Keyword Research

How to choose the right keywords for SEO

Published by April on 03/15/2021

The most critical step in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is selecting the right keywords to optimize your content. Each page on your website should be optimized to target specific keywords. The keywords you choose will depend on the content you provide and search statistics. Finding the perfect keyword or phrase for the page takes careful analysis. Today, you will learn:

  • The two types of keywords
  • How to find potential keywords
  • How to select the best keywords for your SEO.

The two types of keywords

There are two types of keywords, short-tail and long-tail. Many people use a combination of both types throughout their website. Short-tail keywords contain one or two words. In most cases, these keywords have a high search volume, which means there is a lot of competition for them. It will take a lot of time and a good SEO strategy to begin to generate traffic from these keywords. If you’re just starting, consider optimizing your site with long-tail keywords, which contain three or more words. Once you have established a higher ranking with search engines, then you can optimize for short-tail. Long-tail keywords attract more targeted traffic because they are more specific. Long-tail also has less competition than short-tail and a higher chance of converting your visitors to customers. The following table provides you with some examples.

Short-tail keywords Long-tail keywords
Beauty Salons
Hair Salons
Hair Salons in Sacramento
Sacramento Hair Salons
Hair and Beauty Salons

How to find potential keywords

Now that you are familiar with the two types of keywords, the next step is to find some keywords to analyze. When creating your list, be sure to select keywords that relate to your content. Here are some suggestions on how you can get ideas:

  1. Research your competitors by visiting their websites. View the page meta tags to see what keywords they are targeting. You can do this by right mouse clicking the webpage and selecting view source.
  2. Ask yourself what words you would type into a search box to find your products or services.
  3. Ask others what words they would type into a search box to find your products or services.

Selecting the best keywords for SEO

The last step will require you to register for a Google account to access the Keyword Planner tool. It’s one of the most used and accurate tools available for keyword research and it's free. Once you have registered, visit Google’s Keyword Planner to get started.

Click on Discover new keywords, which will provide keyword ideas to reach potential customers interested in the products and services you provide. There are two ways to discover keywords:

Start with keywords

The start with keywords option allows you to enter keywords manually. Once you are done adding keywords, click the get results button to receive the statistics for each keyword.

Start with website

The start with a website option allows you to enter a domain to scan for potential keywords. Once you enter the domain, click get results to view the keywords and the statistics.

It's now time to evaluate the search statistics for your potential keywords.

  • Monthly Searches – Shows the average number of searches for each keyword and its close variants based on the month range as well as the location and Search Network settings you selected. You can use this information to see how popular your keywords are during different times of the year.
  • Competition – Is the number of Google advertisers worldwide that are bidding on a keyword. If you are new to SEO, the goal is to select keywords in the low category and that have higher monthly searches. By selecting these keywords, you will be able to create traffic and potential conversions.
  • Top of page bid (low range) – Shows the lower range of what advertisers have paid for a keyword’s top of page bid, based on your location and Search Network settings.
  • Top of page bid (high range) – Shows the higher range of what advertisers have paid for a keyword’s top of page bid, based on your location and Search Network settings.
  • Competition (indexed value) - Shows how competitive ad placement is for each keyword, specific to the location and Search Network targeting options you selected. A dash indicates there was not enough data to report on competition.

Use the information provided to find the right keywords. The keywords you select should be high in demand, have a large enough market to be profitable, and have low to medium competition.

Keyword research is an important step in the search engine optimization process and could make or break your SEO efforts. When you select the right keywords, you have a far greater chance of increasing your visibility in search engines. Thank you for reading this article, and in the next post I will show you how to optimize your web pages.