How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing

post header keyword research for content marketing

Today I’m going to show you how to do keyword research for content marketing so you can find the low-hanging fruit keywords that you can build your content around and drive as much FREE traffic as you want to your website.

Now, if you’re not sure what the term “low-hanging fruit” means don’t worry. I’ll explain what it means in a minute and why it’s your best friend when doing keyword research.

Then I’m going to show you how to use these keywords for your content. Plus, I’m also going to share a very cool technique for finding a ton more keywords.

So, once you’re done reading this article you’re going to have more keywords than you could shake a stick at.

Alright, let’s get to it…

So, What Is Keyword Research?

Well as defined by Wikipedia:

Keyword research is a practice used to find and research search terms that users enter into search engines when looking for products, services, or general information.

Ok, so why do keyword research?

You do it so you can create informative, engaging, and helpful content using the keyword terms people are using to search for solutions, products, or services, with the goal of having the content you’ve created around these keywords rank at the top of SERPs. (search engine results page)

And by using these keyword search terms and having them rank you can drive an enormous amount of targeted free organic search traffic to your website.

And the more targeted traffic you can generate, the greater opportunity for growing your website’s revenue.

However, when you mention keyword research to most marketers, they tend to freak out a little bit. Mostly because everyone makes keyword research this big complicated step – and it’s not!!

Keyword research is EASY when you know how to do it right.

What You’ll Need

  1. A Reliable Keyword Research Tool
  2. A Spread Sheet
  3. A Little Time (a few hours at most)

So, What Is A Keyword?

As I mentioned earlier a keyword is a term used when people are searching for something online. Usually, a solution to a problem or to buy an item online.

And it makes no difference in what medium – be it Google – Bing – Yahoo – YouTube or that person’s favorite social media platform.

Each and everyday people are searching for things online, and they’re using keywords to do it. And your job as a marketer is to find these keyword terms that are related to your market (niche) and use them in your content.

The success of your marketing efforts all boils down to the relevance of your keywords and the understanding of your customer (audience).

And that understanding is the terms they are using to search for products, services, and solutions to problems.

What’s The Goal Of Your Keywords?

Your goal is to get your keywords ranked on the first page of the search engines, ideally at the top of the search results so they can be found (seen) by your potential customer (your targeted audience).

And how do you do that?

With the content, you create using your keyword(s).

When you’re writing your content, you have your keyword(s) in the title of your post or page and then have them in the first paragraph and then simply write naturally from there.

And if you’ve done the proper keyword research your content has a great chance of getting top rankings in the search engines.

And once you’ve been seen – you now need to connect with that person (people) behind that search.

And it’s your content that makes that connection. It provides the information, solution, or item they’ve been looking for.

So, your content has to be engaging, useful, and informative. And most importantly you need to write your content with Intent.

Meaning, what action do you want your reader to take when they read your content?

Do you want them to buy something, fill out a survey, join your mailing list, go through an affiliate link, etc? What is it you want them to do?

And you need to know this before you write one word of content. Because despite the process of finding keywords and using them to find your audience. You’re writing for people, not the search engines.

I had to mention that because I think people believe that Google and other search engines are alive, and we know that’s not true. But boy, when I talk to some people they are convinced that the search engines have it in for them.

And again, that’s not true either.

Simply create your content in a manner that works for your audience and structure it properly and you’ll be just fine. And if you’re not sure how to structure your content. I’ll be showing you how to do that later in this article.

Ok, let’s get to the process of finding great keywords.

writing with intent

First, Make A Seed Keyword List

Your seed list is a list of typically broader term keywords related to your niche. So, start by writing down 4 or 5 seed keywords related to your niche.

For example, your niche is Barbecue. So related keywords to your niche could be:

  • BBQ
  • Smoking Meat
  • BBQ Accessories
  • BBQ Recipes
  • BBQ Grills
  • BBQ Smokers

This is just the beginning of your content marketing strategy for finding hundreds of great keywords you can use to send traffic to your website.


