How to Dominate Keyword Research And Rank #1 For Any Keyword on Google & Other Search Engines

how to do keyword research

Do you want to know how to dominate keyword research and rank #1 for any keyword?

Obviously we all want more search engine traffic, more sales and more conversions on our sites, right?

So what’s the most important step to grow your search traffic and sales?

Hands down, keyword research is the secret recipe of any successful website that makes a ton of money.

If you’re still thinking, just analyse the top sites like Neil Patel, Copyblogger, Smart Passive Income, Backlinko etc. What do you notice? They all get a TON of traffic from search engines every single day. In fact, Neil Patel gets almost 2 million visitors every single year to his personal blog which was launched just 3 years ago.

So what they are doing right? They all are dominating SEO with proper keyword research.

Why focus on keyword research?

Without knowing and targeting the keywords that your target audience are typing on Google to reach your products or website pages, you can NEVER attract the right people who’re interested to buy your stuff. That’s the reason why you need to dominate keyword research and try to rank #1 for your desired keywords on Google search results.

How to do keyword research in 2018 and beyond

how to do keyword research

If you’re wondering about how to do keyword research like a pro, this awesome post is a treat for you. In this detailed post on how to dominate keyword research, you will find two main pillars to boost your traffic from search engines.

  • One is: finding high ranking keywords with less traffic
  • Second is: creating “long form of content” (so you can use your targeted keywords within your content to get massive search traffic really quickly).

Let’s get started with the first part on how to dominate keyword research first.

How to find “low competition” keywords with “high traffic”?

Let me give you a quick tip if you want to dominate keyword research like a pro: find low competitive keywords with high traffic.

For instance, when I fire up keywords like “SEO services”, Google shows me a ton of competition for the keyword.

So it’s almost impossible to get #1 rankings for such a competitive keyword. Although it’s a great keyword to target but it takes a ton of time and lots of quality links to get traffic for that keyword.

Here’s why you need to find low competition (and most often) long tail keywords to master the art of doing keyword research.

keyword research importance

In the above image you can notice that, 1 word phrases like “shoes” have really high competition and they are of high cost. So don’t compete for those tough keywords.

Instead compete for long tail keywords so you can quickly boost your search traffic (a long tail keyword usually contains 4 or 5 more words in it). Did you know that 70% of search traffic comes from long tail keywords? Yes, that’s the reason why you need to focus on them more often.

So what can you do to get better rankings more quickly?

Target low competition keywords with better traffic. If you’re wondering how to dominate keyword research and how to find low competitive keywords, let me show you how with my favorite SEO tool SEMrush.

Finding low competition keywords with SEMrush

Quick note: Here’s a 30 day free trial of SEMrush just in case if you want to get better at SEO and keyword research.

You need to use the best keywords if you are just starting to dominate keyword research. You should focus on finding what your competitors are doing. Find out how they have already ranked on the first page of a search engine results page. Then, figure out ways on how to beat your competitors. Let me show you how.

Choose low competition keywords. It boosts your website’s rank. Here is how can you find them.

#1. Build a list of SEED keywords

Let me quickly define what are seed keywords.

Seed keywords are also known as head keywords. For instance, “SEO” is a seed keyword. These seed keywords should always be relevant to your overall website topics. Once you build a list of seed keywords that are relevant to your industry, it is easier to expand them to dominate keyword research and rank #1 for almost any keyword.

You need to find the most relevant search terms that will drive to your website. The easiest way to find out the best seed keywords in your industry is to check your competitors’ websites.

Go to SEMrush, click on “Organic Research”. Under that click on “Positions”.

search results from semrush

Now, enter a domain name and click “Search”. It will display list of keywords your competitor’s website is ranking for in Google’s top 20 organic search results.

  • You can apply “filters” to find keywords that are most relevant to your business.
  • You can generate an “Organic Search Positions” report for multiple domains.
  • To view unique keywords per domain, use the Domain vs. Domain tool and export your results.

#2. Expand your keyword list

Now, once you have a list of your seed keywords, you can continue keyword expansion. You can use your initial keyword research with search terms and phrases that suit your blog topics.

