Before you start writing, it pays to do some keyword research that will help you rank higher on search engines. 


Shakespeare never had this problem. But then again, he wasn’t fighting the rest of the world for attention. For online writers today, keywording and keyword research is a vital part of the craft.


The sad reality of today’s web is that if you're not appearing on the first page of any search engine results page (or SERP for short), then you may as well not be appearing at all. It's not a reflection on the quality of your work, but 95% of people only look at the first page of any results page, so if you’re not appearing there then it’s almost like you haven’t done the writing at all. 


The good news is that you can fix this issue. It's not simply the quality of your writing or your product that's being judged, (although good writing will generate more backlinks and more interaction), but it's also your understanding of SEO and the ways that you implement keywords into your content

What Are Keywords?


So let's start with the basics and go from there: What are keywords? Essentially, keywords are words and phrases that are strategically placed within your content to describe what you are writing about, and that helps people who are searching for content to find you.


Think of them as flags, or markers, that the search engines look for in order to identify and deliver relevant content that will satisfy a search inquiry.

Which brings us to keyword research. These are the tips, tricks and online tools you use to figure out what keywords people are searching for, where there are gaps in the market and what you can say in your content that will attack clicks to your page and improve your ranking on a search engine. 

The Four Types Of Searches

Google has identified four different kinds of searches that users perform on search engines. It’s a great starting point for keyword research and very useful to understand for content creators. 

The four types are:

  • Knowledge searches - people searching the web in order to find out a specific piece of information.
  • Action searches - people seeking to find out how to do something (e.g fix an app or install a new device).
  • Website searches - looking for a specific website when they don't know the URL.
  • Real-world visits - People needing help before they take physical action in the world, such as visiting a doctor or art gallery.

    As a content creator, it's vital that you know what kind of search will lead to your article, and then choose the right keywords for your content. For example, suppose you’re writing a blog post on various types of rugs and carpets that you sell.


You should understand that people who find your page will probably undertake a knowledge search on different kinds of rugs.   

What if you’re hosting a hot new band at your cafe? Is that a real-world visit? How would that affect the keyword phrases that you may employ? Jot down a few keywords that would be effective in this example. 

Use What’s Already There

When you start to plan your own keyword research, you can use Google autocomplete to help you figure out what people are already searching for. It’s quick and easy and helpful.  

Start by typing in a relevant word into Google’s search bar and then see what comes up in auto-complete. Those are real-world searches that people are making. Use those suggestions to make sure that you're on the right track. 

Once you've done some organic research and you've spent some time brainstorming your own ideas, it's a good idea to use one of the dedicated Keyword Research tools that can offer you more insight.

Some of our favorites are:

  • Google Adwords Keyword Planner - The original tool from Google for getting keyword ideas and estimating traffic from the use of certain words and phrases.
  • SEMrush - A focus on online visibility and marketing analytics make SEMrush a valuable addition to your toolkit. 
  • Jaaxy - Very useful for long-tail keywords. Another great feature of Jaaxy is that it can reveal what the keywords are for any given URL, which is really useful information. 

Each of them works in slightly different ways, and there are many others. Here's a list of more excellent Keyword Research sites that may help you.


Give them each a try (they are all either free to use or have a free trial!) and see what works for you and what delivers the kind of results you want. 

Take The Time To Get Results

Most of us really just want to start writing when it’s time to write. But keyword research is definitely worth the additional time and effort. Take the time to take a step back, put yourself in the shoes of your ideal reader/customer and imagine how it is that they are finding your article.

That kind of patience and attention to detail will bring you the kind of readers who become customers and brand ambassadors in the future.