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6 Keyword Research Techniques For S.E.O

Keyword  Research Techniques For S.E.O

This chapter is completely dedicated to Keyword Research Techniques. We must understand that Keyword Research Techniques and Keyword Selection Techniques are two different efforts as part of search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.


keyword research techniques - featured image


This chapter will be all about keyword research and the next chapter – 10 Keyword Selection Through Elimination Technique will be all about keyword selection. You can consider this chapter as the most extensive keyword research guide for S.E.O. By the end of this chapter, you will know how to do keyword research for optimizing your website/webpage.

Topics Covered In This Chapter


 What do you mean by Keyword(s) And Keyword(s) Research? 

A keyword (single word) or keyword phrases (combination of multiple single words) are the word(s) that a search user types into the Google search query box to look for specific information from the internet (see below picture).

Speaking through the search engine point of view, a keyword or keyword phrase is something that search engines use to refer to its databases for a specific user query to render relevant and appropriate search engine result pages to the user. It means keyword(s) is the major element for both user and search engines to retrieve results.

While crawling, the only way by which the search engine spider understands your website theme is by looking at the keyword placements and its frequency on the website/web pages.

NOTE: Please note that, throughout the blog, for the sake of simplicity in writing, I would use the term Keyword(s) which directly or indirectly means Keywords or Keyword Phrases. 


Keyword Research Techniques - Google Query Box

Therefore, every search engine optimization (SEO) effort should start with keyword research and analysis. Because, keyword(s) is the primary factor that the search engine uses to index your website in its database, selecting the right keyword(s) is an absolute must. In simple words, strategic keyword research is a must for the success of your website/webpage.

Let us understand the 6 effective keyword research techniques that can help a website owner or webmaster to come up with a long list of keyword(s) for his/her website/webpage. Keep in mind, in the next chapter I will teach you how to select 2 – 3 primary keywords from this long list, for optimizing a particular webpage. 

For the sake of discussion of this chapter let us assume that you are a training academy specialized in “digital marketing” looking to optimize your website for search engines. Therefore, Digital Marketing becomes the theme of your website. You can apply the same techniques for your own niche.


What is a website theme?

It is very important to understand your website theme before selecting keywords. It is impossible to come up with the right keywords without understanding the theme of your website. A theme is nothing but, a high-level understanding of your website.

In simple words, website theme is the top view of your website. To know your website theme, answer the question – What is my website all about and what product/services does my business offer? Use a single phrase (max 2 – 3 words) to describe your website and that is your website theme.

Let me give an example. As said above, let us assume that you are a training academy specializing in digital marketing training. In that case, the theme for your website will be “Digital Marketing” or “Digital Marketing Institute”. These two words best describe your website and your business. Not only it helps us come with the right keywords, but also helps search engines to index your website better for a particular niche.

Once we are done with our theme analysis, let us dive into in-depth keyword research techniques.

Here are the 6 keyword research techniques for your niche.

Keyword Research Techniques

Here are the most important keyword research tips for S.E.O.

By the end of this section, if you have carried out the steps mentioned below, you will have a list of keyword(s). Make sure you use a Microsoft Excel ( or something equivalent to it) to list all the brainstormed keyword(s).

The keyword research techniques mentioned below are satisfactorily proven and is bound to work for any kind of websites/web pages. 

#1. Brainstorming as a webmaster or website owner

Write down a list of keyword(s) that comes to your mind as a website owner or a business owner or webmaster. Make a list of keywords that best describes your business from your point of view. Few questions that will help you come up with the right set of keyword(s) answers are given below:

  1. What is my business all about?
  2. What kind of services do I offer?
  3. Why will customers come to my website?
  4. What is the purpose of my business?
  5. Where do I offer my business?
  6. How do I offer my business?
  7. Many more…….

