When it comes to keyword research, there are a lot of paid and free tools out there that you can use to see how competitive the terms can be. For me personally, my preferred tool would be SEMrush.

It’s very easy to carry out keyword research on this tool and you can get the in-depth information you need for a successful SEO campaign. First of all, you should know that it is a paid tool, but the keyword research that you are able to carry out along with all the other features that it includes, makes it well worth the money.

Keyword Research

SEMrush homepage

There are a few different ways you can carry out your SEMRush keyword research, the first is to simply type a keyword that you consider to be relevant to whatever niche you’re working in. To do this, type your keyword in the search bar above.

Keyword research in SEMrush

I put the keyword “artificial intelligence” in this example. Once you’ve started your search, you’ll see a page like the one above. Here you will see a basic overview of your keyword: 

Organic Search – which shows the number of people searching for your keyword per month and the number of results on Google for the keyword.

Paid SearchSEMRush gives you an estimate of how much the cost per click would be on Google AdWords and how competitive your search term is.

Keyword Variations in SEMrush

As you scroll further down you’ll see SEMRush provides you with suggestions in the form of both” Keyword variation” which is also known as keyword phrase and “Related” keywords.

Keyword Phrase Match – These are keywords that contain your whole keyword within the phrase but include other words to help make them longer tailed. For example, here you can see words such as “what is artificial intelligence” and “artificial intelligence definition”.

Related Keywords – These are keywords that SEMrush believes to relate to your keyword in some way such as “artificial science”.

On this page, if you click the “View all keywords” button, the results will be expanded.

Phrase Match Keywords in SEMrush

The screenshot above is an extended report of the phrase matching keywords. In this case, there are more than 76000 phrase match keywords provided by SEMRush, the results are divided into 100 results per page, with the option of also searching for certain words.

With each of these keywords, you can see all the same statistics that were provided for our initial keyword, so from here you can start deciding which of them are relevant to your business and which are realistic for you to rank in terms of budget, etc. You will notice that there is a column labeled “KD.” This is a keyword difficulty indicator that lets you know how much work is needed to rank your website high for the term.

As you can see in the above screenshot, the “Volume” column is highlighted in blue. You can do this with any of the columns and even click on the “Advanced Filters” drop-down so that you can narrow down your search.

You’ll notice it in the top right corner. I also marked it with red ink on the “Export” button. This allows you to export all of these keywords in Excel or CSV format, which you can then email to whoever you want or you can just save for yourself.

Exporting Keyword Report in SEMrush

If you are looking for less competitive terms, you can include a location in your keyword.

In this search, I included “Artificial Intelligence American ” at the end of my keyword. Now you’ll see that the search volume has decreased significantly, and there are a lot less related keywords to look through.

Location based keyword research

These keywords are going to be less competitive than other keywords, and you’re going to be able to rank them a lot easier, which is a smarter way to kick off your SEO campaign for faster results.

Keywords from Competitors

Another way to research keywords is to look at what keywords your competitors rank to give you some ideas about what the general public is looking for.

Competitors research

So I’ve been running a search on their competitor’s website to see what kind of traffic and search terms they rank.

At the top, SEMRush gives you the total number of keywords for which the site ranks, the amount of traffic that it equals and the total estimated cost.

There is also a graph showing the progress of their organic traffic, which can be traced back to the beginning of the creation of the website.

Below are the keywords that rank all the same stats that I’ve been through before.


SEMRush is one of my favorite tools when it comes to research on keywords. It has a very extensive keyword database that takes a very in-depth look at how competitive they are. If you’re running an SEO campaign of any kind, it’s vital to have a tool like this to carry out the right kind of research. While this is expensive, they do offer a free 7-day trial of the tool that you can take full advantage of. I would suggest that anyone trying to see for themselves how much easier this can make your keyword research.

Not sure how to conduct keyword research like a pro for your campaign? Don’t worry. You can also join the free  Keyword Research Course here to see all the latest updates and features that can improve your ranking.