Home SEO 101 Keyword Research: How to Effectively Research SEO Keywords 

Keyword Research: How to Effectively Research SEO Keywords 

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We can also look at the perspective of search engines of other platforms such as social networks Facebook, TikTok or even e-commerce products Amazon, Ebay, Shopee… By understanding search trends. On each platform, we can optimize our SEO strategy and reach customers effectively.

Therefore, this article may only focus on the Google search engine, but it will provide a comprehensive look at keyword research across all platforms, while emphasizing the importance of being flexible in your strategy. digital marketing today.

At the keyword research stage, SEOs will make decisions about article topics or website content to meet user search needs. This helps attract more visits from search engines and improve the website’s position on the search engine results page (SERP).

What is Keyword Modifier?

Keyword Modifiers are additional words or phrases added to the main keyword to adjust or expand the meaning of the keyword, making it more specific and relevant to the user’s search needs.

When you understand Keyword Modifier, you will know what the user’s intention behind each keyword is.

First of all, let’s learn about the structure of keywords!

A keyword will include 2 components:

  • Head: Also known as Seed Keyword, is the main keyword that focuses the entire user’s search focus.
    This means that whether a user searches for “Cheap Fuhlen Keyboard” or “Logitech keyboard,” the search still revolves around “keyboard.”
  • Modifier: Modifier Keyword is a keyword that when replaced with other words/phrases, the keyword meaning does not change, but the user’s search intention will completely change!

The nature of keyword research

Keyword research is essentially market research. The nature of this research will include three central elements:

  • Does every keyword hide a search “intent”?
  • Determine Search Intent using Modifier Keyword
  • Query Path – Understand more about the user’s search journey

1. Does every keyword hide a search “intent”?

Hidden behind each keyword is the user’s search intent, and each user has a different search intent when they search for information on the Internet.

Example with two keywords: “travel to Europe” and “cheap travel to Europe”

With the keyword “travel to Europe,” users may be looking for general information about traveling to Europe including locations, culture, and travel experiences.

However, when they enter the keyword “cheap European travel,” their search intention is to find information about cheap travel packages or special offers.

From the basic example above, you can see that each keyword has a distinct intent. The important takeaway is that when you understand user search intent, you can optimize your content to accurately reflect that intent.

So how do you determine search intent? The content below will guide you how to determine using Modifier Keyword.

2. Determine Search Intent using Modifier Keyword

Search Intent (search intent) is the ultimate goal of users when searching for a certain keyword on search engines like SERPs like Google.

Accordingly, Modifier Keyword based on search intent will be divided into 3 separate groups suitable for different search purposes:

I will take an example with the keyword “coolmate t-shirt”. The three intents according to the Keyword Modifier method include:

  • Information Intent: This type of intention includes keywords related to 5W1H questions: What – When – Where – Why – Who – How. For example: “coolmate t-shirt brand”, “what are coolmate t-shirts made of”, “coolmate t-shirt size”…
  • Commercial investigation intent: Includes keywords that are comparative and evaluative adjectives. For example: “are coolmate t-shirts good”, “coolmate t-shirt reviews”, “is coolmate’s fabric good”…
  • Purchase intent includes high-converting keywords. For example: “coolmate t-shirt discount code”, “promotional coolmate t-shirt”…

At this point, you must have clearly understood the structure of a keyword and how to classify keywords in accordance with user intent, right? But obviously that doesn’t mean you’re 100% done with the user intent identification phase. An equally important job is to understand more about the customer’s search journey, also known as the “Query Path”.

3. Query Path – Better understand the user’s search journey

Query Path is the sequence of queries or keywords that users use during a search session to achieve a specific search context. It helps you better understand the user’s search journey, from the first step until they reach their goal or master the information they need.

I will help you clarify Query Path through the following example:

A user starts by searching with the keyword “what is SEO” on Google, after reading the answer, they continue searching with queries like “What is an SEO officer” or “What is an SEO officer?” What”. Finally, they can search for “how much does SEO pay” to find information about jobs.

Do you understand the purpose of this query string? I guess you get the idea!

The purpose of Query Path research is to clarify users’ search intent and understand what information they are investigating, wondering about or looking for in detail. This helps you create content relevant to every stage of the search journey, from basic information to shopping opportunities or job searches like the example above.