Time to start getting some keyword data. So, you need to open up your favorite keyword research tool.

For this tutorial, I’ll be using Jaaxy. Of course, you can use any keyword research tool you want. But for this article, all my references and screenshots will be from Jaaxy.

If you want to learn more about Jaaxy I did a review about it here. And if you want to use Jaaxy while following along. You can for free. Simply use the plugin tool below.

My Broad Keyword Term

Ok, the first thing you want to do is enter one of the broad keyword search terms from your seed keyword list into your favorite keyword research tool.

So, in my seed list of keywords, I had BBQ. So, let’s search for the term “BBQ”.

Ok, my first inquiry shows me that “BBQ” has huge competition.

And that’s no real surprise. I knew it would be because it’s such a broad term. But this is just the start of our research.

Now as you can see from the results below it showed all kinds of related long-tail keyword terms, and that’s what I’m after.

Don’t worry I’ll explain what all this information (results) means in a second. So, “Great” is a term you want to dig more into because it gives you the best potential to rank for that term. I explain more about “potential” later on.

Normal is ok and still has potential. And, when you see Poor, don’t even bother.

So of course, I would not focus on trying to rank for BBQ because of the huge competition. There are far easier terms that I can get ranked for and in most cases do it faster.

bbq keyword research

Drilling Down

So, since BBQ is out of the question my next step is to start digging deeper into this search.

And I do that by researching these other long-tail keywords from my first inquiry. The goal is to find more relevant long-tail keywords with less competition.

Now, a long tail keyword is a search phrase usually more than 3 words long. And more often than not, long-tail keyword phrases are used by people when they search.

Let Me Wander Off A Bit Before We Go On

Long-tail keywords are also used by people that are deeper into the customer purchasing life-cycle.

For example, if someone searches “Golf Clubs” you know they’re still researching, finding, and comparing golf clubs. So, they’re not anywhere near purchasing just yet.

However, if someone does a search for “Ping G25 Fairway Wood” that’s a very specific search term.

You know this person has done most if not all their research and is deep into the purchasing cycle. Which is known as the Decision or Action Phase. Meaning they are ready to buy.

So, the more targeted your keyword phrase is to the end of the customer purchasing life cycle the more targeted your audience will be and the greater the opportunity there is for you to make money and more of it!

keywords that covert

Ok back to our regular programming… So, from that first list of results, I’m going to dig into the “best bbq ribs recipe”.

So, I put that term into Jaaxy. Below are those results.

And in a matter of seconds, I have several high-traffic low competition keywords. And the “L” you see beside the keyword “best bbq ribs recipe” just means I have saved that keyword to a list I created inside Jaaxy.

best bbq ribs recipe results

Let Me Explain The Results

Ok, outlined in red the column “AVG” is the average monthly searches for each search term.

Besides that, outlined in blue is “Traffic”. This tells me the estimated number of people that will visit my website with a first-page ranking for that term in the search engines.

And next is the QSR (quoted search result) column outlined in green.

This tells me the number of competing pages (keyword difficulty) that are ranked with this exact keyword phrase in Google.

Anything under 100 QSR is what you want to shoot for. The reason being is terms that are under 100 QSR are typically easier to rank for. But not always, remember I said “potential”. I’ll explain why in a moment.

And of course, the lower the QSR the better. I look for a QSR under 100. And traffic above 50.

But with that said I do create content when the traffic number is below 50. Simply because when it comes to your content and the traffic your content can generate. All those traffic numbers will add up to a lot of traffic coming to your website.

And besides the QSR column to the right, you see KQI. KQI is the Keyword Quality Indicator score.

And this tells you the chances you have at ranking with that search term. And as I mentioned earlier, Great is a term you want to target. Normal is ok and when you see Poor, don’t even bother.

So, if I had a site dedicated to BBQ I have a really good shot at getting ranked on the first page of Google by writing great content on my site using these search terms as they all are under 100 QSR and they all have a green KQI.

Remember I mentioned Low Hanging Fruit?

