If you are reading this post about how to choose the best SEO keyword, it’s likely that you’ve started your SEO journey and are ready to rank on page one of Google. For that, we say congratulations! Tackling the world of organic SEO is a journey. Our goal is to help you break through the technical jargon to actually understand how a well-optimized website can impact your bottom line.
If you don’t yet feel confident in SEO strategies, we suggest you start with our beginners guide to SEO. Understanding how search engines work is key to your success on Google, or any other search engine for that matter. So, let’s dive into all things SEO keywords, starting with the basics.
What are SEO Keywords?
Let’s start with the basics. What are SEO keywords? It’s a word or phrase carefully selected when writing online content such as website copy, product descriptions or blog posts, that helps people who are searching for that content, find YOU. Think of it like this: when you turn to Google with a question or a topic, you are typing keywords into that search bar. In turn, Google is selecting articles that will serve you with accurate, high quality content that also includes those keywords.
There are two types of keywords to consider; long tail and short tail keywords.
A short tail keyword is typically one or two words that are searched often and drive tons of traffic. Therefore these keywords are highly competitive to rank for.
Long tail keywords are searched less often, but tend to drive a higher conversion rate amongst a specific niche or industry. Because of that, we are always recommending our clients focus on industry-specific, long tail keywords.
How to do SEO Keyword Research
So, how do you even start gathering SEO keywords, let alone figuring out how to choose the best SEO keyword?
We first recommend you open up a blank word document, spreadsheet or start a new board in Asana. Start by writing down a few words that describe your brand, product, service or content you share. Next, take those keywords and type them into Google or Pinterest and see what comes up. Does this content feel relevant to your business? Should you also rank amongst them? If the answer is yes, you are on the right track!
Then, we suggest you optimize your keywords even more by leveraging some of our favorite SEO keyword resource tools. You are now one step closer to finding that perfect keyword. So, let’s jump into what factors you should look for when selecting that final keyword for your content.
5 factors in how to choose the best SEO keyword
You are deep into those keyword resources, now what? What metrics should you be looking for when determining how to choose the best SEO keyword? Here are a few key metrics we look at:
Monthly Search Volume:
Understanding how often a keyword is searched each month is an important factor when choosing an SEO keyword. The right number can vary by industry. For most small businesses and entrepreneurs you’ll want to consider keywords with volumes in the hundreds to thousands. Choosing a keyword that has a 200,000 monthly search volume means the competition will be fierce unless you can match the traffic of those websites on page one. On the opposite hand, a keyword with a volume of only 10 means that no one is looking for this content. You should maybe reconsider what you are writing about and find related keywords that people are actually searching for.
Who else is ranking for this keyword? When Target, Amazon and Nike are on page one, the chances of your website outranking them is very low. Some keyword resources let you see the domain authority of those websites that rank on page one – Ubersuggest is one of them. It may be smart to consider choosing a keyword where your domain authority also matches those on page one.
This is also where you want to consider paid search. When you type this search term into Google do paid ads pop up? If so, that means this term is so competitive that businesses are paying to appear on page one. Paid ads actually don’t worry us. This is because 70-80% of people ignore paid search results, choosing to only click on organic search results. But it does mean that there are less organic rankings on page one, meaning you need to rank very high to appear here. Which is why we need to consider this as a factor when determining how to choose the best SEO keyword.
Don’t choose just any old keyword, focus on content and topics that you are an expert on. When Google crawls your website, it’s filing you in a very specific spot on the internet. Writing content on topics that you specialize in will reaffirm your authority with Google. You’ll find that when you do this, Google will begin to categorize your website with similar content.
Finally, take a look at those articles that are ranking on page one. And ask yourself these questions. Can you provide better content than what is shown here? Or can you provide a different viewpoint or bring something unique to the topic? If the answer is yes, then start writing! If not, reconsider what you have to share. The last thing you want to do is copy an article and put it on your website.
Don’t forget to pop into Google Analytics, one of favorite Google tools for entrepreneurs. We often start here in order to find content that is most popular amongst our audience. This is how we make sure to create content our audience will enjoy and share. Follow this path to find out what your high performing content is:
Behavior → Site Content → All Pages → Sort by highest / lowest page views
That is how you choose the perfect SEO keyword when creating online content for your small business!
Are you ready to take your SEO to the next level this year? Download our completely free resource with four things you can do TODAY to start implementing an SEO strategy. Or check out our do it yourself courses to learn how to take these strategies and optimize your website and blog today!
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