The Only Free SEO Keyword Research Guides That You'll Need

With all the talk in the SEO world today about Google+, authorship, in-depth articles, social signals, and many of the fly-by-night tactics that may or may not be around in 6 months, there is one thing that is the foundation of most digital marketing strategies – keyword research.

Whether you are running a PPC campaign; doing SEO and content strategy; or trying to inform the content architecture of your new website design, keyword research should be at the forefront of the strategy.

If you’re reading this article you probably already understand the importance of choosing the best keywords to drive traffic from the search engines. But when it comes to keyword research in 2018 and beyond, you’ll need to go beyond the basics to get the most out of your website and content strategy.

Keyword Research Guides

If you type “Keyword Research” into Google, you’ll see there are over a million tutorials, tips, services, and tools that were built to help you perform and learn how to do keyword research – and close to 5000 articles targeting that exact phrase. Some of them are spot on, some are outdated (damn you Google), some are over-simplified to the point they are useless, and some are just plain wrong.

How do you know which ones you can trust to teach you everything you need to know about keyword research? We were wondering the same thing, so we narrowed it down to 7 of the best keyword research guides that cover everything you need to know.

Below you will find 7 keyword research guides that go beyond just looking at keyword search volume, and instead dig into the depths of what modern keyword research is all about.

Keyword Research For Beginners

This great guide from Seer Interactive dives into the basics of keyword research. It outlines the insights learned from a specific SEO case in which the keyword list grew very quickly.

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The 8 Dimensions of a Perfect Keyword

This article published on the Godaddy Garage outlines the 8 filters that should be applied to keywords to help find the best topics for your website. These 8 dimensions will help refine your keyword strategy and keep your topics aligned with not only search engines, but user value as well.

Read The 8 Dimensions of a Perfect Keyword

You Can’t Do Keyword Research Like Its 2010

In this Whiteboard Friday Video from Moz, Rand digs into the evolution of keyword research and how we as marketers need to shift our thought process, or risk doing more harm than good.

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How To Do Keyword Research In 2017

This is not your typical keyword research guide that teaches you how to find search terms with high volume and low competition. This guide will cover topics such as: figuring out if your website has the power to rank for the keywords you want, how to increase your chances for a higher Click Trough Rates, and even how to increase your chances for organic growth from the targeted keyword.

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Keyword Research: The Definitive Guide

This guide from Backlinko is a great guide to help even a beginner learn how to do keyword research. It was built upon the premise and belief that keywords are like a compass for your SEO campaigns: they tell you where to go and whether or not you’re making progress.

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Why Your SEO Keyword Research Should Be Informed By Your Readers

This keyword research guide takes a refreshing look at using your readers to help define your keyword research strategy. It explores topics such as: developing buyer personas, using focus groups to gain keyword insights, and leveraging your social channels to help focus your keywords.

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5 Modern Keyword Research Methods to Uncover Hidden Gems

This guide from Neil Patel looks at keyword research in a slightly different way. He explores the idea there are a ton of keywords that are not reported in the Google Keyword Planner, and uncovering these can lead to big traffic growth. The guide walks you through modern keyword research methods that you can use to uncover unique keywords.

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What They All Agree On

Even though these guides might have slight nuances between them, they all agree on one thing – if you don’t evolve past only looking at search volume, you’re doing an injustice to your content strategy, SEO, and users.