5 Essential Things to Consider When Selecting SEO Keywords

This is a guest post from Mayukh Suri at RankWatch.

While Google keeps all of us on our toes with all the algorithm updates they keep rollin’ out, one factor that has stayed pretty consistent for inbound marketers is the need to optimize their websites through Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is an important avenue for digital marketers and it has become even more critical to conduct a thorough keyword research.

Effective keywords will facilitate an increase in your website’s ranking and its backlinks on search engine results pages.

Given that the majority of searchers will not look past the 1st page (or top 5) of search results, it’s clear that keywords should be chosen fastidiously.

keyword cloud

Well, the necessity of keyword analysis has remained unchanged. However, how you actually do it has gone through a transformation.

Keyword choice is an art. A good keyword choice method may be a series of data-driven and intelligent decisions, supported by a variety of qualifiers. This job needs a fine balance between mathematical analysis and language that may be a challenge.

Here, I will reveal the foremost difficulties in selecting the right keywords and give you the insight on handling those issues:

1. Discovering Keywords That Represent Your Business Niche

To elaborate on this method, consider and brainstorm the topics you would like to rank for, in terms of generic buckets (common topics that come under your company’s niche).

This will help you come up with 5-10 topic buckets concerning your business. Now, you can use these topic buckets to come up with some specific keywords that are relevant to you.

For instance, if I took a particular topic bucket for a keyword, “Rank analysis”, I might come up with some keyword phrases that I feel people would think in association with that topic. Those would possibly be:

  • Rank tracking
  • Rank watcher
  • Rank predictor
  • Top ranking tools

You could do this manual process of research or simply wind up on a tool like RankWatch – where you will receive a great deal of keyword suggestions – both long tail or head terms.

Long Tail Keywords

Personally, I would suggest you to keep long tail keywords.

If you do not recognize the distinction between head terms and long-tail keywords, let me make a case.

Head terms are keyword phrases that are typically shorter and have a more generic nature. They are generally only one to 3 words long. Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are longer keyword phrases containing more than 3 words.

It’s important to ensure you have a mixture of head terms and long-tail terms in your keyword strategy, keeping in mind your long-run goals and short wins.

Do understand that head terms are typically searched more often than the long-tail keywords, and also, ranking for them is rather more competitive and the benefits are more promising.

User Intent

User intent is additionally captured with complementary modifiers and qualifiers. This becomes particularly evident when people are searching with the intent to purchase or when they are looking for a specific level of quality.

These terms would possibly include: realize, buy, best, most, get, compare, price, cost, store, places, strong, premium, luxury, top.

You should embrace these pairings in your keyword strategy if you want to get a piece of this high conversion traffic and catch the user’s attention at the proper time within the purchase cycle.

Another such complementary qualifier is geographically-specific language.

Local Keywords

Localized keywords and terms typically complement the core search terms, such as pizzeria in Paris, Dominos in Ukraine, and they can take the form of a zip code, a town name, community name, etc.

Whereas the optimisation strategies for such localized listings share some common elements with the method of pure organic optimisation, several of the techniques are divergent.

seo tools graphic

2. Ever Wondered Why People Make More Money with Specific Keywords?

Keyword search volume may be a valuable indicator of a term’s quality at a given moment. It will have a major impact on search engine optimisation, which implies that you should just opt for keywords that people are actively checking when using a search engine like Google.

You can check keyword search volume by employing a variety of online tools like RankWatch, Keyword Discovery, Bing’s Keyword Research Tool.

Another technique that you should use is the overall traffic potential for a selected keyword phrase. You could investigate this either globally or regionally, taking into account the type of business you are running.

3. Understanding Your Competition Well

Simply because your competitor is doing one thing, doesn’t mean you have to; which applies to your keyword selection. Simply because a keyword is vital to your competitor, doesn’t mean it is important to you.

However, understanding what keywords your competitors are attempting to rank for may be a good way to figure out your own list of keywords and run a quick evaluation.

Competitor Ranking

If your competitor is ranking for a particular keyword that is on your list, too, it is important to analyze your rankings for those keywords.

However, don’t ignore the keywords that your competitors aren’t ranking for. This might be a good opportunity for you to gain market share through these unexplored terms, too.

Having a healthy mix of terms which are somewhat difficult to rank for and terms that are easy, can assist you in maintaining the same balance that the combination of long-tail and head keywords allows.

Fast Win Keywords

Remember, the goal is to finish up with a list of keywords that offer some fast wins and helps you create progress toward larger, tougher SEO goals.

How does one understand what keywords your competitors are ranking for, you ask?

Other than manually checking out keywords in a concealed browser and seeing what positions your competitors are in, tools like RankWatch and SEMRush allow you to run a variety of free reports that show you the highest ranking keywords for the domain you enter.

This can be a fast way to get a lot of categories of keywords, your competitors are ranking for.

seo tool graphic

In organic search, competitors are primarily those sites that sit higher than yours in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), or people who are nearest to your position in SERPs in relevance to the keywords that you are aiming.

This would possibly mean, as an example, that a reference website like Wikipedia is also an organic search competitor, whereas a neighbourhood store with similar product might not (as such a website may have to determine a presence within the SERPs).

Competitors

The reason for apparently unrelated websites to be termed as competitors is due to the fact that to raise your position in search results it’s necessary to have a level of optimisation that surpasses the sites that sit between your business’ site and the higher positions for your ranking keywords.

4. What Does Your Website Essentially Have or Aim For?

It is all about knowing the intent of the user. Now that you have started your business, you must understand the need of your customer.

So, it becomes very important that your keyword relates to your product or service well.

One should not forget about the quality and relevance of the content that you are trying to push through your website. It is important to have keywords that suit your niche.

Good Potential Keywords

A particular item with good potential shouldn’t be left out of keywords. There are some exclusive keywords that should be taken care of at the first place like brand specific keywords for eg: “Royal Royce Phantom”.

If such a keyword adds worth to your website, you should not miss a chance to increase the relevant exposure and optimization.

5. Concentrate on Your Meta Description, Title Tags and Meta Keywords

The content on your website must have title tags and meta descriptions.

Meta keywords are just not taken into account by search engines today, however, they are considered by the users to check the relevance of your site to their search query.

Therefore, make sure your meta descriptions give a very accurate idea to the user as to what they will find on the page.

Your meta description should be distinctive and additionally speak about your business or website. Duplicate meta descriptions from page to page won’t get you anywhere. It should aptly and concisely describe your business.

seo map of people

This will not only help search engines but also users in getting a clear understanding of your business.

Title tags need to be even more unique! Do your best to stimulate the reader to stay on your website by providing them with a lot of relevant information for them to browse.

Phrase your titles in a way that users are tempted to click on them (but also do not promise something in the titles that your article/blog/content cannot fulfill).

Conclusion

A systematic and well planned approach is what is required in this crucial stage. In SEO, keyword research is most important and if done correctly, it can help you grow your business exponentially.

Author Bio: Mayukh Suri

Mayukh Suri is a young designer, with a strong passion and natural flare for writing. Apart from dynamic research and sharing it with the world, Mayukh has a keen interest in IT. On a mission to explore, at RankWatch, he endowed his foundation milestone for marketing and IT.

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