How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing

How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing

Keyword research is an essential part of content based marketing. Keywords are what allows your intended audience to organically find your website and the content that they need to see. If you are an affiliate marketer, you won’t earn any money if you are not visible to your audience. Finding quality keywords to base your content around will mean that your audience will see it, as long as your content is relevant and of good enough quality. In this post, I am going to tell you how to do keyword research for content marketing.

There will be a lot of information here, so you may want to bookmark this post and come back to it when you are doing your own keyword research.

What Does Keyword Research Give Us?

Keyword research for content marketing has an impact on all of the SEO techniques you use. Therefore, it is extremely important to do before you create any kind of content.

Keyword research gives you the information you need on your target market. You can find out what your intended audience likes and doesn’t like. You can find out how many people are searching for that particular keyword per month, how many people it could attract to your website and how many other websites are using it. This information lets you know if it is worth spending time creating content based on certain keywords.

Keyword research isn’t as boring as it may sound at first. It isn’t all that difficult or laborious either. But when you do it you will build up a huge list of content to create that will last you for months.

I am now going to go through all the methods you can use to build up a big list of quality keywords that will attract website visitors.

Choose Your Niche

If you already have a niche website, you can skip this part, but this is a bit of a paradox situation. It is a good idea to research some keywords while you are working out what niche to base your website around. This is because you need to make sure that your niche:

  • Has a big enough following
  • Doesn’t have too much competition
  • Has enough topics to create content around
  • Is going to be worth your while

A niche is a group of people with similar interests, these could be anything from hobbies, sports, cars, cooking to online resources. But you need to choose a niche so you can target a group of people with an interest.

While doing keyword research for choosing a niche, you need to find keywords based around products and services, problems, questions and points of interest within your prospective niche. For more information about this, check out my post on how to find an affiliate marketing niche.

Start Brainstorming

This is where you start coming up with a list of topics that your audience may be interested in. For example, if you had a website in the cycling clothing niche, you would look for topics such as:

  • Winter clothing
  • Summer clothing
  • Cycling shoes
  • Waterproof clothing

From this list of topics, you will be able to determine what keywords are associated with them to base your content around. I will now go in to a number of methods you can find keywords based around topics.

Before, you start creating content around the keywords you find using these methods, keep reading. This is because, I will also go through the methods you can use to make sure you know which of these keywords are actually any good.

1. Google Autocomplete

How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing - google search

By going to google and typing in one of your topics, you can get a good idea of keywords that are related to it. As soon as you type a topic in to the search bar, the drop down, gives you a list of commonly searched for keywords.

2. Alphabet Soup

How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing - alphabet soup

By typing your topic in to the Google search bar and adding each letter of the alphabet to it, you can get some great keywords. You can add them before or after the topic, to double the effectiveness of the alphabet soup method.

You don’t have to limi yourself to Google though, you can do this with YouTube, the online shops you are affiliated with, such as Amazon are also good places to use this method.

3. Questions

Autocomplete is also very useful when you drop in question words in to the search bar with your topic. Use word such as:

  • How
  • Who
  • What
  • Where 
  • Why

4. Searches Related to...

Type your topic in to the Google search bar and click search. This will obviously take you to the first page of search results related to your topic. But at the bottom of this page is a section labelled as “searched related to”. This gives you a list of things that people are searching for based around your topic. These are all keywords you can use.

5. PAA

How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing - people also ask

At the top of the first page of Google search results you have a box labelled “People also ask”. This are questions people are asking related to you topic. These are keywords you can use to base content around.

5. Answer The Public

This is quite a recent find for me, but I love it as it saves a lot of time. Go to and type in the topic you want some keyword ideas for in to the search on the home page.

Answer the public is a great resource to find keywords with. It gives you:

  • Questions
  • Prepositions
  • Comparisons
  • Alphabeticals

This gives you pages of potential keywords you can base your content on. This is a very fast way of getting a lot of information of what people may be looking for based around your niche. You only get one search per day unless you sign up to the pro version.

6. Reddit

Reddit is known as the front page of the internet. This is because millions of visitors post their own content and ask questions in subreddits. By searching for “cycling shoes” on Reddit I can see what people are posting or asking about, which can give me plenty of ideas for keywords. You can Alsop see that the search gives me access to other subreddits, such as:

  • r/cycling
  • r/bicycling
  • r/cycling fashion

These are all great places to scroll through to see what people are posting about within the cycling clothing niche. These are also good places to answer the questions by dropping links to your content in to the thread. This will help get you website visitors, but don’t do it too much or you will breach the terms of usage.

6. Reddit

Reddit is known as the front page of the internet. This is because millions of visitors post their own content and ask questions in subreddits. By searching for “cycling shoes” on Reddit I can see what people are posting or asking about, which can give me plenty of ideas for keywords. You can Alsop see that the search gives me access to other subreddits, such as:

  • r/cycling
  • r/bicycling
  • r/cycling fashion

These are all great places to scroll through to see what people are posting about within the cycling clothing niche. These are also good places to answer the questions by dropping links to your content in to the thread. This will help get you website visitors, but don’t do it too much or you will breach the terms of usage.

