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I was interviewed by Anfernee Chansamooth of simplecreativemarketing and we talked about How to do keyword research using Ahrefs. Listen to the interview:

The core of SEO is keywords. You won’t receive traffic from Google and other search engines if no one searches for what you’re writing about. As a result, keyword research plays an important role in an SEO strategy.

But how to make sure that your website ranks for the right keywords? How can you use these keywords to generate more traffic and better rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs)?

There are more different keyword research tools available, but in this article, we will be focusing on Ahrefs. It takes a little time to get through to how it works, but after doing keyword research with Ahrefs for a while, you will find it becomes second nature!

What is Keyword Research?

This kind of research identifies words and phrases that people use in search engines like Google or Bing, even on YouTube. It has an impact on all other SEO tasks, including content topic generation, on-page SEO, email outreach, and content promotion.

To put it another way, keyword research can assist you in answering queries such as:

  • What type of traffic can I expect if I rank for this keyword?
  • How uneasy will it be to rank for this phrase?
  • To rank for a keyword, what kind of content should I create?
  • Is it likely that users who search for this keyword will become my customers?

Finding the correct answers to all those questions will take some time. However, the result will be worth it as it will increase their traffic and turn visitors into customers.

Why Use Ahref?

Ahrefs’ products help you with keyword research from start to finish. Once you’ve mastered the process listed below, you’ll find that your keyword research time is cut in half. Besides, you’ll be able to make better, faster decisions as a result of this research structure.

Although some may consider keyword research to be a difficult chore, with the tools accessible today, it will feel less boring and more like relevant research. Keyword research of the highest quality may be utilized to create some of the most effective targeting modifications that will improve your site and generate traffic in the long run. 

It is not only a keyword research tool, but it also helps for link-building, rank tracking, and brainstorming content ideas. It’s the best comprehensive SEO tool on the market.

The Process

In a nutshell, the entire process on how to do keyword research using Ahrefs consists of four steps: 

1. Generate a list of keyword suggestions

You may quickly receive tons of relevant keyword ideas if you know seed keywords for your niche. You may export the entire list to an excel spreadsheet from there if you like. Here are some examples of how you can use Ahrefs to help:

Use the Ahrefs Keyword Explorer tool

To get started with keyword research, you need to go to Keyword Explorer. You’d be able to insert a certain number of keywords from there. Following the keyword entry, you will be sent to a new page that has all of the information related to the keyword.

Important details like Search Volume, Clicks, and Global Volume are displayed. These can be used to determine how frequently a keyword is used, as well as the current trend and regions with high volume. 

Here’s also how Keywords Explorer’s reports match keyword ideas:

  • Phrase match: keyword ideas that include the word seed in its entirety.
  • Having same terms: Keyword lists that include all of the component phrases from the seed keyword, in any order.
  • Also, rank for: Related keywords that top-ranking pages rank for as well.
  • Search suggestions: When searching for your target term, search suggestions are queries given by ‘autocomplete.’
  • Recently discovered – search queries that have recently been added to your database. 
  • Questions: Keyword ideas that include each term from the seed keyword in any sequence. It has “question words” such as “how,” “what,” and so on.

Reverse engineer the most popular pages of your competitors

Because everyone conducts keyword research differently, competitors frequently rank for phrases you never considered. Find out which terms you and your rivals are already ranking for on Google.

In the Ahrefs Site Explorer tool, enter your site (or any other domain you want to look at) and select the Organic Keywords report from the left menu. Right there, you’ll find a thorough list of keywords.

Or the other way around, go to the Top Pages report after pasting a competitor’s website into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. This demonstrates which of their pages receives the most natural traffic.

If you’re interested in global traffic potential, you can change the filter to show traffic estimates from all nations, not just the US or Australia. Don’t stop there once you’ve discovered all of the untapped ideas with traffic potential from one rival. You can repeat the whole process as many times as you like to come up with near-infinite keyword possibilities. 

Conduct a content gap analysis

A content gap analysis is listed as one of the most efficient techniques to find keywords. If you like to know what keywords your competitors are ranking for, but you aren’t, check out the Content Gap area of Ahrefs Site Explorer.

