Keyword research – the complete guidebook!

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Searching for the best words for our website is the very first, and also the most important step in the work of SEO!Working on a website with well-selected keywords allows us to climb up the search engine ranking. Keywords research allows us to properly plan our website structure, subpages content and, most importantly, reach the best target consumer.

What is keyword research?

Keywords research is an act of finding codewords (key phrases), for which users look for in the search engine to find the information they want. The goal of the keywords research is to find the most suitable keywords. During the process, these keywords are analyzed to establish the user’s intentions, the potential traffic, and competition. SEO/the positioner chooses phrases that will assure the highest website position in a search engine.

This guidebook is created for you, to conduct this research yourself (if you have the time). Here, you will find the methods and tips to help you choose the best keywords.

Let us start from the beginning!

What are the keywords?

Keywords – a sequence of words entered by a user in a search engine to find the desired information.

keyword google

Types of keywords 

As we mentioned before, we can divide keywords according to:

– the length of the phrase, or
– the user’s intention.

Keywords based on length


Single are words entered by a user in the search engine. Usually, such words have a lot of competition and very little value. Such codewords are dominated by informational websites:

dog search results

Two-, three elements 

Here is where the fun begins. Examples:

  • vet poznań
  • Call center poznań
  • Suitcase for the plane
  • We can enter whatever we want

For such keywords, research is most efficient. Depending on the business, location or intention of the words, they can differ in popularity or competition.

fitness club search results
fitness club poznan search results

The difference of 5 432 820 000 results with two similar sentences.


Such type of phrases often has a small number of results. Moreover, they are extremely easy to position and they are often at the end of shopping decisions. Without putting much effort, we can get a very good position in a search engine for our subpage. If our page is new, this is a very good choice!

Of course, there are some exceptions. Phrases such as “How to create an ad on Facebook” are quite difficult to work with. Longtail phrases, despite being “less” popular, occupy over 90% of monthly search volume distribution.

monthly search diagram
the search demand curve

Can you now see why the less popular words are called “longtail”?

Every day, people search hundreds of thousands of words that were never searched before. That is why doing research on those types of words, does not make much sense… We just do not have enough data on it yet.

fitness club poznan joga search results

Keyword’s intent

There is some kind of intention behind every Google search. We can divide the types of Google search depending on what a user wants to achieve. Proper identification of keywords is necessary to achieve valuable advantages from our SEO work. 

Intentions of the research can be divided into:


Navigational searches are those that include names of websites or companies. In this case, users know what they are looking for but do not know the URL of the website. Such type of research is not valuable for SEO. 


The Internet was created to share information and that intention stands behind most of the searches. Informational codewords characterize a high number of searches, but it does not really mean that the user wants to buy something. They may only get to know about the product. 

Let us look at the picture below, which shows how many phrases contain words “how much or how many”. 

long tail keyword reserach answerthepublic

This is just the tip of the iceberg. 

If our website is in a high position for such phrases we probably will not make any direct profit out of it. 

Most of the informational phrases appear when someone is at one of the 4 steps of the consumer’s journey (awareness, interest, consideration, purchase) 

consumer’s journey

The user will remember us! (As long as we gave them valuable information) 

Here lays the biggest potential for informational phrases. While answering as many of them as we can, we become trustworthy and thanks to this during the next steps of the consumer’s journey our brand will be more appealing. 

Intent to buy 

Those are the most valuable phrases and at the same time, the most competitive. Here, users know exactly what they want and what they are looking for. 


  • “new balance 247” search volume 6.4K
  • “roadside assistance Poznan” search volume 1.2K
  • “washing machine Electrolux ews1266ci” search volume 1.3K

A lot of these phrases are also “longtail” phrases. 

certina ds prime keyword search results

Keyword’s research – how should we start?! 

How should we start research based on the type of our website? 

Depending on the type of website, we should have a slightly different approach. For example, when creating a blog, we should not focus on phrases related to intent to buy. At the same time, when looking up phrases for eCommerce, it is important to focus on both phrases related to intent to buy and also the informational ones. 


The goal of an internet shop is, of course, to sell products. That is straightforward. 

But how do we encourage the user to buy the products in our shop? 

For an internet shop, we should focus on shopping keywords, which will guide people to both the category of products and the products themselves. 

The domain of an internet shop should also include a blog or a place, where users will be informed about new products or reviews. That way new users will be able to reach our shop. 


In the case of a blog, we should focus on keywords that will suit the topic of our page. We should also do research every time, there is a new blog post. 

If we already have a well-known, active, travel blog – we should focus on keywords that are often searched. 

algarve keyword research

If we have just started our blog, we should focus on longtail phrases. 

algarve beaches keyword research

Looking for keywords

Here, we will move on to the most important aspects of the keyword’s research. 

Why should we avoid Google Planner at the beginning

Most of people and guidebooks suggest using Keyword Planner for Google Ads.

That is a serious mistake!

This tool is very good at giving us similar words to the one we are looking for. However, it has some limitations. 

What comes to your mind when you think about “Portugal”? 

  • Wine 
  • Porto
  • Lisbon
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Madeira
  • Sun
  • Holidays
  • Cost 
  • surfing

What Planner gives us:

portugal keyword research

Planner Google Ads shows us phrases that are very similar to our keyword. It doesn’t show us actual word associations. Using this tool while doing research, can limit our VALUABLE phrases. 

We also need to remember that the Planner focuses on data for paid searches, so it gives us really distorted results. 

