Long Tail Keyword Chart

How to Keyword Research – The Complete Guide to SEO


Keyword research is the beginning of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Before you do anything else on your website, the first thing you must do is to identify your keywords.  SEO is all about appearing on the first page and hopefully first position on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) for the right keywords.

SEO is not all about getting traffic to your page, but getting the right kind of traffic.  It is meaningless to have thousands of people visiting your page if they are not your target audience.  Therefore, you want to optimize for certain keywords that describes your business and when someone search for those keywords, you will appear in front of them.


Understanding Long Tail Keyword versus Single Word Keyword

So what is “Long Tail Keyword?”  Long tail keywords are keyword phrases with three or more words. For example:

General Keyword: Dog

Long Tail Keywords:  How to train a dog

Long tail keywords are more detailed and descriptive.  It targets people who are looking for something specific.

When people search for “dog”, they can be searching for cute dogs, different kinds of dogs, picture of dogs, or anything related to dogs.  You can’t really tell what the searcher is searching for.  However, when someone search for “how to train a dog”, you know that they are looking for tips or guides on how to train a dog.  Therefore, if your website provides dog training guides, the long tail keyword can help you generate the right type of visitor.

The more specific the long tail keyword is the fewer searches it will have.  HOWEVER, those are the people who know that they are looking for and is the right visitors you want to visit your page.

Long Tail Keyword Chart

Keyword Research Steps:

Step 1: Identity the pages that you want to optimize.  (Probably pages that are the most popular or a product page that helps you get the most business or a product that you want to promote.)


Step 2: Keyword Brainstorming: Once you identified a page that you want to optimize, come up with a list of keywords related to that page’s topic.  Use your common sense, experience, and what you think people will be searching for.


Step 3: Keyword Tools: Once you are done with brainstorming a list of keywords, your next step will be to use keyword tools to check the competitive level of the keyword and to get more keyword suggestions.

Here is a list of tools that you can use:

          Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool

          Google Insights for Search

          Microsoft Advertising Intelligence

          Wordtracker’s Free Keywords Tool

          Free Search Term Suggestion Tool

The most commonly used tool is probably Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool.  I personally use it for my initial keyword research.

So enter keywords in the tool you decide to use and add the additional keywords to your list.


When you are looking at the keyword ideas, there three things that you should look at:

  • Competition – the competition column gives you an idea of how competitive that keyword is
  • Global Monthly Searches – The average number of searches measured by Google
  • Local Monthly Searches – Based on your location, this is the average number of searches in your area


Step 4: Google Search Suggestions: Another way to increase your list of keywords is to use Google’s Search Suggestions.  Simply visit www.Google.com and start typing in a keyword in the search box.  You will see that ten phrases related to your keyword will drop down from the search box.  These are the popular and suggested searches that Google recommends.




As you continue to type in more words in the search box, Google will provide more detailed search recommendations based on your keywords.  See if any of these keywords are on your list, if not, add them.

So now you have a list of keywords that you can work on to optimize your page.


Read the next article: Learn how to choose the BEST keywords for your site


Related Articles:

On-Page Optimization Guide

6 Rules to Page Title Optimization


About: Tommy Tan Tommy Tan

Tommy is a self-taught SEO and Social Media marketer and the Dojo Master for his blog - MKTdojo which shares guides, news, and exciting updates on Social Media and SEO. Connect with Tommy on Twitter. @Mktdojo

  • http://www.leoraw.com/blog/ Leora

    Nice introduction to long tail keywords! I try to train my clients on how to focus on these. I found, for example, that one client was targeting a phrase that really wasn’t being Googled at all. One really has to work at SEO and analyze to get better results.

    • Tommy Tan

      Agree! Other than targeting the long tail keywords, your client should use Google Adwords Keyword Tool or any other tools they are currently using to measure the amount of search that keyword gets monthly. Definitely go for the low hanging fruits that are easy to rank for and have decent search rate.

  • http://life-and-leisure.com Adeline Yuboco

    This is definitely something that those starting out on blogging must read. Long tail keywords are great, but it should be carefully selected so that the post flows naturally and not look like you’ve forced to put the keyword into the post.

    • Tommy Tan

      Yup! Google and other search engines are smart enough to tell whether you are trying to keyword stuff. Not only for search engines, if you keyword stuff your contents, it will turn off the readers as well. In the end, it will only hurt the website.

  • http://www.bindu.ca Bindhurani

    Informative article about the keyword selection. Long tail key words are explained very well. You have catching titles too. The blog actually makes want to explore more. The visitors to your blog will stick for long time for sure.

    • Tommy Tan

      Thank you very much for the compliments! I still have a long way to go to fix up the blog so that people will stick for a long time.

      I will continue to update the long tail keyword explaination so that it will be more helpful and easier to understand.

  • Susan Cooper/findingourwaynow.com

    Where were you when I first started blogging. I still struggle with this but now at least I am aware and now know what needs to be done. It’s hard when you are deep into a post or subject to keep all of this in mind. Sometimes I am better at it then others. Thanks for the primer, it is something will use.

    • Tommy Tan

      I am glad to hear that the article helps! Blogging, SEO, Content creation is an on-going process. We will never stop learning and will keep on improving.

      There are many free softwares that you can integrate with your blog post that reminds you to do certain things to optimize your blog for SEO.


      You can create a check list on a piece of paper and have it next to you whenever you blog, look at the checklist and see if you did everything to optimize your blog. This might be helpful when you are deep into writing the post.

  • http://asvinstech.in/how-to-do-seo-for-your-website/ Issac Maez

    Interesting information.Very well written.Thank you.By the way your website loading speed is very fast.how do you done that?

  • http://twitter.com/YLTL Dan Meyers

    Great information, I’ll have to go look through some of my more popular posts to ensure they’re fully optimized.


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