Keyword Research Step by Step Guide – SEO & Content Marketing

Content is king. Keywords are baby king.

Out of proper keyword research is raised the king content.

The information here will help you to breed a king every time!

You see, keyword research is the core principle of your blog, review site, affiliate marketing site, and any other kind of website.

A good research practice is going to lead towards a lot of success with Google and other search engines.

What is the whole point of content marketing?

Free organic traffic, lots of it!

What Else Can You Get?

Keyword research is a core principle in getting high rankings in Google and other Search Engines but not the only one.

Way before you could write an article stuffed with selected keyword phrase all over it and get high rankings.

The quality of content, however,  was not so outstanding but still ranked high.

Internet marketer has recognized this opportunity fast.

However, Google has also recognized its mistake quickly.

Google then decided to make playing fields even for all by introducing new algorithms that look more for quality content over the number of keywords within the article.

Nowadays, Google gives rankings to sites that are most relevant, consistent in publishing material, provide their readers with helpful and high-quality information.

Those are the three factors you should aim at.

You see, this piece of knowledge should excite you right now for a few reasons.

One, you are aware that you can rank your content high.

Second, you are aware that you can outrank authority sites.

Third, high rankings lead to great earning opportunities.

Keyword research is a first step in getting high rankings. All you have to learn is how to do it step by step.

I will show you the best method (in my experience) for doing keyword research for content marketing that I’ve learned at Wealthy Affiliate’s training program.

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Moreover, through the process, I will use this post as an example.

By the end of the copy, you will find the link to the second step that comes naturally in the process of content creation after keyword research.

That is content architecture and writing your piece.

It is necessary to do it all correct if you want to raise the king. 🙂

Therefore, let’s begin with baby steps first.

Step 1. Know Your Niche

You have a lot of knowledge about your niche, and that’s great!

You will have to know your people as well.

You see, to become an authority within your niche,  you will have to know the problems of your readers, as well as to be able to provide with a solution.

In other words, you’ll have to know your stuff.

It is important to be good at your interest because if you are in it just for the hell of it, the chances to rank high will not be good.

On the other hand, if you know how to ‘get inside of the head’ of the people who are interested in your work, soon you’ll be on top!

After you finish with this guide, you’ll fit the last sentence.

Before doing the keyword research act itself, I would suggest you meditate, or sit back and think about what might be the pressing problem to someone out there in the real world.

It will help you to get the creative juice flowing.

It’s a neat mental trick you can use to get into your creative zone.

Step 2. Choose Your Topic Keyword

You are getting warmed up, and now you already have a few ideas in your mind.

Now, pick the one you’re going to target.

In my case with this post, it was a problem of not knowing how to do keyword research. Therefore, I’ve decided to target ‘keyword research’ topic.

However, this simple keyword is too broad and in most cases already taken by competition. It can be hard to rank my content.

A two-word search phrase is not enough.

It might not be enough for you as well, but it’s a natural thing in the process so don’t worry.

To rank your content high and fast, you will have to create a long tail keyword.

What is a Long Tail Keyword?

In a nutshell, a long tail keyword is a term used for search terms that are more narrow and specific compared to your initial idea.

The rest of this guide will help you to understand and use long tail keywords.

Learning how to leverage this method is going to be of the most value in your content marketing campaign.

Let’s do it correctly then.

Step 3. Ask Around With Google

To get the shadows of your longtail keyword the best way to start is by asking Google.

After you type in your primary keyword, Google will give you two blocks within search results containing also some relevant searches.

In other words, what people also ask.

Long Tail Keywords Ideas

It is the best way to start getting ideas for your long tail keyword under the selected topic idea.

You can use those suggested ideas to create your keyword, or you can use those long tail keywords served by Google directly.

This little piece of action can save you time and time in creating working keyword ideas.

In this business, time is all you have at the beginning so use it wisely.

Moreover, it can be a smart move to open up a few high ranked websites and read what they might be suggesting to their readers.

You can upgrade your knowledge as well as take care that your future readers will be well informed.

Furthermore, at the bottom of the search results is a second block containing more relevant ideas.

More Keyword Ideas by Google

Use it also to keep the flow of ideas going.

Step 4. Pick You Long Tail Keyword

I’ve decided that in my case I will take a suggested idea by Google and go with ‘how to do keyword research’ idea.

In addition to my idea, I have created a list of a dozen more long tail keywords that will help me to hit the nail with my topic.

The procedure is simple. This is what you have to do.

Open up a notepad on your PC and copy-paste some long tail ideas suggested by Google.

After you have three or four ideas in your notepad, start writing some variations of your own.

