SEO Beginners: A Best Practice Keyword Discovery Guide


For all SEO beginners approaching the more technical side of their online business or website, the amount of information available online can be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be difficult, and in fact, it’s not. This best practice keyword discovery guide will take you through it all – the types of keywords, competitors, and planning.

Once you have set up your dream website and blog, before you even get a document opened to start writing out your content plan, you need to do some research to discover the best-fit keywords to go after. By using tools such as Google Keyword Planner you will have access to helpful insights that provide data on your target user’s search query behaviour, which will include search keyword phrases and search volumes. With these tools, you will uncover many keywords and provide yourself new opportunities to target your ideal user.

Once you have navigated your way around Google Keyword Planner (or an alternative), rather than selecting a small handful of keywords to track rankings against, select a decent portfolio of relevant keywords, then measure ranking and traffic across all of these.

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SEO Beginners: Get to Know Keywords

Although not specifically outlined in a keyword planner, it’s important to note that there are three different types of keywords.

Head Keywords: Surfboards

Body keywords: Large blue surfboards

Long tail keywords: Large blue surfboards under 40 dollars

Instead of measuring individual (head) keyword performance, it’s integral to track organic search as more of a channel. You will need to make use of head, body, and long tail keywords at the same time. After all, going after individual keywords is not a good idea in the long term if you want to climb the ranks of Google.

Just to reiterate – you will want to go after a portfolio of relevant terms, which will increase your organic traffic over time. It’s better to focus on overall business goals and objectives, not just the action of ranking a handful of keywords that may or may not impact your bottom line.


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SEO Beginners: Keyword Discovery

First, we need to discover the relevant keywords that should be targeted.

  • Export a list of keywords from Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner that is relevant to the selected industry.
  • Compare local and global traffic from Keyword Planner to one of your web pages current ranking to determine the value of going after certain keywords. E.g. If a keyword has very high available traffic, and you are already ranking on the second page, this would be a desirable keyword.
  • Pick a mix of keywords that are within reach in the short term, such as long tail and body keywords, (already ranking fairly well with low to medium competition), as the head keywords and will take more time to bear fruits.
  • Keywords are then broken into ten core keyword phrases and expanded with three variations. This gives us a total of 30 keyword variations to target initially. Slight variations on those within the overall ‘theme’ are welcome

In practice, this looks like the following:

  • Social Media Strategy
    • Social Media Strategist
    • Social Media Agency
    • Strategy for Social Media
  • Facebook Advertising
    • Social Network Advertising
    • Facebook Ad Managers
    • Advertising on Facebook
  • Social Media Strategy
    • Social Media Strategist
    • Social Media Agency
    • Strategy for Social Media
  • Facebook Advertising
    • Social Network Advertising
    • Facebook Ad Managers
    • Advertising on Facebook
  • Social Media Management
    • Variation 1
    • Variation 2
    • Variation 3
  • Social Media Campaigns
  • Content Marketing Agency
  • Lead Generation Company
  • Email Marketing Agency
  • Adwords Management Australia
  • Search Engine Optimisation Agency
  • Digital Agency Melbourne


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SEO Beginners: Competitor Discovery 

Now it’s time to discover your most direct competitors. Follow these steps to creating your list:

  1. Look at rival companies in search results, and discover your key competitors.
  2. Pick one that is less successful as a baseline benchmark, one competitor that is close to being equal, and one that is a leader in their industry. This is done so you can see the gap that opens up between competitors –  you can see the pace or work of your closest competitor (whether you move beyond them or not) and what the top players with the highest budgets are doing.
  3. Utilise this knowledge for the next stage of your plan, and work out which similar keywords you can target to maximise success, and which gaps in the market can be filled.


SEO beginners


By following this keyword planning and discovery guide, you will be on your way to technical SEO content writing success.

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