5 Steps in Building an Effective Keyword Research Plan


Do you know what people are searching for online? Do you want to boost high quality traffic and show up on the first page of the search results? Web hosting company Vodien helps you with 5 easy steps for an efficient online campaign using Keyword Research.

Keyword research is one of the most critical components of any search engine optimization campaign. SEO experts use keyword research to look for keywords or keyword phrases as a basis in creating contents for their website. They use these keywords to determine the number of people searching for these keywords and how many other websites are competing for them.

No matter how great your products or services are, you surely can’t expect much in increasing traffic and conversion to your website if your keywords are poorly researched. That’s why you need to build a keyword plan that gets your site much exposure in search engines and reach your target audience.

Here are 5 steps that you need to take when performing Keyword Research:

1. Create a list of topics related to your business

To start with, think of five or more topics that are relevant to your business. These topics will be used to help you generate more specific keywords later on. Since we’re selling web hosting services here at Vodien, the general topics on our list are: web hosting, domain hosting, colocation hosting, cloud hosting, email hosting, dedicated server hosting and content delivery network.

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2. Expand your topic list

So by now, you might already have a good amount of topics that you want to focus on. It’s time to research for potential keywords that will fall under these topics. These should be keyword phrases that you think would be valuable to your keyword’s rankings in the SERPs (search engine results page). Using the example above — “web hosting”, you can uncover hidden keywords once you dig deeper from other sources.

The Alphabet Soup Technique

To do this, you need to type your main topic/keyword on Google search with this formula. Example:

web hosting + a

And the results for this search:


As you can see, you automatically have four new keyword results. Next thing you can do is to expand it further, enter one of the search results, example: “web hosting and domain”. This should give you a longer and more relevant keyword phrase.


From two main Google searches, I have a total of seven new keywords on the list. You can do the same process to other topics. You can also move on to the next letter on the alphabet and so on.


You can easily uncover related keywords in Wikipedia with links and references within that page. The keyword results are virtually endless because you can repeat the same process on different keywords and click on the links to other related pages.

I’ve picked a random example (scuba diving) here from Wikipedia which highlights other related terms and concepts that you can build your keyword list from.


While some of these keywords may not be applicable to what your business is offering, oftentimes, there are a lot of great topics that you can discover from Wikipedia which will be a great help to your content marketing strategies.

Google related searches

Google also gives suggested searches related to your keyword. Scroll down at the bottom and you can find related keywords that you can add to your list.


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3. Use Keyword Research Tools

You may want to narrow down your list to include only the quality keywords that can potentially drive the most traffic to your website. Using a keyword research tool, you would know the number of users searching for a particular term each month. You can also discover more keywords that remain untapped. These are the keyword research tools commonly used:

Google Adwords Keyword Planner

This is a free tool that comes with your Google account. Almost all SEO experts use this as their keyword research staple.


Keywords on its Top 100 List are the most sought-after search terms and the Competitive Search is a handy tool to assess the competitiveness of the keywords.


Aside from their free keyword tool and niche finder, Wordstream offers PPC analysis to help optimize the user’s PPC campaigns.

Other tools that you can try: Keyword Discovery, Bing Keyword Research tool and Google Trends

4. Optimize for long-tail keywords

Here’s why you should focus more on long-tail keywords over short-tail keywords

Short-tail keywords

Example: web design

  • Since search results are too broad, they generally produce higher traffic volume but are often of poor quality
  • Search volume is very competitive which makes it harder to rank in search engines

Long-tail keywords

Example: best web design software

  • Even with less search traffic, it’s still easy to rank long-term keywords because it drills down a more specific audience that already knows what they’re looking for and are ready to buy.
  • It costs less to target them when doing PPC campaigns.

If you want to reach your target audience, make sure to focus your SEO strategy around long-tail keywords.

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5. Implement your keyword plan

The best way to find out if your keywords can give you the best results is to test them out. Continue refining your keyword list and pay close attention to your data analytics to uncover new keywords that are valuable for your business.

It’s recommended to naturally work around three to four keywords per page into your contents and never repeat any of them or else you’ll end up looking like a spammer.

Don’t limit your keywords on your on-page contents. You can include them to other elements on your website such as the title tag, meta description tag, alt text and anchor text.


Following this 5-step Keyword Research process is just the start. You need to continually evaluate your keyword lists and make the necessary changes as your online marketing strategies change over time. This will allow you to stay on top of the competition, improve your site ranking, and increase revenue.