Well, this is it.

You’re targeting keywords that have low competition and good search volume. Remember you’re going to be in your niche for a long time and everything adds up.

And As I said, over time low hanging fruit keywords can easily add up to thousands and thousands of visitors going to your site every day!!

And that’s a beautiful thing!!

Avoid These Two Big Mistakes

I think many marketers forget when they’re doing keyword research for their niche they tend to forget that:

  1. A real person is doing the search.
  2. They’re always looking for that perfect keyword that gets ALL the traffic.

Yes, there’s a REAL person behind these searches. Never forget that.

They’re looking for solutions to a problem, product, or service. And you need to give them that solution or point them toward the right product or service. And that’s done through your content, through your website.

And don’t waste your time looking for that perfect keyword.

Remember the low-hanging fruit?

Yes, I keep mentioning this but it’s so important to remember.

Everyone is looking for that perfect keyword and that’s why there is so much competition for those keywords.

Let everyone else fight for those keywords that they will spend years trying and wasting time to get ranked for.

Why work hard when you can work smart!!

Burn this in your brain:

Always Search For Low Hanging Fruit Keywords

It makes way more sense to get top ranking in the search engines for 50 low-competition keyword phrases that are getting hundreds if not thousands of searches per month.

Then trying to rank for high-competition keywords with a much harder chance of ever getting to the first page of the search results.

So, forget about chasing those keyword phrases that have lots of traffic and a ton of competition. If you do that, you’ll get all the traffic you need or could ever want.

Remember I Mentioned Potential?

Before I get into more ways of finding keywords you can use for your content. Remember I mentioned that terms under 100 QSR are typically easier to rank for. But not always.

Here’s why.

When it comes to the page competition (QSR) in your keyword search results it only shows you the number of competing pages. However, it does not tell you the level of competition of those competing pages.

Yes, you may have found a great keyword that checks off all the right boxes. But now you need to do one more step to see what level of competition the websites that are already ranking for the keyword phrase you’re looking at.

So, head to Google (incognito mode) and type in your keyword phrase, and check out the first page results. If you see the first page filled with big established authority sites.

For example, let’s say you’re in the financial niche and you’ve found your keyword.

You check the first page and you see websites ranking on the first page such as Forbes, CNBC, INC, and so on. These are massive authority sites. And the chances of you ranking on the first page is slim to none especially if your site has low DA (Domain Authority).

Side Note: There are a few free chrome extensions you can activate that will show the domain authority of websites in Google search.

  1. Ubersuggest – SEO and Keyword Discovery chrome extension
  2. Keywords Everywhere – Keyword Tool

Below is a screenshot from Google. I have activated both extensions so you can see what they look like.

domain authority chrome extentions

You can also manually check the authority of any domain using a Domain Authority checker like the free one at MOZ. The higher the number which is between 0 and 100 the higher the authority of the site.

And the higher the authority the better chance the content from that site will rank for the focused keyword it’s trying to rank for.

If your website is new and your DA is under 20, you’ll want to find the first page of the search results of the keyword you’re targeting to have websites with a DA of 30 or less.

This way you have a good shot at ranking on the first page. Provided that the content you create is better than everyone else’s.

Here’s another tip:

When you check the first page of Google if you see User Generated Content (UGC), this would be from sites like Quora, Reddit, etc.

That’s a great sign. Because it means that Google has not found content that fully answers the searcher’s query so it’s including results from user-generated content.

I did a goofy search to show you an example. My search term was – Why does my girlfriend bite me

And as you can see from the screenshot below there is UGC included on the first page results. One from Quora and one from Reddit.

Quora is in the 2nd spot and Reddit is in the 6th spot on the first page. If I was looking to rank for this keyword I would have a great shot a doing so because the first page has UGC.

Another thing to keep in mind is if UGC content is in the top spots your chances of ranking are even greater.

Oh, and when doing your competition research if you do find UGC. If you see 2 or more results from user-generated content such as Quora, Reddit, etc, that’s a great keyword to go after.

user generated content search

But Remember…

It’s not just finding low-hanging keywords. That’s just the first step. It’s also the quality of your content. It has to be top-notch.

