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How to Choose the Right SEO Keywords

how to choose the right seo keywords

There are only 171,146 words in the English language, and the average native English-speaking individual has between 40,000 words stored away in their passive vocabulary. The majority of these words will be shared between most individuals, so shouldn’t it be easy to pick a selection of keywords for a website that will ensure SEO success? Shouldn’t this be especially true if one has a mastery over their industry’s terminology and active vocabulary?

It turns out, mapping keywords for a website can get pretty complicated and you need more than fluency in your industry’s jargon to get it right. Picking the right SEO keywords for a website takes research, strategy, and a willingness to test things out and make frequent adjustments, so it can help to have a few tips before getting started with your keyword strategy. At FirstPage Marketing, we know words. We have the best words – and we’re always ready to talk about how to make the most out of your website’s SEO.

Learn how to create a long-term SEO strategy for your business.

How to Choose the Right SEO Keywords

Choosing the right keywords can make a big difference in a website’s SEO and it can also help to improve the quality of traffic that comes through the website. Some important considerations to keep in mind when mapping out a website’s SEO keywords include:

1. Establish User Intent

When getting started with SEO keyword mapping for your website, it is important to first establish your overall goals. Bringing in more traffic is usually the main objective, but what kind of traffic are you looking for? More specifically, what are these new visitors meant to do once they are on your website? User intention is extremely important to consider when selecting SEO keywords. Some possible actions could include:

  • Convert through a contact form
  • Call or text
  • Make an online purchase
  • Sign up for an email/newsletter list
  • Apply for employment
  • Read more information

The difference in user intent can be clearly seen in many ways. Users searching for “cedar fence” could be drastically different from those searching for “cedar fence for sale,” as the first option could include design ideas, installation tips, installers, and much more, while the second option would be specifically targeted at users looking to purchase a product. Establishing user intent and creating keywords accordingly will ensure that a website competes for the right searches.

Learn more about why user intent matters.

2. Understand the Different Types of Keywords

There are tons of different types of keywords that can be used and understanding the different kinds can help to ensure that you pick the best ones for your purposes. Some examples of different types of keywords include:

  • Header/primary keywords
  • Body/related keywords
  • Long-tail keywords
  • Short-tail keywords
  • Branded keywords
  • Geo-targeted keywords
  • Product keywords
  • Broad match, phrase match, and exact match keywords
  • Informational keywords
  • Navigational keywords
  • Transactional keywords

What are keyword clusters and should you use them?

3. Research the Right Keywords to Use and Make a List

There are many tools out there that will allow an individual to search for keywords related to a subject and determine search volume. These tools can be helpful to find out which keywords could have the best value on a website, and they can also aid in creating a list of keywords to use throughout the website’s content. When assembling your list of keywords to be used throughout your website’s pages, be sure to differentiate between which of the keywords are to be header keywords and which will be body keywords and be sure to avoid keyword cannibalization.

Learn how to avoid keyword cannibalization.

Some examples of tools to use when selecting keywords include:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • SEMRush
  • Ahrefs
  • Moz Explorer

Find out about different types of SEO tools.

4. Scope Out the Competition

Checking out what your competition is doing can be a great way to discover keywords that could be working well, and to look for opportunities to work where nobody else is working. If you can find a keyword with high search volume that matches your desired user intent that your competition does not appear to be using, employing that keyword could give your website a competitive edge.

Getting your website’s keywords in order is a big step towards successful search engine optimization, but it can also be incredibly challenging. If you need help from a proven team of SEO professionals, give FirstPage Marketing a call and we will help you get things started.

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