Some of you reading this will ask questions like: “It’s just keywords! Just write a related article and insert the main keyword and you’re done! What does it have to be so sophisticated and complicated? If you also have that way of thinking, then get rid of them right away because now I will “show” you the benefits of keyword research.

You must do keyword research for the following 4 compelling reasons:

  • Understand customer insight in the chosen niche
  • Choose the right keywords from real data
  • Orient long-term content for the website
  • Avoid wasting resources

Understand customer insight in the chosen niche

By finding out keywords related to niche topics, you can understand how customers search for information and products, thereby providing suitable content and products.

Often when researching keywords, you have to ask many questions about customers to understand them. But SEO keyword research not only helps you know “who” they are, but also helps you understand “what” they are.

Choose the right keywords from real data

Not all of your professional thoughts and analysis about keywords will coincide with your customers’ thoughts.

Keyword Research is a job that requires practicality. Through this, you can clearly determine which keywords are actually searched and what the exact search volume is. You will also know the difficulty of each keyword, thereby choosing “suitable” keywords based on the database.

Orient long-term content for the website

The result of the keyword research process is that you have a complete set of keywords from which you can clearly understand and orient content development for the website according to a very clear plan. This set of keywords is like a compass, helping you determine direction and shape the entire content structure on the website.

Your long-term content plan can include large topics, each large topic will be divided into many small topics and go deeper into each specific content. Therefore, building such in-depth content brings real value to readers.

Avoid wasting resources

There are many companies that have been investing time, money, and human resources into advertising in the form of website optimization to achieve high positions on search engines. However, if they do not focus on the right set of keywords, it can be one of the main reasons for not achieving the desired results.

Through keyword research, you can find keywords that are relevant and relevant to your niche. Using these keywords to optimize your website content and marketing strategy helps you avoid wasting resources on ineffective activities.

1. Determine business field

Determining the business field in SEO is the process of learning and understanding in detail and comprehensively the field of your or your customer’s business.

To define your business, you need to take a deeper look at your product or service by understanding competitors, trends and industry changes. Remember, the most important thing is still to target your target customers.

This will include capturing demographic information such as: Age, gender, location, interests, and needs of existing and potential customers. Once you understand your business and target customers, you will have a solid foundation to conduct effective keyword research, create relevant content, and attract the right audience.

To understand better, let’s take a look at the following example!

I have a website that provides information on choosing, buying and caring for popular pet cat breeds. My website does not sell cats or cat care tools. The purpose of the website is to provide information about cat breeds, topics surrounding cats such as how to raise them, what products are good for cats, sales addresses and cat care services…etc.

The website’s target users are cat lovers who want to learn about and buy cats. Or maybe they are just people who want to learn more about cat breeds around the world.

From there, I determined that the website’s revenue source would come from implementing Google AdSense advertising and Affiliate Marketing to units providing breeds of cats, products or cat care services.

It’s as simple as that. Once you determine your business field and target customers, finding keyword set ideas will be much easier.

2. Find keyword ideas

Keyword ideas sound like you’ll have to brainstorm and get creative about which keywords to use. Oh no! What I mean here is finding ideas based on your own field.

First, let’s start with Seed Keywords.

Brainstorm “Seed” Keywords

Seed keywords are short-tail keywords, usually one or two words. Seed keywords have monthly search volume and are highly competitive. They will determine your niche and be used to develop other keyword sets such as long-tail keywords. It is the head keyword that I mentioned in the modifier keyword research section!

Let’s take the following example: A website about cat breed information identifies its customers as cat lovers, are raising cats and are about to buy cats, so the seed keywords must be: “cat care”, “cat food” “buy cats”….

After determining the seed keys. Use them for the Universal Keywords method.

Universal Keywords method

Universal Keywords will help build the website’s theme in the most comprehensive way, capturing the market. Helps you choose important topics that support SEO.

This method is very simple, just put your seed keyword into the keyword research tool and press enter and you’re done. 

Expand List Post method

As its name suggests, Expanded List Post is a research method for expanding the scope of keywords based on a specific topic.

