Templates /
Keyword Research Checklist
Keyword Research Checklist
Keyword Research Checklist by Katrina Gallagher, Digitangle Ltd
List keywords inspired by your audience
List keywords inspired by your competition
Brainstorm and expand keyphrases
Find out how competitive and frequent each term is
Organise and display keyphrases
Select Ranking Report Tool

List keywords inspired by your audience

There’s no point in ranking for terms that you think are great if your audience doesn’t use them.

It’s very common for people to assume that they know what their customers search for, whether or not they’ve done any research into it. 

Intuition isn’t good enough, don’t just guess, make sure that you test your assumptions.

Tools and methods:

  • Ask your customers what they search for to find you
  • Answer The Public (free tool)
  • See what questions people post in forums (e.g. Quora)
  • Audience View by Hitwise (Paid tool)
  • Brandwatch (Paid tool)
  • What users do (Paid tool)

List any phrases that you find in your keyword list.

You can use a spreadsheet, paper list or something like this:


List keywords inspired by your competition

You can expand your list by looking at what keyphrases the competition is using.


Add these phrases to your keyword list.

Brainstorm and expand keyphrases

Think outside the box – what type of information does Google think should be on the page?
What words are people using when they can’t think of the name of your product?

Consider Search Engine Quirks and Limitations. 

  • Close variants (Search Engines are not as rigid with the keyphrase match as they were in the past)
  • Query re-writing (e.g. Search Engines will offer suggestions when they think you’ve typed something incorrectly).
  • Not provided (Google Analytics no longer reports on keywords from logged in users).

Brainstorming Tools:

  • Soovle (free)
  • Google Search Console (free) See what you already rank for.
  • Tool feast Autosuggest
  • Buzz Sumo Question Analyser
  • Answer the public (free)
    • Preposition wheel
    • Comparison wheel
  • https://www.thehoth.com/search-engine-rankings/ (find keywords that a website ranks for)

Add relevant phrases to your keyword list.

Find out how competitive and frequent each term is

You might find that the initial keyphrases are very competitive, so as part of your plan, your earlier stages might include creating content to target easier, longer or more niche phrases.

Search Volume tools:

Use the competition & search volume data from these tools.

Organise and display keyphrases

Now it’s time to evaluate, group and order your keyphrases them by priority.

Group keyphrases by category, or where they might come in the customer journey. 

Consider what type of content you would create for each keyword. Hubspot have some great examples here: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/content-for-every-funnel-stage

Tools to organise and display keyphrases

Choose your method of displaying your keywords.

I’ve created a free template in Airtable that you can use to guide you through the process:



Select Ranking Report Tool

A good way to learn from your optimisation efforts is to track what you do and how your website ranks for the keyphrases that you have selected.

You could search each keyphrase, each day and add them to a spreadsheet, but along with this being a time-consuming process, there are limitations to the accuracy (Google provides different results based on search history and location for example).

The following tools will help you track where your website ranks in the search engines regularly:

Take control of your workflows today.