Keyword research can be a complex beast. It needs to take a whole load of data from the internet about keyword volumes, competition levels, authority scores, etc, and then put all this data in the context of your website.

At SEOHive we’ve produced a keyword research process that makes all this really straightforward through a few tabs on a Google Sheet. The video above explains how this works ☝️

As part of our onboarding process, we will automatically provide you with the Google Sheet.

Please note: if you receive our Scout Reports, only the KW Analysis Tab will be complete… the rest of the sheet would be completed upon site registration.

Key factors when conducting keyword research

Keyword Baseline

A keyword baseline is the competition level that a given website is already ranking well for. This baseline is important when conducting keyword research as it gives the benchmark by which we can demonstrate the “quick wins” vs the long term projects.

Essentially, if a website is already ranking for terms with a competition level are 20%, for example, then it should be relatively easy to rank for other terms of a similar difficulty… terms above this level will be more challenging. Likewise, if you have a different site in exactly the industry, but with a current baseline of 45, then there would be far more terms in the “quick wins” pile, and the difficulty level would be higher.

Top 20 terms

“Top 20 terms” are the terms the website already ranks on pages 1 and 2 (i.e. positions 1 to 20) in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). There may be far more than 20 actual keywords in this list. The median difficulty level of these Top 20 terms becomes your keyword baseline (see above 🤓)

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword Difficulty is a percentage score indicating the authority of the websites that are ranking on page 1 for that given term. That’s not to say your authority has to be that figure, but it gives an indication of the level your webiste needs to be performing at.

Competition Level

Similar to Keyword Difficulty, the competition level is also an indication of difficulty, however this takes into account number of results and SERP changes (i.e. how active are other websites in trying to rank for this term?).

To generalise the difference between Keyword Difficulty and Compeition level:

  • Keyword Difficulty has more of an on page emphasis
  • Competition Level has more emphasis from the SERP side of things

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Whilst cost per click isn’t a true organic keyword research metric, it holds a lot of value when making decisions around keywords.

It’s important to understand how Google makes money… By selling ads at the top of the organic listings.

In order to charge a premium for these ads, Google tries to ensure that the 10 organic results on page 1 are the best results it can find on the internet for each keyword. This in turn promotes the bidding on each keyword for ads, hence it makes more money.

Advertisers will normally only invest in keywords that convert. Therefore, considering CPC data in your keyword research can give you the upper hand on whether to consider keywords with a higher Difficulty or Competition level, because you can get an indication of the traffic quality and performance from the CPC.

Can SEOHive help you with keyword research?

We sure can!

If you’re a digital agency looking for SEO support for either your own or your client’s websites, we offer a completely white-label service just for you…

Our Scout Reports offer Keyword Research directly to you, alternatively we perform full keyword research for every website onboarded on to any of our pathways.

Still have questions? Of course, you can always contact us to discuss your specific needs or requirements.