So when creating your content be sure it fully answers the search query and your content is better than everyone else’s. Do that and you will see great results.

Now I just want to touch on finding keywords that have strong competition.

Now if you find a great keyword but the competition is strong, you can still go ahead and create your content. But keep in mind because the first page is full of established authority websites your content may not see the first page for some time (years) or possibly never.

But that’s ok.

I’ve personally written content that I know may never see the first page for a very long time or ever. But my focus is always to write for my audience first. And your focus should be the same.

My point is don’t shy away from writing content that you know may never rank well in the search engines but you know will serve your readers well.

Plus, Google is not the only game in town. There are plenty of other ways of sharing your content. Such as YouTube, Facebook, Email, Pinterest, etc.

And not only that there’s another thing called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) that can get your content ranked. I’ll explain what that is in a moment.

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Ok Let’s Do The Alphabet Search Technique For More Keywords

Here’s that cool technique I mentioned at the beginning of this article. I love this technique because it’s so simple.

All you need is your keyword research tool and Google Instant.

Ok let’s start with that broad search term “BBQ” but this time I’m going to type it into Google.

bbq google search

As soon as I type the term into Google it gives me related suggestions. Note that these results will change.

Google will usually show the most popular search first – so in this case that would be BBQ Galore. Which has no relevance to my searches.

Since my fictional website is about BBQ and everything related to BBQ, I see BBQ Chicken. So, let’s check BBQ Chicken and see what the results for that term would be.

So, let’s head to Jaaxy and check the competition for BBQ Chicken. It has great search volume and lots of traffic. But the QSR is high and the KQI is Normal. Remember I like to have the QSR 100 or lower and “great” for KQI.

However, I did find some other related keywords that have low competition and good search volume.

And as you can see there are other keywords listed as “great” outside what I prefer for QSR and KQI. But even still I could write content using those terms. But those keyword terms would not my first choice.

bbq chicken keywords

Ok, let’s keep going…

Just Keep Walking Through The Alphabet

What you want to do next is type in the first letter of the alphabet, and make sure to put a space between your search term and the letter.

bbq a - Walking Through The Alphabet

I see bbq accessories and bbq appetizers.

My next step would be to check out the competition for these terms and if they meet my QSR and KQI criteria – low competition, good search volume. And if they do, I can add this to my keyword list.

Let’s check bbq accessories. Well, as you can see “bbq accessories” itself had too much competition for my liking. I’m looking for search terms with a green QSR. And as you can see there are other related green keyword terms I can use.

bbq accessories

So, the next letter would be “B” and so on. And you simply repeat the process of checking the competition for the term ideas that come up.

bbq b - Walking Through The Alphabet

As I go through the alphabet, I’m finding keyword search terms I would have never thought of.

Are You Seeing How Powerful This Is?

Ok, now we’re going to turn things around to find even MORE keywords.

Unlike how you put a space between the search term and the letter you’re going to put the letter before the search term with NO space.

abbq - Walking Through The Alphabetbbbq - Walking Through The Alphabet

So, you can see I’m now getting different variations of my broad search term BBQ.

Now simply drop those new terms into your research tool and get even more variations and then check the competition on all those terms.

If I went through the whole alphabet using both these techniques, I could easily gather hundreds of low-competition keywords that could keep me busy for the next year.

You can build a huge relevant keyword list for any niche using this Alphabet Search Technique.

Here’s Another Tip:

When you’re doing your keyword research and checking things in Google you’ve probably noticed a section in the search results called People Also Ask.

Remember we just did the alphabet technique and when I did the letter “b” in the list from Google I noticed the term “bbq baked potato”.

alphabet technique

If you go to Google and use incognito mode. You will see the People Also Ask section on the first page. Here’s a screenshot.

people also ask

This is another fantastic resource for search terms. And the reason is these are questions people are asking on Google right now about this term.