7. Wikipedia

How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing - wikipedia

By typing your topic in to the search bar in Wikipedia, you will be able to see a list of related topics in the autocomplete drop down. Depending on your topic, you can get a good amount of potential keywords form the dropdown.

In addition to the related topics, you can click on a wikipedia article and look at the contents box at the top of the page. This will give you a list of sub-titles that can also be potentially good keywords. For example a potential keyword could be “best cycling shoes for triathlon” etc.

8. Social Media

How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing - instagram search

Social media is a good place to find out what people are searching and posting about within your niche. For example, you can search your topic on Instagram and you will see a plethora of hashtags that will give you ideas for content.

Follow me on Instagram here

Instagram searches will keep you up to date with new product releases from manufacturers. This will mean that you can get the relevant content on your website as soon as new products are launched.

How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing - Facebook

Facebook is a good place to find out what people are posting about and the questions they are asking. Join groups relevant to your niche to see what people are talking about. You can get a good idea of common questions and create content with answers. This will be good for Google searches, but you can also drop links in to the the comments to answer the questions. As long as you don’t come across as a sales person, you shouldn’t upset too many people.

Know Your Keyword Types

When you are learning how to do keyword research for content marketing, you should have a good understanding of the different types of keyword. This is so you know which ones are the most effective.

1. Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords are made up of three words or less and are the keywords most search for online. This makes it sound like that they are the perfect keywords to use. But the problem with these keywords is, that they have a lot of competition. Also short tail keywords are very difficult for search engines to clearly identify exactly what the search is looking for. A good example of this, is if I searched for “bike” on Google, I get a lot of bike shops in the search results. I don’t get information about specific bikes or related bike information This is because the term is too broad.

Along with being too broad, short tail keywords have high search volumes, lots of competition and low conversion rates. They should only be used as keywords that naturally appear throughout your website due to your choice of niche. All in all, short tail keywords are not recommended for targeting your audience.

2. Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are more specific than short tail ones. This is because there is more information include in them, as they are made up of more than three words.

You will find that long Tail keywords don’t have a high search volume. But they do have less competition. Therefore, a search for “best road bikes for women”, is more focussed on a the searcher’s intent. If you based your content around keywords like this, you stand a better chance of someone visiting your website. This is because it is easier to appear higher in online searches.

The searcher has a specific need, therefore if you were to create some content with all the information based around the best road bikes for women, you will attract people to your website.

3. Short Term Fresh Keywords

Short Term Fresh keywords are for something that is currently very popular, but isn’t likely to go out of fashion or not be popular for long. For example, every few years there is a new James Bond film and it becomes a popular thing that people look up online. This always spikes as a Google search, but drops shortly after its release. Some affiliate marketers can take advantage of these keywords, but you need to be prepared for the drop off. The big problem with using these keywords, is that they are very hard to rank highly in people’s searches if you have a fairly new website. This is because you will have a low domain authority and you will be competing with more established websites. Also they are not good for long term income.

4. Long Term Evergreen Keywords

Long term evergreen keywords are popular for a large amount of time of time. The amount of searches will go up and down through its lifetime, but they will always bring some traffic to your website. This means that they can be earning you money for months or years to come. It is possible to keep content that uses these keywords alive by regularly updating it.

Long term evergreen keywords won’t give you loads of website traffic in an explosive way, but they will bring you consistent traffic to your website for a long time.

5. Product Defining Keywords

Product defining keywords are what people use when they want specific information on a particular thing. This is when the searcher is ready to actually buy something. Therefore, if you use the name of a product within the keyword, there is a good chance that you will make some sales, as long as your content is good enough. You use these keywords when writing reviews of products or services. What you say about the product or service could be all that is needed for the potential customer to make up their mind and click on your affiliate link.

Product defining keywords don’t have many searches, but they have low competition, and a high intent to buy. This means using these gives you a good chance of making sales from them.

6. Customer Defining Keywords

It is a really good idea to know some details about your audience. For example, knowing things like if the majority is male or female, what the average average age is, their location and their sources of income. This information lets you find keywords that are targeted more specifically.

For example you can use ” Beginner road bike for women” if that fits the profile of your audience, or ” best workout plan for men over 50”.

These have a low volume of searches, have low competition and a high conversion rate. They give customers a feeling that the product is specifically intended for them, which means they will probably buy it.

7. Geo Targeting Keywords

Geo targeting keywords are used to capture people that want to know information about specific locations. They are mainly used by local businesses or for holiday companies. This is because they are based around a person’s specific requirements about a location.

These keywords don’t have a very high search volume, but they have low competition and have a high level of intent. This means they have a great conversion rate.

