The success of your SEO project is directly influenced by the keywords you choose. Making wise keyword selections can attract valuable organic search traffic to your content every month. Conversely, selecting the wrong keywords will only attract low-value traffic or no traffic at all. So, how do you choose the right keywords for SEO? Here are four simple steps to help you accomplish this:
Targeting keywords that people are actually searching for is crucial. Targeting keywords that have no search volume is pointless because even if you rank well for those keywords, you won't receive any traffic since they have no potential. To find keywords that people are searching for, you can use free keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner.
For example, when you enter a keyword like "healthy recipes," it will provide keyword suggestions and search volumes. However, keep in mind that Google Keyword Planner only displays search volume ranges unless you are running ads. For more precise search volume estimates, you can use third-party tools like keyword analysis tools. These tools provide more accurate search volume estimates and additional keyword suggestions.
Search intent refers to what users are looking for when they enter a search query on Google. Generally, searchers want to learn something, buy something, or find a specific website. When selecting keywords, it's important to choose ones that align with the search intent and create content that fulfills that intent. For example, if someone searches for "healthy recipes," they are looking to learn, so you should create a blog post or article to rank for that keyword rather than a product page. Analyzing search results can help determine the search intent. If the majority of top-ranking results are informational blog posts, it indicates a learning intent, while e-commerce product pages indicate a buying intent.
Commercial potential refers to how beneficial a keyword ranking can be for your business. If the search intent aligns with product or category pages, it has high commercial potential. However, if the search intent requires informational content, it may have lower commercial value. Consider whether you can naturally promote your products or services within the content when evaluating commercial potential. For example, if you sell fitness equipment and the keyword is "best home workout routines," it has high commercial potential as you can naturally mention and promote your products within the content. On the other hand, if the keyword is "benefits of regular exercise," it has lower commercial potential as it is more informational in nature.
While theoretically, anyone can rank for any keyword with enough effort, certain keywords are more challenging to rank for, especially in the short to medium term. Therefore, it's important to assess the ranking difficulty before deciding whether to target a keyword. Keyword difficulty metrics provided by SEO tools can help evaluate ranking difficulty. Higher keyword difficulty scores indicate a higher level of competition and effort required to rank. However, it's important to note that keyword difficulty scores should be used as a general guideline, as many other factors can impact actual ranking difficulty.
Choosing the right keywords for SEO is not complicated. You are looking for keywords that have high search traffic potential, high commercial value, align with search intent, and have a feasible ranking opportunity. It may require some filtering to find keywords that meet these criteria. By following these steps, you can optimize your keyword selection process and increase the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.