Optimising for keywords and doing high-quality keyword research is ultimately the best way to get free online traffic and targeted leads to your site.

Unlike paid socials such as Facebook advertising, you can do keyword research without paying a penny and attract thousands of high-lead visitors to your site and your services. There are different strategies and tools to implement this but I find it best if there’s a strategic process to follow.

In this article, I’ll guide you through doing the best keyword research without paying a penny and how to figure out what the best terms are for your relevant posts.

Let’s dig in..

1.) Create a List of 10-20 Articles

Before you dive into the sort of keywords you want to be ranking for, it’s important to make a list of the first 10-20 articles you want to naturally write about. Which articles will help your readers?

Which articles will you get the most out of? Google ranks sites not only for keywords but also for relevancy.

If you’re struggling coming up with ideas for content when you’re starting out as a start-up then here are a few ideas:

  • Use Buzz Sumo – this is a great tool for seeing what the latest trends in the industry are and the most popular searched topics. You can use the free version to gather key data to rank your articles around!
  • Brainstorming – Get a piece of paper and a pen and literally map out all the different niche topics in your industry, what you enjoy writing about and what problems your readers want solving.
  • Study Competitors Blogs – visit competitor blogs. For example, if you’re struggling for SEO topics, study a competitor and get ideas from them.


2.) Identify Main Keywords

Once you have a list of your articles and the main topics, it’s time to start your keyword research. There are many free tools out there you can use if you’re on a limited budget that all do a great job. Google keyword planner is the best one and Wordtracker is also one of my favourites.

Once you have a keyword in mind, simply put it into the search bar and it’ll give you variations of the different terms you can rank for, that are relevant to your search.

This is the time to identify and assess what keywords will look good in your main headings and title tags. Also, will it be natural enough to comply with sufficient keyword density?

3.) Analyse Search Volume and Competition

Now you have the keywords on your screen, you have a choice to make.

Let’s use an example. So, I want to write a post about ‘digital marketing startups’. I’ve got my article idea, I’m searching for my keywords to fit into the article and now I’m on to the next step. Analysing search volume (how many times it’s searched per month) and the competition.

These are two integral indicators to whether you stand a chance to rank for a keyword

Here’s an example of that exact search I would make. For example purposes we’ll use the free Wordtracker keyword research tool and search ‘digital marketing startup courses’ and pretend I sell courses and want to optimise for this term:

keyword research


In this example, the keyword phrase ‘what is digital marketing’ may be a great keyword to base your article around. It has over 5,400 searches per month and a competitive rate of just 36.22/100! 

For someone interested – as beginners – in digital marketing, you could optimise your article for this keyword and point them towards a link for the online course you want to sell. I feel this would be a great strategy in this instance.

As an exercise, it may be a good idea to go through the screenshot (above) and work out which keywords would be good to include and which ones would not. Once you understand the basics of this, you can start to implement your skills into your own keyword research!

A lot of the time it comes down to analytical judgement. For example, if a keyword has a search volume of 10,000 and the competition score is 87/100, you’re wasting your time.

Whereas, if a keyword has a search volume of 1,000 and 23/100 competition, this has a lot of potential and could bring you in added traffic!

A general rule of thumb is to go for high volume and low competition.

4.) Optimise For Seo Using SEO Yoast

Once you have got your keywords and long-tail keyword for each post, you can then start the process of incorporating them into your articles. The SEO Yoast plugin is great for this as it will guide you through the process of meeting Google’s algorithm and therefore ranking your post well. Your keyword research will start to pay off!

Simply go to Plugins > Add New Plugin > *SEO YOAST*  and then it will appear below every post.

keyword research

As you can see, here are just a few of the elements you’ll have to change to make sure the keyword is fully optimised.

In the green, this is what you are doing well and you don’t need to change anything. In the red section, these are the things you need to change for on-page SEO optimisation! When you follow exactly what Yoast is telling you, your on-page keyword optimisation will improve significantly.

5) Rinse and Repeat

By rinse and repeating this process and targetting low competition and high searched volume keywords, you’re going to get success for sure.

Not only will you be doubling down on online traffic, but it’s going to be TARGETTED traffic due to the niche keyword in your industry you’re optimising.

For every single post, if you follow this guide you’re going to see results for sure. Yes, it might be a long-term process but over time you will see your traffic slowly grow and your audience will get bigger.

Here’s a summary of the steps you can quickly note down (if you find this easier):

1.) Figure out what articles you want to write about
2.) identify the main keywords in Google keyword planner 
3.) Analyse search volume and competition
4.) Optimise in SEO Yoast
5.) Rinse and repeat