The Keyword Research process has to be done the right way to start off on the right foot.

Generally speaking, the final goal is to understand the traffic potential of a Topic more than a single keyword and its Search Volume (SV).

So, with this exact goal in mind, you need to follow a few easy but crucial steps in your keyword research process.

You’ll start analyzing the main keywords related to the business with tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush.

You’ll then create a list with the most relevant keywords.

Then use that same list to analyze who are your main competitors showing up in the top results. Understand who your competitors are is essential to the all process but of utmost importance is to look at the type of page/content they are ranking with. 

Is it a blog article, a product page or a video? At the end of the day, you not only want to select the right keywords but also understand the real Search Intent and make sure you create targeted content to satisfy that Search Intent. Is it more an informational or commercial one?

Do not rely only on tools but make sure you manually check also your Google SERP.

Once you have identified your top competitors (I would usually start with 4/5 competitors), export the keywords that they’re ranking for, combine them and sort through.

This process allows you to select the main target keywords and helps find also longer tail keywords you want to outrank your competitors for by creating unique content focused around that term, if it has enough volume of course!

A few other things I look at to refine my keyword research is Paid results because they have obviously been optimized in terms of keywords as well as Social Signals. They are an additional source to check how well the topic/idea has already performed on Social media.

Last tip but not least, you want to check how many Backlinks is the topic already getting. I search for the specific target keyword, look at the top ranking pages and check their backlinks. It gives me an idea of how link-worthy the topic is.

The all Keyword Research process is with no doubt based on “Search Volume”. However, this is not the only metric you want to check out.

To make sure your final target keywords are the correct ones, you want to look at 3 main factors: “Business Value”, “Competition” and “Search Volume”.

1.Business Value: by checking the Business value of a keyword you aim at understanding if people searching for that specific keyword will actually be interested in the product/service you are selling. So, basically you want to understand what is the real possibility that traffic brought by that specific keyword will actually convert.

So, once again, it is very important to understand the Search Intent: “What a searcher is actually looking for” when searching for a specific query?

2. Competition: by looking at the competitors you want to see what is the Keyword Difficulty (KD) associated to that specific keyword. If is a new website and it is a quite competitive niche then it might make sense to start trying to rank for lower competition keywords, that have a relatively low KD and a reasonable SV or, High Commercial Keywords with Low Difficulty.

Sometimes it might make more sense to write a blog article about a cluster of long tail keywords that discuss different subtopics that relate to the main topic, then just focus the article on one single keyword with higher Search Volume but also higher Competition. You want to make sure that a topic is addressed as comprehensively as possible by providing content about the main subtopics as well.

Another option could be to target Informational keywords with the goal to make the traffic coming from these queries convert at some point.

3. Search Volume: by checking the Search Volume and the actual Clicks the keyword is getting you have an idea of how much traffic you can actually get by ranking well for that keyword.

To sum it up, you do not only want to look at SV, you better try to understand how worth it is the effort trying to rank for that keyword based on other variables like “business value” and “competition”.