Keyword research is a practice search engine optimization (SEO) professionals use to find and research alternative search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for a similar subject. Search engine optimization professionals research additional keywords, which they use to achieve better rankings in search engines. Once they find a niche keyword, they expanded on it to find similar keywords. Keyword suggestion tools usually aid the process, like the Google Adwords Keyword Planner, which offers a thesaurus and alternative keyword suggestions or by looking into Google Suggest.
Usually, the various search engines provide their own keyword suggestion tools, which also include the number of searches for each of those keywords. The keyword researcher uses this information to select the correct keyword, depending on the SEO goals of the website. Around 20–25% of searches are very specific long tail keywords entered into Google every single day. It's easy to rank said keywords when there is the right amount of content and backlinks to match. Keyword research is a valuable and high return activity in the search marketing field.
Importance of research
The objective of keyword research is to generate, with good precision and recall, large number of terms that are highly relevant yet non-obvious to the given input keyword. Process of keyword research involves brainstorming and the use of keyword research tools. To achieve the best SEO results, it is important to optimize a website as well as backlinks for the most relevant keywords. It is good practice to search for related keywords that have low competition and still a high number of searches. This makes it easier to achieve a higher rank in search engines which usually results in higher web traffic. The downside of this practice is that the website is optimized for alternative keywords instead of the main keyword; main keywords might be very difficult to rank for due to high competition. There are three essential concepts to consider when conducting keyword research. Good keywords are closely related to the subject of the website. Most search engines use an internal quality system to check website relevance related to possible keywords, a non relevant keyword is unlikely to rank well for a website. Good Keyword that are highly competitive are less likely to rank in the top. Keywords that have no monthly searches generate no traffic and therefore are useless for SEO. Keyword stuffing in a web page should be avoided.
A very popular and highly competitive keyword on Google search engine is "making money." It has 85,300,000 search results, meaning that millions of websites are relevant or competing for that keyword. Keyword research starts with finding all possible word combinations that are relevant to the "making money" keyword. For example, a keyword "acquiring money" has significantly fewer search results, only 61 000 000, but it has the same meaning as "making money." Another way is to be more specific about a keyword by adding additional filters. Keyword "making money online from home in Canada" is less competitive on a global scale and therefore easier to rank for. Furthermore, keywords also have various intents which can affect whether the marketer would want to target that keyword. Multiple tools are available (both free and commercial) to find keywords and analyze them.
Keyword research tools
Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Google recently released an update to the Google keyword planner and changes some of its policy by which you need to set your first campaign in order to get the keyword planner back. This is a type of Adwords account that is used by agencies and consultants to manage many different advertising accounts.
Features of AdWords Keyword Planner: 
- Get search volume estimates for the keyword.
- Generate new keywords by combining different keyword lists.
- Create new keyword variations based on primary keyword.
- Provides Keywords used for websites - This is useful for you to do competitive analysis.
Limitations of AdWords Keyword Planner:
- Hides long tail keywords data as the tool is made for Adwords and not for SEO purposes.
- Keywords generated by the device may not produce good results as the tool is targeted towards advertisers and not SEO.
- The search volume displayed received a change in 2016, Google started limiting the output options to advertisers (or accounts) with lower or no monthly spending.
Google has introduced Google Suggest in 2012. Google Suggest is typically used as a live feature while a user is typing a search phrase into the browser or google website. Google Suggest uses the organic search input of billions of users and try to "guess" that way what a user might be searching for even before he completed entering the query or all the words of a keyword phrase.
This makes Google Suggest a relevant source for keyword research, it contains a large amount of organic keywords very closely related to a full or partial keyword and can be used to find additional most searched appending keywords that make the whole keyword less competitive. Google Suggest can be researched through the Google Search website or through a compatible browser for a small amount of keywords but also in large scale using free scraper tools.
Bing Ads Keyword Planner
- Get search volume data and trends.
- Get performance and cost estimates.
- Multiply keyword lists to get new keywords.
Limitations of Bing Ads Keyword Planner:
- Bing holds only 20 percent of the U.S. search engine market share, the data provided may not be reliable at least not for optimizing websites for Google search engine.
- Similar to AdWords Keyword Planner, data furnished by the tool is for helping advertisers and not publishers.
- "Search using autocomplete - Search Help". support.google.com. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- Joshi, A; Motwani, R (2006). "Keyword Generation for Search Engine Advertising". Data Mining Workshops: 493. doi:10.1109/ICDMW.2006.104. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- Jerkovic, John (2009). SEO Warrior. O'Reilly Media. pp. 213–236. ISBN 978-0596157074.
- "Quality Score". Wikipedia. 2017-03-01.
- Ross, A. Malaga (2008). "Worst Practices in Search Engine Optimization". Commun. ACM. 51. doi:10.1145/1409360.1409388. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
- "Keyword Research & Strategy with Keyword Planner - Google AdWords – Google". adwords.google.com. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- "Re: Updates to the Keyword Planner Tool". 2016-08-12. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- "Keyword Planner". Bing ads. Retrieved 2017-04-05.