Websites communicate with search engines by their keywords. Keywords are the words or phrases potential consumers might type in search engines to find your website. So selecting the right keywords is of prime importance. If you rank high in search results for the relevant keywords, you can get tons of free traffic and sales.
How to select the keywords:
Keyword selection starts with thinking of the basic keyword which users might type in search engines to find your website. You can think of that basic keyword yourself or can go to different forums or blogs and see what keywords people are using. Once you have that basic or seed keyword, you can do further keyword research based on that.
Keyword research through Google search
You can start further keyword research by typing in your seed keyword in Google and then giving a space to see what Google suggests. Based on those suggestions by Google, you can select any keyword which is relevant to your website. You can repeat this process by typing letter ‘a’ after the seed keyword. Then you can further repeat this process for all letters till ‘z’. For every search you conduct, pay attention to the ‘related searches’ at the end of the search results to get more keywords.
Keyword research through social media
Another way to do keyword research is through social media. Sites like Reddit and Quora can give you some valuable information about the keywords people are using. Just use their ‘search’ option and see what people are discussing about your topic/ seed keyword.
Keyword research through competitor sites
Next method of doing keyword research is through competitor websites. You can use tools like Spyfu, Ahrefs, SEMrush etc. to find the keywords the competitor websites are ranking for and can get keyword ideas from there. These tools provide detailed information about the competitor keywords. So, you can select all the keywords which are relevant to your website from these lists as well.
Keyword research tools
Once you have done the keyword research through Google search, social media and competitor websites, you can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Keywords Everywhere to find more details about those keywords such as their search volume and the competition level for those keywords.
Other tools to consider for keyword research: Ahrefs, SEMrush, KWfinder, Ubersuggest
Keyword selection criteria
Three main factors for selecting the keywords are: relevancy, search volume and competition level. A keyword must be relevant to your site and should have a decent search volume. For newer sites competition level should not be very high, but for older and established sites it can be higher. At least, in the beginning you should just be focusing on the keywords with less competition level.
Types of keywords:
There are three main types of keywords based on their difficulty level:
Head keywords: 1-2 words long
Main keywords: 3-4 words long
Long-tail keywords: 4+ words
Ideally, you should be selecting a combination of keywords from all 3 types.
Keywords types can also be categories as:
Informational keywords: are related to general information
Navigational Keywords: are brand-related keywords
Transactional keywords: are related to purchasing decision
Again, you should be targeting all three types of keywords through your website content.
How many keywords should you be selecting?
For most of the sites 10 to 15 keywords is the ideal number of main keywords to focus on. But, for a very big or very small site, the number of keywords can be more or less. You can have as many keywords as you like in your secondary keywords list.
Keyword research mistakes to avoid:
Here are few common mistakes which people commit while doing keyword research.
- Not doing enough keyword research
- Selecting irrelevant keywords
- Selecting only a few big keywords
- Focusing only on long tail keywords
- Selecting keywords that people do not use
- Not knowing the difference between singular and plural keywords
- Using one-word keywords
- Ignoring search trends
- Not going local
- Selecting out of context keywords
- Not taking the competition into account
- Not considering conversions
- Not reviewing your keywords often enough
- Putting the wrong keywords on the wrong pages