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Getting Started: Keyword Research
Getting Started: Keyword Research

Find a keyword cluster suited for your audience and establish topical authority

Updated over a week ago

Effective keyword research is an essential step in content creation and SEO. It’s the difference between your work being found and not!

Optimizing for the right keywords can boost your impressions, clicks, and ROI; however, doing it manually requires expertise and hours of tedious work.

Surfer’s Keyword Research automates the entire process for you, helping you create an SEO-maximized content strategy in no time.

Keyword Research step-by-step

1. Open Topic Explorer and click on Keyword Research

2. Identify a keyword that best represents the overall topic you wish to create content around (for example, a bakery or recipe blog might want to position itself for search queries related to the “cookies” keyword).

3. Type your keyword into the Keyword bar and select your target location. For best results, be broad, but ensure the keyword matches your audience’s search intent. Next, hit enter or click the "find New Topics" button on the bottom of the screen.

4. When your Keyword Research has finished loading, click on it to be taken to a results page, or just go back to the Keyword Reaserch tab in Topic Explorer. You’ll see topic clusters related to your input keyword.

Think of topic clusters as potential articles. Within each cluster, you’ll see a number of keywords related to each other, to an identified search intent, and to the main keyword used to create the query.

Find a cluster you wish to create content for, click on it for a detailed view and check included keywords. If everything looks good, click "Create for 1 CE credit" and begin writing in Content Editor!

Before you proceed to learn about Content Editor, we encourage you to check out the list of tips & tricks below!


Tip 1: Choosing the right keyword is crucial.

Choose a relatively broad keyword, and don't waste your queries on narrow, long-tailed ones, as they will generate only a few suggestions for your website. What you are looking for are keywords that are simultaneously broad enough to generate a lot of suggestions to choose from and narrow enough to match your target audience’s search intent.

💡A good keyword doesn't necessarily have to be your target keyword. It can be a category of your blog, business, the main topic of your blog, etc.


  • Examples of categories, e.g., for SEO blogs: influencer marketing, social media, content marketing, SEO strategy

  • Examples of broad keywords that you may or may not want to target: toys, kitchen furniture, dentist, online marketing, outdoor fashion

Tip 2: Search Intent

Topic clusters are organized by relevance to each other and to search intent. Surfer recognizes 4 types of search intent:

  • Local

  • Customer Investigation

  • Informational

  • Transactional

Each topic cluster can be considered a single article. However, you should choose your clusters carefully. Consider whether the cluster will allow you to develop your E-E-A-T on a topic you want to position yourself on.

💡E-E-A-T is a part of the updated Google search rater guidelines.

It stands for:

E - expertise

E - experience

A - authority

T - trustworthiness

…and is used by Google to evaluate if their search ranking systems are providing helpful, relevant, and people-first content.

Tip 3: Connect Google Search Console to find missing clusters and Relative Keyword Difficulty

You can cross data from your Google Search Console with Keyword Research to reveal all the critical clusters that you are not ranking for yet and to learn about your relative keyword difficulty.

Tip 4: Your limits

You can complete 100 Keyword Research queries per day. This means you can be as thorough as necessary and identify the perfect topic cluster for your needs!

Patience is key! 🔑 Creating a Keyword Research query may take up to five minutes because we're scraping data from the most relevant sites to the keyword you used and digesting topics they write about. Once the query finishes running, you will be directed to a results page, which is a summary of different keyword metrics.

Additional resources:

Knowledge Base

Surfer Blog

Surfer Academy

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