And if you click on the little down arrow beside the question not will it only reveal the answer MORE questions will open up and be added to the list. Go ahead and give it a try.

Go to Google, and make sure you’re using incognito mode. Type in bbq baked potato and you’ll see the People Also Ask section. Now click on those arrows.

I did it and as you can see more and more questions appeared.

people also ask

Now you drop these questions into your keyword research tool and what you may discover is that many of these questions will show that there is ZERO search volume.

Ok, so now what? Do you not use that term? No.

What you do is go back to Google (incognito). Search that question and see if there are any UGC results that pop up in the search results. If there is then use that question for your next piece of content because you know you have a really good chance for that term to rank.

But what if you don’t see UGC for that term do you not use it now? No.

What you can do is include that term as part of your content. So let’s say you found a keyword term that meets your search criteria. It has good search volume, low competition and there is UGC content on the first-page search results.

What you can do is include the questions you’ve found in the People Also Ask section and answer those questions within your content. Remember these are questions people are asking Google related to your keyword search term.

And how does this help you?

Not only are you answering questions people are looking for answers to. And not only are you giving your content the opportunity to rank for the intended search term.

But you’re giving your content the opportunity to rank for 100’s of other keywords through latent semantic indexing, which I will explain in a minute if you’re not sure what latent semantic indexing is.

Ok, so where do you keep all this information regarding your keywords?

Create A Spreadsheet

So now that I have the keywords that I’m going to use for my content I would then create a spreadsheet for those keywords.

The great thing about Jaaxy is I can store my keyword lists as I’m building my list right inside the tool. And then I can export them to Excel and create my spreadsheet.

I export things as a CSV file (comma-separated values). Here’s a snapshot of part of my spreadsheet after I have it set up. You see I added Date Posted and Rank.

I do this so I can keep track of the rankings of my keywords as they climb the search results on their way to the first page of the search engines compared to the date I posted my content.

Personally, I only check the rankings of my keywords once a month. I find that’s more than enough.

And that’s all done automatically for me because Jaaxy has a rank checker. So I can set it so it checks my content ranking for any specific keywords I want. It has several settings for checking things and I have it set for monthly.

bbq keyword spread sheet

Now I would work my way through my list.

I won’t lie to you not all of the keywords will get to the first page of the search engines. That would be cool if they did, but this is the real world.

So, don’t get too disappointed when a keyword does not get to the first page.

That’s why you have to be consistent with your keyword research and the creation of fresh content. This is what builds traffic. Always has and always will.

My Focus Is

  1. QSR (competing pages in Google) below 100.
  2. 50 searches or more per month. If it’s a little lower I’ll use the keyword. Remember it all adds up.
  3. See if my search terms have UGC (user-generated content) on the first page of the search results.

And that’s all that matters to me – it’s that simple. Anything beyond this can just screw things up for you.

Many people over-analyze things to death, and never get anywhere.

And honestly, I don’t mind. While others are stuck in keyword research paralysis, I’m ranking for keywords all day long. And now so can you – don’t drive yourself nuts when you don’t need to!!

Remember People Want Solutions

When people are searching for things they are usually searching for a solution. So, look for solution keyword phrases as well.

A solution keyword phrase typically starts with How To. But there is more than just How To. Think of the 5 w’s:

  1. Who
  2. What
  3. Where
  4. When
  5. Why

So, using the BBQ example, some solution keyword phrases could be:

  • How to cook a brisket.
  • Why does my sauce always burn?
  • Who is the best meat smoker builder?
  • Where are great BBQ restaurants in (add your city).
  • When is the best time to buy a BBQ?
  • What is a good rub for pork?

A great place to do research for solution keyword phrases is at How-To sites such as:

Creating Your Content

Now that you have a list of keywords it’s time to create your content. And there’s a very simple structure for creating content.

When creating your content, you only want to create your content around one main keyword(s) at a time. One keyword(s) one piece of content.

First, you want to use your keyword(s) in the title of your content.

