How to Find Which Keywords Are Best to Target (2024 Update)

The Google algorithm leak of May 2024 has certainly sent shockwaves through the SEO world after a thorough analysis by Rand Fishkin on May 31, 2024 as well as Mike King and many others.

One thing is certain, Google always keeps us on our toes.

There is however one thing in my SEO toolbox which is Google has backed up with every single algorithm update as well as this algorithm leak: performing keyword research with SERP analysis.

In this article we’ll cover:

  • Which keywords are truly best to target
  • Hacks and tips to find keywords which are easy to rank for your business
  • How to do keyword research with SERP analysis
  • What is keyword research
  • Three main elements of finding the right keyword to target
  • An easy and quick way to conduct your own seo keyword research

Ready? Let’s roll…

Which keywords are best to target?

The best keywords to target are relevant topics for content your target audience is looking for. The keyword you choose should be going after content which answers a question, instructs how to do something, and provides value for the target audience.

You should aim for keywords where the search results stink and have an obvious issue such as: old content, page loads slow on mobile, title of the top 10 ranking pages does not fit the search term, etc.

How do you do that? You focus on what is actually wrong with the search results.

Your job as an SEO is to to identify a SERP where there is a clear problem or issue which you are going to address such as:

  • content ranking in top 10 spots is old and outdated
  • the content quality of top 10 results is poor and not thorough
  • the word count of the articles ranking in the top is very low
  • the title of the content ranking high is not exactly when was entered into the query

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is a process by which you research and identify search terms which your target customers type into search engines such as Google so that you can strategically rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP) with your own blog or website.

Here is a very practical example, let’s say you want to rank #1 or high up on Google for “productivity app“, you need to figure if:

  1. This term has a decent search volume and clicks from Google – i.e. a good amount of people actually search and click over to what they find on the search result
  2. This term is not crazy competitive – i.e. you have a shot at ranking for it
  3. MOST IMPORTANT QUALIFIER: There is a problem with the search result – there is something wrong which you identify with the search engine results page such as:
    • Low authority & backlinks sites ranking in top 10 spots
    • Title mismatch – the search query googled does not match the title in top 10 results that are ranking
    • Outdated content – content ranking in top 10 is old
    • Thin content – content ranking in top 10 is less than 800 words in length
    • Poor load score on mobile for top 10 ranking – takes more than 3 seconds to load
    • Poor readability for top 10 ranking
    • High spam score of the domain ranking in top 10 and others

If you identify a term which has a good search volume and clicks, keyword difficulty is not very competitive, and has a clear issue or problem with the search results which you found – you’ve struck gold! Typically SEO consultants call a keyword like this – long tail keyword – I call them pure gold! 🙂


Keyword Research with SERP Analysis

Here is a quick video of how I use to identify issues and problems with search results:



Three Elements of Keyword Research

There are three main elements to pay attention to when conducting keyword research.


Every website has a popularity score, Moz DA score, Ahrefs DR score or SemRush DR score are the three main ways marketers measure authority of a website. The authority for all three is measured from 0 to 100. You can use either one of these tools to measure the authority of your site and your competitors.

I like to use Moz DA because it’s been around the longest and in my opinion the best measure of authority.

Here is how I do keyword research using Authority as a qualifier:

  1. Install Ahrefs extension for Chrome (or Moz bar)
  2. Check and find Ahrefs rank TopicRanker Blog – Ahrefs 49 (or Moz DA 32)
  3. Brainstorm 5-10 ideas for keywords which my customers might type into search engine
  4. Google one of those keywords, let’s say its:  best productivity apps 2022
  5. Take a look at all the Google search results and their Ahrefs DR to see if there is anything close to mine.
  6. If I do not see anyAhrefs DRs on 1st page of Google which are in the range of my own – Ahrefs DR 49 (or Moz DA 32) – I will have a tough time ranking for this term
  7. I must find results on SERP which have a Ahrefs DR or Moz DA close to mine or lower – ie. Moz DA 35 or lower.
  8. Rinse and repeat!

Volume and clicks

The next thing to check is how popular is the search term I have in Google search. Does it get at least 50 or 100 people a month searching for it? How about 500? I do not want to go after a term that does not get any people searching for it. At the same time going after a very high volume keyword is usually not the best idea because it is usually very competitive and very broad  so it would take a very long time (1-2 years) to rank for it and the traffic would not be targeted.

Here is how I do keyword research using Authority as a qualifier:

  1. Install a keyword research tool KeywordsEverywhere for my browser and enable it
  2. Brainstorm a list of 5-10 ideas for important and relevant keywords for your business  which your customers might type into search engines
  3. Google one of those keywords, let’s say its:  best productivity apps 2022
  4. Check the volume of the keyword up top to see if it’s in 50-500/mo range
  5. Take a look at suggested terms on the right hand side to find related keyword suggestions
  6. Click on related terms to see if they are a good fit for your target keyword



Make no mistake – Google ranks content based on how relevant it is to the search intent – in other words your content will only rank high on Google if it meets the needs of the people searching for information about a specific keyword. The intent of the Google search could change as well so your job is to keep up to date on what types of information people Googling for something are actually looking for.

Keep in mind Google is keeping track of how many times your piece of content shows up on their Google search results vs. other results and how many people actually click through on your result vs. other results as well as how long people spend on your website or blog consuming the content. All three of these metrics show how truly relevant your content really is.

Your content must be the best resource out there for the information your target market is searching for. If you went to court and tried to prove a case that your content deserves to be #1 on Google because it’s the most relevant you should have no trouble doing so.

Here is how to think about relevancy:

Related Tools to check out

There are a few tools I recommend you check out:

Google search console – monitor which keywords you are already ranking for and you can optimize

KeywordsEverywhere – quick overlay for Chrome to show you Moz Da of each result and search volume for keyword term

Google ads keyword planner– similar to KeywordsEverywhere tool I suggested above – simple way to find related keyword ideas and their search volume


Over to you

This is not the most detailed or definitive guide on how to do keyword research and find keywords to target but it gives you a good idea of how to start!

Most people out there trying to rank for keywords simply come up with an idea for a specific keyword and forget to check to see if this is something they have a decent shot at ranking for or whether it gets any clicks or volume.

Hopefully now you know better!

The important part is to be able to start somewhere and have a a general idea of how to qualify a keyword idea as a ranking potential for your blog.

Then you can use SERP analysis tools to look at your competitors and really get a solid idea of whether you should go after that keyword.

I’d love to answer any questions you have about keyword research in the comments below! Feel free to leave your keyword ideas and your domain URL in the comments below, I’ll let you know if you have a good shot at ranking.

Find and rank for easy-to-rank keywords personalized for your domain.