How to Choose the Best Keywords for Your Website

February 16, 2015
How to Choose the Best Keywords for Your Website

There is a lot of talk about SEO, and the conversation is valid because search engine optimization is critical to validating your site’s authority. There are a few steps and points that are crucial to deciding how to make your website and articles more optimized.

The first step in search engine optimization is deciding which keywords are best to optimize your site. Keywords are what people type into a search engine, looking for more information or to answer a question. There are three criteria that go into choosing the optimal keywords for website optimization: relevancy, volume of searches, and difficulty.

Relevant Keywords

Picking keywords that relate directly to your business, product, or service is key. When jotting down your queue of possible keywords it is best to think from your prospects’ points of view. Try to imagine what keywords they would be searching for when interested in your product or service. Think of the main words they would come up with, but also variations of words that are still relevant. If you’re appealing to an audience that knows what they’re talking about then don’t be afraid to get specific. Think your audience just wants more of a high-level overview? Draw it back a little and keep your keywords less descriptive. It all depends on the traffic you’re interested in drawing in.

Search Volume for Keywords

Search volume is the amount of searches a keyword gets over a certain duration of time. A great tool to use to see search volumes is the Google Ads Keyword Planner. Enter the keywords into the plan and it will give you an estimate of monthly search volume. You want to find the keywords you feel confident in with search traffic appropriate for your business.

At this point you might be thinking, “Ok. I’ll just find the words with the highest search volumes and go.” Although it’s tempting and it could produce results, SEO optimization comes down to relevance. You must have the right content on your site, not just the keywords. Creating content for a keyword just because it has 100,000 monthly searches is no small feat. Search engines promote valuable content. A search term that generates over 100,000 searches a month will have a lot of competition and a lot of high value content pieces from other sites.

It’s best to start with words you already rank for or have some traction around. The best tool to use to find out this information is Google Search Console. This Google feature helps you to understand your search traffic and learn how users are finding your site. Take these words and find the ones with the best search traffic and start building content from there.

Difficulty Score & Rank

What is a difficulty score? This is a measure of the competition for a specific keyword. Essentially, search engines are giving a score (1-100) on the number of high-quality pages that exist for a keyword. Ranking within this competition is all about the value other users have gained from your

site and overall experience. If people are coming to your page and staying to read, search engines recognize it as a high value page and will recommend it to more people making similar searches.

Two good metrics to track here are your bounce rate and time on page. As your page metrics improve, so will your site’s ranking. If you are just beginning, focus on the traffic and high-quality pages you have and expand keywords around that idea or topic. Topic clusters are a great way to visualize the content you can make branching off one keyword. Overtime, your domain will build authority and be recognized as a leader for a keyword.  

Don’t Stop with Just SEO

Coming up with a keyword strategy is important when beginning a new website, and important to consider when trying to rank higher with your existing website. When picking the best keywords, considering relevance, search volume, and difficulty are key to your success. After you become familiar with these three requirements, it will be easier to decide on keywords and streamline your focus for blog topics, pillar pages, social posts, and more.

Remember though: having a successful marketing strategy doesn't begin and end with just SEO. Implementing a full integrated marketing strategy by utilizing inbound and analytics is recommended. If you’d like to talk with our business development team about an integrative marketing approach and how it can take your marketing efforts to the next level, let’s start a conversation today!


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Author Bio

Kassi Whitman is a Marketing Account Manager with an eye for detail, a love for classic rock, and animals. She is a supporter of quality content marketing and an advocate for proper social media use. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn!