Home Digital Marketing Keyword Audit Step-by-Step Tutorial with Free Checklist

Keyword Audit Step-by-Step Tutorial with Free Checklist

by Vishal Jaiswal
Keyword audit Tutorial with checklist

Unaware of the process to do keyword audit? You’re not alone. Over 95% of SEO beginners struggle with it. Doing Keyword Audit can be a game-changer for your SEO Strategies as we know implementing keyword on content is fundamental to SEO.

But worry not, with years of Experience in SEO I am here to help you with keyword audit. In this blog, I will be sharing my Step by Step Process & Checklist to conduct a keyword audit for your website.

What is Keyword Audit?

Keyword audit is the process of analyzing how well our current organic keywords are performing in search engines. In simple terms, it helps us understand how well our keyword strategy is performing in search engine results.

A keyword audit includes:

  • Position Tracking
  • Understanding the Intent of Keyword
  • Finding out Low-Hanging Keywords
  • Looking for Clustering Topics

Keyword Audit tool

You can use any one of the SEO Tools to conduct Keyword Audit.

  • Aherf Webmaster
  • SemRush

You can choose either SEMrush or Ahrefs, but in this blog, we will be just using Ahrefs for conducting keyword audits.

If you want me to cover keyword audit with SEMrush, you can comment at the end of this post. But the method to do keyword audit in SEMrush isn’t going to change; it’s just a different user interface.

If you haven’t created a Free Ahrefs Webmaster account, I recommend doing so, as it will help you conduct a free keyword audit for your website. However, if you need to conduct a keyword audit for another website that hasn’t been connected with the Ahrefs Webmaster Tool, in that case, you will need a paid version of Ahrefs.

How to Conduct Keyword Audit?

Keyword Audit with Ahrefs

For a comprehensive keyword audit, you’ll need to connect your Google Search Console with Ahrefs Webmaster tools to conduct a free audit.

If you haven’t yet connected Google Search Console with Ahrefs Webmaster tools, you can watch this video on YouTube titled ‘Ahrefs Webmaster Tool.’

Once you connect your Google Search Console with Ahrefs, your website will be audited automatically, and all errors and issues will be notified to you. Moreover, you won’t require any additional technical audit tools. Don’t forget to express gratitude to Ahrefs for providing this Awesome tool!

Now, let’s get back to the keyword audit. I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process for conducting a keyword audit using Ahrefs.

Step 1: Find out Organic Keywords

We need to start by identifying the keywords that are already ranking on search engines.To find these keywords, log in to Ahrefs Webmaster Tools.

On the dashboard of Ahrefs, you will see a search box.

Ahrefs Dashboard overview

Next, search for your domain name. Make sure that you have verified your domain with Ahrefs Webmaster. If your domain is verified with Ahrefs, it will appear under the Project tab.

Once you enter your domain into Ahrefs’ search box, the SEO Dashboard will appear, organized with more accurate data.

In that dashboard, you will find a detailed overview of your website’s online presence.

Ahrefs SEO overview

But don’t get lost in that tool, as it offers many options.

Now, you need to navigate to the “Organic Keywords” section, located in the left panel.

Ways to find Organic keyword

Hurray! Now you can view most of the organic keywords your website is ranking for. If you’re unable to see any data or only a few organic keywords are visible, it could mean that your website is new and has less content uploaded, or it may have low-quality content.

Keyword audit Process

Now we will move to the next step.

Step 2: Target Low Hanging Keywords

Low-hanging keywords are those that require minimal effort but yield extraordinary results.

To find low-hanging keywords, you need to apply some filters. Just a reminder, there’s one downside to the free Ahrefs Webmaster Tool: it only allows you to export and view 1000 keywords.

But worry not! This is usually sufficient for a medium-sized website with 100,000 monthly visitors, as I’ll be sharing superb filtering techniques that will reduce the impact of this limitation.