Unlike Phantom Keyword (keyword with search volume but little or no one optimizing), Expanded List Post focuses on optimization according to Google’s latest trends. Focus attention on thematic optimization, expanding reach and coverage across the entire market.

In terms of effectiveness, Expanded List Post helps you find topics with high traffic, suitable for potential customers and less competitive than Phantom Keyword. When you bring a topic to the top, it will create momentum for all other keywords on the same topic to rise to the top at the same time.

The end result is that you can rank at the top of dozens, even hundreds of thousands of keywords on search engines.

Research more information from the market

Not only SEO, any business activity must research more information from the market. You know! Keyword research tools are only third parties. All information sources taken from tools are for reference only and cannot be 100% accurate while market intent is constantly changing. Keyword search intent today will be different from tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, let alone every month or quarter.

You also need to know that SEO tools take time to scrape and extract data. That means if you depend on the tool, your SEO work will definitely be delayed.

Once you have a list of keywords thanks to the above four methods. You should start filtering and selecting keywords that are truly quality and have potential for SEO.

3. Determine keyword selection criteria

After selecting seed keywords, you have a list of keywords. To start, you will filter based on the following criteria: Opportunity, Volume, Keyword Difficulty and Potential.

  • Opportunity

Opportunity is whether your website has the opportunity to write about that keyword or not. This will help you eliminate elements that the business itself does not “own”. This means you need to eliminate keywords with intent that is not related to the website topic or business field.

  • Volume

Search volume is an indicator that shows the average number of times a keyword is searched each month. Filtering by volume will help SEO practitioners understand how often users search for which keywords to optimize content and SEO strategy accordingly.

One thing you should know is that not every high volume means you have to rush into SEO for that keyword. The higher the volume, the higher the difficulty. At this time, pay attention to Keyword Difficulty.

  • Keyword Difficulty

Keyword Difficulty (KD) is an estimated index of difficulty (level of competition) for a keyword to rank high on Google search results. This index is different for each tool, but we should still refer to it because they only differ by only a few units.

Normally, the shorter and more comprehensive the keyword, the higher the difficulty and the KD will usually be greater than 30. On the contrary, Long-tail keywords are keywords that contain more than 3 words, have specific content, so the search volume is low. and therefore less competition.

Therefore, if you invest in writing a quality article about a long-term keyword, there is a high possibility that you will beat your competitors and reach the top 1. This is a safe path for new websites without trust. high in the industry.

  • Potential

Potential traffic is the search volume and clicks that will help you understand how popular a keyword is. But in addition to that keyword, there are many other variations that you can target, for example related words, synonyms.

4. Classify keywords (based on search intent)

  • Informational Keywords

Information Keyword is the keyword users search for when they want information. Common information search query patterns are: How, What, When, Who, Where…

Informational keywords often begin with words like “how,” “how,” “definition,” “cause,” and many other keywords that describe the user’s goal of gaining knowledge or understanding more clarity on a specific issue.

For example: “what is a british cat”, “how much does a british shorthair cat cost”, “where to buy british shorthair cats”, “how to raise british shorthair cats”,…

  • Navigational Keywords

Navigational Keywords are types of keywords that search engines can identify as part of a search query for the purpose of navigating to a certain website. This means that when users search, they already know the final destination before searching for these keys.

Navigation query words are usually: Brand name, product name, service name…

For example, the keywords “ahrefs”, “facebook”, “gtv seo seo service”… Users search for these keywords to find the websites ahrefs.com, facebook.com or gtvseo.com.

  • Commercial Investigation Keyword (Commercial Investigation Keyword)

Commercial Investigation Keywords are commercial investigation queries often related to comparing, reviewing products, searching for prices, checking features, or finding deals and discount codes.

For example, with commercial investigation keywords: “Should you raise British Shorthair cats”, “Compare British Shorthair cats and British Longhair cats”…

  • Transactional Keyword

Transactional Keywords are query words that indicate a need to buy a product or service such as: buy, discount code, order, specific price,…

For example, if your website sells cats, good keywords would be: “British short-haired cats priced under 1 million”, “buy British short-haired cats priced under 5 million”, “cheap British short-haired cats”….

Transactional user queries will lead to better conversions. However, the level of competition is very fierce. Therefore, finding long-tail keywords is very important.

