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Keyword Research

SEO Keyword Research Services

Search engines rely on the specific keywords and phrases mobile and desktop searchers use to lead potential customers to your website. Most often, the search phrase is in the form of a question, and the search engine will evaluate it as a question or try to determine the searcher’s intent and key in on specific words and phrases to find relevant content. Your online presence suffers if your website does not answer those questions or use your prospects’ words and phrases when searching for products, services or solutions. Achieving SEO success for your content heavily relies on proper keyword research.

But how exactly do we conduct that research, and what do we aim to achieve? The ultimate goal is to create compelling content that search engines rank high, visitors find informative, and aligns with the language used by your target audience when they are looking for your product or service. However, this requires strategic effort to use the power of words effectively.

If you’re wondering what keyword research is all about, get your questions answered!

Table of Contents

What is keyword research for SEO?


SEO keyword research is a crucial component of search engine optimization (SEO) that allows organizations to identify the terms, phrases, and questions prospects and customers use to find relevant websites and pages. This information is used to attract visitors to a target website by creating relevant content that is optimized for search engine queries.

By conducting keyword research, site owners can gain valuable insights into prospect behavior and tailor their content accordingly. This approach can identify potential gaps and opportunities for optimization, boosting search visibility and web traffic. Moreover, keyword research can be valuable in paid search advertising (SEM), enabling you to evaluate cost-per-click (CPC) and assess how it fits within your budget for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

Why is keyword research important for SEO?

Want to boost your online visibility, attract more traffic to your website and gain leads? Conducting keyword research helps give you valuable insights into what your target audience is searching for on Google, Bing, and other search engines. The bottom line is that keyword research is the heart of SEO, and no campaign will be successful without it. Here are just a few reasons why:

1. Keyword research helps you know your audience

Effective keyword research is fundamental to connecting a business with its potential customers and audience. A good SEO and digital marketing strategy hinges on this understanding. While the importance of keywords in SEO has evolved over the years, keyword research still plays a critical role in understanding user intent. By researching keywords and topics that resonate with your target audience, you can create content that solves their problems and answers their questions.
You must first understand your audience and their needs to craft a successful digital marketing strategy. What are their pain points? What are their interests? What do they need to know? What questions do they have? How can your product or service solve their problems?
Keyword research is an essential tool that helps businesses understand their audience by identifying the phrases, keywords, or questions they use to search for solutions. Proper keyword research plays a significant role in optimizing your SEO efforts, revealing new business opportunities, and helping to prioritize where to focus your attention and resources.

2. Keyword research helps you target the right terms

Part of keyword research is learning your target words and phrases’ search volume and click volume. It empowers you to gain insights into search trends associated with any keyword, helping you to assess the traffic potential and estimate visitor volumes to your website.
It also helps you optimize your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns so that you aren’t wasting energy on keywords anyone searches for. At the same time, effective keyword research can uncover long-tail keywords that might have a lower cost per click that you can exploit to reduce PPC campaign costs.
By targeting high search volume keywords, you can expect more search impressions, traffic to your website, and potentially lower CPCs. Conversely, going after search terms with low volumes may lead to disappointing results. Strategic keyword research will help you balance between search volume and competition, and optimize your content to rank higher on search engines. If this seems like a complicated process that’s outside your area of expertise, you’re not alone. This is why many businesses leave this to our keyword research services at ITH!

3. Keyword research helps drive your web content strategy

Now that you’ve researched keywords, what do you do with this information? After discovering your target audience’s search terms and questions, you can create content that caters to their needs and interests. Creating content isn’t about what you want to say. Keyword research shows you what your audience wants to learn, which should drive how you write content and structure your website.
To execute effective digital marketing, you must have effective SEO, and relevant keywords must be strategically placed throughout your website – from titles and body text to meta tags and image file names and descriptions. However, optimizing your site with thousands or even millions of keywords would be a formidible task. You can’t create a separate page for every keyword, nor can you stuff all your keywords onto just a few pages and expect them to rank. Instead, grouping and organizing your keywords into smaller, related clusters will reduce your workload while maintaining targeted, specific pages. This is the key to successful SEO and something we do successfully every day for our clients at ITH.

What are the 4 types of keywords?

There are different answers to this question depending on who you ask. Most experts categorize keywords one of two ways: search intent or match types. Let’s take a look at both:

Search Intent:

According to SemRush, one of our trusted SEO keyword tools, there are four types of search intent.

The majority of search queries aim to acquire information, providing the user with an answer to their question. When you conduct a search, whether on Sari, "Hey Google", or desktop searches on Google, Bing, or YouTube, you are most likely searching for information that can help you solve a problem. While these types of searches may not lead to an immediate sale, they do provide an opportunity to reach out to potential customers. Building informative content can help establish your brand as a knowledgeable resource in your field, whether it be with a how-to video, educational article or blog post.

