Your keyword research checklist: What you need to know

Do you frequently give up on keyword research because you have no idea where to start? Or have you often heard that keywords are no longer necessary to improve SEO? If so, it’s time to change the way you think about keyword research. Despite the fact that Google algorithm upgrades have caused a significant shift in keyword tactics throughout time, keywords are still very much relevant. Digital marketers must constantly be on their toes because of things like Google updates, competition, customers, and the technical world itself. Keyword research is the one aspect that does remain largely constant. You can visit AZ Citation Services for more information about your keyword research. Among similar topics that will help you be on top of your game. You will get the knowledge you need from professionals.

Your keyword research checklist

To better understand the keyword research, we need to understand the keywords first. Simply put, a word into search engines when looking for a particular subject. The entire focus of SEO is to place your content among the top results on search engine results pages. Not for random, but for the keyword that is relevant to your business. The successful implementation of keywords will, as a result, increase organic traffic. Keyword research is one of the fundamental things in SEO and marketing in general. With the proper implementation, it can greatly improve the success of your business. It will shape the content on your website and will affect the campaigns you try. In essence, keyword research will give you an insight into what potential clients are looking for. That’s why it’s important to have a good keyword research checklist, that can help you focus on important matters.

a word SEO as a symbol of keyword research checklist
You need to implement the keywords successfully to improve your brand’s awareness

So, what is keyword research?

Generally, you may call it the process to identify valuable phrases that are most commonly used by the targeted audience. With good keyword research, you will know what keywords are better for your site ranking. Which one gives the best results. By gathering all the important data, you will have a better understanding of what your audience needs. And above all, how to promote in the future. So, Theoretically and literally, the process of locating and analyzing search phrases that individuals enter into search engines is known as keyword research. Using this information, you should be able to determine which keywords will help your SEO and marketing campaigns. Effective keyword research aims to identify target audiences’ questions, as well as the frequency, difficulty, and intention of these searches. Below is the list of steps that should be a part of everyone’s keyword research checklist.

Thinking about your keyword research
When you figure out what keywords are and how to use them. You will see how they will impact your business.

First, you will need a template

A template, or simply a spreadsheet, will help you organize your keywords. But before you start filling it, you will need several cell titles:

  • Keyword
  • Volume
  • Competition
  • Keyword Difficulty
  • Notes

Notes are not necessary but can often come quite useful. Also, don’t forget to freeze your headers so it’s not accounted for and mixed with the data type.

Think and start filling the list

Often referred to as brainstorming, this is the most creative part. What you do is, start writing down every keyword that you assume your audience will search for. Usually, there are no particular restrictions so you can write everything that comes to your mind. For now. Just imagine that you need a particular thing, so what would you type in a search bar? These terms are usually called primary keywords. Then, expand this list with new words. For example, Thesaurus is a great place to find synonyms and Ubersuggest for finding alternative keywords, among other things.

Template schema illustration.
Everything is better organized with a good template.

Continue with tools

There are many keyword research tools you can use. Unfortunately, many people and business owners are not aware of the benefits of using these tools. In some extreme cases, they are seriously missing the opportunity to properly select keywords. Or, they simply don’t have the knowledge and experience. On the other side, professionals know how to optimize the content with various tools that are available. Here are some of the most useful tools:

  • Search Engine autocompletes – one of the easiest methods. All you have to do is to start typing keywords and explore autosuggestions.
  • SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) – great to see the results you are getting for given keywords.
  • Google tools – Google search console and GMB reporting section.
  • Third-party tools – SEMrush, Ahrefs, KeywordSpy, and others.
  • Creative tools – like

The key elements in your keyword research

Before getting into the comprehensive keyword research checklist, it’s critical to comprehend what to focus on at each stage.

Key opening a door
When you find the perfect keyword. You will start opening doors for yourself


It is crucial to take Google’s operations into account because keywords are a part of the Google search engine. Google basically ranks all material based on relevance. The search engine will not rank your website highly if its content does not reflect the intent of the keywords and is not useful to folks who are Googling your selected keywords. The search engine becomes better and better with each algorithm upgrade. If you don’t give your search audience excellent material that is relevant to their queries, you can’t expect to rank well on the first page of the search engine results


The prioritizing of trustworthy sources by Google’s algorithm is another aspect of the algorithm that is known. You won’t be viewed as having any authority if your website uses duplicate content, keyword stuffing, or unrelated backlinks. It’s critical to add valuable material and information to your website in order for it to be viewed by search engines as an authoritative source. To avoid spam and unwanted content you can do a citation cleanup. Or make professionals do it for you. This will provide you with a ‘fresh’ start in a way. Not to mention, it can help you rank higher because of the fact.


