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Keyword Research Powerhouse: Tools and Techniques for SEM

    SEM keyword research

    Keyword Research Powerhouse: Tools and Techniques for SEM

    Keyword research in SEM is an important method that can increase your ranking on search engines, reach a wider audience, and gain visibility to your target audience. However, using keyword research to its full potential can only be done by those with knowledge of how to use it.

    To dominate your goals in search engine marketing, you will have to learn the process of applying keyword research step-by-step as well as the effects of these keywords on your website’s ranking.

    Once understood and applied correctly, search engines that take note of your information in a particular keyword will show your website on their pages. The best possible outcome is for your content to reach the first page of Google, Bing, or other search engines. 

    What is the importance of keyword research in SEM

    SEM combined with keyword research and search intent creates an effective way to reach your target market in the digital world. It's necessary to understand user search intent, phrasing, and related keywords to reach your potential customers on the Internet.

    If utilized to its utmost potential, your paid search will dominate the first pages of search engines that were applied with your methods. This will allow you to get an enhanced awareness of your brand, acquire more potential buyers, and increase your pay-per-click sales.

    Keyword Research Process: A step-by-step guide

    SEM’s keyword research has a process that must be followed to be used effectively. Take the time to read through each step and understand why these steps are necessary before using them accordingly. Take note that all of these steps cannot be skipped over to reach the full potential of your paid search.

    SEM keyword research

    1. Understand the different types of keywords

    Before beginning to use keyword research in SEM, you should know that there are different types of them applicable depending on the content of your article. There are many types of keywords that you can find on the Internet.

    Examples of these keywords are seeds, long-tail keywords, niche keywords, branded keywords, and unbranded keywords.

    Seed Keywords

    Seed keywords are the beginning of your research using keywords. When thinking about a particular topic for your content related to your brand the first word that you choose to search on is the seed keyword. Just like an actual seed, it is the beginning of the growth of your content.

    Long-tail Keywords

    Long-tail keywords are keywords that expand beyond two words. There are instances when these types of keywords are more like phrases or broken sentences. However, using them gives you an edge by pinpointing exactly what users are searching for.

    Niche Keywords

    Niche keywords are specific words that are unique words related to the content you have written for your brand. An example of this is “pet-friendly plants” or “sustainable sandals."

    Branded and Unbranded Keywords

    Finally, branded and unbranded keywords refer to a brand of a product as the keyword itself or the type of product being discussed. Some examples include “Colgate” for toothpaste and “toothpaste products.”

    2. Use popular keyword research tools

    SEM keyword research tools provide the assistance necessary to compare, rank, and choose the words you need to be visible in search engine results pages (SERPs). Many tools are used by SEO experts and digital marketing teams online.

    Primary choices of keyword research tools would be SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Google Ads. However, there are other free tools that you can use when building a startup company.

    These tools can help you compare rankings, find related keywords, choose the keywords effective and applicable to your content, and help you understand the statistics behind the top-ranking competitors in search engines.

    3. Use effective keyword research techniques

    SEM keyword research techniques are also important to apply. Now that you have an idea about the different keywords and have the tools to search for them, it’s time to learn how to make sure that the search engines acknowledge your content. Here are two samples of techniques you can begin with.

    Keyword Stuffing

    A big problem with many search engine optimizations is keyword stuffing. Avoid using the keywords repeatedly in the same paragraph and article in general. Not only does it help you rank higher in SERPs, but it also ensures that your readers do not get tired of understanding your content.

    Monthly Search Volume (MSV)

    You can also look into and learn from such as analyzing the monthly search volume in a city, country, or the whole world. The higher the volume monthly for a search, the more traffic you can acquire. However, the downside is that there is tougher competition the higher the MSV is.

    Your company and its website's ranking in the industry also play a part in the effectiveness of your SEM. If your primary keywords, meaning the ones you wish to rank first in, have household brands that dominate them, it’s best to think of a different strategy.

    This means using the long-tail and niche keywords that can give you a higher ranking. However, keep in mind that this type of technique is temporary and that you will eventually be competing with these top competitors depending on the success of your marketing campaigns.

    4. Prioritize keywords based on search intent and competition

    There’s always a catch when it comes to keyword research. SEM includes search intent and comparing your keyword competition with your information. However, to go about beating your competitors for the top spot you will need to learn how to phrase your words correctly.

    All keywords can be sorted into four main parts: informational, transactional, commercial, and navigational. All of these forms of keywords can be used depending on the ranking of your website, your competitor’s keywords, and your target audience.


    When users are looking for information they tend to write down “who is…” or “what is…” on the search engine. Informational keywords target these kinds of phrases.


    Users looking to purchase items also have their phrases that begin with words like “buy” or “sell” which can be used in SEM keyword research to target purchasing users.


    Commercial-based keywords are different from informational or transactional. Instead of asking or looking to buy and learn about content, they intend to find reviews on products before buying. Their keywords tend to have the words “review” or “best” in their phrases.


    The last user search intent is purely navigational. These types of keywords tend to search for websites using the search engine instead of typing down the website’s address. Those looking for your brand and a specific product will likely use this form of keywords. Consider 'Colgate toothpaste' as an example, where the brand name is mentioned alongside its product

    5. Optimize website content and meta descriptions for target keywords

    SEM keyword research isn’t just about putting it on scattered parts of your content. Optimizing these keywords in primary and secondary order gives you an idea of where to place the main targeted keyword and its related ones on your website.

    Using meta descriptions and placing these high-priority keywords can give users an insight into the topic of your content on search engines before choosing to click on your website. Landing pages benefit similarly. Keywords on these pages continue to be useful for targeting audiences.

    6. Create a keyword targeting strategy for PPC campaigns

    SEM keyword research can also be promoted by the use of pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Once you have identified the primary keyword targeting your audience and their search intent, successful PPC campaigns can be assured through thorough strategizing.

    A pay-per-click campaign is a process where marketing teams pay fees to post their advertisement. This means the advertisers pay a fee every time a user browsing their apps or websites clicks on their advertisement. The users are then prompted to purchase or inquire about the promoted topic.

    To successfully commit to a keyword targeting strategy, marketing teams must analyze which keyword is producing high-performance results. You can do this with a wide variety of tools like Google Ads Manager or SEMrush.


    The process of SEM keyword research can be overwhelming to beginners. That is why learning these simple steps can create an effective jumpstart to your journey. Each step provides a purpose for your marketing team to drive home the coveted awards that search engine marketing can bring. 

    Want to know more about SEM tips and different strategies for effective digital marketing? Check out our blog page to expand your knowledge and begin your SEO journey!