SEO is trickier than selecting keywords, and in 2015, thinking solely about ranking keywords may actually hurt your SEO, since many of the SEO tactics used in the past such as keyword stuffing / focusing on keyword density / filling our Keywords in Meta data are no longer effective methodologies to rank well.
Upside suggests that you first focus on, “What will attract the right target audience that has the intent to make a purchase or inquiry?” “What would someone actually type into Google to find my business?”
No keyword ranking will lead to a paying customer on its own. The site itself must be built for CONVERSION and the quality of your writing matters…A LOT.
If you want to be technical, then here are three tips to help you with selecting keywords for your site:
Select Keywords That Have A Known Demand
Google provides free keyword research tools e.g. https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner and third party softwares are available to determine the expected monthly number of searches for a particular term. While pursuing a keyword (or phrase) that is niche may help you rank better, you also need to make sure enough people are searching for that term so that the investment to rank has a real payoff. If a term has too few searches, find another related term.
Still, remember that the majority of searches are known as longtail searches, or longer phrases that may include your key phrase or a similar phrase. So, think about phrases, not just keywords. This is why writing naturally for people is critical. You need to integrate keywords into page titles, on page text etc., however in 2015 you also need to have permutations and enough context and depth on your webpage so that your page is viewed as high quality.
Also Consider Keywords That Have Lower Competition
There are good quality keywords that are easier to rank for, so balance out the more competitive, high demand terms and longtails with less competitive terms that are still good quality. You can assess a keyword’s level of competition using Google’s keyword search tool. They will provide a score between 0 and 1 to let you know (1 is high competition). You can then download your research in excel and sort / organize to formulate your master keyword set.
Look At Your Competition: Benchmark
Know your competition. Assess their SEO. Reverse engineer their keywords and titles etc. to understand how they are positioning. After all, if you don’t know what they are ranking for, then how will you insert yourself into that niche and then lead rankings in that niche?
All of the technical research is important, however if one term such as “divorce lawyer” has 50,000 searches per month and a closely related term such as “divorce attorney” has 47,000, for example, then is it really clear which to pursue? It is not. The numbers are estimates. Always use common sense and see what sites are actually investing in. They are most likely investing in profitable terms.
In sum, while there is a detailed process and a technical approach to performing keyword research, you are really using a larger marketing process to find prospects: 1) Know your audience and reach the right segment 2) Make sure the market size is attractive and that you can compete, 3) Ensure that you are positioning your company or brand in the right ‘keyword niche’ so that you are seen among the top competitors.
If you need professional assistance from a Long Island SEO company, you can always reach out to us with your questions or to help you determine the right keywords, or call (516) 610-0922.