In other words, brainstorm some more potential keywords.

Write Your Keywords Ideas

This piece of action will help you to understand a selected topic as if you were looking at it under the microscope.

It’s a brilliant way to prepare your mind for writing your marketing content.

By now, you should be having a concrete long tail keyword idea in your mind.

It’s time to see is it available to say it like that.

Step 5. Use Free Keyword Research Software

A couple of years ago, online marketer, boggers, and web writers had to be very creative in the process.

You see, they had to do everything manually because there were no reliable keyword research tools.

Today it’s an entirely different story.

The struggle to perfect a method for picking the right keywords gave birth to some fantastic keyword research tools.

Some of them are free to use while for some you’ll have to pay money to use.

In my case, I stick with Jaaxy.

It’s the best free keyword software that I was able to find on today’s market.

For the rest of my presentation, I will use Jaaxy to show you how easy and fun it became today.

All you have to do is enter your selected long tail keyword to see should you or should you not target this particular variation.

In other words, you will be looking to see that the keyword makes sense and how high or low is the keywords competition.

Also, you will be looking at the most critical aspects of your research, that are search and traffic volume.

I will explain all the parameters under the next headline.

At this moment, I am happy with my selected long tail keyword and I am ready to start using Jaaxy and see is my keyword worth of trouble or not.

Here is how it looks with Jaaxy free keyword research software.

Free Keyword Research Software Results

Step 6. Analyze Your Competition

As you can see on the image from above, we have some acronyms and numbers on the screen that help us to determine the value of your keyword.

Finding this information was like finding a gold vein back in the days of content marketing pioneers.

However, today you have them served in less than five seconds.

a) Average Number of Searches

The first thing you should be looking at in Jaaxy is Avg – Average Number of Searches per Month.

This parameter shows you how many people search for Google and other search engines for that exact long tail keyword you want to rank.

The ideal scenario would be at least 50 to 100 searches per month.

Everything above that is excellent!

As you can see in my example, I hit a pretty nice number.

However, that’s not the only thing. Now we have to take a look at the second parameter as well.

b) Traffic

This metric is pretty self-explanatory.

The number tells you how much traffic can you expect from search engines per month if you rank first for the selected keyword.

In other words, it tells you how many visitors can you expect just from one blog post ranked on number one position.

It is pretty fantastic info to have!

You, a content marketer, should be excited every time you find a number over ten visits per month.

The number is usually much higher as you can see in the picture.

This metric can help you to determine a potential traffic size to expect if you rank for thirty or forty good blog posts.

When looking at the things, in the long run, you can hit a lot of traffic source when you start using this information on every topic you’ll cover.

The next parameter that we are going to cover is equally critical if not even the most important metric.

c) QSR

Quoted Search Results is a parameter that tells you how many competitive websites already rank on Google for this particular topic.

Whenever you hit a keyword under 100 QSR in your research, you are good to go!

Even if you find that QSR number is more significant than 100, like in my case here, you can always extend your long tail keyword.

In other words, add one more word to its long tail to get a better QSR score.

In my example, the competitions for ‘how to do keyword research’ was over 100.

Therefore, I used the Alphabet Soup on Jaaxy to find the even longer tail.

Jaaxy Alphabet Soup

Alphabet Soup is an excellent piece of artificial intelligence that helps you to quickly brainstorm a couple of variations for your selected keyword.

It’s pretty simple.

I found a solution to my problem under the letter C.

Jaaxy’s Alphabet soup has suggested to me that I can extend my search term and therefore, I can narrow my topic some more to get a better QSR this time.


The new results have amazed me.

I found a perfect long tail keyword for my marketing content.

My long Tail Keyword Results

At this moment you should be having a full-scale picture of your keyword as well.

You long tail keyword should be relevant to your niche. It should have a good ration of searches per month and traffic as well.

Furthermore, it should be low in the competition which is going to result in fast and high ranking once you finish writing your marketing content.

In addition to those three critical parameters, you can also see a few more metrics to reassure yourself that it is worthy of ranking.

d) KQI

KQI or Keyword Quality Indicator is self-explanatory also. It shows three scores.

Green for Great, Yellow for Average, and Red for Poor.

Most of the time KQI is Green.

Sometimes, if you choose a keyword which is already taken by many other websites, Jaaxy will give you a warning by indicating Yellow or Red Quality.

It tells you to reconsider your choice.

This will lift your keyword game on the next level!

e) SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

This score is based on traffic and competition. In other words, it gives you a grade from 1-100 using those two data as metrics.

The higher the score you get, the better the chances will be to rank your selected keyword high in Google and other search engines.