5. Group keywords

Keyword Grouping is the practice of listing and grouping together keywords that have the same semantics and the same user search intent.

Grouping this keyword will appear a term called Parent Keyword. Parent Keywords describe a broad field or topic related to a specific niche or topic. Users can search for an issue based on many different keywords. But in general, the intention is the same.

Obviously, to choose the right Parent Keyword, you must go from your field, product, and users. Collecting keywords is very simple, just search the keyword on a search engine, if the SERP returns 5 results that match the parent keyword, then that is the SEO keyword (child key).

By turning on 2 incognito browser tabs. For each tab, I look for a key. The results returned in both tabs are articles about beautiful and popular ornamental cat breeds. From here, I can group these keys into one common topic, “pet cats”. You see! Very simple, right?

That’s how to check manually. In case there are too many keys to check, you can use SEO tools to assist. Currently, the tool I know that has this feature is Ahrefs. Ahrefs’ Parent Topic grouping function is quite convenient for users. You just need to enter Head Keyword in the bar and press search. The tool’s algorithm will automatically find and arrange keys with the same intent into the same topic.

Those are two basic ways for you to group keywords for those who already have a good set of keyword topics. However, during the SEO process, you will certainly encounter situations where you don’t know what topics or keywords to add? The content below will answer your problem.

6. Expand your keyword set ideas

  • Use Google and Youtube Suggestion Box

Search for topics you find on Google Search and YouTube search. As you start typing, both platforms will automatically suggest related keywords based on what users typically search for. These related keywords will appear below the search box.

You need to browse through these keyword suggestions and take note of the keywords that you think are relevant because those keywords are searched by many users.

  • Find related keywords

In addition to the Google Suggestion Box, below the search results page, you can also find the “Search Related to” section.

These keywords are often closely related to the content you are researching. Therefore, discovering these related keywords can help you expand your list of potential keywords and optimize your keyword research strategy.

Besides, please scroll to the top of the page and select the images section. The keywords that appear in the box are also keywords you can refer to.

  • Find popular keywords on Forums

Keyword searching on forums is an effective way to discover popular keywords in your field of interest. Participate in relevant forums, follow discussions, and take note of keywords that appear frequently, helping you to specifically grasp the language and views of the community in that field.

  • Wikipedia Table of Contents

Wikipedia is considered a data warehouse that cannot be ignored when researching keywords, because this is where the content is created by industry experts and is arranged extremely scientifically and completely.

To find keyword ideas from Wiki, visit Wiki and type in the topic you are researching. After the results appear, go to the Table of Contents section. Here, subtopics are mentioned and you can pick out suitable keywords.

Believe me! Creating an effective set of keywords to deploy on a new website is a vital part of an SEO strategy. So, please note some details below!

7. Note when choosing a set of deployment keywords

  • Focus on Long Tail Keywords (long tail keywords)

Long tail keywords are long tail keywords, usually containing 3 or more words. Although their search volume is lower than that of short keywords, they are often more detailed and provide a better opportunity to attract customers with specific needs.

  • Prioritize easy keywords and gradually increase difficulty

Start with easy, low-competition keywords to build a base. Then gradually increase the difficulty as you gain stability and reputation with search engines. This helps you progress slowly and not feel too pressured on highly competitive keywords.

  • Prioritize high converting keywords

Not all keywords create conversion opportunities. Find out and prioritize keywords with high conversion potential, i.e. capable of turning users into real customers. Conversion keywords are often related to shopping, ordering, or participating in reviews and comparisons when shopping online.

  • Focus on a certain topic cluster or area

Instead of using unrelated keywords scatteredly to get traffic without knowing whether it will reach the top or not, choose keywords related to a specific topic or business field. This helps create expertise and authority for your website, providing a seamless experience for users as they browse related pages and articles.

#1. See the list of keywords your keywords are ranking for

The core of this SEO keyword research method is to take advantage of Google Analytics and Search Console. Data source from “Search Analytics” in Google Search Console:

Search Console shows the average position for each keyword ranked and the impact of the resulting clicks. However, it does not show monthly search volume and you are limited to 1000 keywords.

