How do you choose the perfect keywords for your website? Keyword research is the first step in SEO and yet it can also be the most mysterious aspect for those who are new to the whole thing. Here, we provide an overview on the basic principles you need to understand in order to choose the best keywords for your website.

Is Your Keyword Local?

If your boss or client needs SEO does not have any knowledge about it, you can expect that they will likely think in terms of global. They wouldn’t want to target keywords that are local only. For example, if a Kansas company is selling pipes, they would rather go for the keyword “pipes”. But in reality what they should be targeting is “kansas pipes”. For most brands, ranking in local keywords is beneficial because they get to target customers who are in the area. A broad term such as “pipes” is super hard to rank in. They might get traffic from areas they don’t service which could just be a waste of time.

Is Your Keyword Aligned with Your Website’s Goals

What if your client’s website is getting a lot of traffic, but that traffic does not translate into conversions? This is probably because the keywords are attracting the wrong kind of people. They might be attracting students who want to learn about “kansas pipes” for their school homework. Basically, make your keywords align to your main objective, which in this example, is selling. So your better for keyword for this particular client might be “kansas pipes for sale”. This way, you target those who are looking to buy instead of those who are just plain looking.

Is Your Keyword High In Competition?

Obviously, the more competitive a keyword phrase, the less chances for a website to rank in it. It is not impossible, but it will be a long and very hard uphill struggle. This is going to make you loose more money in the long run. What you should do is target those that your competitors aren’t ranking in. Once you’ve done that, your site will gain more traffic and authority. And once you have enough of that, it will be easier to rank in the broader keywords, which are already included within the long tail anyway. There are several tools you can use for this but not a lot of them are free.

Is Your Keyword Getting Traffic?

It is one thing to rank high in a keyword, it is another thing to make that traffic convert into what your conversion goal is. Check first if your chosen keyword is getting enough traffic. You can easily see this in the Google ad words tool however this is now defunct. You now have to consult other tools online for this.

What do we takeaway from this? Once again, it is very important to understand that choosing the right keywords require a lot of thought. Sometimes, our first gut-feel choices are not always right. Simply learn these core principles and you will not be misguided.