The purpose of keyword research is to find kind keywords you can rank for with some certainty. Keyword discovery on the other hand is to find keywords in your niche that you may or may not be able to rank for. This is not a guide for keyword discovery This guide is not for every keyword research scenario. Let?s break down the definition. The purpose of keyword research is to: Find kind keywords ? This is similar to keyword discovery. Something you can achieve using several tools like google keyword suggest, google auto suggest, google search suggestions, google You can rank for ? These will vary depending on what kind of site you have (ecommerce, informational, blog, service, business listing etc.) and your domain authority. with some certainty ? If you are not confident in your keyword selection, there is no point in going after them and spending your resources on it. The bulk of the weight is on ?You can rank for? so lets review that TYPE: If you are building an informational site and the bulk of the results you see on the first page of google are from ecommerce site, this is keyword you should avoid as google has a preference to rank a particular type of the site. However if you are doing keyword research for an ecommerce store, this is exactly the kind of keyword you want. Put it another way, if you want to go after a keyword, the first page of SERPs should have a bulk of site similar to yours in type Domain Authority: Look at your domain authority (along with trust flow and citation flow) and select competitors who are in the similar range and below. In most cases you should be able to rank for the same keywords they are ranking for. If you are starting with a new site, try to acquire a expired domain that has never expired by outreach for under $100 (it is almost always worth it) and use the Domain authority of that domain as a reference. Only in worst case scenario start on a fresh domain and assume a domain authority of 20. Page Authority: The only exception to consider when you are picking a keyword base on domain authority is to see if the competitor is ranking a page due to direct links to that page (which will have an impact on page authority). So if page authority is high or put the url in your preferred link checker (Moz, Ahrefs, etc.) to see if they have direct links to these pages. The final component is certainty: Certainty: Good site structure, content quality, link quality, internal link are all vital to get some certainty of ranking. Action steps: 1. Determine the type of your site. 2. Determine the domain authority of your domain. 3. Find competitors with same type and same or lower domain authority. 4. Find keywords they are ranking for (Use semrush for this. There is a free 30 day pro plan coupon out there or you can use fiverr to get reports for 20 competitors for just $5) 5. Review these keywords. If multiple shortlisted competitors are ranking, go for it. If only one or two are ranking, then check to see if they have direct external links to those pages. Read every word carefully and follow the action steps. I have used these steps to find keywords that I was never aware of existed and I could rank for.