Go to SEMrush, click on “Keyword Research” and under that click on “View full report” to find phrase match keywords. Enter a term from your initial list of search terms and click Search. It displays the list of keyword phrases that include an indicated term.

seo tips overview from semrush

  • You can also use the Related Keywords report to find related keywords. This will list phrases that are semantically related to a particular queried search term.

Alternatively, apart from SEMrush, you can also use Google suggestion tool.

Have a look at the following screenshot to better understand about what I’m talking.

Google Search

In the above image, you can see that I used the seed keyword as “SEO tips”, for that keyword, Google suggestion tool (that you find at the end of the search results page) is showing the above keyword ideas. That’s how you normally elaborate your seed keywords list.

You can also export your results with all the other keywords you would like to target to dominate keyword research in 2018 and beyond.

#3. Find high-volume keywords that have less competition

To know how much potential traffic your website can receive, you need to know your keywords’ search volume and also average monthly searches for each keyword.

Always remember that the higher your rankings for high-volume search terms are, the more traffic will be driven to your website. Obviously, competition for these keywords is very high.

And there is no point in trying to rank for keywords as you will have no chance of ranking for. So, you need to find the right balance between a keyword’s search volume and its competition level.

1. Make sure you estimate competition level

To view both metrics for each keyword, use the SEMrush Organic Positions report:

  • Volume: It is the average number of search queries for a keyword in the last 12 months.
  • Competition: It is the density of advertisers using a particular search phrase for their ads.

Find out your competitor keywords

The quickest way to find profitable keywords and dominate keyword research is to spy on your competitors. Find out what all the keywords that your competitors are using to generate more traffic and sales to their sites.

That’s how you can easily find traffic generating blog post ideas and topics to increase your overall website traffic from search engines like Google. So the first and most important step that you should do to know your competitor’s marketing strategies is finding out their keywords.

Make sure NOT to copy all your competitors keywords because your target audience will be entirely different from your competitors, right? So be smart while doing competitor analysis if you want to dominate keyword research in 2018 and beyond. Here are few quick tips to do keyword research easily by spying on your competitors using SEMrush:

  • Examine which keywords and pages drive organic traffic using SEMrush. You can use SEMrush, to view a site search traffic and keywords. This tool shows you great data about sites’ search engine traffic based on estimates of keyword traffic and rankings.
  • Apart from SEMrush, you can also use tools like Google Adwords keyword tool, Alexa, SpyFu for doing keyword research quickly.
  • To find competitors backlinks you can use some backlink checkers like Ahrefs,  Majestic SEO, Monitor backlinks, Open Site Explorer. Backlink analysis will be so much helpful to boost your overall website’s SEO. When you want to dominate keyword research and rank #1 for any keyword, make sure to find ways to build as many quality backlinks as possible. That’s how you can score big in SEO.

2. Find out the competitiveness for a particular keyword

For this purpose, you can use the SEMrush Keyword Difficulty tool. Using this tool, you can view the keyword difficulty of up to 100 keywords at once. Just enter one search term per line and click the “Show Difficulty” button.

The range from 1 to 100% keyword difficulty shows you an estimate of how difficult it would be to seize your competitors’ positions in the Google top 20 with a particular keyword. The higher the percentage, the more effort you will need to outrank your competition for targeted keywords.

  • If the percentage is above 80%, it means they are the most difficult keywords. If you have a new site, you should not focus on highly competitive keywords.
  • If the percentage is between 60 and 80%, then it means those are the keywords with average difficulty. With high-quality content and relevant backlinks, you will be able to seize your competitors’ positions in time.
  • If the percentage is below 60% then those keywords are the easiest to rank for. But, these are most difficult to find. Discovering low-competition, high-volume keywords will require hard work and patience.

If you can find a strong list of these search terms and implement them throughout your site, then you will have a very good chance of ranking high for these high-volume search terms.

3. Extend your keyword research

Let’s say, you are working in a highly competitive industry, such as insurance or fitness. Then all of the keywords you are targeting have a difficulty of more than 80 or even 90%. However, for every keyword, you can see your top 20 strongest competitors.

With the help of “Organic Positions” report, you can analyze every domain’s keywords and find your competitors’ weaknesses. To get more keywords with less competition, extend your research by generating the “Organic Competitors” report for each of the top 20 domains with the highest domain strength.

