1. Source the keywords from the place that makes the most sense to your business

This was not obvious to me at first.

You see most tools use Google Suggest to get their keywords.

However, if you run an e-commerce site, Amazon and eBay are much better sources for keywords.

Similarly, if your business relies on traffic from YouTube, only YouTube suggested keywords would bring you a large number of views you deserve.

Apart from these, there are many other sources you can use like Yandex, Alibaba, Wikipedia, and Ask - each provides a specific type of keywords for a particular use-case.

2. Keywords optimized for On-Page and Off-Page SEO are tough to rank for

When I started out learning the basics of keyword research, some people would emphasize backlinks, while others would emphasize on-page factors.

But the reality is that Google ranks websites based on backlinks, on-page factors, and a few hundred other factors.

So, when you are deciding which keywords you want to target, you need to consider how well optimized the top 10 ranking pages are in terms of both backlinks and the on-page optimization.

To do this, you search for the keyword on Google, then look at the top 10 results. You will then look at whether the results have the exact keyword (or a variant) in the URL, title, meta description, headings, and content.

You also look at the backlink profiles for those page using [insert your favorite backlink tool here]

You then can honestly figure out whether this is a keyword that you want to focus on.

Here is a useful nine-minute video we created to explain the different SEO metrics used in Keyword Research.

3. Pay attention to Search Engine Result Page (SERP) features

Do you remember the times when all Google would show were the organic listings?

Then they added ads at the top, ahead of the organic listings ...

then they added local listings ...

then product listings, news articles, knowledge graphs

and then featured snippets ...

and more recently multiple featured snippets

Now, for some keywords, the organic results are shown at the bottom of the page, and even if you rank number One you will likely not get any traffic!

Professional SEOs no longer look only at the monthly search volume. They also look at these SERP features that take traffic away from the organic listings.

They do this because they are smart and know that it is wasteful trying to rank number 1 for such keywords.

So while the rest of us are chasing such high volume useless keywords, they are ranking for keywords that do not have these SERP features.

Here is another short video guide we created on SERP features in 2019

4. Focus only on keywords that improve your bottom line

If you are buying a phone, you probably start with a google search for "Best Android Phones 2019".

Once you have narrowed down to a list of phones you like, you will go research them individually with keywords like "Moto Z3 Play Details" or "How Much RAM Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro Have".

Once you know which phone you want, you then search for "Best Price Moto Z3 Play" or "Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro Discount".

Now the chances of a website making a sale are much higher when they rank for "Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro Discount" than for "Best Android Phone 2019". If you operate an e-commerce site which sells phones, then ranking for "Samsung Galaxy Discount" is more profitable than ranking for "Best Android Phone 2019".

However, if you own a Tech blog that makes money from affiliate sales, then you want to rank for "Best Android Phone 2019" so that you can cookie the website visitors at the start of their buyer journey.

Keywords are, therefore, categorized as Buyer Intent, Product Info, Question and so on and you need to decide which category of keywords you would like to focus your efforts on.

Doing so will ensure that you put the max effort into the most profitable keywords.

For those of you, who read this entire article, and feel exasperated at the amount of time doing all these things will take, you should try Keyword Keg - it automates all of this for you. It also has an excellent import keyword tool that let\'s you import millions of keywords every month!

Here is a short video on the three different keyword tools it provides