Why You Need to Have a Keyword Research Checklist

A website wouldn’t be successful in its SEO campaign without keywords. Nobody will find the website if there’s no research done on it. The right audience won’t find the website without the keywords that target them.

Having a keyword research checklist is one of the SEO best practices you can do for your website. But reading lengthy articles on how to do keyword research is a feat by itself. That’s why we wrote this comprehensive SEO checklist for keyword research so you would find it easy to adapt and reach your goals.

The Importance of Your Keyword Research Checklist

Keywords are those sets of words that people use to search for information on search engines. These are the linchpin of what words people are searching for and the type of content you’re offering. On the other hand, keyword research is identifying words and phrases that would rank on search engines. The ability to analyze buyer behavior comes in when doing keyword research.

How to find keywords for SEO is important. This process informs you what words are worth using on your content and which are not. By doing keyword research, you’d know which word is easier to rank and how much traffic can be garnered for a particular keyword. If you’re not aware of what keywords to use, you won’t be able to optimize your content or pages to draw the right audience.

Your Keyword Research Checklist

How to search for keywords is the key to your SEO success. This is the foundation of everything. How can you optimize your content through all sales funnel levels if you don’t know what keywords your audience uses at every level? The keywords are the keys that drive organic traffic to your site as well.

Know What Your Primary Keyword

Your primary keyword depends on your goals. Is this word going to drive up sales? Is it going to boost product awareness? If the aim is to improve sales, then you should focus on pages that use buyer keywords. If the goal is to educate your audience, you must include long-tail keywords with informational intent.

Your page should only have one primary keyword. It’s a big no-no to throw any keyword on your page. Your primary keyword is the foundation where all other keywords must relate.

To provide value, you must create compelling content; you shouldn’t just create for search engine bots. Your homepage should target a broad keyword, and as you create more specific pages, your primary keywords for those pages become more specific.

How to Choose the Best Keywords

If you are starting a new website, choose the ones that don’t have much traffic but still have considerable competitive value to it. Otherwise, choose the one with the highest volume. As your site becomes more competitive, you might want to consider putting those more popular words as your primary keywords.

Choose generic keywords if you are adding them to category pages. Add brand-specific keywords if you are adding them to product pages. Your secondary keywords should have lower volumes compared to your primary keyword.

Keyword Map

  • Identify your theme. Your page should contain the theme.
  • Your content revolves around this keyword; you must create a map to organize your content well strategically.
  • Create a spreadsheet.
  • Identify the primary keyword for each page.
  • Add the metrics that are valuable to you, such as web authority, keyword volume, organic traffic, and the likes.

Singular Keywords Vs. Long-Tail Keywords

One-word keywords often have high search volume, but these most likely have higher competition. Ranking using highly popular words is tough since you’d have to compete with more popular brands. Single-word keywords tend to be vaguer as these are not targeted to a specific location or set of people.

On the other hand, long-tail keywords have less competition and provide more details to the search. For example, if you type “coffee”, the search engines could provide you with information about coffee but not where to buy it. However, if your keyword is “coffee Los Angeles”, search engines could zoom in on companies that offer coffee in Los Angeles.

Know What Your Search Intent Is

Search intent is the reason behind a certain query. Was it to get some information? Was it to buy something? Was it because of a website? For Google, relevancy is vital. Website owners should align their content with the user’s search intent.

Search engines are intelligent to know whether people are looking, say, just for a recipe or a specific recipe for a particular brand. They also know whether people are searching for Mars, the chocolate brand, or the planet. In other words, search engines can identify facts to offer for the query. It can also identify that some queries need videos and images, while others prefer text.

How will you know what the search intent is

To know what kind of search intent a particular keyword has, look at the top pages for that keyword. Often, these pages follow the same patterns. By aligning your content with these pages’ dominant strategies, you know how to target your audience for a shot on the SERP’s first page.

If you want to delve deeper into search intent, there are three categories in consideration:

Type of content

This should answer this question: What kind of content does this article have? A blog? A product page? A category page?, etc.

Type of format

This answers the question: What kind of format does this article have? Is it a tutorial? A comparison? A review? An opinion piece?, etc.

Type of angle

This answers the question: what, when, or who is the target of the content? Is it for beginners? For this year?, etc.

Different Kinds of Search Intent

Search intent somewhat follows the sales funnel. You can find trigger words that signal There are four types of search intent. They are as follows:


Most searches are for information. Queries of this sort are generic. People who search for information have informational intent. They don’t mean to buy yet; they are only looking for information about a certain object.

Queries of information intent are the easiest to rank. Introducing your brand in queries of informational intent may not lead to conversion, but this will put your brand into your audience’s mindset. Most Google featured snippets are informational. If you can place your brand in that SERP spot, you’d be driving more organic traffic into your site.

Trigger words: who, why, what, where, how, tutorial, guide, tips, examples, resource

SERP Sections to Place: Featured Snippet, Knowledge Card, Video, PAP


People with navigation intent are seeking for the right website. They know where to look for that product- and what they are looking for. Frequently, you’d find names of websites on queries that have navigation intent. They may know the website name but not the right URL. Since this kind of intent is URL-specific, if you want to rank high in this category, make sure that your goal is for people to search your website

Trigger words: names of products and services, brand names

SERP Sections to Place: Site links, a Tweet box, Knowledge Panel


People with transactional intent are ready to buy- and they know what to buy. For example, if you want to purchase the best lawn mower, you might search for the price of a particular brand. Transactional queries are important when you have an eCommerce website.

Trigger words: buy, order, name of the place, price, pricing

SERP Sections to Place: Adwords, Shopping Results


People with commercial intent know what product to buy, but they are still contemplating the right brand. Most often, you’d see them looking for reviews and comparisons of similar products. You should notice that search intent of local searches falls under this category.

Trigger words: top, review, comparison, best

SERP Sections to Place: Adwords, Featured Snippet

Know What People Want to Know

Understand what aspects of that keyword people want to know more. Are they looking for definitions? Purpose? By analyzing what people are searching for, you can formulate your content according to their needs.

You can use keyword tools to analyze what words the top-performing pages are using to rank. These would represent subtopics you can use for your content too. Choose the ones with low volume but still performing great for lesser competition.

To fully understand what people want to know, you can do these three things:

  • Check the People Also Ask section in Google SERPs

This is the section where you’d find questions that people ask about that particular keyword.

  • Content Gap Analysis

This can be found in most keyword research tools. Run this to check what content gaps a certain page has at the domain and page levels. This is to give you insight into what people expect to see in an article for that keyword.

  • Check the top pages for that keyword

Analyze what content strategy they are using. For example, if the content has a list. Identify how each item is segmented. Check the images and other visuals. Also, examine the links being used.

Know What Your Probability in Google Rankings

Check for the keyword density to see how difficult to crack that keyword for ranking. You should also check the number of websites linked to the top pages for that keyword. Identify the pages with high URL ratings. Identify the top brands included on the first page of SERPs, if there are any.

Popular Keyword Tools

There are hundreds of keywords to use for your webpages; you don’t have to rely on your competitors for them. Manually finding them can be tough, though. Good thing there are lots of tools to assist you on how to search for keywords.

To End

The keyword research checklist is among the first steps you must take to ensure that your SEO practices work in your favor. Remember that identifying the keywords is not the only thing to do. It would help if you studied your audience too. Do you think we missed out on something? Tell us in the comments below!