A list of sample keywords are given below:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Digital Marketing Training
  • Digital Marketing Course
  • Search Engine Marketing Training
  • Social Media Marketing Training
  • Google AdWords Training
  • Classroom Digital Marketing Training
  • Online Digital Marketing Training
  • Online Reputation Management
  • Content Writing Training

These are only a few keyword(s) examples for your understanding. As you can see, as a business owner you only think from a narrow point of view. In other words, you think only from an angle of your business offerings. Your keyword(s) are your thoughts. For a more dense keyword(s) list, we need to involve others. Let us get into the second technique.

#2. Brainstorming with family and friends

Ask your family, friends, co-workers, employees, partners etc for helping you out with the keyword(s) for your business services. Just give them the theme as a seed keyword(s) using which they can come up with other keywords. As I said, keyword(s) are thoughts. They will come up with the keyword(s) that you would never have imagined about. 

  • Digital Marketing Training Academy
  • Digital Marketing Course Modules
  • Digital Marketing Education
  • Digital Marketing Classes
  • Digital Marketing Classroom Training
  • Digital Marketing Training For Housewives
  • Digital Marketing Training For Doctors
  • Digital Marketing Certification
  • Digital Marketing University
  • Digital Marketing Wikipedia
  • Introduction To Digital Marketing

These are just a few examples of keywords. In real-time you are bound to get hundreds of keyword(s) in less than an hour if proper brainstorming is done with family and friends. The reason is they want you to excel in what you are doing. Thank them at the end. 

#3. Brainstorming through customer’s point of view

This part is a little tricky and also the most important. All this time, you were researching keywords from a business owner point of view. But, the ones who search for your business is your customer and we need to get into the customer’s shoes. You got to think like a customer.

This should be done all by yourself – the website owner or business owner or webmaster. Ask yourself, “What keywords would I put into the Google search box if I were looking for a digital marketing training service ?”. Brainstorm all possible keywords that come to your mind. Do not think as a website owner, rather think like a customer looking for a digital marketing training service.

If you are not comfortable at that level of thinking, you should better take social media’s help. There are thousands of customers online, especially on social media who are looking out for your business services through various forums, social media groups etc. Look at the words and phrases they use while making an online inquiry. Check out the local directory listings in your country. These are the keywords that you are supposed to focus on.

Some of the examples for “Digital Marketing Training” theme based on the customer’s point of view is given below:

  • best digital marketing training institute in [country]
  • best digital marketing training institute in [specific_city]
  • digital marketing courses in [specific_city]
  • digital marketing class reviews for [specific_training_institutes]
  • which is the best place to learn digital marketing
  • best digital marketing institute for working professionals
  • digital marketing classes for working professionals
  • digital marketing classes for students
  • digital marketing training for students with job opportunities
  • which institute offers the best training in digital marketing
  • digital marketing course fees
  • digital marketing course modules and fee structure

These are only example keyword(s). If properly researched, you will end up with hundreds of customer query related keyword(s). These are the keywords that you need to focus and target such that, for selected customer query your website ranks on top of the search engine result pages. More on selecting keywords are discussed in the next chapter – “10 Keyword Selection Through Elimination Technique”.

#4. Brainstorming through competitor websites (Competitor Analysis)

If you have done the above three steps, you have done enough by yourself. Start learning something new from your competitors.

Key in a few keyword(s) related to your business into the Google search box and observe which websites rank on the first page of the search engine result pages. Not once, this should be done several times with a mix and match of various keyword(s) that you find relevant for your business.

Make a list of your competitor websites and sneak peek into each of their’s websites. Give special attention to those websites which are constantly ranking for most of the keyword(s) queries. It means, they are doing something right with the keyword(s) and SEO and that is why Google always ranks them higher on search pages.

Make a list of all the keyword(s) that they have used on their website and web pages. This will give you additional keywords for which they have been ranking. Add those keyword(s) into your existing keyword(s) list you got from the above brainstorming exercises.

The best way to analyze your competitor website’s keyword(s) is by checking out their HTML source code. Just right-click on their webpage and select “view page source” option and you can view the HTML source code of the site. Carefully observe the following meta tags in the source code, as these are the places in the source code where all the keyword(s) for which the website is ranking are placed.

