How to Build Your Keyword List in 3 Steps

Come on, build your keyword list in 3 steps. It’s time to pick the cherries… But before that, take a moment and recap everything you’ve learned in the past few Blogs.

What have you learned and achieved so far?

  • You have picked your profitable niche.
  • You have identified your audience.
  • You have decided on your angle.
  • And you’ve learned about the different types of keywords.

You’ve got a pretty solid foundation and ready to pick the right keywords.

[If you’ve missed few of them, I recommend you to go back and read them before starting this one]. You can label all my blogging tips separately for future reference.

3 steps to build keyword List

  1. Finding the seed keywords.
  2. Building the keyword list and
  3. Checking volume and competition for those keywords.

Without further ado, let’s dive in

Step 1: Finding The Seed Keywords

It speaks for itself.

You need something to start and build your keyword list.

In this case, it’s the keywords and phrases your audiences [and customers] are using to find you.

For example, the keywords people use to find me [my blog] would be:

  • Digital marketing tips
  • Adwords tips
  • SEO tips
  • Facebook Marketing tips
  • Facebook ads tips
  • Email marketing tips
    …and so on.

So, I would use these keywords as my seed keywords to begin the keyword research.

Now, it’s your turn.

What are your seed keywords?

You got to find them first.

How do you do it?

Go to Amazon and check the books published in your niche category and see what keywords are associated with those books [and what keywords are mentioned in the reviews.

Go to Quora and check the questions in your niche and it gives you the rough idea [sometimes clear idea] about what questions your audience has and what keywords they use to describe.

You can repeat the same process with blogs, forums in your niche.

Tip: To find blogs and forums in your niche, Google “niche name + blogs” or “niche name + forum.”

Grab as much as you see and can. You can filter them later.

That’s it.

Your seed keyword list is ready.

Step 2: Building Your Keyword List

Now, you need to expand this seed list and find what else people are searching related to those keywords.

Let’s do that.

There are plenty of keyword tools out there.

Advanced tools are providing tons of information related to the keywords that can help you pick the best ones without much sweat.

But initially, you can start with the Google Keyword Planner because it’s free.

So, load all your seed keywords into Google Keyword Planner’s “Find Keywords” option, and you’ll get all the keywords related to your seed keyword.

You can also choose any keyword tool of your choice. I’ll list the tools I use and recommend in one of the future blog.

Let’s go to the third step.

Step 3: Checking Volume and Competition

You got the keywords. Depending on your seed keywords, you may have a long list of keywords or a short one.

But, before going further, you need to know whether the keywords are good enough.

You need to evaluate them on two criteria –

  • Is it worth to pick the keyword [aka does it have enough search volume]
  • Is it profitable [aka the competition to know whether it is possible to rank for the keyword or not]


You don’t want to pick the keyword no one is searching for [less search volume], or no one is going to see you ranking [highly competitive]

To evaluate,

Let’s get back to Google Keyword Planner and load all the keywords and hit [with average search volume, average bid value, and competition fields selected]

Now, you’ll see each keyword listed with its average search volume, competition and bid price. [You might see the same in the previous step also]

Remember, you need to take both the average search volume and competition with a pinch of salt.

Because search volume is average and the competition is about the advertisers competing. [but hey, more advertisers competing for the keyword means good for you]

To check the competition, you can search for the keyword with double quotes and square brackets and see how many results are there. [with MozBar installed, you can see a lot more details. Let’s keep it for future.]

I know it’s a long and annoying work. Trust me; you’ll learn a lot.

Or you can use one of the advanced tools that provide the keyword difficulty score by measuring several factors.

Tip: Remember, search volume is not equal to search traffic. Because not everyone who searches clicks on the results they see.

Now, you have the keywords with their search volume and competition details.

Sort them according to your preference, and you’ve your keyword list.

And you’ve done it.

You have completed your keyword research.

Well, almost.

One last thing…

You need to group the keywords according to the topic.

For example,

I’ll be grouping my keywords into on page SEO, link building, Adwords bid management, Adwords ad optimization, etc.,

Because Google now prefers detailed content related to topics instead of short content focused on keywords.

You want to win the Google search, focus on topics, not keywords.

Pro Tip #1

One problem with google keyword planner is, everyone gets the same list of keywords. If you want different suggestions, instead of entering seed keywords, enter a URL from another website in your niche.

You can get the list of keywords most of your competitors wouldn’t have seen. The URL can be a website or a blog or a particular webpage.

Pro Tip #2

If you want long tail keywords related to your keywords, then look for the “searches related to…” section at the bottom of the search results.

And if you want more of such keywords, take each keyword in the searches related to, put it in the search box and look again in the “searches related to” section 🙂

It’s a never-ending process.

But, once you got a decent list of keywords, you got to stop and proceed further.

In the next Blog, let’s discus about Blogging Is Free Or Paid?.