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How to do keyword research when your website is brand new?

Surej Shams

10 January 2019

Almost a year back, I started blogging about digital marketing on my newly started blog.

After a lot of experiments, I finally published my very first blog post.

But everything didn’t go well as I expected. I failed miserably at something very important:

I didn’t do proper keyword research for that article.

And guess what? That post got buried somewhere on the last pages of Google search results.

Over time, I have learned how to do keyword research and optimize blog posts when a website or blog is brand new.

And that’s exactly what I'm going to share with you today.

Why Keyword Research? 

On-page SEO is something that you absolutely cannot ignore. The way you optimize your on-page elements play a big role in deciding your search rankings - and to optimize your on-page elements in the best way possible, you need to choose the right keywords.

Ideally, you need to have one focus keyword for each web page or blog post. If your website runs on WordPress, make use of this plugin called Yoast SEO and it will help you set up your focus keyword within a few clicks.

So, let’s figure out how to find the right keywords when your blog or website is brand new.


How to find the right keywords? 

To do this, you need to be familiar with either of these two free keyword tools.

  1. Ubersuggest by Neil Patel
  2. Keywords Everywhere - Chrome / Mozilla Extension

You can use either of them according to your convenience. Keywords Everywhere is a browser extension that will show you the monthly search volume, CPC (Cost per click) and Competition of keywords right under your Google search bar on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). See image below.

Most importantly, the search volume is the key metric that we have to notice here. 

Whereas if you checkout Ubersuggest by Neil Patel, it will give you a detailed report of the keyword that you are planning to target. See images below.

Here are some of the essential keyword metrics that you can get from Ubersuggest.

  • Monthly search volume of a keyword based on country & language
  • SEO difficulty
  • Top ranking sites for the chosen keyword
  • Domain score of each of the ranking sites
  • Chances of ranking for a chosen keyword

Apart from this, the tool also provides certain metrics that will be helpful in the case of paid search campaigns. Here, I’m going to show you how you can find the right keywords with the help of Ubersuggest. First of all, it would be quite difficult to gain search rankings when your website is brand new, but it is still possible with the right keywords. Here is how we do it in 3 steps: 

Step 1: Choose long tail keywords

The one on-page SEO tactic that works well is long tail keywords.

Long tail keywords are generally easy to rank for because they are more specific and there is less competition. 

Here are a few examples:

If you are going to try to rank from the keyword ‘digital marketing," I would say it’s not even worth trying. It is a highly competitive keyword, and the sites that are already ranking are very tough competitors.

Instead, if you try to rank for a keyword like ‘how to learn digital marketing,' that could actually work. It would be much easier to rank for such a keyword. 

So whatever topic you are going to write about, find long tail keywords related to it. Make a small list of long tail keywords that you can actually consider adding as the focus keyword.

But that’s not all, here is the second step.


Step 2: Look at the search volume

This is extremely important and this is where the secret lies.

So, get that list of long tail keywords that you have chosen and find the monthly average search volume for each of those keywords.

You can use Ubersuggest to find the search volume of each of these keywords. 

I would say, for a new website or blog, you can start targeting keywords with a monthly search volume of 20 - 30.

Those keywords will bring in less traffic, but it would be easy to rank for them, even without any backlinks. 

Along with search volume, you can note down the SEO difficulty as well.

But wait, another important step is pending.


Step 3: Mind the competition

Look at the competition before finalizing your keywords.

Though it is a long tail keyword with less search volume, sometimes the competing sites can be very strong.

They can be old domains with high domain authority and a lot of backlinks. In such cases, ranking for such keywords are going to be difficult.

At least it would be hard for you to find a place on the first page of search results.

Look at the first ten search results, see the domain authority, domain age and link profile of those websites. You can make use of this free website called Small SEO Tools to find out this information.

Additionally, Ubersuggest will give you a metric called domain score, that is almost similar to domain authority. This also can be considered when you compare the competition

The point is, if your competitors that are already ranking are too strong, maybe you should avoid that keyword and pick another one.


Finalizing a keyword

Now you should have a bunch of long tail keywords with their search volume and the list of other ranking sites.

From this list of long tail keywords, you can choose one focus keyword for your next blog post or web page, with lesser search volume and easy to crack competitors.

I have personally tried this tactic and it has worked for some of my blog posts when my site was just 4 months old. Also, it didn’t even have any backlinks then.

Surej Shams is a Blogger & Digital Marketer based out of Bangalore, India. He writes about Digital Marketing on his website

You can contact him through LinkedIn here:

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