The Best Way for Choosing Keywords for SEO
Keyword research is one of the most important parts of an SEO campaign. Done properly, choosing keywords for SEO will lay the groundwork for the rest of your marketing successes. Here we’ll describe how to select keywords, what to look for, and what tools are available to aid you in your research.
One way to start the process is by looking at what keywords your website is already focusing on – whether you know it or not! Begin by accessing Google’s Keyword Planner. You’ll need to create an Adwords account, which is free and easy if you already have a Gmail account. Once you’ve entered the Keyword Planner tool, you can start exploring keywords by typing in phrases, entering your website URL or selecting your industry. You can parse this data to look for how many people are searching these phrases every month, both globally and locally in your country or region.
When you’ve got a list of keywords you’re thinking about using, it’s a good idea to look at the search volume and competition level. This information is easy accessible in the Keyword Planner tool and is invaluable in helping you select primary targets. Next, enter those keywords into Ubersuggest.org. This tool will create a list of all related keywords, variants and phrases. Having a larger list of target keywords is important, as focusing on a few words too heavily can result in a penalty.
Now you’ve got a long list of keywords. You can group them in Keyword Planner and find out traffic information, competition levels and other factors to help you prioritize. Another good strategy is to expand your keywords into brief sentences that people may put into a search engine. In technical terms, this is referred to as Latent Semantic Indexing – and it’s become much more popular with Google’s recent Hummingbird update.
So for example, let’s say you’ve got keywords related to creating postcards for your stationery store. Instead of focusing solely on phrases like “buy postcards online,” think about phrases that are a bit longer and that your competition probably isn’t targeting, Long tail keywords bring in less traffic on a monthly basis, but if you rank well for a couple hundred of them, you’d be surprised at your monthly unique visitor count! Try researching keywords like “where to find rare postcards in [insert your region here].
In general, the longer the keyword the less traffic it will have. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There is also less competition. Ranking for long tail keywords will help you generate traffic and build authority on search engines – which will carry over when you’re trying to rank higher traffic, higher competition keywords later.
Create a list of your primary keywords you’d love to rank for. Then write a list of long tail keywords that are easier to rank for and that will help you build authority. Always include variants, and pluralize words when possible. Keep building lists, benchmark your rankings and experiment with what works. Soon enough, you’ll be well on your way!