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How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing

Internet marketing has become a crucial part of any business strategy.

The need for quality content is huge and the level of competition grows day by day.

Being able to come up with attractive and useful content for your audience on a daily basis is not an easy task, but that content is going to be useless if you are failing to optimize it for search engines.

In this article, we are going to be talking about the most important things you need to consider when you search for the best keywords to use in your content.

The Importance of Content Marketing Quality

Before we even get to the strategies for keyword research, it’s important to remember the value of content marketing. Never forget that the old ways of creating content are long gone and obsolete.

New content is meant to be informative and to avoid sales oriented and gimmicky text. This means that you need to learn how to use the best keywords in ways that feel very natural and non-intrusive.

There are many content marketers that choose to include long tail keywords that make no grammatical sense, but they are suggested as great keywords for their niche.

The problem with using this kind of long tail keywords with grammar issues is that they tarnish the value and the genuine feel of the content. Even people who are not involved in online marketing can tell when words are used in a way that feels forced just to get some search engine exposure.

The more the internet evolves, the more the average user learns about the basics of internet marketing and this is why it’s important to avoid this.

Search Engine Auto Complete Suggestions

Google is the best place to start with this strategy because it will allow you to get the best possible results fast.

When you write any word in Google, you will see that a set of suggestions will be filled in automatically.

These suggestions are trending keywords and searches that people are making. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to keep them in mind when you create your content.

There are other platforms that have these auto complete suggestions available too, so you might want to experiment with social media and other engine as well.

The important thing is for you to write down or copy as many of those keywords as you can, but before you copy them, do an actual search with them and see where they lead.

You will be surprised how useful this can be for your campaigns.

Check the Trending Sections

If you are looking for the very latest keywords and trends, you can always go to the trending sections of search engines and social media platforms. Places like YouTube, Google and other popular networks have trending sections that are updated daily.

This is a good way to find out what the latest keywords and search trends are and you can start to investigate further.

This is one of those activities that you need to consider doing every single day. We know that working on every aspect of internet marketing can be time consuming, but this is an essential part of the ongoing process.

Take a Look at Competitor’s Content

It’s always a good idea to take a look at your competitor’s content and see what kind of keywords they are using.

Their blogs are a great place to start as they are the most valuable source for SEO. Just look at a few competitor sites and find out what kind of content they are creating.

It never hurts to see what they are doing and improve your own campaigns and content based on theirs.

Do keep in mind that they may not be using the best strategies, so you might want to look for competitor sites that have the top spot on search engines.

Those are usually the ones that are doing things right.

Try your own search

Pretend you are a customer looking for your own product. What would you type on the search?

By doing this exercise you will find some valuable information.

For starters, you are going to be able to see what comes up on the results based on your choice of keywords, and you are also going to be able to see the kind of content those sites have.

Several Keyword Search Tools

We are not going to be mentioning any specific keyword search tool because there are plenty to use. The important thing is for you to get familiarized with some of them and to get a better idea of how they work.

What many of these tools do is suggest keywords based on the information they can gather from some of the sources we mentioned.

Some are free, some are paid for and some come in marketing bundles, but the point is that you should learn about the top tools and what they can do to help you speed up the process.

Do some Customer Research

The power of asking your audience for the kind of keywords they use is huge.

You have no idea how many companies have based and built their keyword strategies on the feedback they have gathered from surveys and social media interactions.

Ask your target audience and even people you know to tell you what kind of keywords they would usually type when searching for a specific product or service.

You can engage your current audience and ask them for the most common words they used to find any products you sell.

You could hold a contest or raffle and have people fill out a form with a few questions that can help you tweak your strategies.

Optimize your Content for the Keywords you Choose

Remember how we mentioned that you have to be careful not to ruin your content with long tail keywords that don’t make sense?

Well, even after you have carefully avoided this, you still need to make sure that your content can adapt to the keywords you have chosen without any issues.

This means that you are probably going to need to change some sentences and paragraphs to make sure that the keywords are all implemented in the most natural way possible.

A good writer knows how to keep their content as uncompromised as possible. The idea is to make them blend in the keywords and that will provide the best results.

The idea is to keep it light with the number of keywords used and the times each one is used as well.

