Keyword research isn’t sexy – perhaps because it doesn’t offer the same dopamine rush as opening a URL to see your link sitting at the top of an awesome guest post.

However, sexy or not, it’s the foundation of a site that gets plenty of traffic from SEO and I’m going to show you a couple of ways I do it.

You’ll need access to:



These tools aren’t cheap but there are ways around it. SEO group buys or even Fiverr – a quick search will throw up some decent gigs offering access to both SEMRush and Ahrefs.

Open up SEMRush and run your site or the main keyword you wish to rank for through it. This should result in a smorgasbord of data and amongst that will be your competitors. This competitor data is based around the keywords you rank for that are similar.

The good thing about finding competitors this way is that it allows you to see who ranks in competition for a number of keywords rather than one singular one as per a Google search. This provides a more holistic view of not just who you’re up against, but as you’ll see in a minute, plenty of other potential keywords.

Now export the competitors returned by SEMRush relevant to your niche to an Excel sheet and open Authority Metrics. This is a keyword tool that pulls in a lot of data and I really like it.

Place the competitors’ sites or particular pages returned in SEMRush into the ‘Competitor Keyword Suggestion’ box, set the number of keywords you wish to retrieve and click the start button.Depending on the number of keywords these sites rank for, you should see a nice big list of amalgamated search terms for all the sites you inputted.

When the tool is finished running you’ll want to filter them to display the low effort, high benefit terms that are relatively easy to rank for and also herald good results.


I tend to refine using the filters in the following manner:


  • Volume – over 50 searches per month
  • Keyword – including a major singular word keyword related to your site or service it offers. The app pulls back short and long tail terms including this keyword
  • Difficulty – placing the difficulty under 4 leaves you with some quite easy to rank key terms that you can now place into your content.


This method tends to throw up some nice key terms that you can create content around and rank quite easily for with a few links.

A Different Keyword Research Method

Another Keyword Research Method I use to use to increase traffic on a site via easy keyword research is through the Ahrefs Positions Explorer.

Added about 6 months ago, this tool is great and provides some fantastic info on how your site is ranking – often times you won’t even know about.

Simply, add your site to Ahrefs Position Explorer and every place it ranks for in the top 100 is returned with a raft of details including search volumes. Sometimes you may not even realise you’re ranking for these terms.

Next look at the terms that could provide easy traffic for your site with a few ranking improvements. I tend to look at terms that:


  • Have a decent volume
  • Have positive searcher intent
  • Are ranked off page 1 and maybe page 2 if you like


Next, export a list of terms that meet the aforementioned and open Authority Metrics again. Copy and paste these terms into the ‘manual keyword entry’ tab and let the tool do the work. It should return similar volumes to Ahrefs and also a gauge of the difficulty of ranking the specific terms. Pick out the ones you like the look of – terms with a difficulty of under 4 are quite easy to rank – and then improve content around them and build backlinks to them and wait and watch as they hit clickable territory.

Both these methods should provide you with a more informed manner of doing keyword research and help improve the amount of traffic going to your site or your client sites.

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