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The Keyword Research Checklist For Ranking in 2023

If you have been involved in search engine optimization (SEO) for more than a few years, you have undoubtedly witnessed a dramatic change in the field of keyword research. Early on, obtaining keywords with a high search volume and little competition on search engines was at the top of the keyword research checklist.

As a result, there weren’t many websites competing for the same keywords, making it simple to create a keyword research checklist. With more businesses entering the fray and the level of competition increasing, it became harder to find high-volume, low-competition keywords.

Today, good SEO relies on getting your site to rank for the appropriate keywords, but how can you choose which ones to target? Or even, how to rank for them? Well, we got you. 

In this keyword research checklist guide, we’ll show you how to find opportunities to rank for terms that your audience searches for but that your competitors are ignoring.

So let’s dive right in.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the act of locating and analyzing search phrases or words that people are searching for in search engines. The idea is to use this information to determine which keywords will help your SEO and marketing campaigns.

Specifically, effective keyword research aims to identify target audiences’ inquiries, as well as the frequency, difficulty, and intent of these searches. By properly understanding your audience, you can optimize your content with the right keywords thereby aiding your content marketing strategy and approach.

The Definitive Keyword Research Checklist You Need to Rank in 2023 

The cornerstone of SEO is keywords. No matter how hard you try, Google traffic won’t come to your site if no one is looking for what you’re writing about. Using a keyword research checklist helps guarantee that you are taking all the necessary steps to achieve your desired outcomes.

Additionally, you can use the checklist to ensure that you have entered the appropriate keywords that will increase traffic and sales from your website. Furthermore, it might save you time by making it simple for you to identify and fix any mistakes you made while conducting your research. 

Without further ado, let’s look at the keyword research checklist for success in 2023.

1. Study Your Niche

You need to understand your specialty before looking for and researching the ideal keywords for your website and content that you can rank for. It is impossible to sell everything to everyone. 

Despite having thousands of items in their mix, even big corporations target particular populations or demographic groups. As a new business owner, you must identify and target your market niche. 

How to Understand and Determine Your Niche

Keyword Research Checklist
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  1. Determine your hobbies and interests. The first step is to identify your passions and areas of interest. What do you like to do the most in your spare time? If your current job is boring, you might want to think about changing careers. A new career might be challenging to establish and sustain, but the more you value your work, the easier it will be to keep motivation.
  2. Identify problems you can solve. Any company or service’s principal objective is to address a problem for its clientele. Spend time coming up with ideas and researching the market. You may generate some prospective ideas for free by using Google Trends.
  3. Determine the profitability of your niche. Get a sense of how much money you could possibly make in your niche; this is very crucial.
  4. Gather feedback. Talk to people if you’re uncertain. You can get opinions and insights from family members or coworkers. Ask the people who could become your customers about their unique demands. 
  5. Test your ideas. Testing your niche is the greatest approach to determining if it is right. Create a website, or go to different business fairs to promote your own ideas to see if people are interested in the products.

2. Know your audience

You must have a solid understanding of your audience and their needs if you want to succeed with SEO. Regardless of the SEO technique you use, if you understand your audience, you will know which keywords are pertinent to them.

Ways to Define Your Target Audience for your Keyword Research Checklist 

  1. Understand Your Current Customer Demographics. It is prudent, to begin with, your present customers if you want to determine who your SEO strategy should be targeting.
  2. Make use of Social Insights. There is a very good possibility that the audience you’ve attracted on social media is intrigued by the goods or services you provide. Using the insights provided by your social media platforms can be a terrific approach to finding out more about your audience.
  3. Study the SERPs. Although it may seem easy, taking the time to analyze the SERPs can help you identify the audience you should be targeting.

3. Define Your SEO Goals

You don’t just start searching for keywords at random without first deciding what your SEO objectives are. SEO objectives are essential since they will give your plan a clear direction and enable you to concentrate more on your aim. You won’t be forced to fumble your way through in the dark. With goals, you can track your development objectively and correct courses if necessary.

Your goal while conducting keyword research is undoubtedly to rank for specific phrases in your industry, increase traffic, and expand your business. And because your intention is now clear and focused, you can figure out how you will get there.

You’re prepared to begin researching your primary keyword lists now that your niche and objectives have been identified.

4. Research Primary Keyword

Whether a page has the ability to draw visitors depends on the keyword you use on each page. Since pages with carefully selected keywords have a greater chance of drawing visitors to your site, keyword research is crucial.

You must consider, select, and research the phrase or term that best describes your company. These key phrases can refer to a product or a service. It’s critical to recognize and research the search engine terms that people search for. Again you need to ensure that they are relevant to the content you create on your website.

As a general guideline, your site’s primary keywords should be spread throughout the text and targeted to a larger audience. Your primary keywords should appear in the main title, headings, subheadings, anchor links, and first and final lines. On each page, you should include no less than one and no more than two primary keywords.