Of course, the Planner is really useful, but I would suggest to use it only for checking the estimated number of searches. 

Seed Keyword- a top-down approach 

We start the keyword research from the broadest phrases. 

Let’s imagine that we have a travel agency.

The most obvious broad phrases are:

  • Vacations
  • Holidays
  • Trips 
holidays keyword research

If we don’t have a well-known internet brand, these phrases are difficult to reach. 

That’s why we have to look for more specific phrases. If we have a travel agency, we probably organize trips to different destinations. The number of those trips doesn’t matter. Let’s say that we organize trips only to Georgia. 


Now we can expand our phrases:

  • Trips
    • Georgia
    • to Georgia
  • Vacations
    • in Georgia
    • Georgia
    • to Georgia
  • Holidays
    • in Georgia 
    • Georgia 
    • to Georgia

These types of phrases are much more accessible. They have a good amount of searches but still, have a lot of competitions. 

We should dig deeper. Georgia has a lot of amazing cities and regions. 

Thanks to this, we can find more detailed phrases:

  • Holidays + [city]
  • Holidays + [region]
  • Holidays + Georgia + [city]
  • Holidays + Georgia + [region]


Each of the phrases differs in competition, depending on the popularity of the region or city. 

That way we got quite an expended list of keywords that we should analyze, whether SEO actions will be effective, or not. 

Protip: While checking the words from a list above we are able to find a lot of informational phrases, that we could also include.

searches related to tbilisi google

The screenshot is from the end of the google search page, after typing the phrase “Tbilisi”. 

Looking for niche topics for our business

The more we get to know the business, the more popular topics we can find! 

As I said before, some of the word associations that show while working on our topic, might not be so obvious for us.

Being an expert at every available business might be difficult if you have a lot of websites to manage (like we do). So we have to start thinking like people who are good at this. Doing so, we can use the help of :


While doing keyword research, it’s good to create a “virtual person”. It may seem too much but actually, it helps us imagine what potential clients may think. It may also help us looking for keywords. 

If you want to know more, Ruth Burr Reedy clearly explains this topic: 

Keyword-Driven Personas – Whiteboard Friday

Keyword-Driven Personas – Whiteboard Friday

Well-prepared personas might be useful in the future. 

Internet forums

Internet forums are immortal. They are often irreplaceable sources of knowledge, full of business language and topics you are searching for. 


georgia forum google search

Based only on titles, we can find a lot of topics suitable for SEO actions. 

Quora – it is a Q&A service in English, where users themselves can give and moderate the answers. Doing research, we can find a lot of information on the topics we are interested in. Searching for “restaurant Warsaw” we can find a lot of inspiring keywords. 

Searching for restaurant Warsaw on Quora

Reddit is another example of an interesting source of keywords. The website is also in Engish and there you can find the so-called “subreddits” full of interesting materials. 

For example, let us look at the subreddit for SEO 🙂 🙂

subreddit for SEO

Wikipedia – sources

How many phrases should we choose? 

During the time of “Content is king” or rank Brain, we don’t have to focus on optimizing for each phrase individually. If we have a restaurant with pierogies in Poznań, we can focus on such phrases as:

  • Pierogis Poznań
  • Pierogis in Poznań
  • Poznań pierogis
  • Pierogis restaurant Poznań 
  • Pierogis restaurant in Poznań 

However, all of these phrases are more or less the same. That is why I recommend focusing on one, main phrase for each of the subpage or product. Let’s remember about putting interesting descriptions and keywords that are used in our common language. 

We should find keywords for every important subpage in our domain.

If we have a business website- then for every service we provide.

If we have an online shop- then for our main page, each of the categories and products.

Mistakes while searching for keywords

  1. Ignoring longtail phrases.
  2. Ignoring intention behind keywords.
  3. Ignoring Google Ads data – CPC for each phrase. 
  4. Ignoring words with big, potential CTR.
  5. Ignoring actual search results. 
  6. Assigning too many phrases for one subpage. 

Keywords research tool



Analise of difficulty/keyword’s competition

What is a keyword’s difficulty?

It is an indicator that informs us how competitive a given keyword is. On the internet, we can find plenty of words that will bring us a lot of values. That is why companies focus on them when they want to sell their product or service. 

The competitiveness of a keyword makes us work harder, give better content or find links from stronger sources. Because that is something that everybody does. 

Ahrefs Difficulty tool

My favorite tool tells us how difficult our keyword is. 

hotel poznan keyword difficulty ahrefs

However, it works best with English keywords. It isn’t working well for Polish phrases. 

CPC rate in Google Planner

This tool is a good determinant for planning keywords. 

poznan hotel keyword research

Most PPC campaigns focus on keywords that intent to sell. Usually, the more profit a keyword gives, the more people want to use it. It mirrors our SEO activities- bigger CPC, more intense SEO work.

Searches, intention, and the number of results in Google

A simple indicator that shows us how valuable given keyword is, is a number of results in search engine. 

hotel poznan google search results

And the number of monthly searches

hotel poznań keyword position

Analysis of the keyword’s potential 

Analysis of CTR for a phrase 

CTR- an indicator in percentages, which tells us how many times a user clicks on a link to a website, when using a search engine. For the top 10 positions it looks like this (not many people check page number 2).

Source: : 

If we have a keyword that is searched about 1000 times a month, we can easily count how much value it will give us. 

keywords analysis

Let’s not forget the fact that acquiring traffic from popular keywords is only a small part of the process of acquiring a client.

Author: Wojciech Kmita

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