How to Choose the Right SEO Keywords for You
Today’s marketing landscape is filled with questions about selecting the perfect keywords. How many keywords are good for SEO? How do I find SEO keywords for my website? How do you choose the right keywords for your business? What makes a good SEO keyword? How do you select SEO keywords?
We’ve written already about our complete keyword research process, but we thought it worthwhile to share some specific ideas and processes around how we select those keywords.
You Guessed It…There’s No Easy Answer
Selecting keywords is a complicated, delicate balancing act involving a wide range of information. Knowledge of your business or service, your intended audience, keyword metrics, existing rankings and analytics, and copywriting experience all come into play.
Your reasons for selecting keywords may also vary considerably. Are you looking to increase search result rankings? Are you looking for new blog topic ideas that will increase your website’s traffic and authority? Or are you trying to gather a better understanding of your customers and their intent. Maybe it’s all those and more.
The first rule about selecting keywords is kind of an anti-rule. Keywords are only as useful as the copy that surrounds them. Before being SEO-friendly, your copy must be user-friendly and reader-friendly. It must be engaging, relevant, informative…inspiring even.
Without that text, your well-chosen keywords are like balloons floating off into the sky. They were fun for a while, but the reward, if any, will be fleeting.
Like our first rule, another crucial part of the process is also a bit of a rule breaker. We may make selections for you, but you are the true expert on your business. We spend hours pouring over your website, your competitors’ websites, Wikipedia, blogs, news articles, even scientific journals. Whatever it takes to understand what makes your business tick.
But in the end, you know what your customers want and need. And so when we make our selections they are a draft. You have the final say, and we love to defer to your choices whenever possible.
There’s Still Gold in the Details
All that said, there’s plenty of low hanging fruit waiting to be found and optimized for.
Down into the nitty gritty of the work, a big part of keyword selection involves determining intent. A keyword may mirror some other phrases you use to describe your business. It may even appear regularly in your website’s text. But does it truly reflect what your customers are searching?
When making our selections we run searches for every phrase. We check out the top SERP results, and we double check our own assumptions about that keyword’s relevancy and intent.
And as we said before, good keyword selections are only a good as the copy built around them. So part of the selection process is also a bit of abstract questioning.
How will we write copy with this keyword? Will this phrase fit seamlessly into your website’s content? Can you easily use it in a sentence?
The more experience writing SEO copy and tags, the quicker this process becomes. But don’t forget – you are your best expert. Trust your judgement.
What About the Numbers?
Search volumes? Competition metrics? PPC cost? Competition rankings?
We spend a lot of time pouring over data and calculating competition numbers (we call those True Blue). But we list this last because the numbers matter most when all those other factors are relatively equal. Two keywords may be relevant, but if one has much less competition or much higher search figures, that’s the one to target.
However, shooting for that high volume, low competition phrase just because of those numbers…nope. Remember those first rules. If it’s not going to match up with that compelling, engaging, and honest copy about your business, it’s not going to work.
What is keyword data great for? Knowing more about what your customers search and discovering new ways of describing your business. Quite often, both we and our clients are surprised by which keywords have search volume, which do not, and which phrases may never have even crossed our minds.
It’s All About You
SEO keyword selection is all for your business, your product, your investment. And that’s what matters most. We find the best, lowest competition, high search volume keywords relevant to you. But you have the final say, and you’ll always be the true expert.
Think of us as your expert liaison between the world of keywords and the world of you.
Tell us what you think about selecting keywords, or about SEO and keyword research more generally. We’d love to hear from you! Click here to be in touch.