The Art of Choosing the Right Keywords

December 13, 2016

This is how to select the best performing keywords for your content.

Keywords are the backbone of successful content. Be it social media content, website copy or email newsletters that you are writing, your first step needs to be choosing the right keywords. Not only will the keywords serve as markers when search engines scan your copy to determine if it is relevant, but a strong list of keywords and topics gives your project a foundation.

Before we jump into how you discover the best keywords for your content, let’s cover the basics. SEO keywords are not just words that you hear used frequently in your industry. In fact, often times, relevant keywords are not industry jargon. Rather, they are words or phrases used by the layman to find the types of goods and services your business offers.

Each keyword or phrase needs to mirror the language used by your target consumer. If you understand how consumers are finding businesses like yours, you will begin to see increased visits to your website as your copy will match search queries.

Finding keywords sounds daunting. Thankfully, there are a number of tools available to help you conduct your research so that you’re not grasping at straws. The three tools below are our top choices for keyword research. Each tool has free and paid features, with the exception of Google’s tool which is all free when you have an Adwords account.

Google’s Keyword Suggestion Tool

Google handles a staggering 2 trillion searches each year. This statistic alone should tell you that there is no way that you can ignore the power of Google and its knowledge. It is only natural that you would start your keyword research with the search giant’s own tool.

Google’s Keyword Suggestion tool is a free, but you will need an Adwords account. You don’t have to launch ads, but you do need to have the account setup. The tool offers three different research options:

  • Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category. This option prompts you to define the type of business you own or the business’s industry, your target audience and provide your website URL. It is very important that you enter the proper information at this stage. The information you input will determine the keywords recommended by the tool.
  • Get search volume data and trends. This option allows you to research the effectiveness of given keywords. This is a great tool if you already have keywords in mind, but aren’t sure how they will perform. Using this option will tell you how option the given keyword is being searched and how competitive the Google Adwords bid is for that keyword.
  • Multiply keywords list to get new keyword ideas. This option takes a number of keywords and mashes them together to form hundreds, sometimes thousands, of keyword combinations. Many of the combinations will be useless, but occasionally, you will find a diamond that you can pop into your copy.

WordStream Keyword Research Tool

The beauty of this tool is that it helps you keep on top of new keywords and phrases that you need to be aware of. Keywords research is not a one-time activity. To stay competitive, you must consistently update the keywords used to cash in on trends and consumer changes.

WordStream stays on top of these trends for you by constantly analyzing the keywords you are currently using and delivering new keyword groups and recommendation directly to your dashboard. This automation has the potential to open your eyes to new verticals that you may not have thought of. WordStream offers a free trial, at the end of which you choose a plan that fits your company’s ongoing needs.

KeywordTool.io

This tool is easy to use and offers a good amount of research in its free platform. Keyword Tool relies on Google Autocomplete and Google Suggest to generate long-tail keyword suggestions, making it a reputable source when conducting keyword research. In fact, Keyword Tool suggests that its results, using these two Google functions, are more reliable than those produced by the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool. This is because the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool is designed to increase the success of Adword campaigns.

This tool’s availability is the similar to WordStream’s. The free version allows you to find hundreds of keywords related to a given topic. If you require more information like search volume, they offer three levels of subscriptions.

Now that you’ve used the tools available to build a strong keyword list, how do you apply them? Keywords need to be applied not just to your content, but to a number of “hidden” places on your website.

First, make sure that keywords are included in title tags. This is one of the very first places search engines will look when they scan sites. Page content is the number one place where your keywords need to appear on your website. The content is the meat and potatoes of your site and the reason visitors choose to frequent your site. Use your keywords wisely so that they make sense. Search engines can tell if you’re simply trying to stack your site with keywords rather than provide quality content. Including keywords simply for the sake of including as many as possible can actually hurt your site.

Headers and sub-headers is the third place we recommend you place keywords if you are working on your site yourself. Headers are at the very beginning of content in the eyes of search engines. It gives the scanner a good indication of the theme of the content and helps get your site in front of the right people.

Of course, there are an unlimited amount of places to use keywords on your website and online marketing campaigns. If you have already done your research, applied your keywords and still need a little boost, contact us for a consultation.

I lead sales support strategy and execution. Our team is hands-on from start to finish with the sales process, ensuring that we build and execute wildly successful media strategies for our clients.