Keyword analysis

En keyword analysis is the foundation of a successful SEO effort. Analytics provide insights into what your audience is searching for on Google, and therefore what content can attract and engage your audience. In this post, you'll learn how to conduct an effective keyword analysis.


What is a keyword analysis?

En keyword analysis is the foundation of a successful SEO effort. Keyword analysis provides insights into what your audience is searching for on Google (challenges, needs and intentions that you can offer a solution to) and what your audience is searching for most (i.e. what content can attract the most potential customers to your website).

The first step in keyword analysis is to make a list of all possible keywords and keyword phrases that can be related to your products and services. If you have many products, you may want to focus on a few selected product areas, for example those where your profits are highest or those where you want to spend less money on advertising in the long term.

If your target audience speaks several languages, you should initially focus on one language only. If your target audience is English, the keywords in the keyword analysis should be in English - and so should the content on your website. It may go without saying, but unfortunately we are seeing an increasing trend of companies choosing to have an English-only website, even if the target audience is Danish.

Methods for finding keywords

Use the following six simple methods to compile your keyword list. The more methods you use and the more time you spend on keyword analysis, the better the foundation for your further SEO work. Write all keywords in a column in a spreadsheet. You'll prioritise and evaluate the keywords later - initially it's just about finding as many relevant words as possible.

Method 1: Common sense

Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and write down all the keywords and search phrases you can imagine them using to find your products or services. Get input from relevant people in your company (for example, your sales team, marketing team and customer advisors) and ask your customers if you can.

Include synonyms and conjugations. For example, the search phrase 'conference rooms in copenhagen' can be varied like this: 'conference rooms copenhagen' and 'conference room kbh'. Synonyms might be 'meeting rooms', 'meeting facilities', 'course rooms', 'course centre', 'course venues', 'conference centre' and 'conference facilities'.

If you have a webshop, the keyword analysis can be based on the product categories on the website. Often, the category names (e.g. 'sofas', 'razor blades' and 'Hugo Boss') correspond to the keywords most frequently used by your target audience. Specific product names can generally be ignored because the number of searches for these is low.

Method 2: Google search

Do a Google search for a relevant keyword. As you type in the keyword, Google will show you a range of related keywords and search phrases based on what other users have previously searched for. At the bottom of the search page itself, you'll also find a short list of related keywords and search phrases.

So you can enter a keyword and then be presented with variations of the word and similar words that you can use in your keyword analysis. You can't see which keywords and search phrases are most popular, but you'll get that information later. Right now, it's just a matter of finding as many relevant words as possible.

Method 3: Google Keyword Planning

Based on the keywords you have already found, you can expand the list considerably by using Google Keyword Planning (also known as Google Keyword Planner). It is Google's own tool for Google Ads advertisers and a very effective tool for finding relevant keywords for your keyword analysis.

The tool is free, but to get full access to all features you need to have an active ad campaign. It's money well spent - if only for a short time - because you'll need full access later in the keyword analysis process, when you'll need to use the number of searches for each keyword before prioritising the keywords.

Create a free account at ads.google.com. Click 'Tools and settings' at the top, then 'Scheduling' and 'Keyword scheduling'. Click on 'Find new keywords' and enter one or more keywords from your list of keywords from which you want to generate ideas. Click on 'See results' to view the ideas.

Check that the correct geographical area and language are selected at the top of the page. Download the keyword suggestions via the blue link at the top right and add them to your keyword list. You don't need to unsort any keywords at this stage. The average number of monthly searches is not relevant yet.

You may want to repeat the process if there are more keywords on your list from which you want to generate ideas. Your list of keywords could potentially be several thousand, and while this may seem overwhelming, it is a good starting point for later sorting and prioritising the keywords.

Method 4: Google Ads

If you have - or previously had - an ad campaign in Google Ads, you can use the keywords from that campaign in your keyword analysis. You can find the keywords by clicking on 'Search campaigns' at the top of the left menu. Then click on 'Keywords' and download all the keywords by clicking on 'Download' in the top right corner.

Please note that the downloaded keyword list may contain special characters and that these must not be included in your own keyword list. Keywords preceded by - (negative keywords) and + (broad match) must not be re-used in your list. Keywords surrounded by " " or [ ] can be re-used if you remove the special characters.

Method 5: Competitor keywords

Use the keywords that your competitors are using and are visible on. The easiest way is to visit their website and see what words they use to describe their products. You can also enter their website into Google Keyword Planning (see method 3) to get keyword ideas based on the content on the website.