Finding low competition keywords with Keyword Planner

Let’s now talk for a while about the widely used keyword research tool called Google’s Keyword Planner.

It’s used by millions of SEO’s all around the globe and it’s a fantastic tool. Not only it’s free but it also a great tool to begin with to dominate keyword research.

Google Keyword tool gives you a traffic estimation of your target Keywords and also helps in finding more relevant and related Keywords of your niche. To use Google Keyword Planner tool, you need to have a Google Adwords account. And did I say that it’s free.

With the help of Google search and Google keyword research tool, you can find some low competitive but high-medium traffic keyword. To analyze the competition of a keyword, you can then use SEMrush or Long Tail Pro. It will also help you to determine how easy or difficult it is to rank for a certain keyword.

Remember, getting 20 targeted users is always better than getting 200 untargeted users. So, don’t leave those keywords with low traffic. Make sure that you check “Google traffic trend” as it will help you to check your target keyword traffic pattern over the time.

#1. Use Google Instant search to discover Keyword

With Google instant search, you can find a perfect keyword. You can generate tons of ideas. Put any keyword related to your niche. Google Instant search will suggest search results. Depending upon your post type, you can pick a couple of them which make sense to you.

Start adding it to Google Keyword suggestion tool once you have found 3-4 such keywords and then perform a search. Pick any two keywords. Now next step is, find if those two keywords are going to do any benefit regarding traffic.

#2. Keyword search analysis

Put those two keywords in search tool and perform a search. It will show relevant keyword ideas and also will let you find many relevant keywords that you can target. You can create your SEO strategy depending upon your post quality and length. Now, check which one of them is less competitive using SEMrush.

Your job is NOT yet done with keyword research. There’s one more essential thing you need to do start getting more search engine traffic.

The importance of long form content and how to create it easily?

As I said above, dominating keyword research and finding great keywords is NOT enough to get more search traffic.

You need to create “great content” and use your keywords within it to start ranking for them.

So what do I mean by great content?

Great content = Long form of content (with typically 2000 or even more words)

Long form of content is NOT any other buzz-phrase.

Long form of content is the content that is 10 times better than anything else out there. In other words, it means content that stands out and outranks other content on the same topic in search.

Now, you may be wondering how to create something 10 times better than others. With just five attributes, you can identify 10x and long form of content.

  • It provides great user experience
  • It solves a problem
  • It evokes an emotional response
  • It is well-written
  • It is delivered in a unique way

You need to strive to create something original and worthwhile rather than spinning what’s already out there. To give you even more clarity about long form of content, you should start by asking yourself what you think about when you look for an answer to a question on the web.

Here’s a great image of the importance of long form of content.

long content ranks well

Obviously, you will look for an answer to a specific question and you want to understand a topic more deeply. If you find something that really solves your problem that you will bookmark it or share it with friends, then that’s the long form of content.

Brainstorm and choose a tempting topics

With just a single post, you can’t solve all of your audience problems. So, take up one aspect of one problem where you can offer immediate solution that helps audience. Brainstorm for ideas to come up with tempting topics.

For example, instead of writing about “make money online”, write “earn your first $100 online ” or instead of writing about “six abs”, write about “six abs for busy people”.

Once you write down all those blog post ideas, make sure whether readers are interested in in your topic or not. How?

  • Use keyword research tools like Google keyword planner, Moz keyword explorer to check search volume. Check whether the topics you chose has at least 1k searches per month for relevant keywords.
  • To know the topics you chose are popular on social media, you can use social media tools like Buzzsumo. Check how many shares a particular post has to determine popularity.
  • To know whether the topics you chose already exists on the web or not, use Google search. If there is low competition then it means readers are not interested.

Dig into the topic and provide unique content

So, once you have decided on what topic to write. Do as much research as you can. Start by learning everything that’s out there on your topic that you are going to address.

Take a look at the content that’s already been created. How is the user experience? Is there any way that you can improve that content and create a piece of content that tops it. Gain a deep insight into the core of why people are interested in this subject.

Analyze yourself, what’s missing? Once you can identify a gap, that’s where your 10x content will fit in.

Perform your own original research or create a powerful infographic. It’s the content that offers a unique view and singular experience that will be most successful. In addition to maintaining uniqueness, being exceptional and different from everyone else out there, is really important.

