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Steve Ceaton has been in web marketing and SEO for 10+ years. This website is to help those just getting started.


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Indepth Keyword

Research Tutorial

for SEO

Topics:  Blogging Tips Miscellaneous SEO Tips SEO Tools



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SEO Starts (and ends) With Keywords Research

It’s all too easy to get carried away blogging and forget about the importance of Google for driving traffic. Google is a monster. Google is huge. Google is God! Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but you get the point. They’re massive and if you want visitors for your blog you should think very carefully about SEO.

And where does SEO start? Keyword research.

The Ultimate Keyword Research Tutorial


Getting Started Keyword Research Tools Search the Competition

Advanced Tools How To Use Keywords

Chapter 1

Getting Started

Keyword research is the backbone behind any SEO campaign. But, what is it and how do you get started?

What Is Keyword Research: A Quick Catch Up

Keyword research

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years you’ll know the importance of keywords for search engines like Google.  A keyword is something that someone types into a search bar when they’re looking to find something online. Google’s made billions by delivering websites to match the ‘keywords’ that people are typing in.

Suffice to say, if we have a website we want people to find us too. How do they find us? By typing keywords into the search bar. What are they typing?  I don’t know. We have to do some keyword research to find out.

Getting Started

Keyword research is an essential tactic for content marketing and will show you how to find profitable niches to target for SEO. First of all, think about your niche. Say you’re a fashion blogger. You might not be, but for the sake of argument, let’s say you are. So you have a fashion blog eh? Well fashion is quite a wide area. It’s unlikely people are typing in “fashion” to find your website. You need to use some fundamental keyword research to find out what people are searching for, and then you can work out how to deliver your content to match their searches.

Grab yourself a pen and paper, (or a keyboard) and put yourself in the shoes of someone that is searching for fashion.

What would they type? It depends if they’re looking for specific items of clothing. They might be looking for shoes. If they’re looking for shoes, they want fashionable shoes right? So designer labels come to mind. How about Jimmy Choos? Right, so now you have something more specific. Jimmy Choos. Let’s use that as a base to start our keyword research.

Chapter 2

The Google Keyword Tool

First base for most SEOs would be the Google Keyword Tool. There’s lots of keyword research tools around, which we’ll get to later. But, you need to know how to use them effectively to get the most out of them for your SEO campaign.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool/ Keyword Planner


Head over to the Google Keyword Planner.  If you don’t have an account you can create one, it only takes a few minutes. Type “jimmy choos” into the search box, set your targeting options, then click Get Ideas.

On the next page you’ll see a list of results that are similar to Jimmy Choos. You can either select Ad Groups or Keyword Ideas. Hit the Keyword Ideas tab and it’ll have a list of ideas related to Jimmy Choos which you can order by Avg. Monthly Searches.

In my list I have “christian louboutin” at the top with 135,000 average monthly searches. It also shows you the competition, based on their Adwords data. Competition is derived from a complicated formula, but for ease of use they’ve grouped it into High, Medium and Low.

Ideally we are looking for something with ‘low competition’ because this means it’ll be easier to rank for.

A quick scan and I found “dune shoes” which has 65,000 monthly searches and Low competition. This is promising. Now I’ve changed my focus to Dune Shoes, and I want to write a long, informative article about Dune shoes. But I know that ranking for ‘dune shoes’ is going to be difficult, so I want to include a list of long tail related keywords to include in my article.

Long Tail Keywords – Lesser Searched Keywords

Longer tail

Zero in on your target. Long tail and lesser searched keywords are great to add to your article as they have a higher chance of ranking quickly and bringing in traffic.

The more traffic you get, the better chance of creating a snow ball effect which can get comments, links and exposure for your article. Your ultimate goal is to rank front page for ‘dune shoes’ and get a slice of that 65,000 monthly searches.

But in the mean time you want to pick up as much traffic as you can, so you want to add the phrases that are long tail and lesser searched. So how do you find these?

Long tail keywords can be 4 or more words.

Chapter 3

Search the Competition

Get a better understanding of your keywords by looking at your competitors keywords. Your competitors may have spent months working on their keywords and you can use all their hard work to give you an unfair advantage.

Search the Competition

So what are Dune Shoes?  A quick search on Google brings up all the top high street stores, which are going to be difficult to compete with.  But I know ‘dune shoes’ is highly searched with relatively low competition. So I can dig deeper and find some longer tail keywords that might be able to rank faster. Number one for ‘dune shoes is: http://www.dunelondon.com/. With this information we can use a lesser known function of the Keyword Planner called ‘Landing Page‘.


You can modify your search, not by keyword but by landing page. So add the URL of your competitor in the box and see the results. This time you want to look at Ad Group ideas. Drill down and find your keyword, which in this case is Dune shoes. Straight away you’ll get a list of words that are relative to your main keyword. Below is a few that I plucked from the list. You can now structure your article to include these phrases and increase your chance of ranking.

  • dune black shoes
  • dune bridal shoe
  • shoes at dune
  • shoes from dune
  • dune court shoe
  • dune shoes review
  • wedding shoes dune
  • dune casual shoes

You can do this for the top 5 results or even more if you’re feeling extra diligent. The point is to get a picture of what your competition are all about and compiling a list of keywords that your competitors are using. You can then use these when you move on to the next stage. Which is…

Chapter 4

Keyword Research Tools

So you’re armed with a main keyword, and a keyword list that your competitors are using. Now you can step it up and start mining for even more words.

