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Choosing keywords for SEO purposes is a vital part of increasing your online presence and driving traffic to your website. But what are the best keywords for SEO and what makes one keyword stronger or more effective than another?

The process of keyword research allows you to identify and audit the search terms that are entered into a search engine most often by users who make up your target audience. When you are able to see this data you can create content that incorporates these queries, be it words or phrases, so your site is positioned at or very near the top of users’ organic search results pages.

Keyword research provides a wealth of crucial information such as which queries to target, their popularity and ranking difficulty, long-tail vs shorter keywords, and many other useful analytics to enhance your content.

Increased Traffic

When you pinpoint the most effective keywords for your website content, you are increasing your website’s chances to receive higher rankings in user search results pages. This results in greater visibility and more traffic drawn to your website by users who are seeking out the goods or services that you offer.

We turn to the Internet for just about everything these days. Whether it’s to learn something, solve a problem, or make a purchase, you want users to select your website to satisfy the search. Proven keywords will lead them to your site and encourage them to answer your call to action, whatever you decide that should be.

But it starts with finding popular SEO keywords with proper intent and search volume. That is how you increase your customer acquisition rates.

Stay Ahead of Your Competitors

You’re not the only website using certain targeted keywords out there. That’s another reason why it’s important that you know how to find the right keywords for SEO. Any particular keyword is probably in use by someone else on the most popular search engines and your job is to determine who that is, how they are using it, and the rankings of those businesses online using it in their content.

Knowing this information can give you an edge on your competitors by learning how those sites are implementing your same targeted keywords, their rankings, the level of authority in their content, and the length of time these competitors’ sites have been active online. Once you know this information you can create content that will help your website get noticed quicker and stand tall among your competition.

Effective Search Intent

When you research SEO keywords, sharpening your focus on search intent helps in choosing keywords that cater to the reasons why certain users are searching online. These can be broken down into three types of searches: informational, commercial, and navigational.

Informational searches are those conducted by users who are researching a certain topic. Commercial searches are those conducted by users who are looking to make a purchase. Navigational searches are those conducted by users who are searching for another website or page.

Choosing keywords for your website should address all types of intent through high value content that users are going to want to read. Consider what your users may be seeking as you develop your keywords and that can be a very powerful method for driving traffic to your site.

Keywords may sound similar, but they can be positioned for better success depending on the intent of the search. For example: a search query like ‘low cost car insurance’ is very different from a search query like ‘car insurance laws by state’. The first is a commercial keyword phrase, the second would be considered an informational keyword phrase.

The goal is to create content that meets the needs of all three types of search intent as your keywords will target different pages that relate to specific search queries. As always, be sure that your content is unique and valuable, especially for pages ranking in informational search queries. Competition can be fierce, particularly for keywords that are targeted towards commercial and navigational searches.

Conducting SEO Keyword Research

Choosing keywords isn’t easy. Performing effective SEO keyword research that incorporates all essential aspects of a successful keyword can instantly improve your content.

Keyword Relevance

Search engine rankings are extremely specific. Google, in particular, ranks content based on relevance to a user’s search intent. Therefore, the content on your site will only rank if a certain keyword is relevant to a user’s unique query. But the ranking determination doesn’t end there, your content must also meet Google’s high standards of value for that specific query. If they decide your content is the most valuable online, only then will your content rank for the keyword. If another site has a higher level of value, their content will rank higher instead.

Expertise

If you can prove your website is the most authoritative and trusted expert on a certain topic, your content will be given a higher position in search results pages. So you must do everything you can to ensure that your content is not only valuable but receiving consistent promotion and backlinks with other sites and platforms. Basically, content that is cited by others and shared widely is going to gain a lot more attention and interest, making it more popular and placed higher in search engine results pages. Some keywords have strong search engine results pages that come with credited sources that are highly trusted individuals and organizations. You may have a very high mountain to climb to outrank that level of content.

Monthly Search Volume

The objective of SEO keyword research is to find the ideal keyword to drive traffic to your site. However, if you’ve chosen a keyword that gets you optimal search rankings but is rarely found in search queries then what’s the point? Monthly search volume refers to how often a particular keyword is employed in user queries during any given month.

This does not mean you should always choose the most popular keywords either. There is an important distinction between volume and popularity. The first is more important than the latter because of relevance. A popular keyword may not be relevant to your website or search intent and some keywords are just too popular, making them too competitive.

Building Content

Content is king. Keep repeating it. Remind yourself every time you’re not sure if your content is fully optimized for maximum efficacy. How you reach an audience is just as important as what you are giving them to consume.

How are you presenting your content to the public? Are you writing an article, a product page, a blog post? Is it valuable content, full of useful information and data that helps to inform, solve a problem, or provide a description for a product or service? All of these attributes are vital to ensure that your content meets the criteria of Google and other search engines for results page rankings.

Good SEO keywords found in authoritative content can be the winning combination that drives more traffic to your website. Consider quality and quantity in equal measure when choosing keywords that will have the greatest impact on your site’s position in users’ search engine results pages.

Optimizing Your Keywords

How and where you place SEO keywords inside your content matters. Remember, content is king and so it must be unique and informative but also well-written. But sometimes, certain keywords and phrases can be very difficult to incorporate into your content without committing grammatical errors. Optimizing SEO keywords for certain types of content can be a challenge as you want the material to sound authentic but you also want the keywords to rank properly.

You may not be able to fit a specific keyword or phrase into your content. Try to place that keyword inside of the image file name on your web page. You can still enjoy the benefit of favorable search engine rankings even if the user does not actually see the keyword on the page.

Types of Keywords

What makes a good keyword? You have many different types from which to choose. Consider these popular and effective types of keywords that cover a wide range of purposes:

Short-tail Keywords

These are keywords that are one or two words in length and refer to broad topics or terms.

Long-tail Keywords

These are typically phrases made up of three or more words and feature at least one descriptive term. Simply put, these keywords are somewhat more specific in their reference to something.

Geo-targeted Keywords

These can be a keyword or a phrase with a geotag in last position. Geo-targeted keywords will end with a geographical location such as ‘Los Angeles’ or “NYC’ or a descriptor of an area relevant to the user such as ‘near me’. This type of keyword often holds lower overall search volume but results in higher conversions due to specificity and relevance to the user’s query.

Brand Name Keywords

These keywords are helpful for companies to get their name in the public discourse. However, a company can have some difficulty ranking high in search engine results pages using their brand name. That could be due to the name sounding very generic or the name is used in other content that has ranked higher for a third party. Competitors may also be bidding on the same brand name for search queries. So use this type of keyword carefully when it relates to your own goods and services.

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