Turn your content into visually appealing

Long form of content you create should be complete and should give seamless experience that’s enjoyable for your audience.

If your content has a heavy block of text, then no one is going to read it, no matter how well it is written. It must be visually appealing and easily accessible.

Rather giving emphasis on “readability”, you need to look for ways to make your content easier for your audience. For example, SEO WordPress plugins such as Yoast have a number of recommendations to improve the readability of your content.

However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to make content easier to read. Here is how you can improve your content’s flow and keep readers on the page:

  • Always keep your paragraphs short and sweet, three or four sentences makes one paragraph.
  • Use bullet points to break up your content and keep your readers’ attention on the page.
  • Format your posts as lists. Use headings and subheadings to help direct readers’ attention and give your content a sense of flow.

In addition to the above points, you should also consider diversifying your format. Instead of relying on some rigid formatting guidelines, do what is natural for your respective audience.

Use attractive headlines

Your topic headline should tempt the readers to click through and read your content. So, you need to take time to craft a headline that makes readers desperate to learn. Your crafted headline should use these 4 methods to convince readers to click:

  1. Useful. Whether it gives any practical use to readers.
  2. Urgent. It should make them to read immediately.
  3. Ultra-specific. They should understand what benefit they will get by reading the content.
  4. Unique. It should give them a feeling that they haven’t  read this anywhere else.

In addition to the above methods, use power words that enhances the emotional impact. Before making a final decision, brainstorm at least 10 headlines for your post.  Keep in mind that headlines represent your reader’s’ first impression of your content. Ask yourself whether headlines you kept are compelling or not.

For example, rather than simply focusing on a “traditional” headline, consider…

  • Phrasing the title of your post as a question
  • Presenting your post as a list.
  • Use a controversial title.

Let’s say you run an ecommerce site that sells clothes, accessories, laptops, all gadgets and you are trying to spice up your underperforming content. How could you apply the above points to your content?

  • “Are You Looking To Buy Budget Laptop? The Ultimate Guide to Choose The best One”.
  • “7 Fashioned Clothes That Suits For Several Occasions”.
  • “Stop Wasting Money and Grab The Offer Now, Save Up To 60%”

Of the titles above, which are more compelling at first glance?

There is a lot of competition around  witty headlines as it represents the ultimate way to stand out from the crowd before your content even gets clicked.

Organize content and give enough polish

The way you organize your content is also very important. To bring structure to your ideas, create an outline while writing your epic post. To structure your content effectively, make sure you consider these while organizing content.

  • Promise: Whether your content fulfill the promise of the headline you kept.
  • Flow: Check whether the information you present has a natural flow. Don’t stuff keywords unnecessarily as it spoils the meaning in the sentence.
  • Objections: Did you address the questions that audience may have?
  • Completeness: Check whether you provided enough information to your readers through your content or not.

To organize your thoughts, you can use mind-mapping map. Use your outline and few guiding questions to create a truly epic content. Ask yourself these questions while creating killer content.

  • Do you have a powerful closing that inspires your readers to take an immediate next step?
  • Have you used short paragraphs and bullet points to improve readability?
  • Did you use simple and easy language that can be understood by your audience?
  • Have you used headings and subheadings that helps readers to understand the content?

Before publishing your content, make sure you reviewed your content several times to improve its clarity and flow. Don’t use jargon words, replace those words with simple words. To check the grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, read you post aloud.

Lastly, without promotion and without reaching to audience, even though it is of great content it is of no use. Use smart promotion to give boost to your content. Share your post on social media using relevant hashtags. If you mentioned any blogger in your post, then make sure you inform them.

Repurpose your posts in other platforms like Medium, Slideshare. Reach out to influencers and ask them to share. Email the post to your subscribers.

3 tools that help you dominate keyword research in 2018

#1. SEMrush: This is always my favorite SEO tool. Not only helpful to dominate keyword research but it also helpful for competitor analysis, backlink analysis, site audits and so many more. You can grab their 30 day free trial using this link and I absolutely recommend everyone using this tool to get better at SEO.

Although it has so many features, as we’re only talking about how to do keyword research in this post, so let’s only talk about keyword research related features that you get along with SEMrush. Here are few of them.