8. LSI Keywords

LSI keywords are variations of the keyword you are basing your content around and are related to the subject you are writing about.

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. Search engines pick out LSI keywords to determine how relevant your content is to the search term. It is difficult to identify which LSI keywords search engines will use. But, while you are creating content you will naturally use them. But it doesn’t hurt to cleverly add some variations of your keyword to your content. For example, you may be using the keyword “cycling jerseys”, so you could to use phrases such as “long sleeve cycling jerseys”, “short sleeve cycling jerseys” or ”cycling jersey material” in your content.

9. Keywords With Intent

I have mentioned keywords with intent earlier in this post, but I am going to go in to  more detail so you get the full picture. There are three kinds of keywords with intent:


Informational keywords are used when people search for specific information on a specific topic or item online. Examples of these keywords are “benefits of…”, “guide to…”, “ways to…” When you create content around these keywords, you should use facts in order to inform and educate the reader.


People that search with commercial  keywords are very close to buying something. So if you use keywords such as “specifications”, “features”, etc, you will give the reader more information about the product or service that may trigger them to buy from you.


Transactional keywords are used by people that are  ready to buy. At this point in their decision, they will be comparing products and prices in order to make their mind up about what they are going to buy. Keywords such as “buy”, “best price”, “sale”, “discount” etc should draw them to your website rather than a competitor’s.

How To Know Quality Keywords From Bad Ones

By going through the methods I have outlined so far, you will be able to get a huge list of potential keywords. But how do you know if they are any good?

Without looking in to certain characteristics of the keywords, you are just shooting in the dark and wasting your time if nobody finds your content. To get this information, you need to use a keyword research tool

Keyword research tools give you information about your potential keywords, so you know if they are worth using. There are lots of keyword research tools you can use. Some of these tools are free, while you have to pay for others. A good example of a free one is the Google Keyword Planner. All you need is a Google Ads account to use it, click here to see Backlinko’s guide to using it.

The keyword research tool I use is called Jaaxy. You can read all about it and how to use it in my review of Jaaxy

I will now go through the questions you need to ask yourself when analysing a keyword’s quality. This will give you the information you need to make sure you create lots of content that people will be organically drawn to.

What Is The Search Volume?

Search volume is how often a Keyword is search for online. Keywords with a high search volume will attract more people to your website. But, search volume is relative to each niche, so you need to determine what a high search volume is for your niche.

For example, the search volume for the health and fitness niche will be a lot more than the sun lounger niche.

How Much Competition Does It Have?

Fairly new websites you need to use keywords with low competition to get any traffic organically. Only when your website starts to get a good following with lots of high ranking content, can you start using keywords that have more competition. Remember that you have to do this with long tail keywords.

What Is The Cost Per Click (CPC)?

The cost per click can be found out by using the Google Keyword Planner. Knowing what the CPC is, you will know if people that search for it actually spend money. If someone has gone to the trouble of setting up an ad for a particular keyword, it usually means that it is worth targeting.

Even a search term with a low search volume can earn you good money. So, if you create content based around it, you will be able to at least get on the first page of Google.

Is It Relevant To Your Niche?

You will find keywords that are loosely relevant to your niche. But you really need to focus on the core of your business. For example, going back to the cycling clothing niche, I may find a keyword that has low competition related to car bike racks. Although, it is related to cycling, it would not fit the profile of my niche. This would be an entirely new niche in itself.

Is It Popular?

To find out if a keyword is growing or dying you can use Google Trends. This is a free tool to see how a popular or unpopular a keyword is becoming.

The screenshot above is from checking the trend of how popular “women’s cycling” is online. As you can see other than a few spikes (probably due to competitions) and a few wiggles, (these are fluctuations with the seasons), it has been fairly steady from 2004. Therefore, you may be able to get a nice steady amount of traffic, but nothing too extreme. You can also see that women’s cycling is more popular in the UK, so you may want to focus on the British market.

Where Can I Learn More?

All this stuff I have just given you is considered to be quite basic SEO keyword techniques. I have got some of this information from working in affiliate marketing, but the rest of it (plus a lot more) was learned from Wealthy Affiliate. This has loads of comprehensive training to start, build and expand your affiliate marketing business. It also gives you access to Jaaxy and gives you all the techniques to get the most out of it.

For more information on Wealthy Affiliate, check out my warts ‘n all review to find out what I like and don’t like about it.

That Is How To Do Keyword Research For Content Marketing

That was a lot of information wasn’t it? But it takes longer to read about it than it does to actually do your keyword research. I have highlighted all the methods, but you only need to use one of these methods each time you do it. But make sure that your keywords are quality taking in to account:

  • The search volume
  • Competition
  • Cost per click
  • Relevancy

Therefore I really recommend that you check out the Jaaxy keyword research tool. It is easy to use and very powerful.

If you have any questions or thoughts about this subject, please leave them in the comments section below.

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