Of late, I've found that a lot of unnecessary time and effort is being wasted on keyword-research activity by most new bloggers. Most bloggers do keyword research primarily for finding a niche i.e. they try to find a (relatively low-competition) topic related to their own where opportunity to rank is there but competition is less.
Inspired by many Youtubers, the usual way they go about this is by using the so called "keyword research tools" like semrush, ahrefs, etc, though there are some free ones too like Google's keyword planner and ubersuggest. They then start bogging down into all kinds of number crunching and statistics like keyword volume, page and domain authority of competitive sites that rank for those words, then study their back links, etc.
In this article, I'm going to show you that none of this is really needed for ranking a good content and if you consider the overall picture, is either an absolute waste of time or even actively harmful in some cases!
To understand why this is a waste of time, let's go back and understand the purpose of SEO in the first place. It may come as a surprise today but the dictum Content is King still holds true even in 2022. Eventually, Google is trying to rank content that caters to the query maker, not the individual keywords.
Keywords are just a means to an end, so bogging down to the levels of PA/DA/back links/etc. just defeats the purpose, be it for the blogger or the audience. If you're confident that the content you've created is good enough (informative or provides a solution), the only kind of keyword research you'll need is of the "common sense" kind which is, of course, entirely free.
By extension, this common sense keyword research is needed only to ensure that you're writing about a topic which is in demand and your content won't get lost in those unfathomable depths of Internet that don't rank at all! For however good a content might be, it won't rank unless there is demand for that content and that's where the common sense approach to keyword-research comes in.
The common sense niche finding logic goes as follows. Taking my own case study as example, as a relatively new blogger and non-expert in SEO, it'd be a tad difficult for me to rank for something like "common sense keyword research". Hence, I try to drill down or "niche down" my topic here by adding an "a" and putting the query into the Google search box. This gives me the following keyword suggestions:
Thus, you may continue postfixing "b", "c", "d", etc. to your original or seed keyword to find more and more ideas which are in vogue presently. Google search suggestions is the common sense technique! It's a simple and working design as Google is showing you these suggestions because people are actually searching for these words. Otherwise, Google would never have suggested them to you.
None of the other technicalities like search volume, page and domain authority, back links count, etc. should matter to you as blogger or content creator. Once you make a note of these keywords, it should give you a good idea of where the general trend is going related to your topic. And thus, incorporating more of them in your future blog posts should increase your chances of ranking in Google searches, it's that easy and that simple!