Arguable the single most important thing you can do for your site, keyword research and selection form the cornerstone of the rest of your SEO campaign. The keywords you choose will affect you can find your site and with what search phrases. Your keywords will also help shape the content you write, as you need to incorporate your target keywords into all the content you produce.

Here are 5 tips for selecting the right keywords to best help your site and SEO:

Go after the long-tail
Long tail keywords may produce less traffic, but they are used by a much more targeted visitor who is often near the end of their buying cycle. Visitors who arrive on your site by using long tail keywords are more likely to convert because they know exactly what they are looking for and your site has been optimized to help them find it.

Create your own keywords
HubSpot pretty much created the term “inbound marketing” as a way to create their own niche, something which they were (and remain) the undisputed leaders of. An entire segment of Internet marketing has been built upon their custom keyword. One way to build your brand is to create your own keywords that reflect your product and services and no one else. Keep in mind that you can’t just create your own keyword and incorporate it into the search vernacular overnight. However, once a keyword works its way in, chances are it will stick around for a long time. For instance, people say “Google it” when they want someone to look something up in a search engine.

Incorporate industry specific keywords
There might be some keywords that are industry specific that you can’t afford to ignore. These keywords may produce little to no traffic for your site, but eliminating them from your site would bring your authority into question. Even if no one searches for your company uses those keywords, they expect them to be incorporated into your webpage content.

Keep an eye on your analytics
You site analytics are a goldmine of information. You can look at each page of your site and determine what keywords visitors are using to land on them. Are there any keywords that you aren’t specifically targeting that seem to produce a good number of visitors? Maybe you should replace a poorly performing keyword with your new find.

Test new keywords with PPC ads
The beauty of running a PPC campaign is that you can measure results fast (unlike SEO, which is incredibly long term). PPC ads are a great way to get a feel for what keywords your target audience is responding well to. If you want to test new keywords and don’t have the time to wait for your SEO to mature, running a PPC campaign can help.