And then you want to use your keyword(s) within the first few sentences of your content. Or at least within your first paragraph (100 words).

And then simply right naturally from there. Remember you’re writing for people, not the search engines. Gone are the days of keyword density where you needed to have a certain percentage of your keyword within your content.

Also, be sure to avoid keyword stuffing. This is where you unnaturally have your keyword(s) stuffed into your content. Google can spot that a mile away and you will be penalized for doing that.

Google has a great example of what keyword stuffing looks like:

Google example of keyword stuffing

Remember I mentioned latent semantic indexing (LSI) and how it can help rank your content?

Writing naturally not only does it make it more enjoyable for your readers. You’re now naturally taking advantage of latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords. These are variations you’ll naturally end up using (writing) relating to your main keyword.

You see, search engines use LSI to understand the context of your post/page which helps provide better search results. And because of that, your content can be ranked for search terms you never even considered.

TAKE NOTE: Google has updated E.A.T. to E.E.A.T.

So what is E.E.A.T.? It stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

E.E.A.T. is one of the many factors Google uses to evaluate the overall quality of a web page. Google has also stated that “trust is at the center of this concept and is the “most important member of the E-E-A-T family.”

So if you have a YMYL (your money or your life). And these are sites that focus on health, medicine, mental, current events, and financial.

E.E.A.T plays a very important role when it comes to your content.

You see those topics I mentioned can have a significant impact on a reader’s life because misinformation can harm readers.

So of course, personal experience is best when creating YMYL content. However, if you don’t have personal experience with a topic be sure to back up any information from reputable sources.

Now to understand how Google determines low and high-quality E.E.A.T. you’ll find a full explanation by Matt G. Southern on the Search Engine Journal website. It’s a quick 4-minute read and well worth it if you have a YMYL website.

You’ll also find more information regarding E.E.A.T. on the Seach Engine Land website.


You will want to add images to your content. Now you may not know this but images are also indexed and this can be an additional way for people to find your content.

But more importantly, images add more context to your content. When adding images to your content you want to be sure you do the following:

1) Make sure the images you use are relevant to your content. So, for example, if you’ve just talked about Google’s search console. You can add an image of the Google search console to your content.

2) When saving an image be sure to use a relevant file name for your image. You can use your keyword(s) or LSI keywords.

3) Be sure to add “ALT” text to your image. ALT text is the text that appears when your image does not display on your post/page. So, you want to be descriptive. And don’t just use your keyword(s) here.

4) Be sure to use SEO image titles. This is that piece of content that pops up when you hover your mouse over an image.

When uploading your image here’s where you add your ALT text and image text.

image seo

So, to recap:

  • Keyword(s) as your title
  • Keyword(s) within the first few sentences or at least the first 100 words.
  • Write for people (naturally)
  • Add images

You’re Good To Go

Keyword research is one of the most important steps in a series of steps for the overall success and growth of your online business.

It’s part of the process of building your business. So, it’s not a bad idea to have a routine when it comes to doing your keyword research. For me, it’s like being a detective looking for those great keywords.

I set aside one morning per week to do my keyword research and then I’m done. And I don’t stress about it and nor should you.

And to make sure you maximize the power of all your keywords be sure to read how to write your content with intent. As well as understanding the customers purchasing life cycle.

And if you want the same keyword research advantage that I have, I highly recommend using Jaaxy. It’s very user-friendly and it’s great for both beginners and experienced marketers alike.

If you didn’t use Jaaxy to follow along in this overview of how I do keyword research you can try Jaaxy for free for the first 30 searches and see just how powerful it is.

And if you need further help to build your online business or you’re looking to start your journey of building an online business I recommend you check out my #1 recommended resource Wealthy Affiliate.

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I’m a proud member of this fantastic community and have been since 2012 so I know exactly what the wealthy affiliate has to offer you.

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I hope you found this information helpful. If you did feel free to share it with your audience. And as always anytime you need a hand don’t hesitate Emailing Me anytime.

And if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you right away.

I believe in you!!

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