  • Title Tag
  • Description Tag
  • Keywords Tag
  • Header Tags
  • Alt Tags ( text for images )
  • Header Tags

Observing at these tags will give you an idea about the keyword(s) that your competitor’s website is optimized for ranking higher in SERPs.

In conjunction with these tags, also go through the entire body content of the website to finally arrive at the competitor’s keyword(s). You can add this observed keyword (s) onto your keyword(s) list.

#5. Brainstorming as an Industry Expert

There are few words that are used differently by industry experts compared to common users. For example, an industry expert calls it “photocopy machine” for which a common user calls as “Xerox machine”. As another example, an industry expert calls it “Auto Industry” for which a common user calls as “Car Industry”. In our current example, “Digital Marketing” is very famously called as “internet marketing” or “web marketing” among industry experts. So, while you research for keyword(s) make sure you have those keyword(s) on your list that is industry-specific too. Here is a sample list for our seed keyword “Digital Marketing Training”

  • Internet Marketing Training
  • Web Marketing Training
  • Online Marketing Training

#6. Brainstorming using Google Keyword Planner

The good news is that Google has its own tool for keyword(s) research called Google Keyword Planner(see pic below). You need to have a Google AdWords account to access the Google Keyword Planner. Here is the link for access to the tool: Google Keyword Planner 

NOTE: Google Keyword Planner is considered as one of the famous free keyword research tools and is used by both small and big companies as part of their website’s keyword research for S.E.O.

The tool requires you to enter a seed keyword into it. In return, it gives you additional keyword(s) suggestions based on your seed keyword with additional information such as competitiveness of the keyword(s), an average number of searches for those keyword(s) both on mobile and desktop devices and much other information.

I personally think keyword(s) research is incomplete without the strategic use of this tool. The list of keywords for the seed keyword(s) “digital marketing” as shown in Google Keyword Planner is given below.

The first image shows the Google Keyword Planner after logging in. Once logged in you got to select “Keyword Planner” in the drop down. Enter the seed keyword(s) [“Digital Marketing Training” in our example] in the resulting query box as shown below. The final picture shows the resultant keywords for your seed keyword(s).


Google Keyword Planner For Keyword - After Logging In


Google Keyword Planner For Keyword - Enter Seed Keyword


Google Keyword Planner For Keyword - Result Page Research


Congratulations! You are done with the seventh chapter on “6 Keyword Research Techniques”. Hope you enjoyed the reading.


All the best for your next chapter on “10 Keyword Selection Through Elimination Technique”. In the next chapter, you will learn how to select the right keyword(s) for your website from the list of keyword(s) you have already researched upon through brainstorming. 

Feel free to comment below if this blog post was useful or not. If yes, please do me a favor by sharing it with others who might benefit.

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Subhash.K.U is a Professional Programmer turned Digital Marketing Enthusiast. He is the most sought marketing consultants for small and medium scale businesses. He founded Subhash Digital Academy to teach professional digital marketing skills to students, entrepreneurs, and working professionals. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and is an Oracle Certified Programmer. He also holds certificates of Google AdWords, Facebook Blueprint and Hubspot Marketing. He is the co-author of the best selling book – Cracking The C, C++ and Java Interview published by McGraw Hill. He is now penning another book on the subject of marketing and entrepreneurship.

4 Response Comments

  • Umer Idrisi  February 17, 2019 at 10:31 am


    Really informative content here, you pointed out some basic ways to generate revenue-generating ideas.

    Keep it up.


  • Raghavendran  February 18, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Hi Subash,
    This is your friend Raghav, very nice resource you have provided. Now I am moved to Bangalore and work as a Project coordinator, serving as first point of contact for projects outsourced to Nokia. Am in look of candidates for my projects, your keyword article for SEO looks brilliant. Since am new to this profile, your article is a great input for me. Thank you


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