However, the best method is to use an analysis tool such as SEMrush. In SEMrush, you can enter your competitors' domains and then get a list of the keywords for which they are actually visible in Google search results. You can also see their position on each keyword, giving you a solid basis for selecting keywords to focus on.

Method 6: Answer The Public

I Answer The Public you can enter a keyword and then get a list of questions searched for on Google related to that keyword. This will give you an insight into the questions your target audience wants answered and can inspire both keywords and subsequent content production.

The tool is free for a limited number of searches, and it supports a number of different languages, including Danish (select 'DA' under Country). Please note that the language differentiation is not always correct and that you may well get one or more foreign language questions even if you have set the language to English.

See more tools for keyword analysis.

Types of searches

Three types of searches are distinguished. They are useful to know when you are about to select and prioritise the keywords you will work with in your keyword analysis.

Navigation searches

Navigation searches (also called branded searches) are searches that contain your company name, for example 'IKEA beds' and 'holiday rentals DanCenter'. In other words, these are searches from people who know your business and are looking for it specifically.

SEO-wise, these searches are not very interesting because you are usually already positioned at the top of Google for searches that include your company name. Therefore, these searches should only be included in your keyword analysis if you are not visible at the top of Google or if you want to make sure that these searches show relevant content that answers the user's query.

In cases where you are not positioned at the top of navigation searches, it is usually because your website is brand new and therefore not yet indexed by Google, that others have a business name similar to yours, or that you have a generic business name such as 'Cheap Bicycles' with high competition on Google.

Information searches

Information searches are searches for information to give the user knowledge about something or an answer to a question, for example 'what is comprehensive insurance' and 'best sunscreen'. In other words, these are searches where your target audience is researching a given topic and where they are not immediately ready to buy something.

The more often your company appears on information searches, the greater the chance you have of imprinting yourself on the minds of your potential customers. And in doing so, you increase the chance that they will buy something from you later, when they are ready to make a purchase. Information-based keywords are therefore very relevant to include in your keyword analysis.

Later, when you optimise your website for these searches, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and assess what knowledge they need. On these types of searches, don't try to sell anything to your target audience right away. Instead, provide them with knowledge and answer their questions, building trust and establishing yourself as expert in your field.

Transaction searches

Transaction searches are purchase-oriented searches. These may include words such as 'buy', 'price', 'offer', 'cheap' or 'for sale', but are often just single words, such as 'car insurance' and 'men's shoes'. For this type of search, the user should find a category or product page where the user can find product information and purchase the product in question.

These searches are important to be visible on if you sell products or services, because these are users who are well into the buying phase and have a high propensity to buy. And in that case, they should be included in your keyword analysis. Note that it is not always possible to distinguish information searches from transactional searches. For example, the keyword 'seo' can be used both by someone who wants to know what seo is and by someone who wants to buy help with seo.

Search volumes

An important parameter for prioritising the keywords you have found is the search volume, i.e. the number of monthly searches for each keyword. The higher the search volume, the more traffic the keyword can potentially generate to your website, and the more relevant the keyword typically is to work with (more on this later).

Find the search volume for each keyword using Google Keyword Planningthat you used earlier to find keyword ideas for the keyword analysis. You can only get the exact search volume if you have an active ad campaign - alternatively you get a loose estimate. Use the following procedure:

  1. Sign in to the Google Ads account you created.
  2. Click on 'Tools and settings' at the top.
  3. Select 'Planning' and click on 'Keyword planning'.
  4. Select 'Get search volume data and forecasts' and enter your keywords. You can enter up to 2,500 words at a time by copying the entire column from your spreadsheet.
  5. Click on the 'Get started' button and then on the 'Historical metrics' tab at the top.
  6. Click on the grey arrow at the top right and select 'Historical plan metrics' to download keywords and search volumes. You only need the keywords (A) and search volumes (D) column of the downloaded file - you can delete the rest.

Please note that Google Keyword Planning automatically groups keywords with the same meaning, for example 'company car' and 'company cars'. So don't worry if you get fewer keywords out than you type in, or if the singular or plural form of some words is missing.

Please also note that the search volumes in the downloaded file are written in the wrong number format. If you are using Excel on PC, all the numbers will incorrectly end with '.0'. Click on the 'Edit' tab and then 'Replace' to replace '.0' with nothing so that the numbers are correct.

