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How to choose SEO Keywords

This is probably one of the most important guides we have written, because having a grasp on what keywords mean, and how to pick them, not only is an important determinant of your success using MarketGoo, but it is critical if you are to optimise your site in any way. Hopefully the information presented here will serve as a valuable resource for you.

What are keywords in SEO?

keywords

Ilustration by Chiara Mensa

They are the most important words and phrases in your website’s content that enable people to find your site via search engines.  What do people type into Google when they want to find your site or another business that gives the same services? Those should be your keywords.

So, when you read SEO articles or receive an instruction to improve it, one of the first questions you’ll get is “what are your keywords?” In theory you can pick any old word and optimise your site for it, but for the best results, you need to understand how your potential visitors and customers are searching for what they need, and how the content on your site can help them understand that you’ve got what they want.

What keywords are not

Another thing to note is that although the word keyword is single and apparently refers to just a word, many people use it to also mean key phrases -that is, not a single word but an entire phrase that you include within your site. So for instance, if you’re running an Psychic Readings website, you could choose ‘psychic’ as an important keyword, but you could also choose “accurate online psychic readings”. Which one do you think will attract visitors who are most likely looking for what you offer? In most cases, the more specific you get, the better. That means that you will be looking for phrases. Remember, when you hear keyword, don’t think of limiting yourself to a single word.

psychic seo

a generic keyword will have you competing with the likes of Wikipedia

 

psychic seo

 Here you can see actual businesses ranking for the more specific keyword

What to do when you’re told to ‘pick your keywords’

  • No matter how SEO ignorant you feel, you already have a good idea of what your customers want and how you provide it in a way that’s different/better than your competitors. That’s a good start. Go ahead and plug that word or phrase into keywordtool.io It will tell you other related search terms that people are searching for, some of which may be more relevant to your site. If you have a blog (and you should!), see which posts are the ones attracting the most visits. That’s a clue to what’s bringing people to your site.
  • If you honestly feel lost and have no idea where to begin, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Install a free livechat tool to message users who are on your site, asking them why they are there and how they found you. Additionally and most importantly, survey your current customers to understand the value they see in your product/service and how you can best transmit that value message through your website. Once you know that, then the keywords and keyphrases that you should be targeting will become much clearer. Key phrases are often also called “long tail search terms”.
  • Once you have your keyphrase, go to  Google Trends to get an idea of the number of searches there are for the particular keyphrase you’ve chosen.  Additionally, you can sign up for a Google AdWords Account, and use their keyword planner to see data. If you are a MarketGoo user, just log in and when you add keywords, you’ll see what the search volume is for each one. If you see an extremely high search volume, chances are that keyword or phrase is very competitive.  In some industries, it is really is quite hard to rank for a term (ranking for a term means that your site appears in the top search results for that term).
  • In super competitive industries, you have companies that have a huge budget for SEO, and you won’t be able to compete with them with broad keyphrases. For example, if you have an online accessory boutique, ASOS.com and BaubleBar will murder you in SEO rankings for broad terms like ‘gold bangles’ or ‘fashionable earrings”. However, if you have a clear purpose and value proposition, you will define what makes your product/service stand out in your market.  
  • Important to note: often, a very easy and overlooked way to develop a keyphrase is simply to localise it. You may have potential customers who are looking for services in their area, and executing a location-based search. For instance they might look for a party rental service in their area. The search will be “party rental service in center city, Philadelphia PA”, rather than just “party rentals”.
  • What if you’re in a super competitive industry/all the good keywords are taken? It’s rarely the case that there is not a single keyword left for you to rank for that isn’t hyper-competitive. There are always keywords and phrases for you to rank for. Use Wordstream’s niche keyword finder, a free tool that can help you brainstorm.

What do keywords look like in MarketGoo?

MarketGoo Evolution users have a keyword tool included – all you have to do is go to Settings >  Manage Keywords and you can enter the keywords you are thinking of using, and get immediate feedback on the search volume and whether your site has already ranked for the keyword. Additionally, the tool suggests keywords as well. However, the ultimate choice of keywords lies with you, so we suggest that after using the MarketGoo Keyword tool and doing a little research of your own, you contact the Support team to make sure your chosen keywords are the most appropriate.

marketgoo keywords

I optimised all the pages on my site, now what?

Fortunately or unfortunately, you’re never actually done optimising! You may have finished optimising each page on your site for keywords, but you also have a blog that is continuously updated and that means continuous optimisation. Additionally, you should always be on the lookout to see if you are targeting the best keywords for your site. Experimenting and changing things up is also an important part of your online strategy.

See our video below for more examples on how to brainstorm your best keywords.

Keyword Quiz!

Test what you’ve learned and pick the best keywords for each website!

 

Getting started with keywords can be overwhelming. Remember our Support team is always on call if you’re a MarketGoo user (and if you aren’t get a free 10 day trial here). Not ready to go all in? Generate a Free Website Report on your site and see the ways in which your site needs to improve.

  • Noel

    Hey! thaks for such a comprehensive article.
    What else keyword tools can you suggest? It would be interesting to read some review here.
    For example, I’ve recently picked up a SerpStat subscription, testing it now. Do you know something about this tool?

  • hey Noel, thanks for commenting! We have heard about serpstat! It’s powerful but if you’re a beginner (as most of our readers are), it may be a little *too* powerful and overwhelming. However it’s always a great idea to test a variety of tools as you are doing now, to see which one is the best fit for your needs :-)