Keywords are the foundation of SEO. Without keywords, there’s reeeaally no such thing as SEO, because every search is a keyword query.
The first step to getting found on search engines is keyword research.
Understanding what keywords are relevant to your niche and which ones to target are crucial to your keyword strategy.
And Google Keyword Planner should be in the arsenal of every marketer for keyword research. It’s a powerful keyword research tool built by Google, and it’s free and super easy to use.
In this post, we will learn how to use Google Keyword Planner for SEO in just 5 easy steps.
- What is keyword research for SEO?
- 5 Easy Steps to Use Google Keyword Planner for SEO
- Step 1: Brainstorm primary keyword topics
- Step 2: Change the location settings to a specific country
- Step 3: Adjust the date range to last 12 months
- Step 4: Analyze keyword search demand
- Step 5: Find related keyword ideas
New here? I also have the following resources to help crush your SEO strategy:
- SEO Case Study: How to Rank in the First 2 Results on Google
- SEO Blueprint: How to get your first 10k visits from Google
- How to Find Long-Tail Keywords that Drive Massive Search Traffic
- How to Squeeze Maximum SEO Traffic From a Blog Article
- 7 Elements of a Perfectly SEO Optimized Blog Post (+Checklist)
- Creating a Remarkable SEO Strategy from Scratch
- 13 Actionable Tips to Create A Killer Content Strategy
And of course, you should register for my free 4-Day SEO Bootcamp where I’ll share my top strategies to getting higher rankings and traffic from Google!
What is keyword research for SEO?
Keywords are words people type in Google to find content.
Targeting the right keywords in your SEO strategy is key to getting your content found on search engines and drive traffic to your site.
Keyword research for SEO is the process of identifying potential keywords that will rank your blog post on Google.
Without performing keyword research, you’re essentially creating content blind. Imagine spending days or months building an amazing piece of content without it ever seeing the light of day. Plz no!
Remember, content no matter how great, will be pointless unless it can be found on search engines.
5 Easy Steps to Use Google Keyword Planner for SEO
The best way to do SEO keyword research is to use Google’s own tool – Google Keyword Planner.
It’s true that Google Keyword Planner is built for advertisers to bid on keywords for Google Ads. But that really doesn’t matter because with both organic and paid search listings on Google, the search engine works the same way.
People search with keywords by typing into Google’s search engine. Then the top pages rank at the top of Google’s search results. It always starts with a keyword query.
These keywords are search data Google collects in its keyword planner tool. We can find keyword ideas, search volume data, avg. bid price and competition data about any keyword.
Only the first two (keyword ideas and search volume) matter in SEO. And that is the information we need to perform keyword research for SEO.
Step 1: Brainstorm primary keyword topics
So first, we shall brainstorm our seed keywords. These are the main primary keyword topics your blog article will be about.
Let’s say we are in the interior design niche and want to brainstorm primary keywords about the topic of ‘interior design’ to write about.
There are many various content angles we could go about ‘interior design’, so how shall we decide which topic is best? Keyword research, of course! :p
I typed in these 5 primary keywords into Google keyword planner:
- interior design
- scandinavian interior design
- minimalistic interior designs
- bathroom interior designs
- bedroom interior designs
More analysis on these keywords in step 4 & 5! For now, let’s get the set up right.
Step 2: Change the location settings to a specific country
Your location setting depends on where your business is based and who you want to target.
I don’t recommend targeting ‘worldwide’ because that is too broad and you’re likely to get way more search volume than your actual search audience.
If you’re running a blog and would like to target worldwide, I suggest going to your Google Analytics and check the top 5 countries your audience is coming from. Go to Google Analytics, under Audience > Geo > Location.
Step 3: Adjust the date range to last 12 months
Set the date range to the last 12 months, so you can get the most recent data for keyword search volume.
Search volume tells us how many people are actually searching on Google for this keyword, and the higher the search volume, the higher its traffic potential.
Step 4: Analyze keyword search demand
Yay!! We are at the best part – finding which keywords to target. At this stage we want to analyze keyword search demand.
We see that ‘minimalistic interior designs‘ keyword has a much lower search volume than ‘scandinavian interior design‘.
Between ‘bathroom interior design‘ and ‘bedroom interior design‘, the latter is a clear winner.
So if I had to write an article about ‘Best Interior Design Ideas for 2019’, I would certainly include ‘Scandinavian interior design‘ and ‘Bedroom interior design‘ as sub-topics.
Adding these keywords in your article’s content will first, improve its topical relevancy.
Second, ranking for those keywords will drive TONS of traffic to your site. An estimated 1k-10k in monthly searches are looking for those keywords. That means we could expect at least 1k in site visits monthly by ranking for those keywords. Voila, the beauty of keyword research!
Step 5: Find related keyword ideas to improve topical relevancy
The final step is to find related keyword ideas to boost your content’s topical relevancy.
Topical relevancy simply refers to how relevant your content is to your target keyword topic. How best does a piece of content answer a user’s keyword query?
For example, an in-depth ultimate guide to interior design would be able to answer any query about ‘best interior design ideas‘. Rather than a thin article piece that vaguely describes what interior design is.
Back to our primary keywords, which we selected in step 4:
- interior design (10k – 100k)
- scandinavian interior design (1k-10k)
- bedroom interior design (1k-10k)
Let’s head back to Google Keyword Planner and find related keywords about these three primary keywords.
Don’t worry about search volume for related keyword ideas now, because our primary keywords already have sufficient search volume (1k-10k) range.
Now our goal is to add more meat to our content and make it SEO-rich by adding relevant keywords.
Remember that Google rewards comprehensive articles (~1,800 words or more) simply because they are keyword-rich and so, more relevant to a user’s search query.
There you go, 5 easy steps to SEO keyword research using Google Keyword Planner! Enjoyed the article? Feel free to share it around or pin the image below <3