Everything over 90 is great!

In most cases, if you do all the steps correctly it will show close to 100 each time you do keyword research by following these methods.

f) Domains

If you find an excellent keyword variation with a huge number of searches, good number of expected traffic, with all green lights telling you that it is a valuable keyword, you can see if there is a domain name available to purchase.

Sometimes you might hit a golden nugget worth of digging deeper so you might want to buy a domain name to ensure high rankings.

Just another great option to have with Jaaxy.

Many content marketers are using this tool to secure great domain names for their future business.

Step 7. Double Check Your Keyword

Like every other good student, you should always go through the process one more time just to see if everything is done as it should be.

You don’t want to risk hours of work to go to waste because you have missed a thing or two in your keyword research.

If you are in the business of content marketing, you should know that your keywords are the core of your business.

A well-researched content is King Content!

Once you have double checked all your metrics, you can start writing your material with a piece of mind.

Moreover, all this work was a pain in the arse and mostly manual five years ago.

You and I have it all served in front of us on a silver platter today!

All you have to do is follow the instructions, read the metrics, and approach the last step.

Step 8. Start Writing Your Masterpiece

As I have said at the beginning of this page, I will lead you through the process all the way.

Here you are at the last step in creating a perfect piece of marketing content, that is writing your material.

Finding a perfect long tail keyword will help you to rank fast and high in Google and other search engines.

However, that is only half of the job done.

The second step is equally fun and exciting.

Those of you who enjoy writing your own content (CHAPTER 5.) will discover how it is easy to write once you have done a good prep work.

If you are skilled at writing but you have trouble with getting traffic to your site (CHAPTER 6.), click the link to learn more.

I hope I have helped you to understand the process of keyword research in more depth.

Learn From the Best in the Business!

For the last year or so I am a member of the best affiliate marketing community online.

Wealthy Affiliate has changed my perception of doing business online to a point where I can see things with more clarity and learn with such a speed, that it makes my head spin.

You can find there all you need to learn and master the art of affiliate marketing.

Moreover, if you stick with them for one year, you will reap some great results in the end.

Furthermore, you will get valuable experience with which you can multiply your success over and over again.

There is more, of course.

Wealthy Affiliate is a top player in the affiliate marketing training niche.

They can offer you stuff that none of them can.

You can get free websites, free training, access to a vast community of affiliate marketers, keyword research tool (Jaaxy), live help, and much more!

Feel free to check it out and join us on this exciting adventure.

Join Us!



I wish you a successful online marketing journey!

If you need any help or you have a question feel free to contact me!

All the best,


founder, and CEO at


  • Hi Ivan,
    Thanks for this post.
    I have to say I struggle a lot when trying to get a higher traffic and less competitive keyword. Your tips are great. However, I wasn’t expecting meditation before I could come up with a better keyword. And thanks for that. I think I need to try that one,

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Stephen, I am happy to see that you have found value in my keyword research guide.

      Content marketing is a tough game. To be successful at it, you have to learn more because the process of getting ranked is always changing. More and more people are starting websites each day, and it is critical to stay updated. Working on finding and leveraging long tail keywords is, however, one of the best, if not the best methodology to succeed fast.

      Yes, I do meditate to prepare myself for writing! 😀 It helps to get the creative juices flowing as I like to say. Sometimes I spend a whole day thinking about a specific topic within my niche. That way I get many ideas. Then, I write them down and analyze all keywords in Jaaxy. After I finish with my analysis, I have a list of at least five good article topics that I can write about, which gives me peace of mind. I can stay busy for days and weeks without needing to do keyword research. And then again, when the list is almost completed, I meditate to find some more great topics to write about and help people who are looking for guidance.

      Please, be my guest and try this. You will find a fantastic way to keep yourself busy as well as to see some amazing keywords that can help you to get ranked in Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

      All the best,

  • Another great and comprehensive article from you Ivan. Quality keyword research is so highly important in today’s online market, and it really is worth investing the time and effort to do it properly.

    Wealth Affiliate is an awesome community of like minded people and I have learnt so much fro the platform that I feel I have had 10 times my money’s worth in the past 2 years. I cannot recommend it enough to anybody thinking of getting into the internet marketing game.

    • Hi Stefanie, thank you! I hope my guide will help you in your future keywords research. Best of luck to you in your online marketing career. If you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask me.


  • I’ve been studying keyword since I join WA, you have an awesome article about it! I always happy to see this kind of teaching article can have a picture, I have seen so many this article without a picture, that will be hard to tell what was all about, so I really like your article! Keyword is one of the most important things during the online business, so your article definitely will help many people!


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