How do I do manual keyword research for a niche website?

Keyword research is essential for any niche website as it aids in identifying the specific terms and phrases your target audience uses. When you understand these terms, you can use them in your website’s content, which in turn helps to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to conduct manual keyword research for your niche website:

Step 1: Understand Your Niche

Before starting with keyword research, you need a clear understanding of your niche. Get to know your target audience and their needs, preferences, and common questions. Check out other websites in your niche to get a sense of the industry’s keywords.

Step 2: Brainstorm Initial Keyword Ideas

The first step in keyword research is brainstorming potential keywords. Think about the topics that are relevant to your niche and list them out. For each topic, write down all keyword ideas that come to your mind. Try to think from the user’s perspective, what they might type into a search engine.

Step 3: Use Keyword Research Tools

While this tutorial focuses on manual research, free keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, and AnswerThePublic can help provide a more comprehensive list.

For instance, Google Keyword Planner provides search volume and competition data, while Ubersuggest offers additional keyword suggestions. AnswerThePublic, on the other hand, can provide a variety of question-based keywords. Use these tools to expand and refine your initial list.

Step 4: Check out Your Competitors

Analyze the top-performing websites in your niche. Look at their content to see what keywords they are targeting. Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can help you find out the keywords your competitors rank for. Don’t copy your competitors, but use this information to find gaps in your own keyword strategy.

Step 5: Long-Tail Keywords

Focus on long-tail keywords. These are longer, more specific phrases that visitors are likely to use when they’re closer to a point of purchase. They are easier to rank for because there’s less competition. For example, instead of “coffee,” a long-tail keyword could be “organic fair-trade coffee beans.”

Step 6: Keyword Metrics

Consider keyword metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty, and relevance.

  • Search volume: This represents the number of people searching for a particular keyword over a given period. High search volume keywords could bring more traffic but might also be more competitive.
  • Keyword difficulty: This shows how hard it would be to rank for a specific keyword. Lower difficulty keywords are preferable as they have less competition.
  • Relevance: The keyword should be relevant to your content and your audience’s interests.

Step 7: Organize Your Keywords

Organize your keywords based on their relevance to your site and potential ROI. You could group them based on topics or the structure of your site. This will help you while creating content for your website.

Step 8: Implement the Keywords

Start incorporating the keywords into your website. They should be included in the titles, headings, meta descriptions, URLs, and within the content itself.

However, remember that your content should still sound natural and be valuable to your readers. Don’t resort to “keyword stuffing,” which could negatively affect your search engine rankings.

Step 9: Monitor Your Progress

Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor how well your site is performing with your chosen keywords. If some keywords aren’t driving traffic, it might be worth focusing on others.

Step 10: Adjust and Refine Your Keyword Strategy

After monitoring your website’s performance, you may need to adjust your keyword strategy. You might find that some keywords are not performing as expected, or perhaps new keywords have emerged that you could target.

You may need to update your content to incorporate these changes or even create new content to target specific keywords. Remember, search trends change over time, so it’s important to keep up with these changes to remain relevant.

Step 11: Maintain Keyword Relevance

As time goes by, review your keyword list. Some might become obsolete or irrelevant. The niche may evolve, and new trends may arise. When this happens, update your list, and keep your website and its content fresh and relevant.

Check out Should I Use a Paid Tool for Niche Website Keyword Research?

FAQs on Manual Keyword Research

How often should I perform keyword research for my niche website?

Keyword research is not a one-time task. It should be an ongoing process as search trends and user behaviors change over time. A good rule of thumb is to do a comprehensive review of your keywords and your website’s performance every quarter. However, you might need to do it more often if you’re just starting out, or if your niche is particularly volatile or influenced by seasonal trends.

What should I do if a keyword has a high search volume but also high competition?

A high search volume means the keyword could potentially drive a lot of traffic to your website. However, high competition means many websites are targeting that keyword, and it may be challenging to rank highly in search engine results. In this case, it might be a good strategy to target long-tail variants of the keyword, which are more specific and tend to have less competition.

Can I use the same keywords for all my website content?

While you should maintain consistency in the keywords you target, using the exact same keywords for all content pieces can lead to keyword cannibalization – this is when several pages on your website compete against each other in search results. It’s better to target a variety of relevant keywords that reflect the diverse range of content on your website. Consider using a keyword mapping strategy to ensure each piece of content targets unique and relevant keywords.

How to do manual keyword research for a niche website
How to do manual keyword research for a niche website


Keyword research is a fundamental part of SEO and critical for the success of any niche website. It may seem like a lot of work initially, but once you start doing it, you’ll find it’s an ongoing process that becomes part of your routine.

Remember, the purpose of keyword research is to understand the language of your potential visitors and use that understanding to create content that meets their needs. By using the keywords that your audience uses, you’ll be able to attract more visitors to your site, provide them with useful content, and ultimately, convert them into customers.