SEO: 5 Simple Steps for Choosing Effective Keywords

how to choose long tail keywordsWith Google placing a strong emphasis on quality contentfor performing well in organic search, it’s no wonder choosing the right keywords can make or break the success of the content you publish.

We all want to attract more traffic to our website, but it’s not just about increasing numbers. We must choose the most effective keywords that connect with the right audience for our business, ultimately convincing visitors to convert as leads.

This process of keyword research can be tricky, but when done well can have an outstanding impact on your Inbound Marketing efforts.

Here are 5 simple steps for choosing effective keywords:

1. Examine your website as a prospective customer: This might seem like an obvious step, but one that can be overlooked. When formulating keywords, make sure to carefully choose terms or phrases that closely align with your business. Your website tells your prospects what you’re selling or providing, so begin there. Start to think about the ways a prospect would search for your product or service. Keep in mind that industry-related terms and phrases can be helpful as they attract an audience who are likely familiar with your business.

2. Look at your competitors’ keywords: Once you’ve compiled a list of your main competitors, go to their websites and see what keywords they’re targeting. Are the keywords they’re using similar to the ones you’ve began formulating? An easy way to discover some of these keywords is to view the source code on each web page, starting with the home page. This can be done by right clicking on the main content area of the page and by selecting “view page source” from the web page. Once completed, enter a command find function (command + f) and enter “keywords” into the search box. The result will show you the keywords your competitor is optimizing for each page.

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3. Understand the long tail keyword: When you start doing your research, make sure you understand that broad keywords are extremely difficult to rank for and should not be used. Long tail keywords, a combination of three or more words or phrases, will perform much better because they reflect how people search. Long tail keywords will help you better refine search terms specific to your website and attract relevant traffic with a greater chance for conversion. Don’t be discouraged by lower search volume with long tail keywords as they are much more effective. Also, keep in mind that geographic identifiers are helpful in forming long tail keywords as they only attract searchers who are looking for a product or service in a specific location.

4. Use the Google Keyword Tool: The Google Keyword Tool is helpful and effective for conducting keyword research. The first thing you should do when using this tool is to create an account and sign in. Creating an account is easy, and registered users get more accurate results. Begin by typing in words or phrases you want to target. The tool will provide you closely related search terms, global and local monthly searches being performed for your specific keywords, and the competitiveness of the keywords (which only relates to AdWords). Make sure to carefully examine all three factors when targeting relevant keywords for your specific product or service.

5. Look at your current SERP Rank: Once you’ve decided which keywords you will target, it’s important that you investigate your current SERP Rank. By entering your website URL and the keywords you want to examine, you’ll be able to discover on which page of Google you’re ranking for each term. If you’re already ranking for some terms, you’ll have an easier time improving your SERP Rank through quality content creation. Using this free online tool will quickly help you identify which keywords you should target first.

Performing keyword research can be very rewarding when done right. The amount of time it takes to be most effective varies and depends largely on the size of your business. For more SEO tips and guidance, download our latest eBook: The SEO Survival Guide.

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Comments: 3

  • Even using the long tail search terms can be challenging, there is so much competition out there. Before I write any content for my blog, which is one way I increase traffic to my website, I check to see how much competition there is for the keyword phrase I’m considering. I use the keyword difficulty tool at I only want to optimize for keywords I can get to the first page of Google. I keep researching until I find a good keyword.

    The keyword difficulty tool shows me the top ten ranked websites for the keyword I want. It also shows me how many people link to their domains, how many people link to their page about the keyword, it also shows me their domain authority and page authority.

  • I’m new to SEO. Trying to understand how to work in this field and I was looking for the last week for something clear and simple. Brett’s article above gave me the right approach. It is clear, understandable, and I’m going to try and follow his path. Let’s see how it works.
    The question is how can I see what works and what does not. Can you help?



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