If you are using Excel on Mac, do not open the file, but instead import it into Excel, and only then can you correct the incorrect number format. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Click on the 'Files' tab in Excel and then 'Import...'.
  2. Select 'CSV file' and click the 'Import' button at the bottom right.
  3. Find the file you have downloaded and click on the 'Download data' button.
  4. Click the 'Next' button twice until you reach the 'Here you can select each column and specify the data type.' screen.
  5. Click on the fourth column, which says 'Avg. monthly searches' and select 'Text' as the column data format above.
  6. Click the 'Finish' button. Select 'New sheet' and click the 'OK' button.
  7. The search volumes you now get incorrectly end with '.0'. Click on the 'Edit' tab, then 'Search' and 'Replace...' to replace '.0' with nothing so that the numbers are correct.

The keywords and search volumes document forms the basis for your further prioritisation and selection of keywords in the keyword analysis as described in the next section. If you have downloaded several files from Google Keyword Planning, you should collect all keywords and search volumes in the same document.

Selection of keywords

Your list of potentially relevant keywords is probably very long - depending on how large your product range is and how thorough you have been in the initial analysis phase. Your task now is to narrow down the list and select the keywords you want to work on further in your keyword analysis.

The narrowing down and selection of keywords takes place in several steps:

  1. Sorts all keywords without search volume.
  2. Group closely related keywords.
  3. Associate each group of keywords with a page on your website.
  4. Select the pages you want to work on.

You can read about each point below. Make sure you have four columns in the spreadsheet you are working with - Keywords, Monthly Searches (search volume), Group and Page - as shown in the image below. Columns C and D are currently empty. Format the four columns as a sortable table by clicking on the 'Home' tab in Excel and then the 'Format as Table' icon.

Keywords in keyword analysis

1. Sort all keywords without search volume

Sort the table by search volume (monthly searches), so that the keywords with the highest search volume are at the top. The sorting can be done by clicking on the small grey arrow at the top of column B and then clicking on the 'Descending' button.

Delete any keywords at the bottom of the list with no search volume or a search volume of 0. In both cases, the number of searches for each keyword is below 10 per month, and the keywords therefore cannot generate traffic to your website and are not relevant to work with in the keyword analysis.

If your remaining list of keywords is several thousand words, you might also consider deleting keywords with a search volume of 10 and 20. The list is likely to contain more relevant keywords with a higher search volume, and you will simplify the subsequent grouping work if you reduce the number of keywords in the list.

2. Group closely related keywords

One page on your website (a product category, a product page, a blog post or similar) can be visible on several different keywords if the keywords are closely related. For example, the keywords 'holiday home rental', 'holiday home rental' and 'holiday home rental' - the intention behind the keywords is the same and thematically they fit well together on one page.

If the keywords are not closely related, you will get better results by spreading the keywords across different pages of your website. For example, the keywords 'blender', 'hand blender' and 'fruit squeezer'. This also applies to geographically separated keywords such as 'locksmith skagen', 'locksmith bornholm' and 'locksmith nordsjælland'.

Based on the above, group closely related keywords in the keyword analysis, and let it be said right away: It's a time-consuming task. Review your list of keywords from the top (i.e. from the highest volume keywords) and select the first relevant keyword. Irrelevant keywords (e.g. where the adjective 'cheap' appears) can be deleted or simply left out.

Filter the table by the selected keyword by clicking on the grey arrow at the top of column A and entering the keyword in singular form in the search field. You will now see all the words in the list that contain that keyword. All these words are probably closely related and can be grouped in column C as shown in the image below. Remove (or simply do not group) irrelevant keywords.

Keyword analysis

Then remove the filter by clicking on the grey arrow at the top of column A and clicking on the 'Clear filter' button. Repeat the process with the next relevant keyword in the list, stopping only when you have gone through the whole list or when you have grouped so many keywords that the number far exceeds the amount of grouped keywords it is realistic for you to work with further.

There will be cases where it is not obvious whether two keywords should be grouped or allocated to different pages. For example, the keywords 'pendant' and 'hanging lamps'. In that case, you can do a Google search for each keyword to see what others have done. A search for 'pendants' reveals that several of the top-ranked companies have successfully grouped the two keywords on the same page, so you can use the same strategy.

There are also likely to be instances where you come across keywords that match keywords you have previously grouped. For example, if you first group all keywords containing 'car rental' and later encounter the keyword 'car rental' - or if you first group keywords on 'commuter' and later encounter 'hanging lamps'.

If a group of keywords contains many different keywords, you might consider splitting it into two groups. For example, you may have initially grouped 'liability insurance' and 'liability insurance for young people', but later find that there are so many keywords and searches for the latter that you could usefully have a separate page targeting just that topic.

3. Associate each group of keywords with a page

Sort the table of keywords by column C, so that the keywords in the keyword analysis are ordered in groups. To sort the table, click the grey arrow at the top of column C and click either 'Ascending' or 'Descending'. Your task now is to decide which pages on your website to optimise for each group of keywords. These can be existing pages or new pages you create for the purpose.