If nobody is using that keyword in searches. You will not receive any traffic even though you end up at the top of Google for that term. MSV or better known as monthly search volume is a metric that identifies how popular your target keywords are by measuring search volume. To see if your site can compete, compare the search traffic and usage.

Check your competition

While experimenting and researching with tools, you will usually see an option to check competitors. Studying your competition will get you new ideas. But, it will also provide you with information about what is working for them. If it works for them, it will probably work for you too. But, try not to overdo with the skyscraper method. Basically, it’s finding the best material and making a new one that’s even better than that. A much better idea is to use Ahrefs Site Explorer, and get your competitor’s keywords and other valuable information.

Use the competition to your advantage

When attempting to improve SEO, knowing who your competitors are, how they are doing, and why can be very beneficial. You can compare your website directly to those of your competitors using software like Semrush, making it simple to see where you excel and where you fall short. You can also find your competitor’s keyword in other ways. Getting a list of your top-performing rivals’ keywords and tracking them frequently is a wise strategy. It is beneficial to know how your competitors are doing because you may be able to figure out what keywords they are not utilizing and outrank them. It’s vital to remember that any successful company will probably use these similar strategies, therefore in order to compete and rank, you must continue to maintain and analyze your keyword research regularly.

A man looking at you through binoculars.
By checking your competition, you have the chance to learn from other people’s experiences.

Understand your current data

The very next step after learning the basics is to understand your keyword and SEO data. Finding out what keywords to concentrate on and what your consumer wants may be done by looking at which keywords are attracting visitors to your website. There are several pieces of software out there, like Google Analytics, that are expressly designed to assist you to figure out how and where your customers are finding you online. For any marketing campaign to be successful, an audience personality must be created. While there are various strategies to do this and understand your audience better. Keyword research can give you more information about their online behavior, demand, and intent. You can start building citations from there. You will get more traffic by using this method.

Try to find similar keywords for your search

Find some keywords that fall inside these subjects now that you also have a range of topics that relate to your business and your target market. What you’re aiming for here are keyword phrases that, depending on what you assume people are probably researching for, would rank well in search results. The goal is not to create a finalized list of keywords, but rather to identify prospective phrases that could help focus and attract the keywords that are most relevant to your content. How to cure split ends and how frequently to wash your hair may be themes if you were a hair care company. To target audiences nearby who are more likely to come to your business personally. Trying to find long-tail keywords is a fantastic idea. This will help you influence potential future customers.

Magnifier on a laptop
You need to search for similar keywords while doing the research. They will give you the best results.

Concentrate on long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are normally longer than ordinary keywords. Maybe, 3+ words, depending on the context. Arguably, some will claim that it needs to be a minimum of 4 words. Nevertheless, they are more specific and less likely to be very competitive. With a good long-tail keyword, you can cleverly cover more searches than usual. After filling your list with all kinds of results, it’s time to discard the bad ones. In other words, you will narrow down your list and leave only the quality keywords. How to do it? Of course, you will need help from Google Keyword Planner and similar tools. The valuable insights you get from the tools will help you refine your list by looking at volume data and keyword difficulty. However, no tool can tell you which keyword is the best, you will have to make an assessment by yourself.

Testing as a crucial part of the keyword research checklist

Finally, testing what is left on the list will lead you to the best results. Again, Google’s planner is great here. Meanwhile, you should pay closer attention to high search volume keywords and competition degree. In most cases, you will get better results if you choose a mix of short and long-tail keywords. And if you are just starting, better aim for keywords with lower difficulty. One more thing, this phase is good for checking and updating your existing pages. Don’t forget that within the Google search console you can see where your page was showing for all the searches (page reports – filters – query). This is an incredibly great way for seeing what you are showing up for.

A woman in a suit holding “quality control” writing on a small whiteboard.
Testing is an important factor in any type of research.

Your keyword research plays a big role in SEO

Consider user engagement instead of fame and clicks. Your material should be built on themes that people are often interested in and looking for, not just the keywords. Then you will see results very fast You can select and organize your material into subjects on which you want to produce content by regularly carrying out keyword research as described in this checklist. Then, you can utilize these subjects to choose the keywords you seek and target in order to finally connect with the audiences you want to reach and who are interested in doing so. With so many things going on when planning and researching, it’s easy to forget something. But, thanks to your keyword research checklist, you won’t forget any of these important steps again. In the end, you will finally be able to apply quality keywords to your website.

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