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SEO Basics: How to Pick the Right Keywords

SEO Basics: How to Pick the Right Keywords

If you are just starting out on creating a website or blog, keyword research is a mighty important factor. And there’s already a ton written about it that can confuse any newbie. If you read too much, it could lead to paralysis by analysis. As things in the world of SEO are changing at a rapid pace, it’s best to learn SEO basics and dive right in. And then learn what works and keep experimenting.

Why is keyword research important?

Unless you are a big brand like eBay or Amazon, 90% or more of the traffic to your website will be generated from search engines. So, you have to keep up with what people are searching for. And that’s exactly where keyword research comes in handy.

For example, if you’re building a site for legal services; one route to making your site popular is creating useful content in your area of expertise. But this brand strategy could be a hit or miss, depending on whether your audience is searching for these specific topics.

A better way to go about it is structuring your website content around what people are searching for. But where do you start?

Keywords Research Tips:

Almost everyone starts with Google Keyword Planner(GKP) the Holy Grail of keyword research. Though you could get a lot out of the tool and probably still can, it’s not as powerful as it used to be back in the day. For privacy concerns and such Google has now stopped giving out exact numbers for average monthly searches etc.

So it’s probably a good place to start if you are new to keyword research but, you’ll need paid tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs to get a good idea about your target keywords.

What to look for?

Depending on your niche or product create a detailed persona of your prospective client. This should include age, gender, interests, and what they want to achieve. This will give you a better idea of what your customers are looking for.

Now, start with Google Keyword Planner (GKP) and plug in keywords that your ideal customer would search for. GKP can give you broad starting keywords. You can then refine it by plugging those keywords into a paid tool and narrow down your search based on high search volume and low keyword competition.

Make a list of these. These would be your core keywords. You can start researching on these and build content around it.

The next step:

In most cases, people aren’t just looking for a single keyword. For example, a lot of people now type in “how can I ….” Or “how do I …” or “best tacos in …” in search engines.

Search is now becoming more conversational, so a mix of short and long tail keywords focused content is imperative for your SEO marketing mix. And this will keep you ready as search engines are now offering voice-based search, which is catching on.

Where do you get ideas from? Head over to Google and type in your keyword + forums/ issues/ boards. You’ll get a ton of ideas about what people are searching for in your niche. Even answer boards like Quora is a good place to search for long tail keywords and questions of which people are looking for an answer.

Intuitive Places to look for keywords:

Like it or not coming up with keywords is an art. No algorithm or program can give you the exact information that will guarantee results. Though most paid tools out there will give you a head start, it takes years of tinkering to get the hang of how to unearth good keywords. If a piece of software could do the job, everyone would have been an SEO expert.

You have to constantly look for places where you could find what your customers are looking for.

Wikipedia is a great source. Most people look up terms when they are looking for information. You can roughly estimate the popularity of terms by looking at the traffic your keywords are getting, assuming they are on Wikipedia.

Reddit is also another place where people discuss on a range of topics. If you have a niche that has a subreddit, you should be subscribed to it and follow the discussions. It could be a possible source of keywords you might not have discovered elsewhere.

These are enough to get you started and keep you ahead of your competitors. Of course, these are no substitute for an SEO expert or a digital marketing agency.

If you're looking to be found by more people or want to discuss your SEO strategy call the SEO experts of Results Driven Marketing at 215-393-8700 to find out how we could help.


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