To find low-hanging keywords, follow these steps:

1st Add a Position Filter From 2 to 15

After applying the position filter, click on “Show Results.”

Now, you will see all organic keywords ranking between the 2-15 positions.

Filtering For Keyword audit process

Now, there may be circumstances where you see over 1000 organic keywords. The question then arises: which keywords should we prioritize first? Well, it entirely depends on your business objectives and which keywords have the potential to increase your return on investment.

If your objective is simply to increase your website traffic, then you should apply a filter for ‘Position 2 to 15’ and then add a volume filter of 500+ or 1000+. The choice between 500+ or 1000+ depends on the number of organic keywords your website is ranking for.

Advance filter for keyword audit

Once you apply the volume filter, all the important keywords will be highlighted. However, if you still have more than 100 keywords, you can apply further filters such as keyword difficulty and Cost per Click (CPC).

Keyword opportunity in seo

After applying my recommended filters, You will end up with a smaller number of keywords. Now, it’s time to develop an action plan for the keywords you aim to rank at the #1 position on search engines.

Here’s my Action Plan with Examples – You can Download the Action Plan Checklist for Free.

First, start by searching the targeted keyword on a search engine. For this example, I’ll use the keyword “Top 10 YouTubers in India.

Top 10 youtuber in india

Now, analyze the top 5 search results. Look at their titles, meta descriptions, schema, upload dates, content length, visuals, tables etc. Check whether they are getting any snippets or not.

Once you have analyzed the top 5 content on the search results, update your content and try to add more value or better visuals. Then, publish it and wait for 7 days to see how it’s performing.

Pro tips: Make sure your content is optimized for snippets and follows EEAT principles (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), especially if the topic falls under YMYL (Your Money Your Life) categories.

If your ranking hasn’t improved even after Publishing the best content, then you need to focus on getting quality backlinks.

Now we will move to the next steps

Step 3: Look for Existing keyword

For me, existing keywords are those that rank from position 16 to 50.

You should only proceed to this step after you have taken the necessary actions to target low-hanging keywords.

Once you have taken the necessary steps for your low-hanging keywords, you will see a domino effect in your overall keyword ranking.

After targeting keywords from position 2 to 15, then you need to move to another step: look for those keywords ranking from position 16 to 50.

Exiting keyword

Now, you need to analyze those keywords which have higher CPC, higher search volume, and low keyword difficulty.

As shown in the images below, after applying the recommended filter, I found 121 keywords that can be targeted.

Keyword research

Next, you need to analyze the intent of the keyword in relation to your pages, Then optimize and update your content to improve your page ranking.

After this, we will move on to the next step: finding clustering opportunities.

Step 4: Find Clustering Opportunities

Finding clustering opportunities will help you build topical authority and improve your content pillars. Eventually, this will increase the authority of your website, leading to better rankings.

Now, apply a filter from position 51 to 100. Remember, if your pages are ranking from 51 to 100 on search engines, it means your pages are not well optimized to rank for that keyword, and you are ranking there accidentally.

But don’t worry! Just add some filters on Ahrefs, and you will find some really good keyword opportunities. Then, you need to create content from scratch.

Keyword clustering opportunity

Above, you can see that our page on “Top 10 YouTubers in India” is ranking for “world biggest YouTuber.” So, if we write content on “world biggest YouTuber,” there is a higher probability that our content will get better ranking. 

Somehow, we can use all those keywords from position 51-100 to find clustering opportunities.


Keyword audit is crucial for SEO audit and for implementing and planning SEO strategy. No matter how much expertise you hold in SEO, if you aren’t doing keyword audit, it means you are missing out huge potential in organic growth.

I hope this guide helped you learn how to do a keyword audit.

Now, I’d like to hear from you:

Which steps did you like the most?

Let me know by commenting below. If you are looking to outsource your SEO project, you can reach out to Waffle Bytes. Our SEO expert team will plan out a tailor-made SEO strategy that will help you grow organically.

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