You know your website and probably have a good idea of which pages match each group of keywords. If you have an existing page that matches a keyword group, enter the page's URL in column D. If not, i.e. if the keywords require the creation of a new page, enter the subject of the page in column D followed by '(new page)'.

Keyword analysis

You can qualify the choice of pages by using a keyword rank tracker-tool such as Rank Tracker to see your website's position on each keyword and the exact subpage of the website that is positioned on the keyword. This knowledge makes it easier for you to associate the right pages with the keywords, and you can also use the information when prioritising pages later.

There are many different rank tracker tools, and it would be too extensive to go into detail about their functionality here. Basically, they work by you entering your domain, choosing a country and entering the list of keywords you have found, then you get data about your position on each keyword and the page of the website that is positioned on each keyword:

Keyword position in keyword analysis

The example above illustrates the considerations you should make with your new knowledge. For example, suppose you have grouped all six keywords shown on the same page because they all relate to the price of home insurance. The keyword 'home insurance student price' is probably a better fit for the page you already have for students, which is already visible on the keyword.

The keywords that include 'calculate' match quite well with the price calculator that is already visible on the keywords and which may also be the page you originally linked the keywords to. The keyword 'home insurance price' is more ambiguous, as your general home insurance page is visible on this keyword. In this case, you need to consider whether the user's search query would be better answered if the user saw the price calculator instead, in which case the keyword should be linked to that.

In other words, data about your current positions on Google can provide the basis for further changes to the groupings you've made. You may want to retrieve the data before grouping the keywords in point 2. Combining points 2 and 3 can make your work more efficient, but it requires a greater overview from you because you will have to deal with several parameters at the same time.

4. Select the pages you want to work on

Your Excel document now contains a long list of pages with associated groups of keywords on which it is more or less relevant for you to be visible. Select and prioritise the most relevant pages to work on, based on your considerations:

  • Advance. The higher your margin on the product(s) you market on a site, the more value the site can add to your business.
  • Conversion rate. The easier it is to convert visitors to a page into customers, the more customers the page can generate.
  • Search volume. The higher the combined search volume for all keywords associated with a page, the more visitors the page can attract.
  • Competition. The less competitive a group of keywords is, the easier the page is to make visible on Google.
  • Current position. The higher your current keyword position, i.e. the better foundation you have, the easier the site is to work with.

Note that only 11 % of Google users click through to search results on page 2. In other words, an otherwise impressive increase from page 20 to page 2 on Google is largely worthless. You should therefore only focus on keywords where your resources are sufficient for a position on page 1 - the fewer resources you have, the more specific keywords you should focus on.

The more specific a keyword is, the less competition there usually is and the easier it is to rank well. However, the lower the search volume, the better. For example, a keyword like 'deck chairs' has high competition. More niche keywords like 'deck chairs copenhagen' and 'deck chairs in bamboo' have lower competition but also lower search volume.

The more relevant landing pages you have on your website, the more different searches you can gain visibility on and the more often you will be found by your target audience. However, it can be quite sensible to limit the work at the beginning - you can always add more landing pages later when you have the time and resources to expand the scope of the work.

Read more about content optimization based on the keyword analysis.

Frequently asked questions

What is a keyword analysis?

A keyword analysis is a mapping of your target audience's search habits (i.e. use of keywords and search phrases) on Google.

Why is it important to do a keyword analysis?

Keyword analysis is the foundation of search engine optimisation (SEO). When optimising content on your website and writing new content for the website, it is important that you write it with your target audience's search habits in mind.

How many keywords does a keyword analysis contain?

The number of keywords in a keyword analysis varies greatly depending on the product area and target audience being analysed. We have done keyword analysis for our clients on anything between 50 and 15,000 keywords.

Should I always do a keyword analysis?

Yes, when working with SEO, keyword analysis is an indispensable part of the job. Without keyword analysis, you're working in the dark.

What does a keyword analysis cost?

The price depends on the scope of the analysis, and therefore it is impossible to give a concrete price estimate without knowing the specific case. Contact us for a dialogue about your needs and a price estimate.

What tools do you recommend?

We use a combination of SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, Searchmetrics and Storybase. There are many other good tools too.


Henning Madsen

CEO & Chief SEO Strategist

Se forfatter

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Do you need help with search engine optimisation (SEO), or are you considering whether it makes sense for your business to focus on SEO? Contact Henning Madsen for a no-obligation discussion about your SEO project.

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