TrainingSEO Training Keyword Research

SEO Keyword Research Training

Before we get into on page or off page SEO, we need to lay the ground work for our SEO activity, this involves keyword research and planning our website.

This module will focus on keyword research for SEO.

Why is Keyword Research so Critical for SEO?

In an earlier module we covered why keywords are so important.  Here we will look at keywords specifically for SEO.

Keyword research provides the building blocks for all of our SEO activity.

Essentially we will be SEOing specific pieces of content, for specific keywords.

We do this because each piece of content will rank in Google in its own right, we therefore need to be methodical in our approach to creating content and choosing keywords.

Without this, we will never get great results, our SEO will  be unfocused and we won’t get a good return from our SEO activity.

How do we Select Keywords for SEO?

We break down our keyword research into two categories:

  • Main keywords and their variants
  • Long tail keywords

We will be creating content on our website to target our main keywords and their variants, the long tail keywords will be targeted mainly through content items like blog posts, faqs etc.

Main Keywords

Root Keywords

We need to start with a “root” keyword.  For this example we are going to use a very simple example of a web site selling bags.

So “Bags” becomes our “root” keyword.

Category Keywords

We then need to think about our main category keywords, these would include:

  • Hand Bags
  • Duffel Bags
  • Sports Bags
  • Shopping Bags
  • Golf Bags
  • Clutch Bags
  • etc.

Our category keywords will later drive the structure of our website.

Product Keywords

In addition to category keywords we have our product (or service) level keywords like:

  • Acme blue sports bag
  • Inbrand red leather clutch bag
  • Mr Golf super strong golf bag


The next level to our keyword research are to look at the keyword “modifiers”, the modifiers are words like:

  • Luxury, basic
  • Large, small
  • Green, Blue, Red, Black etc
  • Leather, PVC, Material, Cotton etc

Modifiers with Buying Intent

There are other modifiers that indicate buying intent:

  • Cheap
  • Buy
  • Prices
  • Comparison

Buying intent modifiers are particularly important as these are buyers that are a long way through the buying process and may soon by purchasing the item we are selling. It is critical that these keywords are recorded and optimised for.

Target Keyword Phrases

Once we have completed this process we have a list of category and product keywords,  plus we then concatenate our category and product keywords with our modifiers we end up with a massive list of keyword phrases:

[category keyword]

[category keyword] + [modifier]

[product keyword]

[product keyword] + [modifier]

This will give us a massive keyword list with keywords like:

  • Shopping Bags
  • Mr Golf super strong golf bag
  • Cheap sports bags
  • Red clutch bags
  • Buy Acme blue sports bag
  • Inbrand red leather clutch bag price

Once we have our list of target keywords, we need to prioritise them and create content items for each keyword phrase.  Sometimes we can optimise one page for 2 or 3 similar keywords.

Related Root Keywords

In some circumstances we will have more than one root keyword.  This may happen where we have a large website or related product items that need their own root keyword.

In our example we may sell suitcases as well as bags.

We would therefore duplicate this process using “suitcases” as a root keyword to create a whole new set of keywords.

Long Tail Keywords

A huge number of keyword searches on search engines, aren’t the obvious short broad keywords, they are long tail phrases.  Individually they may have only a small search volume, but when added together, long tail traffic can add up to a significant amount of traffic.

Long tail keywords are by nature, very specific, therefore if you can provide good content to match that query you are likely to get a positive action from your website visitor.

It is important to brainstorm long tail keyword phrases these may include:

  • Questions that are asked to do with your product or service, you could set up frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages to answer these questions
  • Pre-purchase questions around researching a topic or product

Once you have a long list of questions and keyword phrases, you have plenty of inspiration to create good content ongoing that will help drive more and more traffic to your website, plus if it is done well it will set you up an expert in your specific niche.

Keyword Research for Smaller Websites

It may be that your business only offers one service, your keyword research then becomes far simpler.

For example you may be a plumber in Birmingham.

Your keyword list will use plumber in Birmingham as the root keyword, then use modifiers like:

  • The areas within Birmingham
  • The models of boilers you service

Plus you will want to build you site out with content targeting long tail phrases like:

  • Questions people may have about choosing the right plumber for them
  • Questions people may have about servicing their boilers

Even for a relatively small subject there is a lot content that can be produced.  Regular focused content will help your SEO efforts and provide you with good material for link building and  link baiting.