Navigational keywords are search queries containing the specific brand, product, service, or technology users are interested in. These keywords can be incredibly valuable for brands in various marketing funnel stages, from generating interest to retaining customers.

Fortunately, optimizing for navigational keywords is easy. By simply mentioning your brand or product name on your homepage, landing pages, and other important areas of your site, Google will eventually rank you on the first page.
However, there are situations where you may need to target navigational keywords more intentionally. For instance, if you lack content related to specific searches, such as pricing information, then creating that content may help you capture leads. Additionally, if your brand name is similar to another company, you'll want to ensure that your website appears at the top of search results.

We often refer to Google's autocomplete suggestions or our professional keyword research tools to identify navigational keywords. But for most marketers, proper on-page optimization - such as using branded keywords in title tags - will suffice. Regardless, understanding navigational keywords and their potential impact on your marketing strategy is critical for success in the modern digital landscape.

Commercial intent keywords come into play when users are in the evaluation stage of the marketing funnel. These keywords are an indication of their interest in a particular product or service, often resulting in a purchase.

An example of such a keyword could be "best back massage spa in Cleveland." Individuals who conduct this search are most likely intending to patronize a spa and are looking for the best possible options.

It's important to mention that commercial keywords may also include brand names.
Google autocomplete is also a useful tool to find commercial keywords. Include commercial terms like "best," "alternatives," "top," "review," or "vs" while entering a keyword or phrase describing your target product.

When people search for transactional keywords, they're typically ready to make a purchase or take a specific action.

With a higher commercial intent, using transactional keywords can increase the likelihood of converting visitors into customers. These keywords are typically action-oriented and indicate the user is ready to transact, like searching for "foldable e-bike on sale."

Optimizing your website for transactional keywords is crucial for businesses looking to attract potential customers and make sales. Creating product or service pages that make purchasing easy for visitors will increase the chances of converting them into customers.

Keyword Match Type

When you are doing keyword research for paid advertising, keep in mind that Google Ads recognizes three types of keyword match types:

Broad match

Broad match casts the widest net, as it matches with any search term related to your keyword. This can include searches that don’t contain the exact keyword terms. Broad match will also appear when a user searches for a synonym or a misspelled term. For instance, the phrase “custom dog leashes” may also match with “personalized canine accessories” or “dog leshes custom.”

Phrase match

Phrase match is the keyword match type that matches a search that’s meaning is similar to your keyword or a part of your keyword. This means that it will appear upon a search that includes your keyword or phrase even if it has extra words before or after. The search “custom dog leashes” would also match with “ideas for custom dog leashes.”

Exact match

Exact match will only appear on a search for the exact keyword or phrase. This will reach fewer users but is more likely to appear only for users searching for your product or service, often making it more effective. “Custom dog leashes” would only match with “custom dog leashes” or a close variant.

How do you research keywords?

Discovering search keywords is just the beginning of the battle. To effectively integrate them into your content, it’s important to introduce them smoothly and consistently. We will help you avoid keyword stuffing and ensure every word aligns with the page’s message and goals.

There are several strategies that we employ to get this right. Here are some of the factors and concepts Invite Them Home uses as we do keyword phrase research.

Identify and quantify your target audience profile
Look at average monthly search volume for content words and phrases
Look at how much competition exists for the words and phrases
Look at your competitor’s content and analyze its use of keywords and phrases
Look for keywords and phrases that are specific and represent the best search “value”

What are the best keyword research tools?

At Invite Them Home, we have access to the latest professional SEO keyword research tools. Our favorites include:


This is often considered the best keyword research tool. Semrush has proven its worth with our clients and the industry at large. According to their website, their SERP (search engine results page) tracking tool monitors more than 500 million of the most popular keywords.


Serpstat is a fantastic tool that tracks the largest number of Google SERP data. Their keyword rankings draw data from more than 230 Google databases, and they track more than a trillion backlinks from 160 million websites. We consistently see the largest and most accurate keyword data in their reports.


Spyfu is also a great keyword tool and SERP tracker. They use organic and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) data integration and list both click volume and search volume data for a specific keyword. It also shows related terms to give you more keyword ideas related to your campaign.


Ahrefs is also a respected tool with one of the largest SERP databases. They collect, process, and store large amounts of data for search marketing professionals like us. This data is used in their online tools and their keyword explorer lets us check changes in your keyword ranks week by week and look for problems and opportunities.

Google Analytics and Search Console

Google Analytics and Google Search Console are Google’s free tools to gain valuable insights into your website and app users to optimize your marketing strategies, content offerings, and product performance all in one place. You can leverage Google’s cutting-edge machine learning and proprietary insights to gain a competitive advantage with your search campaigns.

Google Analytics helps you better understand your users and their behavior. This report provides insights into which keywords are driving the most traffic to your site, giving you an edge in planning your future on-page SEO strategies. With Google trends, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your website’s performance by focusing on your most effective keywords.

Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool to help your search campaign succeed. You can easily research new keywords related to your business, discover how many searches they receive monthly, and determine the cost to target them.
Aside from providing valuable insights, Keyword Planner also enables you to create Search campaigns centered around in-depth keyword research. Specifically, Keyword Planner helps you:

Discover new keywords related to your products, services, or website.
See monthly estimates of searches a keyword receives.
Determine the average cost for your ad to show in searches for a keyword.
Organize your keywords into categories related to your brand.
Use your keyword plan to create campaigns deeply rooted in keyword research.

It’s important to note that while Keyword Planner can provide valuable insights into keyword targeting, additional factors influence campaign performance. These include your bid, budget, product, and customer behavior in your industry. We will help you weigh all of these factors for a successful campaign.

What are the components of a keyword?

Not all keywords are created equal! Three factors go into developing a keyword strategy.

Keyword difficulty

Determining the level of keyword difficulty, commonly referred to as “SEO difficulty” or “keyword competition,” involves assessing how hard it is to secure a place in a search engine’s organic search results for a specific search term. Factors influencing the difficulty level include domain, page authority, content quality, and the term’s popularity in online content.

When you analyze keywords, understanding their difficulty is critical. Together with metrics such as monthly search volumes, it aids in selecting the best keywords for effective visibility on search engine result pages.

One major challenge in measuring keyword difficulty is the lack of standardization among tools. If you are using multiple free keyword tools, you may have noticed their varying difficulty scores, even for the same keyword. You can only achieve genuine insight into the keyword difficulty by going beyond the figures generated by tools with our expertise and experience at ITH.



To effectively market your business, it’s crucial to understand your target audience. Discovering the exact terms they use in searches can give you insight into the content they are looking for.

However, staying relevant is important, you must use keywords that directly relate to your product or service. For example, if you own a roofing company, you don’t want to appear when someone searches for “symptoms of Shingles.” Large numbers of non-target visitors will produce impressive visitor numbers but few engaged visitors or conversions.

In the past, excessive keyword usage could manipulate Google’s ranking system. Today, the relevance of a particular keyword is the primary factor. This term refers to the significance of relevant keywords and the content of your webpage. Search engines reward high-quality content that meets the visitor’s expectations.

Search engines like Google assess content relevancy to determine the purpose of your site and page to improve the user’s experience. To optimize your rankings, focus on providing valuable and topically relevant information.
Furthermore, user behavior is an important factor in content relevancy. When users find what they’re looking for on your website, it increases the likelihood that they will return. This results in better positioning for your pages, a better user experience, and improved key performance indicators like click-through and bounce rates.

Search volume

Keyword search volume is a measurement of how many times users search for a particular keyword per month. This helps you avoid targeting keywords with very low search volume, meaning very few people in your market use those terms for search engine queries. Local businesses also need to know the local search volume instead of the countrywide volume as different regions may use different words when searching.

You can look at keyword volume to locate high-volume keywords. It will also tell you how competitive a keyword is, which can then guide you to target the keywords most likely to drive the right traffic to your website. The keywords with the highest search volume may be too competitive to be worth your time.

How do you track the effectiveness of my keywords?

Our comprehensive monitoring and reporting services provide valuable insights into your traffic and keyword trends. Trend graphs help you identify whether your digital strategy needs updating or is working well. Even if your search term listing and traffic increase, growth rates not meeting your goals may indicate that it’s time to change how you prioritize keywords.

Top SERP keyword rankings are crucial in understanding how search visitors find your website and content. Our reports reveal your strengths and highlight potential issues such as overreliance on branded keywords. While it’s great to have your company name in keywords, it’s important to attract new customers who are unaware of your products or services. Our experts suggest that if your branded search terms exceed 40%, it may be time to make changes to expand your reach.

It’s also essential to track your competition. We evaluate your SERP ranking weekly compared to your competitors and modify your SEO approach accordingly. Our analysis enables us to track movements in rankings from the previous week. You’ll receive weekly email updates on your top three rivals’ shifts.

Aside from assessing rival rankings, tracking competitor search results can reveal new relevant keyword ideas. We investigate the keywords used to find your competition, identifying ones that could benefit your campaign. This approach helps you remain competitive and strengthen your SEO strategy overall.

Why should I hire Invite Them Home for keyword research services?

While there are a number of free keyword research tools available, if you want to make the most of your SEO strategy, you need more professional tools and expertise than most business owners have on their own. As you can see, there is a lot more to analyzing keywords than meets the eye.

Fortunately, ITH can help. Our tools and expertise will research your industry’s hot keywords and phrases and strategically apply them to your website. As a result, your website will stand out among the competition and attract more quality leads leading to more business. Let us show you how our keyword research process will help your online presence thrive.

If you still have questions or are wondering if your keyword strategy is performing its best, we are happy to provide you with a free audit of your website. Get started by filling out a Contact Us form or by calling us at (262) 373-8700 and see how Invite Them Home can harness the power of keywords to launch your business forward!

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