Top 5 Practices for Keyword Research and Planning

Top 5 Practices for Keyword Research and Planning

Most of us are familiar with the term ‘keyword research and planning’, but what does it actually mean?

Keyword research and planning is the heart of any successful online marketing strategy. Whether you’re crafting content for your website, building a pay-per-click campaign, or optimizing your site for search engines, knowing which keywords have meaning with your audience can give you the competitive edge. 

Our top five practices to make sure your keyword research and planning are on point include:

Understand Your Audience and Their Intent

Before diving into any keyword tool, it’s essential to know who your target audience is and what they are looking for. Understanding user intent can make a difference between choosing a keyword that simply brings traffic and a keyword that brings conversions. 

Aim to categorize keywords based on different intents such as:

– Informational Intent: Users are looking for information – e.g. “How to tie a tie?”

– Navigational Intent: Users are looking for a specific website or page – e.g. “OpenAI blog.”

– Transactional Intent: Users are looking to make a purchase – e.g. “Buy running shoes online.”

– Commercial Investigation: Users are comparing products or looking for product reviews – e.g. “iPhone vs. Samsung.”

Utilise Multiple Keyword Research Tools

While ‘Google Keyword Planner’ is a popular choice among marketers, don’t limit yourself as there are many tools available that offer different perspectives and data points such as:

– SEMrush: Provides data on keyword volume, competition, and more.

– Ahrefs: Offers in-depth keyword difficulty scores and backlink data.

– Ubersuggest: Gives a list of keyword suggestions based on your input.

– AnswerThePublic: Visualizes questions and queries related to your keyword.

Combining insights from multiple tools can give you a well-rounded view of potential keyword opportunities.

Analyse the Competition

Simply finding a keyword with high search volume isn’t enough. For best results, understand the competition to determine if you have a real chance of ranking. 

Do a search and look at the current top-ranking pages for your desired keyword, then have a think about the following: 

– The authority of these sites (Domain Authority, PageRank).

– Quality and depth of their content.

– On-page SEO optimization.

– Number and quality of backlinks.

If the top-ranking pages are from high-authority websites with in-depth content, you might want to find a more ideal keyword or improve what is already created.

Consider Long-Tail Keywords

While short and broad keywords often come with high search volume, they are usually more competitive and might not always capture user intent. Whereas long-tail keywords, (those three or more words long), are specific, they have lower search volume, but often come with higher conversion rates, which brings positive results. For instance, “shoes”, vs. “women’s red ankle boots size 7”, a long-tail term..

Constantly Review and Refine

The digital landscape is always changing and developing. New trends become apparent, and user behavior changes. Make it a habit to revisit your keyword strategy every few months.. 

To do so, utilise analytics tools to track how your keywords are performing, by looking for:

– Changes in search volume.

– Exposures of new related keywords.

– Keywords that aren’t driving traffic or conversions anymore


If you consistently review and refine your approach, you can ensure that your keyword strategy remains relevant and effective.

In conclusion, having effective keyword research and planning isn’t just about picking high-volume keywords. It’s about understanding your audience, maximising your use of the right tools, assessing the competition, and being responsive in a fast changing digital world. 

With these five practices in place, you’re well on your way to a successful keyword strategy!

Our busy bees would love to help.  Give us a buzz at (03) 9432 6732 and we’ll talk you through how best to take these tips on board!