Finding The Right Keywords For Your SEO Strategy Without Using An SEO Company

One of the biggest and most significant parts of any SEO strategy is the use of keywords. These are phrases that help your potential audience find your website in the sea of millions of others that is the internet. Any SEO company worth its salt will tell you that finding viable keywords that are unique to your business is an important starting point. However, a lot of people struggle to find the right keywords and often don’t even know where to begin their search. 

Whether you are looking to do your own keyword research or simply want to work alongside your chosen SEO company, there is a knack to this. We have put together this simple guide on the importance of keyword research and what you’ll need to do to perform it. 

What Are Keywords And What Is Keyword Research?

Keywords are words and phrases that you use throughout your website that help users find your content. They must be relevant to your website because without them, you won’t get the kind of traffic you are hoping for. Let’s say you are running a hair stylist in New York; one of your main keywords might be hair stylist New York or hair stylist NY. You might also incorporate other keywords that are more specific such as wedding hair New York. You get the idea. 

Of course, you could just pick keywords out of thin air and hope for the best but how do you know that your potential audience is searching these words when they use Google? That’s where keyword research comes in. If you hire an SEO company then they’ll do the hard work for you but some businesses and brands prefer to do the work themselves. That’s fine, but you need to know what you’re doing. 

Keyword research involves understanding the type of language and phrases that your potential audience uses. You’ll then need to analyse this and pick out the best keywords to use within your content. It sounds easy, and to a degree, it is but there is a knack to doing the best keyword research possible. 

Tips For Performing Adequate Keyword Research

It is important to think primarily about your potential customers when performing keyword research. You’ll need to put yourself inside their minds and think about the ways in which they may be searching for your brand. They might not even know about your brand yet but their choice of keywords is a way of linking them to you. But it’s up to you to make that connection. 

In order to have the most successful keyword research, you will need to know your niche extremely well so take the time to research that on its own if you need to. Furthermore, you will need to understand the importance of keyword research tools and how to use them to your advantage. Again, when you’re working with an SEO company, you’ll have their knowledge to guide you but when it’s just you and the internet, you’ll need to be super savvy. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can win at keyword research and develop this part of your SEO strategy with the best results.

Getting To Know Your Seed Keywords

Think of your seed keywords as the very foundation of this aspect of your SEO strategy. This is where you will begin your research and expand upon it. Seed keywords are what define your niche and they’ll also help you to pick out the brands you are competing against. When you use things like keyword research tools, you will be asked to input a seed keyword so this is an important part of the process.

For many of you reading this, you will already have a business, service or product that you are looking to promoto. This makes coming up with your seed keywords far simpler as you will only need to think about what people are searching in order to find what you have on the table. Let’s assume you have a cafe; your seed keywords might be things like coffee, hot chocolate, lunch etc. 

At this stage, you aren’t looking to target certain pages within your website or specific piece of content. These seed keywords are used purely to bring traffic to the website or business as a whole. You can literally think of them as seeds that then go on to blossom into other, more specific keywords. This part of the keyword research process should also be the quickest, it shouldn’t take you very long at all to come up with them. In most cases, you should be done in minutes.

What About Competitors?

Being an online brand means that you are up against thousands of competitors that are all vying to win the attention of potential customers. Again, we will assume you are running a cafe; that’s a common business and everyone in your local area is going to be chasing the same audience; so you need to stand out. 

One of the best ways of standing out is understanding what your competitors are doing. As they say ‘know your enemy.’ To do this, you will need to look at the keywords that are successfully sending organic traffic to your competitions websites. Finding this out is super simple. All you need to do is hop onto Google and try searching some of your seed keywords. This will bring up a list of the most successful competitors. Who is ranking at the top of page 1?

You can then move on to checking out some of the auto-suggest search terms which is especially important if none of the top rankers are within your niche. So, let’s assume you have used a seed keyword coffee. Pop this into the search bar and take a look at the suggestions that pop up underneath. You might find something that is far more specific to your brand, so search that and see what comes up.

Another important thing to keep in mind when looking at who your competitors are is that you need to stay within your level. If you Google coffee and are confronted with pages of Amazon listings at the top of the rankings, you cannot ever expect to compete with this giant. Therefore, you need to be looking at websites that are on a similar level to yours and have an even playing field. Once you know which websites you are going to be competing against, you can then use competitive tools like Site Explorer. These analyse websites and give you information on the top ranking pages within them, this will show you what you need to create in order to beat this.

The more you get to know that little corner of your niche, the better you will be able to come up with viable keywords that fit the bill and bring in new traffic. Looking at your competition is one of the most effective ways to do this and often yields results that you wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

The Keyword Research Tool

One of the biggest advantages of being a modern business owner is that you have so many online tools at your disposal. Yet so many brands still aren’t using them to their full potential. Speak to any SEO company and they will tell you that the keyword research tool is one of their most invaluable resources. 

The great thing is that many of your competitors might not be targeting some of the keywords that these tools generate. So, when you get your hands on them, you’ll be able to make quality content using these keywords that is entirely unique to you. Pretty special, right?

They’re also really easy to use and require no previous experience so even if you’re a novice, you can get started without any hassle. You’ll start by entering one of your seed keywords and the generator will come up with a plethora of other keyword ideas based on this. There are many tools like this but Google’s keyword planner is one of the most popular. The great thing is that you don’t have to pay to use it which is a bonus although you’ll find that it is more geared towards advertising than SEO.

The way that many keyword research tools work is by generating keywords that contain the seed. For example, if you enter the term green dress then you might get back keywords like green dress for evening or green dress for summer. You get the idea. Furthermore, the generator will also come up with a range of questions that a user might type into Google when searching for this product. An example might be what is the best green dress for a birthday party?

The options here are endless and when you first use one of these tools, you will likely be overwhelmed at how many keywords you are given. But don’t panic, it’s now a case of narrowing them down to really draw in the right type of customer.

Getting To Know Your Niche

It’s one thing knowing about your seed keywords and how to use a keyword research tool but do you know your niche well enough? Most people would like to say yes but this is where a lot of people fail and an SEO company would outperform anything you could do. But all is not lost, you simply need to know how to get to know your niche. 

If you aren’t careful, you may find yourself stuck in a rut with your keywords and this limits how far your brand will be able to reach. The key is finding out more about your niche to discover keywords that you may not have thought of otherwise. 

The best way to do this is to get hands on and head to forums, groups and question and answer websites like Quora. You’ll be able to get information from real potential customers and find out more about the language they use. When you begin to notice specific keyword trends, you may then be able to put these into keyword research tools and get more information on how often they are being used; something your competition might not have noticed. 

Another great way to get this kind of first hand information from your customers is to look at material provided by them. This might include emails, reviews, support requests and questions. Looking through these will give you an insight into common issues and searched terms. It wouldn’t even be a bad idea to perform surveys to get to know your client base better. 


Running a successful business is tiring at the best of times but when you throw in the idea of SEO, things get even more demanding. You could hire an SEO company to do the work for you but if you’re eager to do it yourself, you’ll need to perform some pretty good keyword research. 

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