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How to Do Your Own Keyword Research

Zach Lemmer
July 26, 2019

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If you have a website, then chances are you want to be found online with a simple Google search. Or perhaps you have a pay-per-click campaign and you want your ads to be shown over a competitor's. Either way, you'll need to know which keywords to target in order to optimize your organic search results or ad campaign.

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is all about finding search terms are related to your product or service, and that will trigger Google (or other internet directories) to show a link to your website on their search engine results pages (SERPs). Within your keyword research, you will look for keywords (both short and long-tail) that have adequate monthly search volume, low competition, and realistic cost-per-click costs (for pay-per-click).

Why do you need to do keyword research?

The reason keyword research is important is that you want your website to be found online, otherwise, you miss out on a lot of potential business. In order to get found online you need to optimize for keywords that people are searching for and that are relevant to your business. 

There are two different goals to keyword research. You’re either looking for keywords for a pay-per-click campaign (PPC), or for search engine optimization (SEO). With both, you'll want to make sure that there is adequate search traffic for that keyword ("adequate" can differ from industry to industry).


In both PPC and SEO keyword research, you will consider search volume and competition, but cost-per-click is also a determining factor when choosing keywords. Cost-per-click (CPC) is all relative to what you want to spend. For example, if your daily budget is $100 and you found a keyword that you want to compete for, but the CPC is $20, that means you can really only likely fit about 5 clicks in your daily budget! Now there is no right or wrong answer to how much is too much CPC for a keyword, it all depends on your strategy, and budget.


When conducting keyword research for an SEO campaign your full focus will be on search volume and competition scores. Competition score is a score that ranges from 0 - 1, the lower the number, the lower the competition. We recommend competing for keywords that are .6 or lower. These are your low hanging opportunities.

How can you do your own keyword research?

One of our favorite tools that you can use for keyword research is a Chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere. The extension will give you all the relevant information you need to determine if a keyword is worth ranking for, and it’s 100% free!

So how does it work?

Once you download Keywords Everywhere, head over to Google and enter a search query for a long tail keyword that you think you want to rank for. Once Google takes you to the the SERP, you will notice a few lines underneath the search bar. They read “Volume | CPC | Competition” and you would use that information to inform your decision of what keywords/terms you want to optimize for.
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It’s generally a good idea to find at least 15 keywords that meet your needs and to put them into a spreadsheet for easy reference.

From an SEO perspective - now you can optimize your website by keyword mapping the keywords you want to rank for on your pages or blog posts.
From a PPC perspective - now you can see how much a keyword costs, and compare that to its search volume to see if it makes sense for you to compete for that term in your marketing strategy.

Below I have attached a video to walk you through using Keywords Everywhere to help get you started on your keyword research.

HubSpot Video

If you have determined that you need further help with keyword research, keyword mapping, SEO, or PPC you can always contact HIVE Digital Strategy for a free consultation. And check out our other free resources to help you with all things inbound marketing. In the meantime, happy researching!

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