People are looking for information, products and services online everyday. Search engines are the first place they choose to find the information they’re interested in. The concept is simple – thanks to keywords, people are able to find the content they are looking for in search engines. So, it is essential that your website is SEO compatibility, i.e. search engine optimization. For that, choosing keywords wisely is very important.
Keyword, or more specifically focus keyword, is the word you want your page to rank for. It is somewhat of a misnomer, since when we say keywords, we’re actually talking about multi-word phrases. You may want to put some thought into the keywords you want to target. When people search for the keyword, you want them to find you. You set it in the focus keyword input infield.
The point of every promotional activity in search engines is to connect searches to your website. Your business or content’s presence in search engines is bounded with keywords. Knowing which specific keywords people use to find your product or information about your services gives you a significant advantage – you can make it easier for them to find.
Using keywords specific to your business and content helps in becoming more visible in search engines. This translates into achieving higher website’s positions for keywords, having a larger share in overall clicks from the search engines results page, and bringing in more traffic and users that are interested in your offer.
Here are a few tips for choosing keywords:
Build a list of keywords that are connected to your content
Choosing keywords requires a lot of brainstorming. Write down the keywords and phrases, that you feel match your website. Who can know your business better than you? Keep your personal dogma aside and think what will be used by the people.
Use tools for assistance.
There are many online tools that can help you know how many searchers are being performed for specific searches, as well as suggesting related keywords to optimize for:
- Keyword Discovery. This service, uses data from 180 engines including Google and Yahoo, endorsed by a slew of the biggest names in SEO. $50/mo. or $400/yr.
- WordTracker. Similar to the above, but uses data from fewer search engines, and doesn’t include Google. $50/mo. or $244/yr.
- Google Adwords. Adwords is Google’s pay-per-click advertising program. In setting up an ad, you type in a list of keywords that should cause your ad to be displayed when a user searches for those keywords. Google then estimates how many clicks per day you can expect your ad to receive. By comparing which keywords Google thinks will generate more clicks, you can see which keywords users are more likely to use for their searches. You don’t actually have to make an ad go live, and if you don’t then it’s free.
- Google Trends. A free tool that lets you compare the traffic that two different search phrases get.
- Overture Keyword Selector. Only Yahoo data, but hey, it’s free.
Use your own historical data
Another thing that you can do while choosing keywords is using your analytics. For that, Google Analytics can be your first choice. You can use it to track many types of traffic from search engines – paid, referral, social and organic. While analyzing your incoming organic traffic, if the amount of it is quite visible, you can see what keywords visitors were using in order to come to your site so far.
Analyze search trends
Another option you should bear in mind are search trends. You can get some inspiration from the keywords, if the ones you’ve chosen fit in local or global search trends (depending on your target). If not, it would be a good idea to do additional research and add some new keywords and their variations to your list.
Analyze your competition
Check how much competition your chosen keywords have. Type some of the keywords of your choice and look what results will be shown to you. Check if your competitors offer is available and look if the sponsored links of similar offers will appear. If so, then that’s the signal that this is the keyword you want to position your website in search engines. It has a big value and it could be difficult to achieve a better keyword rank than your competitors. You can also check out other Google tools, like Adwords Keyword Estimator or Google Insight for Search.
While choosing keywords, the best ones are 2- to 4-word phrases that accurately describes what you offer using your main language that the searchers are likely to type in, and which aren’t so competitive that you have no to slim chances of getting on the front page. And it’s important to know that if your keywords, usually a single-word terms, are too general then they’ll likely be too competitive, and even if you rank well on them your traffic might not convert well since researchers are usually looking for something specific. But if keywords are too narrow then few people will search your terms and you’ll get few visitors.
For example, the term, “Keyword” is way too general. However, “How to choose the right keywords” is a pretty good one.
Avoiding terms that are unpopular. You might choose keywords that is only two words long but it might rank #1. But what’s the point if nobody is searching for it? It’s just as bad as ranking #300 for terms that everybody is searching for. If people aren’t using your search terms, it’s of no use, no matter how well you’re ranked.
That doesn’t mean you should avoid optimizing for lesser-used keywords altogether. If it brings in some qualified traffic.
Don’t spend a lot of time doubting your choice of keywords. Do a little research, think through the terms that you’ll focus on, and then get right down to the business – writing it.
No more procrastination. It’s time to write that post.