Performing good keyword research is a critical step in properly positioning your website for organic ranking success. In competitive industries and markets, choosing the right set of keywords to optimize your website for can have a significant impact on your ranking success.
There are dozens of keyword research tools. Most of the keyword research tools will work fine so long as they have accurate search volume & competition data. We recommend using Google’s Keyword Planner for a few reasons. First, Google’s Keyword planner allows you to see geographically specific keyword search volume on a country, state, county, city or Nielsen DMA region level. Geo-specific keyword data is particularly important if you are researching for local SEO. Second, we prefer to get keyword data directly from the primary source, Google. Third, Google’s Keyword Planner offers hundreds of relevant keyword ideas that can be sorted by search volume, relevancy, competition and bid range. Fourth, you can see keyword trend data for 24 months+. Lastly, Google’s Keyword Planner gives Google Ad bid range data which can be very important in determining keyword value, relevancy and competition. Google’s Keyword Planner is free, but you will need to create a Google Ads account to access it. If you want exact search volumes, you will need to have at least 1 active campaign in our Google Ads account, otherwise you will be limited to keyword ranges.
Here are the key elements to look for when choosing keywords:
1.Choose Keywords Relevant to Your Products, Services or Information. Finding keywords relevant to your website’s information, products or services is usually regarded as the most important element of choosing keywords.
2.Choose Keywords with High Search Volume / Avg. Monthly Searches. Search volume is usually regarded as the second most important element behind relevancy when choosing keywords. Agency Tip: While it is logical to optimize your website for the most relevant keywords with the highest search volume, probability of ranking and competition need to be taken into account when choosing keywords to properly position your business for ranking success. Sometimes targeting long tail or less competitive keywords is the smarter approach.
3.Choose Keywords That Yield Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) Relevant to Your Business Type. An important part of relevancy is the type and order of results on the search engine results page (SERP) triggered by a query. Google’s search engine results pages yield a variety of result types including informational websites, local business websites, local listings (Google My Business Listings), images, videos, knowledge graph snippets, etc. Example: The Google query “SEO” triggers mostly national information websites followed by a local 3 pack of Google My Business listings. The Google query “Denver SEO” triggers the local 3 pack of Google My Business listing first, followed by mostly local SEO agencies.
4.Add City, Intent or Specific Modifiers to Enhance Relevancy & Targeting. Adding city modifiers to your keywords can localize the SERPs. In addition, adding intent or specific modifiers to your keywords can augment the query SERPs in a specific direction, but also often reduces the search volume.
5.Consider Competition When Choosing Your Keywords. Generally, keywords with high search volume and buying intent tend to be much more competitive than low search volume, informational or non-buying intent keywords. In addition, keywords with high value buying intent tend to be more competitive than low value, buying or intent keywords. Tip: Choose the competitiveness of your keywords relative to your market, budget, patience and perseverance.
6.Find Variations and Synonyms of Your Primary Keywords. Use a thesaurus to find synonyms of your primary keywords. Example: “Pediatric Dentist” is the most frequently searched and relevant keyword, but “kids dentist”, “children’s dentist”, “kids dentistry”, “childrens dental care”, etc are all important relevant variations we will use when writing SEO friendly title tags and optimizing content.
7.Look for Winning Keyword Combinations. Keywords with high volume or value, low competition and buying intent are generally winning keyword combinations. Relevant keywords with medium to high search volume and low competition can be challenging to find, but Google Keyword Planners sort feature will allow you to compare high search volumes with competition & bid range data and vise versa to find winning keyword combinations.
8.Find Upcoming Keywords Before They Become Competitive Using Google Keyword Planner’s Trend Data & Google Trends. Using Google Trends can help you find rising keywords.