To do so, paste your domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, navigate to the Content Gap report, and fill up the top area with a few competitor domains. Simply enter the URL you want to include in the tool, and it will generate a list for you. Check and analyze the estimated organic traffic to the top-ranking pages using the “SERP” button to get a better idea.

2. Choose the keywords with the highest potential

You can apply multiple filters for different keyword metrics while analyzing a list of the best keywords or browsing through keyword ideas. You’ll be able to locate keywords with a large search volume but a low difficulty level using these metrics and filters below.

Keyword Difficulty

Knowing how KD works, most people misuse the score by lowering the filter to 0 and concentrating primarily on “low-hanging” possibilities. They don’t cover high keyword difficulty scores on their web pages, which is a huge mistake for two reasons:

  • It would be best if you targeted high-KD keywords as soon as possible. Because you’ll need a lot of backlinks to rank, it’s best to develop your page and start advertising it right away. The longer you wait, the higher the advantage your competitors have, making it more difficult to outrank them in the future.
  • High-KD keywords should be viewed as link opportunities. The fact that the top-ranking pages contain a lot of backlinks indicates that the topic is ‘link-worthy.’ To put it another way, if you nail this issue, you might get a lot of backlinks. Aside from that, it’s an excellent technique to find long-tail keywords that, when combined, can generate a lot of traffic.

Cost per Click (CPC)

The cost per click metric indicates how much advertisers are ready to pay for each ad click generated by a target keyword. It’s more of an advertising metric than an SEO metric, but it can be a good proxy for a keyword’s worth.

The Clicks Per Search metric also displays the average number of distinct search results that individuals click after searching for this keyword. While % of Paid Clicks versus Organic Clicks illustrates how paid and organic search results are distributed in terms of clicks.

SERP and the Top-ranked Results’ Ranking

The “SERP summary” report in Keywords Explorer allows you to quickly review the top-ranking results, as well as all of their SEO indicators. This is the first report to combine essential SEO indicators such as backlinks, organic traffic, and organic keywords. You can rapidly examine the SERP and figure out why these pages are ranked in the order that they are. 

Keyword Search Volume

The number of searches per month over the previous 12 months is referred to as volume. This measure assists you in determining the keyword’s “popularity.” However, don’t exclusively rely on volume when conducting keyword research. This may lead to issues such as the user’s search intent not being accurately reflected. 

3. Find content relevant to your keywords

After you’ve completed your keyword research, the next step is to find content or a blog post that is relevant to your keywords. To get started with Content Explorer, all you must do is enter the keyword and click away, just as with Keyword Explorer. You can also filter the real results by region, which lets you focus on regionally relevant material, which is ideal for local SEO.

When you enter a term, you will be provided with content that is arranged by relevancy by default. But you can adjust this setting to suit your needs. You may also filter your content based on the date it was published.

Aside from that, the language it was written in, the number of social media shares it received, the domain rating, referring domains, organic traffic, and even the quantity of words is included.

4. Group your keywords

After you’ve compiled a large list of keywords, sort them into categories based on things like: 

  • Collect conceptually and contextually relevant terms under a “parent topic” to target a single page. The Parent Topic is determined by looking at the top-ranking page for your keyword and determining the keyword that drives the most traffic to that page. 
  • Focus on user intent. Simply google a keyword and see what comes up first to figure out what people are searching for. Or another useful strategy is to imagine yourself as a user or customer of your website. Put the keywords you come up with on a separate spreadsheet list so you can easily enter them into Ahrefs. 
  • Establish whether you like to bring visitors to your site, gather more backlinks, get conversions and decide which keywords serve your needs best. 

Final Thoughts

Several methods and tools like Google Keyword Planner, SemRush, and Ahref are available to conduct research and avoid keyword cannibalization. While the usual strategy of looking for a relevant phrase in a keyword research tool and then brainstorming ideas is effective, you shouldn’t limit yourself to it.

Ahrefs is one of the greatest SEO tools accessible in terms of value and excellent performance. Its feature set is vast, and it includes some of the best and most accurate search data available, making it a must-have for anybody involved in SEO. 

Click here if you want further help with the keyword research process and more fantastic in-depth advice on how to attract more visitors to your website.