Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays an integral role in the promotion of your business on the Web. Without proper SEO, it gets tough to drive traffic to your business website, generate leads, and capture your target market.
The first step to successful SEO is the proper selection of keywords. If this goes well, then you can be confident that you’ve completed 50 percent of your work (or you can always hire a great SEO agency to do it for you).
Otherwise, your SEO efforts will be in vain even if you rank well for the targeted keywords. That said, we explore some of the effective ways to choose SEO keywords. Let’s start with understanding what keywords are.
What Are Keywords?
A keyword is a word or phrase that identifies what Internet users are searching for in search engines. According to Moz.com, keywords are topics and ideas that define what your content is about. Keywords are also known as “search queries.”
There are three major types of keywords:
- Head keywords are single-word keywords. They boast the highest amount of search volume, as well as the highest competition. Head keywords are usually too general and tend to describe the whole industry.
- Body keywords usually are two to three-word phrases. They are more specific compared to head keywords. These keywords generate a substantial amount of search volume, but not as high as that of head keywords.
- Long-tail keywords are precise phrases of at least four words. Individual long-tail keywords usually have low search volume. However, long-tail keywords, in general, account for the majority of web traffic.
It would help if you capitalized on body keywords and long-tail keywords. Head keywords are highly competitive and have low conversion rates.
What is keyword research?
SEO Keyword research is the practice of finding the terms that people enter into search engines. You can then use those search terms for your website pages, content creation, and online marketing.
Now, let’s explore how to find effective SEO keywords for your business.
Define Your Overall SEO Goals
The first step to understanding how to choose SEO keywords is to set your SEO goals. You may be looking to increase your website traffic and consequently increase your sales. It’s essential to be specific with your goals, such as:
- When do you expect to see results?
- How relevant should your audience be?
- What types of traffic do you want to attract?
Understand Your Competition
Create a list of your major competitors. Then, visit their websites to see what keywords they target. Review their content and meta tags.
These steps will help you identify keywords your competitors are targeting. When you analyze your competitor’s keywords, you’ll be able to identify what you could be missing. It will also help you develop more ideas for keywords.
Leverage Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz Keyword Explorer is one of the most effective research tools to find keyword search volume. This tool will also show you closely related keywords for your target keywords.
You’ll also be able to see how difficult it is to achieve high rankings for particular keywords. You’ll need to create an account to be able to use Moz Keyword Explorer. Once you have an account, everything is as easy as using a standard search engine like Google.
Simply type the word or phrase you want to target into the search bar. The tool will give you all the information you need. Create a list of keywords with the best fit and the lowest difficulty to rank. Prioritize these in your content strategy.
Find Highly Relevant, Low-Competition Keywords
When looking at how to choose SEO keywords, focus on highly relevant, low-competition keywords. These are essentially long-tail keywords.
The reasons for choosing these keywords because they are:
- Less competitive.
- More specific.
- Easier to create tailored content focused on search intent.
- High-quality, tailored pieces of content that are relevant to search intent usually enjoys more organic traffic and referrals.
You can use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool to find low completion keywords that are highly relevant to your brand. Just enter a seed word or phrase and filter the search results based on your specific needs.
You can also find LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords that you can add to your content. LSI will help bolster what your content is about and boost your ranking in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Low competition keywords are often less popular, but they can be precise to your brand. They’re often an excellent starting point for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Leverage Keywords Already Generating Traffic For Your Business
When performing SEO keyword research, remember to capitalize on keywords that already drive traffic to your website. Several keyword research tools can help you identify untapped opportunities related to keywords and keyword phrases.
In fact, you may find that some of these keywords are already generating traffic for your site. You can create content around those keywords to optimize your SEO benefits and capitalize on your already proven search success.
Use Google Ads Keyword Planner To Narrow Down Your Keyword List
With the above tips, you’re sure to find a long list of keywords. You can narrow down the list with some more quantitative data. Some of the best tools for doing that are Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Google Trends.
The Keyword Planner can help you find search volume and traffic estimates for specific keywords. Since this tool has limited functionality, you can use Google Trends to find some more information about the keywords you want to target.
Use the Keyword Planner to identify any terms or phrases on your list that have very low or very high search volume. However, you shouldn’t delete any of them before reviewing their trend history and potential in Google Trends.
You may discover that a term with low search volume has the potential of delivering great results in the future. Google Trends is an excellent tool for determining which terms are trending upward and hence need some more attention.
Now you have a list of keywords that will help you develop an effective content strategy and reach the right target audience. This will make it easier to reach both your short-term and long-term marketing goals.
It is crucial to re-evaluate your keywords every few months. SEO experts recommend a quarterly evaluation.
Search Engine Optimization is essential for any business that wants to make its presence felt in the market through the Web. However, it can be challenging to succeed in the SEO world if you don’t know how to choose SEO keywords.
Finding the right SEO keywords is not a walk in the park. It can take a substantial amount of time and effort. Nonetheless, the benefits of finding the right SEO keywords will be gratifying. We hope this article helps you choose the right keywords to help create a substantial Web presence for your business.