of images – this will help optimize SEO and make your content more accessible.
  • Use keywords appropriately throughout the body of your content, but avoid overstuffing – this can lead to penalties from search engines.
  • Aim to create enticing, high-quality content tailored to the needs and interests of your audience.

Track and Measure Your Keyword Performance

It’s essential to track and measure your target keywords’ performance to identify improvement areas. Here are some key metrics to keep an eye on:

  • Keyword rankings: Monitor how your content is ranking in search engine results pages ( SERPs ).
  • Organic traffic: Track the total organic traffic generated by your keywords.
  • Conversion rates: Analyze which keywords are driving the most leads or sales.
  • To do this, you can use tools such as Google Analytics. Regularly evaluating your keyword performance will enable you to refine your strategies and make informed content creation and optimization decisions.


Mastering keyword research is integral to digital success. Through understanding your readers, using keyword tools, studying competitor keywords and optimizing content while tracking keyword performance you will develop skills necessary for creating engaging and discoverable content that drives traffic and generates leads.

Utilizing keyword strategies will improve your search rankings while giving you insight into the needs of your target audience. With this insight in hand, you can craft engaging content to increase online brand exposure for your brand.

Here at Southtown Web Design, we utilize different SEO tools to provide our clients with the most in-depth keyword research. We exhaust ourselves on this key aspect, because it is one of the most important first steps when doing Organic SEO / Local SEO. If you’d like help in this process, contact us today for more information.


What is a keyword research strategy?

A keyword research strategy is a planned approach to identify, analyze, and use the most relevant and effective keywords. These keywords aim to attract your target audience to your website or online content, ultimately improving your search engine ranking and visibility.

What are keyword strategies?

Keyword strategies are methodologies used to select and position appropriate keywords within your website or online content. These strategies can range from long-tail keyword use, local SEO, and competitor analysis, to focusing on low competition keywords. The aim is to increase organic traffic.

What are the 3 main elements of keyword research?

The three main elements of keyword research are relevance, search volume, and competition. Relevance is how closely aligned a keyword is with your content or business, search volume represents the number of people searching for that keyword, and competition refers to how many other websites are targeting the same keyword.

What is the best keyword strategy?

The best keyword strategy depends on your unique goals, audience, and competition. However, a successful strategy often involves a mix of high volume, low competition keywords (for quick wins), long-tail keywords (for specific queries and lower competition), and local SEO (for location-specific queries). It’s also essential to regularly review and adjust your strategy based on performance metrics and changes in your business or industry.

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