How to do keyword research on Google

My how to do keyword research on Google for free guide will show you how to find keywords for your blog posts.

Some new bloggers find keyword research difficult because they are not sure where to start. You start, by finding out what problems people have in your niche.

Once you know what people are searching for, you write posts that offer solutions to their problems. Write blog posts that are thorough and detailed. Writing blog posts that answer specific search queries have a better chance of ranking. This is important when your blog is new and you don’t have domain authority.

Let’s get started

Use Google search in a private window

Each time you use Google search, it remembers what you searched for and what sites you clicked to visit. Collecting this information helps Google provide search results that are more suited to you.

That is great when you are using Google as a search tool, but not great when you are using Google to conduct keyword research. Google will try to give you search results that it thinks you will like.

To prevent Google from doing that we sign out of our Google account or open a private browser. I prefer to open a private browser.

I use when I do keyword research because I want to find information about the biggest audience. If you are not in the United States, Google will probably have a search engine for the country you are in. This local search engine will favor local search queries.

Enter your main keyword into Google

Your main keyword could be the topic of your site or one of your categories. The main keyword or seed keyword will be the keyword with the most searches. Keywords with the most searches will be extremely competitive, not something a new website could hope to compete with.

Let’s say I have a travel blog and I want to write posts about travel insurance. I would never rank for such a competitive term, but I can use it to find some excellent long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are keywords that have more than three words in the search phrase.

Here is my private browser, I have also signed out of my Google account, this will help me do keyword research without having Google use my browsing history to change the results.

I typed my seed keyword into Google.

Google search engine

The great thing about Google is that it wants to help you finish your search query for you. It is this feature that we use to find keywords. The suggested search queries are what we are going to use. If Google is giving you a suggestion, then it is a phrase people are putting into Google.

The keyword options I have in the first screenshot are not long enough for me. These keywords will be too competitive.

To increase my keyword options, I am going to put a blank space before the first letter.

Like this.

Google search results

Now Google is trying to find words and phrases to fill the gap. Again I have more suggestions, but the keywords are not long enough. These phrases will be competitive.

To get some better long-tail keywords, I’m going to use questions words. I like to find out what people are asking so that I can build an answer post.

Let’s start with ‘Wh’ in the space before ‘Travel’ and see what Google suggests.

Google search suggestions

My suggestions are getting better, but I want to find longer phrases than this.

I am going to type ‘What is’ before ‘Travel’ and then type the letter ‘a’ after ‘insurance’.

Like this.

Keyword research on Google

Now I am starting to get some excellent long-tail keywords. Now I would save these long-tail keywords to do competitor analysis.

To continue this keyword research method you continue to put different letters of the alphabet at the end of your seed keyword. You can also put letters at the beginning too.

I use question words because I like to find questions. You might need other phrases.

Get more suggestions from Google

Google has two more excellent features to help you find long-tail keywords. These features are ‘People also ask’ and ‘Related searches’.

We find these features when we click on one of the search suggestions.

For example, let’s choose ‘What is travel insurance and do I need it?’, from the list in the previous screenshot.

Use Google's people also ask feature when doing keyword research

The ‘People also ask’ feature usually appears below or near the snippet.

In the ‘People also ask’ section, you get more long-tail keyword suggestions. If you click on any one of the down arrows on the right, Google will add more suggestions to this list.

‘Related searches’ appear at the bottom of the search page.

In related searches, we find variations of our keyword phrase.

Looking at the websites on this results page, there are many established sites, that means it will be difficult for a new site to rank for this keyword.

That does not mean you give up, I would look for more specific phrases. They will have lower search volumes but as a new site, you need to build your reputation, and that takes time. Concentrate on publishing content that is an excellent source of information.

Once you start ranking for keywords, you can expand your content and go for more competitive keywords.

Free keyword research tools

I use two free keyword tools to help me decide on what blog posts I am going to write.

The first tool is ‘Keywords Everywhere’, this tool is available as an add on for Firefox and Chrome browser users.

Once installed, it will tell you average monthly search volumes, cost per click, and keyword difficulty. This data appears under the Google search bar.

Like this.

Keywords Everywhere keyword data

From this data, we can see that about 120,000 people type ‘Travel Insurance’ into Google every month. Advertisers pay almost $6.00 for each click they receive from this page, you can see four companies paying Google on this screenshot. Competition for this keyword is 79/100, which is difficult.

Keywords Everywhere also have a ‘Related Keywords’ and ‘People also search for’ section.

If you are interested in using this free tool, please check out my ‘How do I check how many searches are done for a keyword?‘ post. I go into detail about how you can install and use this excellent tool.

The second tool I use is Ubersuggest. This is another fantastic tool that rivals Semrush and Ahrefs but is free.

When you put a keyword into Ubersuggest, it gives you a lot of interesting data. The first section is a graph and summary of the keyword.

Ubersuggest graph

The second section is ‘Keyword ideas’. You can find alternative long-tail keywords here.

Ubersuggest keyword ideas

The final section is ‘Content ideas’. This section gives a list of blog posts that have your keyword in the blog title. You can also see how many times each post has been shared on Facebook and Pinterest.

It is amazing what information you get with Ubersuggest. I like to use it to spy on my competitors. I want to see what posts my competitors are having success with so that I can get some ideas.

To learn how to use Ubersuggest to spy on your competitors, please visit my ‘What keywords are my competitors ranking for?‘ post.


Google is an excellent tool for doing keyword research. It has a huge database of search queries, so much data, that it can help you finish your search query.

Use this data to find out what searchers are searching for. When you know that, you can write excellent blog posts that have a good chance of ranking.

I do use Keywords Everywhere and Ubersuggest to help, but I don’t rely on their search volume numbers. Only Google knows the exact number, and they don’t tell anyone. Therefore, keyword tools have to make best guesses, use them as guides only.

When I find a long-tail keyword that I want to write a post about, I ask myself, is it a reasonable question to ask? If so, then I write the post.

Google is a gold mine of information. When you set yourself the task of keyword research, be sure to keep a list of the keywords you want to look into later.

After an hour or so on Google, you will have more keywords than you will ever have the time to write posts about.

If you are new to blogging, check out my YouTube channel, I have tutorials on WordPress, SEO, and the Amazon affiliate program.


If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments box below. I reply to everyone.

How do you do keyword research?

Do you use any paid tools?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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  1. Great post!

    Keywords Everywhere is awesome and I have a couple tools that I also like to use. Check out answerthepublic for tons of longtail keywords and questions. And Google’s keyword planner is great if you’re advertising with google ads. You will have more detailed data.

    1. Glad you liked it. Excellent point about using Answer the public, I think I will update this post to include that. It is a fantastic tool to find hundreds of questions people are putting into Google.

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