Stay Away from the Top Keywords

Unless you have a huge budget that allows you to create huge campaigns, one that will compete with the first page results on a crowded niche, the best thing you can do is look for keywords that sit in the middle in terms of preference and priority.

These are going to help you rank higher than the highest quality keywords mainly due to competition.

It can be hard for people to perceive the scope of competition out there, but just to give you an idea, the first page on Google only offers enough space for a handful of websites and there are literally hundreds of thousands of websites in some niches that are all competing to get some results.

Granted, most of those sites are not making a huge effort, but lets’ say one thousand sites in your niche create quality content daily.

This means you are competing against a thousand websites to see if you can get page one on Google for any top keywords.

Saying you would only compete against one thousand sites is optimistic to say the least.

Chances are that tens of thousands are involved in some level of marketing strategy. This is not something that we are saying to be discouraging, but to help you see the way things truly work.

You would be shocked to see how many people think they could get page one results after creating a couple of blogs and promoting their content for a few days on social media. It simply doesn’t work that way.


The most important thing to remember when you are looking for keywords, you need to make sure that you can understand how keyword are implemented in your content.

This is more important than any of the other steps.

We suggest that you look for the most reliable way to keep up with the latest strategies being used for the purpose of online marketing. Join online marketing groups and exchange ideas with other people in the business.

Never forget that staying updated is as essential as knowing what you are doing today. Staying relevant online means staying informed on the constant changes.

This is extremely important and you will maintain the competitive edge you need.

Be sure to automate as much as you can too. Automation is a huge part of internet marketing in general so always keep that in mind when you get any work done.

Feel free to post your comment below. An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!


Updated: Originally published March 9th 2018

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Jacqueline

    Thanks for highlighting the different areas of Content Marketing that we should be mindful of when creating content.
    I too use a keyword tool for my research.

    You mentioned checking trending sections on YouTube, Google and other popular networks.
    I use Google and Twitter trends a lot in my research and I know how to find trending topics on YouTube.

    However, I’m not aware of trends on Facebook.

    Is there a way to find trends in a particular niche using Facebook?


    1. Steven

      Facebook Insights lets you analyze page performance and engagement data. There are probably other tools available as well if you do a Google search but I don’t know of any other off the top of my head.

      Thanks for the input Jacqueline.

  2. Jacqueline Smith

    Great. Thanks Steven!

    I wasn’t aware of Facebook Insights. I will look into this.

    Once again thanks.

    1. Steven

      No problem! Hope it works for you.

  3. David Boucher

    Content, content, content – the must have for all budding internet marketers!!
    Thanks for the comprehensive insight of developing content. I believe the problem we have is some people are good at writing content and it comes easy to them while others struggle to get beyond one sentence.
    A great post.

    1. Steven

      Thanks David. If you struggle creating quality content you could always outsource. Not realistic for all though.

      Thanks for the input!

  4. Mikael

    Hi Steve,

    Very good point about always remembering to make sure the keyword phrases makes human sense. I am surprised to see how many people that seem to still be writing for machines and not for humans.

    You write that automation is important. What kind of automation would you say are the most important to become more effective?

    1. Steven

      Whatever you can automate without hurting the human touch about your business. Your readers still want to think they are connecting with a real person so don’t let that get lost. Otherwise, automate any tedious tasks possible.

      Thanks for the comment Mikael!

  5. RichPersonality

    Yeah, I guess it’s a good idea to stay up with what’s trending and create some content around that. If it’s something new, you might rank easily and get a lot of traffic, because you got in early. I think keyword research without a tool is basically a wish for failure if anyone decides to do it. Not knowing how much your chosen keyword is being searched will lead to no traffic, unless you’re lucky.

    1. Steven

      You do need at least some research. Having a good research tool is basically required or luck will be your only guide.

      Thanks for the input Rich!

  6. fernglow

    Hi, I have just started a mini blog and was looking for ways on doing keyword research to stay relevant to the market!
    After reading your article, I feel way more informed about the keywords that I have to use. By any chance, do you have any keyword research tool to tell the traffic and stuff like that? Thanks!

    1. Steven

      I use Jaaxy. It is geared toward content marketing and is the best tool available for that purpose in my opinion.

      Thanks for the comment Fernglow!

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