Updated: Apr 28, 2021

The Keyword research in SEO is the first step to take in order to better position a website on search engines. Intercepting the queries of users, who are looking for a product or information, becomes essential to allow your site to receive qualified and in target visits. It is in fact useless to get good positions in SERPs for keywords that are not of interest and that do not channel your user in any way within a conversion funnel.

Before deep diving into the SEO world, let's start from the beginning with some theory and try to understand what keywords are and how to find them for SEO.

With the term "keywords", we identify the searches that users make on search engines to find an answer to a specific need. The classic SEO division of keywords is split according to the number of terms that compose them as: dry keywords or short tail (one term), middle tail (two or three terms), and long tail (three or more terms - very specific).

Generally, although there is a theoretical difference, the term keywords is used as a synonym for search queries. The latter represent set of words, questions or phrases, typed into the search engine, that encapsulate a search intention. The search intent of a query, is the intrinsic motivation for which the user performs a search on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo! Queries can be divided into navigational, informational, and transactional based on search intent.

Now that you have the query division in mind here's how to perform keyword research in SEO:


As a first step, before starting to do any kind of keywords research, it is important to understand in detail the core business of the company. It is essential to make an analysis of the site, define the objectives of the customer, understand the audience and the buyer person to whom it is addressed and the type of products and services sold.

Once these points are understood, identify yourself with the typical customer and ask yourself the questions that would make them look for the website you want to position.

Do an initial search on Google and see the results that the engine suggests to you at the bottom of SERPs. What you will find will be related searches or related words that could give you some ideas to start with.


Once you've organized the keywords that identify your site in your head, it's time to find the queries that users are using to search for a particular product or service.When analyzing keywords for SEO you can use different tools that also return the number of average monthly searches, such as Google Keyword planner, Semrush, Seozoom etc.. The number of searches in our analysis is useful to get an indicative understanding of which words are more searched than others.


Organizing keywords by search intent will allow you to display them better on your excel sheet and speed up the selection process. The division should be made according to 3 criteria: transactional, informational and navigational keywords. Each keyword displays different search intent. By dividing your keywords into themes and search intentions, you can start dividing your website structure in a logical, siloed way. Moreover, thanks to such an organization you can understand the keywords to be used in the page’s category, product, in the header tags, in the title, in the meta description, but especially in the text. You will be able to use related keywords and synonyms and provide your user and the Google bot with all the useful information they are looking for.


In addition to the choice of keywords and the breakdown of the query, another very important aspect to consider is semantics. The simple repetition of the keywords is no longer enough to guarantee a good ranking on search engines. On the contrary, it can expose the website to the risk of being judged spam-engine. As a matter of fact, today we talk about semantic search. In the latter, keywords are no longer simple combinations of letters but elements of entities. Each word has a more or less strong link with the others, depending on the context in which it is used. To facilitate this process, today, companies can rely on different tools which enable to widen the sematic field, and visualize related words, latent entities, and co-occurrences of a topic.

As already mentioned, knowing how to choose the right keywords allows you to take the first step towards achieving your ranking goal. SEO is no longer what it used to be a few years ago, namely keyword centric. In fact, for years now we have been talking about "semantics" and quality content. Queries and themes must be processed at 360° in order for a site to be well positioned and become authoritative.

Google with its artificial intelligence system Rank Brain has evolved and, by interpreting users' searches, tries to give results as relevant as possible. However, focusing only on individual keywords per page, on the repetition and abuse of them (keyword stuffing), in pages, content or metatags, will lead you further.

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