Free Tools

Everyone loves something for free and fortunately for keyword research there are a whole gambit of free tools available.

Google Suggestions

If you notice when you search Google it offers suggestions  based on the words you type in. It gets these suggestions from what other people have searched, and it doesn’t always include them in the Keyword Planner. So it’s worth checking out.


What other keywords could be hidden away here? Fortunately there’s a few tools that tap into this resource and do the hard work for you.

Uber Suggest

Uber Suggest is a keyword generator tool that can extract all the suggestions from the Google search bar.  Head over there and type in ‘dune shoes’, and you’ll get a whole list of variations.  You can look through the list and pluck out some more keywords you can use in your article. Here’s a few I found within minutes.

  • dune shoes sizing
  • dune shoes uk voucher code
  • dune shoes and handbags
  • dune shoes and purse
  • dune shoes sale
  • dune shoes london
  • dune shoes uk online

This all adds to your growing list of keywords. The point in this exercise is to not fly blindly into the wind. Remember this started as an idea for Jimmy Choos? Now we have lots of relevant keywords for Dune Shoes, which is a highly searched keyword with low competition. Armed with all these keywords I can structure a fantastic article that’ll be useful and relevant to the people typing in these keywords.


Soovle is another suggestions based tool, but this time it uses searches from Wikipedia, Answers.com, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo and Google. It might find a few nuggets to add to your list.



7Search is an advertising platform that can provide quite a useful resource for finding long tail keywords. Just visit the site, click the Advertisers link, then add your keyword. In the case of Dune shoes it didn’t find anything, but many phrases it will so it’s always worth a look.


Keyword Tool.io

keyword tool

KeywordTool.io is another tool that searches the auto suggest feature of Google. Similar to Uber Suggest, but a cleaner layout and offers more functionality.  Definitely worth a look for more keywords in your quest.

SEOStack (Chrome Extension)


If you don’t fancy visiting other websites you can search suggestions direct from your browser.

SEOStack is a handy extension for Chrome that also uses the Google Suggestions facility. The good thing about this is it allows you to select the keywords you want and save them as a text file. It’s a great time saver and worth a look.

Paid/Advanced Tools

If you’ve got a bit of money and you plan on getting serious with your keyword research, there are a number of paid tools available. Here are some of the best.


Wordtracker is a paid tool that SEO’s have been using for years. If you’re serious about keyword research it’s worth having a free trial and seeing what it can do, because it can mine some words you won’t find anywhere else. Just using the free search bar I found a few new phrases.


Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro was started in 2011 and has become the go to keyword tool for many professional SEOs. It’s easy to use and has a stack of features. If you’re really serious about SEO then it’s a good tool for your arsenal. They have a free trial so you can check it out for yourself.

Chapter 5

How To Use Your Keywords

Researching keywords is the first part of any SEO campaign, but the next part is what you do with them. Use your keywords wisely and plan effective strategies around them.

Organise Your List

By now you should have quite a comprehensive keyword list for Dune shoes.  This is where I generally head to a spreadsheet and add all my keywords into most relevant groups. For example I have these keywords:

  • dune bridal shoes
  • wedding shoes dune

And I might have a group for ‘black dune shoes’, and ‘court dune shoes’.  I put them all into groups so I can look at writing some content based around each group.

Structure Your Content


Now you have some great keywords that are organised neatly into groups. Sit down and think what offers the most value to the people searching for Dune shoes. Do another search for Dune shoes and have a look at the websites ranking on the front page. They’re all shops, which you would expect.

What can you offer that’s different?

If you have a fashion blog you could maybe include the trendiest Dune shoes. You could have reviews and images with links where to buy them. You can have advice on sizing and offer a non-bias opinion on quality, materials etc.

Structure your content into neat, user-friendly sections and use the keyword groups you have for each section. In the example  above you could have a section called ‘Wedding and Bridal Shoes’, and add images and content based around weddings, including the keywords in your Weddings group.

By the time you’ve done this you should have a huge article that provides everything you need to know about Dune shoes.

Create a headline that stands out, and you’ll have something different from all the shops that are selling Dune shoes, and have a great chance of getting clicked.

Of course if you’re reaaaally serious about keyword research, you can read my article about how to spy on your competitors.

Rinse and repeat for every article you write. Give it some time and pretty soon you’ll be getting a ton of traffic from Google. Keyword research is the starting point in SEO, and you need to make sure your page and website are SEO friendly. Then you need to build some backlinks, but I’ll go into that in another article. I’ll be providing tips on all sorts of things to increase your rankings, so be sure to subscribe to this blog. But for the mean time, let me know if I’ve missed anything. And if you like this article. Give it a share!


Author: Steve Ceaton
I’m Steve Ceaton. I’ve worked in web design and SEO since 2006. I also write fiction. Follow Me: @SteveCeaton on Twitter. View all posts by Steve Ceaton

3 thoughts on “Indepth Keyword Research Tutorial for SEO”
  1. Couplertwsays:Thank you!! we have been neglecting this, big time!! Let’s see if with your inputs we can improve on this:)Again thank you, I’m saving this for later check on each future post 🙂Reply
  2. Sherylsays:Thanks for sharing. This is a lot of good information that I will use as a new blogger.Reply
  3. Addiesays:I didn’t know about the seo keyword search tool, this is so helpful! Thank you!!Reply

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