How to Do Keyword Research for Content Marketing

How to Do Keyword Research for Content Marketing

Stefan Nedeljković


 min read

The proper implementation of keywords may very well be the most important SEO aspect of your text as far as Google ranking is concerned. Those in the field of content marketing understand the vital importance of keyword research, and as a business owner, you should, too.

In our blog, we are going to show you why and how to do keyword research for content marketing purposes, as well as how to analyze keywords.

What Is Keyword Research and How Important Is It?

Keyword research is the process of coming up with search queries that your target audience is inserting into their search engines, such as Google, Bing, or any other, in order to look for products, services, and information.

What good is a page that offers content no one is searching for? In fact, according to data by Ahrefs, 90.63% of pages on the internet get no traffic from Google whatsoever because they do not answer the search queries from actual users.

By doing keyword research and implementing those words into your text, you’ll ensure there is a search demand for the topic you want to write about, which can translate into a strong Google ranking and a steady stream of visitors.

The better your content is related to the expected search input, the bigger the chances of your page appearing at the top of search results. Content marketing keywords also need to be strategically placed in the text for Google crawler bots to deem it sufficiently relevant to be ranked high.

How to Research Keywords for Your SEO and Content Strategy

The basis of good keyword research starts with you walking in your customers’ shoes. What sort of phrases and words could they be searching for? To get that info, you need to be deeply familiar with the industry and have a command of SEO keywords tools such as Ahrefs, Semrush, or other free or paid options on the market.

Here’s how to use keyword research for content marketing in a step-by-step guide.

1) Understand User Intent — Think of Topics and Seed Keywords

If you already know a lot about your niche and have a good understanding of what users might be typing in search engines, you can enter those terms into the keyword tool. It can help you generate what is known as seed KWs — words or phrases that can serve as a starting point for your keyword research. 

For example, if you are running an iGaming affiliate website and are about to write a review of an online casino or sportsbook, a perfect starting point would be to enter the name of the operator followed by “review”, “odds”, “games”, and other related words users are likely to type in search engines.

Understanding the user search intent is even more important than just having a keyword on your page, as that is what boosts ranking potential. For example, if you want to research the keywords for an article on buying medicinal marijuana, you won’t just have the word “marijuana” as a KW. You need others that will answer the users’ potential search queries, such as keywords related to the legality of medicinal marijuana, where to find it, and so on.

2) Research Matching and Related Search Terms

While seed keywords are a good starting point, the next step in the process is to research matching and related search terms, as they will give you more specific suggestions.

To do this, simply enter a seed keyword into Google, and related search items will appear at the end of the page. These suggestions are useful, but they can only give you a sense of direction. They mostly show generic KWs with great volume, all drawn from a single source. This type of Google keyword research offers no advanced metrics to help you find more meaningful keywords or see the intent behind them, all of which is available in paid tools, such as Ahrefs.

For example, the matching report in Ahrefs will show you all KW ideas that contain your seed keywords. Related search items, on the other hand, show suggestions that do not necessarily have your seed KW in them but can show you what search queries top-listed pages rank for.

With Semrush, there are five main keyword match types: broad match, modified broad match, phrase match, exact match, and negative match. All of these give you more control over what kind of KWs can help you reach the broadest audience, which ones have greater relevance, and more. 

3) Leverage Keyword Research Tools

There’s more to KW research than just piling up keywords. As opposed to paid options, free keyword research tools do not have nearly as many additional features that can help you understand user intent, filter out more relevant keywords, and see how difficult it would be to rank for those words. This is where paid features come into the foreground. 

For example, Semrush’s Website Competitor Analysis Tools can help you analyze your competitors and discover the words they rank for so that you can use them, as well. Alternatively, you can make them even more specific to answer the users’ search queries, thereby outranking the competition.

Ahref’s Site Explorer is another similar feature that can tell you not only which keywords your competitors rank for, but also which sites link to their pages and whether they are doing paid search advertising.

Analyzing Keyword Results

Now that you’ve got yourself a bunch of KWs, the next step in learning how to do keyword research for content marketing is to analyze them using important SEO metrics. They will assist you in deciding which KWs can help you rank better. These metrics include search volume, keyword difficulty, and cost per click.

Search Volume

The search volume results are an indelible part of keyword research in SEO. They will tell you how many times a KW is searched for on a monthly basis. The number shows an annual average and is country-specific, so you can use it to target a local market. You can use additional filters to see high- and low-volume KWs. The latter are also known as long-tail keywords, and they are more specific than their seed counterparts. For example, the word “casino” is bound to have thousands of searches per month, while “online casino review” will get considerably less.

These long-tail keywords are less competitive, more specific, and therefore easier to address, and they can respond to the user intent much better.

Keyword Difficulty

This metric shows how hard it will be for your site to rank for a particular keyword. It accounts for domain rating, SERP features, search intent, authority of the content, number of backlinks, and many other ranking factors from Google.

For example, a high-difficulty keyword will require a lot of backlinks, which usually takes a lot of time. It would be a good strategy to use it as soon as you create a page so that you give it time to acquire the needed backlinks.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Cost Per Click (CPC) shows how much money the advertisers are willing to spend for a click on an ad that will be displayed at the top of the search results. This metric can tell you the value of a keyword and how you should leverage that in your content creation rather than help you learn how to do keyword research.

How to Use Keywords In Content Creation

Now that you’ve learned how to do keyword research for content marketing, all that remains is to include them in the text you want to create.

One crucial thing to remember here is keyword density — the number of times a KW should appear in the text. Avoiding keyword stuffing is necessary if you want to rank on Google, and to do so, the density should be no more than 1–2 KWs for every 100 words of text.

Another important point is to implement the keywords naturally. Although Google values the first 200 words of copy above all others, don’t stuff all of your KWs there. The main one can stay in that section, but leave it at that.

Furthermore, page meta titles and descriptions should contain the main keyword, plus additional KWs, if possible, and so should the headings. This way, you can both define what your page is about, which can help search engines and users alike, and increase the chances of having visitors stay longer.

Final Thoughts

Admittedly, there’s more to learning how to use keyword research for content marketing than meets the eye. There’s the process of identifying the user search intent, the seed keywords, and the accompanying specific KWs, along with interpreting the metrics behind them.

If all of this is a bit too much for you, reach out to us and put your faith in SEO professionals who know the procedure inside out and can guarantee a good ranking chance for your site. Remember, knowing how to do keyword research for content marketing is one thing, while ranking for those keywords is a whole different story.


How do you research keywords for content?

To research keywords for content, you need to use proper KW tools, including Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, Semrush, and others. There, you can find KWs that match the user intent and learn how to implement them.

What is the best keyword research tool for content marketers?

There are many research tools available for marketers, including Ahrefs, Semrush, Spark Toro, and many others.

How do you do keyword research step by step?

First of all, you need to identify the seed keyword. Then, find related KWs, especially the long-tail ones. All of these steps are performed using keyword research tools.

How do I research keywords for social media marketing?

To get the KWs for social media marketing, you need to track popular trends and topics, gauge the interest in a product or service, understand the user intent, determine what drives it, and then use a keyword research tool to get the words.

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