Home » Blog » Grow your Blog » SEO Tips » How to actually DO keyword research: a step by step guide (plus FREE keyword research calculator!)


  1. Fantastic post Eb! Super helpful and really clear too! I have been guilty of blogging recipes that I like and want to make not giving a second thought to the keywords but I would like to be able to find a bit of a happy medium now. I would like to blog some recipes because I like them and then some specifically targeted at my audience and what they’d like to see. I shall be downloading your spreadsheet now! Thank you! 🙂 x

    1. Yay – so pleased you found this helpful! I think a bit of both is a healthy compromise. Blogging what you like to cook (within your niche, obviously!) establishes your brand and appeals to your core audience. Focusing on keywords gets you new readers, more traffic and a reliable income!! Eb x

  2. Wow! Thank you so much. I’ve been having a little bit of a writer’s block (okay a lot of it!) and this is really going to help me get back on tracked and focused.

  3. Thanks, Eb. I enjoyed your older blog post about keyword research, but this one is even better. It drives me nuts when everyone touts keyword research, but the whole process is not easy as people make it to be.
    As you said, how well you do will depend on multiple factors. Supposed you do all the right things above and still don’t get the result you aim for, then how to tell when you need to revisit your keyword strategy?

    1. Thank you, Trang! The key really is to keep trying and learning from what you do. The sweet spot will always be where there is reasonable search volumes and low competition. The spreadsheet will guide you to which of your ideas have the most potential. Once you’ve planned and published, say a quarter’s worth of posts, using this method it’s time to look at your stats on those posts and see what worked well and what didn’t work so well. And then do more of what works. Over time you will better understand what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t and so be able to tailor your posts accordingly. I would also really recommend you take a look at my post on Google Search Console (https://www.productiveblogging.com/google-search-console-grow-blog-traffic/) as this will help you go deeper into your stats and get a much better picture of what is working on Google and what isn’t. There are lots of tips in that post about how to improve posts that aren’t doing so well in Google searches! Good luck with it all 😀

  4. Thank you for hand holding me through this whole process! I love how step-by-step you wrote it out! So if I’m correct, I want to find keywords that SOME people are searching for but not TOO MANY because the market would be saturated with answers. I can’t compete with Scary Mommy. [deep breath] Let’s do this!

    1. Hi Tasha – yay! I am so happy you found this helpful. Yes, you are right. Find keywords which people are searching for… but where there is not too much competition. Normally this means going after keywords which some people, but not loads of people, are searching for. BUT if you find a keywords loads of people are searching for, but where the competition is not great, you should definitely go after those keywords! These high volume / low competition keywords are what I call ‘gold dust’ and can give your blog traffic a serious boost! Obviously, as your blog grows bigger, you can start to go after bigger, more competitive search terms! Good luck with it all. Eb 🙂

  5. Hey Eb, so what if we don’t get any organic traffic at all how can we do the bench mark method then, is there is another way?

  6. One of the better articles I’ve read taking the reader through the process of keyword research. It was that good I shared it on my Pinterest Board. Thanks heaps.

  7. Hi Eb! I’ve recently come across your blog and absolutely love how much information you share. I’ve been using Ubersuggest for about two years for what I thought was keyword research. Do you recommend this process in addition to using a tool like that or this process in place of using an SEO tool?

    1. Hi Jeremy, Good to hear you are enjoying my blog! This process is designed to work entirely on its own, without the need to pay for keyword research tools. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can use it in conjunction with a keyword research tool. If used with a keyword research tool, like Ubersuggest, you can use the tool to help you understand the relative volume and competition/difficulty of the different keywords you are considering. I would, however, still translate the numbers Ubersuggest gives you into scores between 1 and 5 before plugging them into the calculator. Hope that helps! Eb 🙂

  8. Hi Eb! Thank you so much for all the work you are sharing here. This particular post has helped me understand finally how to use google trends. And thank you for the free calculator too. I do have one doubt – What time period should I select in GA to find the benchmark keyword? Also, if using the console, do you suggest standard 3 month or blog start date?
    Thank you.

    1. Good to hear! As far as time period goes, it doesn’t hugely matter. It’s simply about finding a keyword that you know delivers a ‘good’ number of pageviews each month – so that you can use that as a point of comparison for all your potential keywords. The last 90 days would be fine – but I would avoid anything that is very seasonal. Your benchmark keyword should be something that is fairly evergreen / has all year round traffic. For search console, I’d probably look at the last 12 months. Hope that helps! Eb 🙂

  9. This is truly a fantastic post! I bought the lifetime plan for UberSuggest but feel so overwhelmed. I love the way you breakdown keyword research here and how you have several examples. Not many people do that! 👏🏻 Thank you so much for putting together this information and making it simple to understand. I have created a massive blog update to do list from several of your posts. Keep it up!!!

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