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Unlock Your Website’s Potential with This Keyword Research Checklist

Are you new to blogging? Are you learning about keyword research but not sure how to apply it? In this article I’ll give you a keyword research checklist to help you maximize the benefits of keyword research for your website.

I know, I know, it’s not the most exciting topic out there, but trust me, it’s crucial for anyone who wants to dominate the search engine game.

So let’s dive into the topic of keyword research.

Table of Contents

Why is Keyword Research necessary?

Can’t you just write blog articles on any topic you want? Well… you can, but don’t expect to get any traffic. The problem is people will only find your content on search engines because they are searching for something.

What people search for is called keywords or keyword phrases, it basically means what they type in the google search prompt.

If your content is relevant for that query, your page will be displayed in the search results. The more relevant it is the highly it will rank.

It’s that simple. The problem is everyone else in your niche is also trying to rank for those keywords.

This is why you need keyword research. You are basically trying to do the following:

  • find relevant keywords for your niche and target audience
  • find keywords with low competition
  • find keywords with high search volume
  • find keywords that are not difficult to rank for
  • find keywords with no paid ads

This is difficult to do, especially the more competitive your niche is.

So, in the next sections we will discuss how to go about the problem of finding the best keywords to target for your target audience. Don’t worry about the target audience, I discuss it later in the article.

Define Your Goals

define your goals

Before you can start identifying keywords to target you first have to define your business goals.

What are you trying to achieve?

It may seem obvious but you should spend some time clarifying your goals to make finding the right keywords easier.

For instance, your business goals could be:

  • increase website traffic
  • improve search engine rankings
  • generate leads
  • make more sales
  • stay ahead of competitors
  • optimize content for your target audience
  • increase brand awareness
  • improve customer retention
  • build a community
  • increase trust and credibility of your products and services

And so on… As you can see you can have many different business goals. By clarifying your main goals you will find it easier to target the right keywords for your target audience.

Speaking of target audience…

Identify Your Target Audience

target audience

Why do you need to write content specifically for your target audience? Because your target audience are more likely to purchase your products and services.

To maximize your ROI (Return on Investment) you should focus your content on your identified target audience.

You will gain the following benefits by writing content focused on your target audience:

  • attract the right readers (the people most likely to buy from you)
  • increased engagement (they will read, share and like more of your content)
  • builds trust (boosts customer retention)
  • generates leads (more likely to sign up for a newsletter, provide contact info etc)

Questions you can ask to help you identify your target audience:

Any information you can gather to help you identify your target audience will help you target the correct keywords.

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. This is a good way to segment your target audience.

To construct a buyer persona you can base it on information you have about your customers and from additional research you do.

Typically a buyer persona will have the following information:

  • age
  • gender
  • income
  • job title
  • education level
  • location
  • behaviors
  • pain points
  • interests and hobbies

By constructing one or more buyer personas you get a better understanding of your target audience and this will help you target them better when doing keyword research.

Brainstorm Keywords

brainstorm ideas

How to find suitable keywords? You will want to spend some time brainstorming suitable keywords based on your niche and target audience.

Not every keyword will be suitable for your blog. It could be you just can’t rank for it yet, or it has low search volume or a high number of paid ads.

You will need to use a keyword research tool.

Keyword research tools collect and store vast amounts of keyword data by crawling and analysing websites. By typing a keyword phrase into the tool you will get a report listing detailed information about that keyword.

In addition to the specific keyword the report will list similar and related keywords. You can use the keyword report to decide what keywords you should target.

To get an idea of what a keyword research report looks like, you can use the widget below. Type a keyword phrase into the widget, e.g. “keto diet”:

If your blog or website is new or has little traffic you should target low competition keywords. These keywords will be the easiest to rank for. In time, as your website traffic grows, you can target harder keywords.

In can be frustrating if you target keywords that are too difficult to rank for and get no website visitors. You can get website traffic, even for new websites, just ensure you go after easy to rank keywords to begin with.

Target low competition keywords – you will find it easier to rank for them

Analyze Keyword Metrics


You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

To know whether your keywords are working you need to track your ranking position for each keyword. This will require a rank tracking tool like SE Ranking.

The tool will give you a ranking position in Google for each keyword you track. You can select multiple countries to get rankings for (the pricing plan will decide have many keywords and countries you can track).

Keyword Suggestions SE Ranking
keyword research report

In addition to tracking your keyword positions these tools typically will audit your website for SEO issues. You don’t want to have low rankings because of easily fixed SEO issues you don’t know about.

I recommend using Google Search Console in addition to your keyword research tool. It’s a free tool from Google that lists all keywords your website is ranking for – including keywords you did not try to rank for. You may want to track some of those keywords or optimize your content for them.

Google Search Console also informs you of any mobile usability issues you need to fix.

google search console report
Google Search Console report

Google search console will also warn you about security issues on your site.

You can provide a link to your article to Google Search Console for quicker indexing

Prioritize Keywords

After brainstorming keywords you are likely to have a large list of keywords you could write content for.

It’s important to prioritize your keywords to get the maximize return on your time and effort.

Ideally, you are looking for high search volume and low difficulty keywords.

Depending on your niche and target audience you may find some of these highly valuable keywords. If you can’t find any high volume/low difficulty keywords then think carefully about the priority of your keywords.

Ranking in Google and other search engines only benefits you if you get a high ranking (first page on Google). Lower rankings don’t help because no-one goes to the second page on Google (a very small number of searchers do but not enough to help you).

Getting on the first page of Google is your priority.

So prioritize low difficulty keywords, then search volume. Don’t forget you can target multiple keywords per article. The potential search traffic you get for an article is the combination of all keywords in your article multiplied by the monthly search volumes.

Try to include related keywords in your content in addition to your main keyword for each article. By tailoring content to search queries you know you are targeting issues and problems your readers have.

Avoid keywords that have high difficulty scores

Keyword Research Checklist

Now, it’s time to provide the advice in this article as a simple checklist you can refer to when doing keyword research for your articles.

Define your Goals

What are your business goals?

It could be one or more of the following:

  • increase website traffic
  • improve search engine rankings
  • make more sales
  • stay ahead of competitors
  • optimize content for your target audience

Identify your target audience

Who are you writing for?

What frustrations and pain points do they have?

How can you add value to their lives?

What challenges do they face?

Brainstorm keywords

Use a keyword research tool to find suitable keywords for your niche and target audience.

Filter possible keywords by:

  • monthly search volume
  • difficulty
  • competition

Don’t try to rank for keyword that are too difficult or have too much competition.

Analyze Keyword Metrics

Track your ranking position for all your keywords.

Track your impressions using Google Search Console.

Track security and mobile usability issues with Google Search Console.

Track SEO issues with your SEO/Keyword Research tool.

Prioritize Keywords

Look for high search volume / low difficulty keywords.

Prefer low difficulty over search volume.

Don’t limit yourself to one keyword, add related keywords to the same article.

You will need to invest in a keyword research tool. If you haven’t decided on one yet I can recommend SE Ranking, I use it for this website.

It gives you the following benefits:

  • great tool for keyword research – provides search volume, difficulty, competition and much more
  • SEO audit tool – audit your entire website for SEO issues with recommended fixes
  • backlink checker – find out where your backlinks are coming from
  • competition research – research your competitors
  • affordable – cheaper than many other tools, customize the cost to fit your budget
  • 14 day free trial

Check it out below:

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