  • Find rankings for a specific keyword
  • Find keyword suggestions for keyword research
  • Find keywords with a specific number of search results on Google
  • Find keywords with or without a specific word
  • Find keywords with a specific word count
  • Find a site’s estimated organic traffic history and many more

#2.Keywordtool.io: This is one of the best alternatives to Google’s keyword planner. Not only it’s free to use but it also gives you a ton of keyword ideas to grow your overall search engine traffic.

keyword tool

If you are wondering why you should use this tool over keyword planner, here are few reasons.

  • It provides you up to 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term
  • Unlike Keyword Planner or other tools, this tool is extremely reliable as it works 99.99% of the time
  • You can use Keyword Tool absolutely for free, even without creating an account (again, unlike Google where you need to sign in to start using their free keyword research tool).

#3.  KW Finder: Do you want to find really good long tail keywords that have less traffic? Then, this keyword research tool is for you. It also has a free version which is enough for most SEO users to dominate keyword research in 2018 and beyond.

All you need to do is to just enter a keyword of your choice on their tool and it will immediately gives you a ton of keyword ideas along with the metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty and so many other metrics.

Final thoughts on dominating keyword research & rank #1 for any keyword on Google

If you are looking to grow your website’s search traffic and sales, focus on keyword research. If you know how to do keyword research like a pro, you will be way ahead of your competitors.

You can easily outrank your competitors if you find and use the RIGHT keywords (low volume and high traffic). So what are your thoughts about doing keyword research?

Did you like this post on how to dominate keyword research useful? Do you have any questions? What’s your favorite keyword research tool? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

9 Comments

  1. Vishwajeet Kumar says:

    Hi, Anil,
    Keywords really plays a great role in SEO. Choosing a right keywords is very important to rank a website in search engine result page. Semrush is no doubt #1 keyword research tool. But recently I am using Ahrefs and it is also a great tool to find quality and high performing keywords. Thanks for sharing this detailed post.

    Have a great day 🙂
    Vishwajeet

  2. Aashima says:

    Hello Anil,
    This is indeed in-depth post which covers all the aspects of keyword research. I guess its important to do keyword research before starting to write a post.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, wonderful website!

  3. Susan Velez says:

    Hi Anil,
    One of these day’s I’m going to invest in SEM Rush and get the 30 day trial through your link. I just don’t have the time right now.

    Personally, I’ve been using Long Tail Pro to help me find the keywords for my blog. It’s nice to see organic traffic coming to my blog finally 🙂

    I have no doubt that I could improve my traffic if I spent more time on SEO. SEM Rush looks like a great tool for anyone who wants to improve their blog traffic. Which I know that’s pretty much all bloggers.

    Thanks for taking the time to share this information.

    Have a great day 🙂

    Susan

  4. riya khan says:

    hi anil
    what is the best software to check keyword difficulty… i tried moz, kwfinder, long tail pro, seoprofiler and all of them hava different percentage for keyword difficulty even some time the difference is big so what is most accurate tools for checking keyword difficulty?

  5. Wow Anil!

    This is such a complete and helpful guide on how to find keywords to rank for – to boost up organic traffic!

    I really enjoyed this, and I did learn a lot!

    I already knew that keyword research plays such a big factor for a website’s traffic. You have to know how to do the proper keyword research and know how to take advantage of them!

    I have my own methods of finding long tail keywords. But I might give SEMRush a try.

    Thank you for sharing!

    CHeers! 😀

  6. Vijay says:

    Great post Anil.
    Your content speaks of your hard work.
    I really take inspiration from Indian bloggers like You and Harsh Agarwal.
    I am a new bee bloggers and just starting out.
    let’s take our coordinated efforts to climb up the ladder of blogging.
    All the best Anil Agarwal

  7. Naveen Singh says:

    Great research Anil! I also have a semrush account and I always alter the keywords searching on various platforms. Have you used uber search?

    • Anil Agarwal says:

      Hi Naveen I have used this keyword research tool as well. But there are better keywords research tools than this like SEMrush, KW Finder and Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool.

  8. Until recently, I was just writing stuff without doing any keyword research. What a disgrace to myself! But now I have become wiser. With proper keyword research, long-form content optimization and backlinks, a website can easily grow within a few days.

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