Free Keyword Research Template

Written By Fraser McCulloch

Traditional marketer specialising in keyword research, SEO content plans, and content briefs. Has-been Scottish golfer. 

If you’ve done keyword research before, then you know it can be time-consuming.

But not anymore.

I created this free template to help you find, organise, analyse and choose keyword opportunities faster than before.

And I’ll show you how to use it for yourself or in collaboration with a client.

What is a keyword research template?

A keyword research template is a spreadsheet used by SEO experts and online marketers to help them organise, analyse and choose keywords to target in their SEO strategy.

What’s included, and what do you need?

The template is built in Google Sheets but can be opened and used with Microsoft Excel.

For your source data, you’ll need a keyword research tool, such as Ahrefs, Semrush, Ubersuggest or Keyword Surfer.

How to use my keyword research template

Follow these steps to do your keyword research and use the template.

1. Make a copy 

 The first step is to click the template link and make a copy.

2. Enter a seed keyword

Go to the Ahrefs keywords explorer tool and enter a one or two-word keyword that describes your product, service or industry into the keyword explorer search box.

E.g., golf, chair, furniture, accountant, accountancy, finance

Then select matching terms.

3. Keyword modifiers

My keyword research process is using the buying decision process.

The following keyword modifiers help you filter millions of keywords to those relevant to your business, product or service at each stage of the funnel.

Click the include > any word option and copy/paste any of the following modifiers.

Problem stage modifiers
how, what, and, for, with, where, when, for, with, and, issue, fix, improve, increase, reduce, remove, lower, grow

Information stage modifiers
example, guide, learn, tutorial, video, calculator, best, top, bespoke, service, color, colour

Evaluation of alternatives keyword modifiers
review, compare, comparison, vs, versus, alternative, similar, or

Purchase decision stage modifiers
Buy, nearest, cheap, dimensions, size, shop, store, discount, coupon, deal, sale, ebay, amazon, offer

Use filters such as keyword difficulty, search volume or traffic potential to filter keywords further.

Use the exclude filter to remove branded or irrelevant keywords.

3. Parent topics with clicks

Now select the parent topics link.

4. Add relevant keywords to list

Tick the box next to the keywords relevant to your project list.

5. Repeat

Repeat steps 1 to 5 with another seed keyword.

6. Export your list 

Export your list when you’ve finalised your keyword research. 

7. Import into the template

  • Go to the template.
  • Make you have selected cell A:1 in the template.
  • Select File > Import and locate the CSV file you downloaded.
  • Choose the “Replace data at selected cell” option.
  • Click “Import data”.

8. Share

  • Invite others to this project.
  • Share.
  • Enter all the emails.
  • Ensure status is set to “editor”.
  • Ensure notify people is enabled.
  • Add a message.
  • Send.

9. Add to Plan

Non-essential data can be found by un-hiding the columns with arrows.

Use the options under the add to plan column to decide which keywords you want to target and include in your plan.

10. Content Type

Look at the search results for each keyword you target and choose an option from the “Content Type” column that best matches the keyword.

Step 11: Start the content plan.

When you’re ready to start creating content, you can use the status, notes, assigned and other columns.


  • The status defaults to “not started”.
  • Use the dropdown to change the status of each item as the project progress.


  • who is assigned to the task for this item.
  • In the assigned column type @ and their name/email appears, select it.

Content Brief Link, Draft Link, Live URL

You add the links for your content brief, draft page and live page in these columns for others involved in the project to view.


This keyword research template is designed for use with most keyword research tools. It helps you with the next steps in the process, including deciding which keywords to include and working with others in writing the content.