#2. Refer to your competitors’ keyword ranking list

SEMrush tool has a great feature called Domain Overview. This feature can help you refer to the keyword rankings of competitor websites. It allows you to enter any URL and automatically generates a list of ranked keywords. This is very useful for keyword research for existing websites.

The opportunity here is that your competitors are already helping you with this tedious keyword research step. So you just need to research their already ranked keywords and choose the best ones.

If you still don’t know who your competitors are, type your seed keywords into Google and see who ranks at the top of the page and has the same website theme as you. As for me, I have identified the website tindongvat as my competitor.

Detailed steps:

  • Step 1: Select the “Domain Overview” feature in the vertical menu bar.
  • Step 2: Enter the competitor’s URL in the bar and select the Vietnam region → Press Search.
  • Step 3: Scroll down to the Organic Research section. In the Top Organic Keywords section, select View details.
  • Step 4: Here, a list of keywords appears. Please filter keywords by clicking on position twice to rearrange the keys that are on top of your competitors.
  • Step 5: Eliminate unrelated keywords to better match your website theme by using advanced filters.

#3. Use SEO keyword research tools

Effective competitor research often produces a list of dozens of related keyword ideas. But if you are one of the SEO Leaders, that strategy is not effective. You have to find unique keywords that no competitor has yet targeted.

Therefore, to research keywords more effectively, the best way is to use a keyword research tool. Luckily, there is no shortage of such keyword research tools on the market. Examples of the most commonly used tools:

  • Ahrefs
  • SEMrush
  • Keywordtool.io

…and many other keyword research tools.

Keyword research tool
Research keywords more effectively using keyword research tools

No matter which keyword research tool you choose, it will always give you good keyword ideas. Just fill in the seed keyword and wait for the keyword list and then filter until you get your own “unique” keywords.

Most keyword research tools provide keyword suggestions from the following sources:

  • Generate keyword ideas directly from Google Keyword Planner
  • Automatic suggestions from Google (Google auto‐suggest)
  • Do a “similar search” on Google.

You can,

  • Take advantage of the free tool Ubersuggest

These methods are very effective but rarely produce more than 200 suggestions. For example, UberSuggest only gives 316 keyword ideas about Content Marketing.

Best keyword research tool
UberSuggest only gives 316 keyword ideas about Content Marketing

The plus point of UberSuggest is that it includes monthly search traffic. Ubersuggest offers a free basic version with many useful features. Allows you to search and analyze keywords to understand search volume, competition, and trends.

While Ubersuggest offers content ideas and suggestions, it may lack the depth and specificity that other fee-based tools offer.

  • Or pay for more professional tools

More optimized keyword research tools (Ahrefs, SEMRush, Keywordtool.io) create their own database of keywords and will then suggest you more keyword ideas.

For example, Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer suggests 5,570 keyword ideas for content marketing. You can easily get lost in that huge list of keywords, so we can use filter mode in the following categories:

  • Keyword Difficulty – Keyword difficulty
  • Search volume – Search volume
  • Clicks – Mouse clicks
  • Clicks per search – Clicks per search
  • Cost per click – Cost per click
  • Number of words in a keyword – Number of words in a keyword

If you want to learn more about generating keyword ideas through Ahref’s Keyword Explorer. You can see more about the keyword research tool – Keyword Explorer of Ahrefs to be able to come up with ideas for keywords for the project.Ahrefs a>

#4. Effective niche market research

The keyword strategies mentioned earlier are extremely effective for generating many keyword ideas. But at the same time, those strategies will also limit you in a “closed box”.

Effective niche market research will be a solid foundation for keyword research. Sometimes, by researching your niche well, you can find many good keywords that no one in your niche is targeting.

Here’s how to think “out-of-box” – escape this closed box:

  • Put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes: Who they are, what influences them.
  • Chat with your existing customers, to understand them better, study the language they use
  • Be an active member in social networks and communities in your niche market.
out of box - niche market research
Search for keywords “out of box”

For example, if you provide seo website design services, here are some “out of box” keywords ” that you should try aiming for:

  • How does Google determine whether a website is quality or not?
  • Why doesn’t the website appear on Google?
  • Buy old website
  • How to solve when the website is deindexed

We look for seemingly unnecessary things for website design services. But these keywords are definitely easy for customers to know and buy services.

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