Tips on Choosing Keywords for Your Keyword Research Checklist 

  1. Consider yourself a customer. When making your initial list of keywords, you need to decide who your target market is and imagine yourself as a consumer. Think about what you’d put into Google to find your product or services.
  2. Utilize keyword research tools. Use the keyword tools to look up prospective target keywords. With keyword research tools like SEMRUSH and Raventools, you can obtain information on keyword traffic and trends, keyword competitiveness, related keywords, and more.
  3. Examine the outcomes. After selecting your keywords, be sure to track them and evaluate the results. Along with unique keywords that your competitors might be utilizing.

Remember to include your primary keywords in blog articles, social media postings, metatags, and content on your website. Your target audience will find you more easily if you employ keywords more frequently.

5. Find Long-Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are search terms with comparatively little competition and search volume. Additionally, compared to most other keyword classifications, long tail keywords typically have a length of 3+ words.

Keyword Research Checklist
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These extremely precise keywords are more in line with what a searcher would actually type in. For these keywords, search volume is often fairly low, but the potential conversion rate is significant. You will offer your website a long-lasting SEO boost by creating high-quality content that focuses on long-tail keywords. 

To perform keyword research, competitor analysis, Pay Per Click research  (PPC ), and backlink research, you can utilize SEO tools like SEMrush or KWFinder. Additionally, you can use Google Suggest to look for long-tail keywords on the web.

How to Identify Long-Tail Keywords

  1. Directly examine Google’s autocomplete suggestions. Simply typing a broad phrase into Google or another search engine) and checking the autocomplete options is a smart way to start gathering a list of long-tail keywords.
  2. Google users are increasingly submitting questions instead of statements in their searches. Make sure to include some long-tail questions that start with modifiers like “what,” “how,” “where,” etc. when coming up with long-tail questions that your target audience might ask. When evaluating long-tail keywords in your preferred SEO tools, these words will undoubtedly frequently emerge as they reveal unique problems that individuals have.
  3. Add qualifiers to short-tail keywords. Try reinforcing your keywords with qualifying terms that are relevant to your brand, your products, or your content. 
  4. Analyze the gaps. In order to figure out which subject areas and long-tail keywords to focus on on your pages, it is necessary to analyze the content of your website for topics that you are not currently addressing or performing strongly for. 

6. Analyze Keyword Intent

The reason a user types a specific query into a search engine is referred to as search intent or keyword intent. Basically, it is the motivation that leads the user to use terms or keywords to search for information on the internet. It is an essential part of SEO because it enables you to understand the keyword’s intent.

Understanding user intent enables you to choose the most relevant keywords for your initiatives and content. User intent is typically expressed as a search query entered into a search engine to find concrete answers.

There are three types: navigational, informational, and commercial.

  1. Informational intent: The user wishes to learn more about a topic with no intent to buy a product. For instance, one could look for how to walk a dog, or What Is Google EAT?
  2. Navigational intent. This is a keyword that includes the name of a business or brand, and the searcher is looking for the appropriate website or web page. For instance, Facebook login or Netflix signup
  3. Commercial intent. These keywords, also known as transactional intent, are used by people who are ready to purchase a product. Basically, it is used by searchers looking for more information about a product before purchasing it.  For instance, used vehicles for sale near me, or the best laptops for gaming.

Therefore, it is possible that you won’t rank for your keyword if you only consider query volume and neglect search intent. Even if you manage to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs), the fact that your page does not correspond with the searchers’ intent will result in a negative user experience and a higher bounce rate.

7. Research Related Search Terms or Competitive Keywords 

Checking out the related search terms at the bottom of a Google search result page is another excellent tactic to aid in understanding your keywords and target market.

If you are having trouble thinking of more keywords that people might be searching for related to your particular issue, you should definitely use this method. These suggestions might provide you with some other keyword ideas to think about, after which you can use the same methods described in the earlier sections to conduct keyword research.

8. Understand Your Competition 

When attempting to improve SEO, knowing who your competitors are, how they are doing, and why may be quite beneficial.

You can compare your website directly to those of your competitors using software like Semrush, making it simple to see where you excel and where you fall short. Getting a list of your top-performing rivals’ keywords and tracking them frequently is a wise strategy.

Knowing how your competitors are doing is helpful since it might help you identify the keywords they aren’t utilizing so you can outrank them. It’s vital to remember that any successful company will probably use these similar strategies, therefore in order to compete and rank, you must continue to maintain and analyze your keyword research.

9. Update and Refresh Content

Over time, consumer preferences change. As often as necessary, you should update your keyword research and renew your content. Keep in mind that your competitors are keeping an eye out for current changes, trending subjects, and popular issues as well, and they are adjusting as necessary.

Use the terms you’ve done your research on to reference your products and services in your post naturally. Maintain it as close to the top of the page as you can. Just be sure to write for real humans rather than just Google when you do so.


Your keyword research efforts must be prioritized if you desire to succeed online. Knowing which keywords are most relevant to your business can help you make sure that your site shows up prominently in search engine results pages, generating traffic and leads.

Effective keyword research can be difficult and time-consuming to do, though. However, if you adhere to the comprehensive keyword research checklist for 2023 provided above and these SEO tips, your SEO efforts will be successful, and you will be well on your way to greater positions on SERPs. 


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