How To Choose Keywords for SEO

Inserting the right keywords into your helps attract your targeted audience. Without sound search engine optimization or SEO strategies, your online content could never be seen by the people you’re trying to reach.

Good keyword research is a part of . Here are some core tips on choosing the best keywords and phrases and getting the results you’re hoping for.

Put Yourself In Your Audience’s Shoes

After you identify your target audience and customer base, perform an online search like you’re one of them. What kind of keywords and phrases would you use? For this step in the research process to work well, you have to think about your customers’ pain points.

If a pain point is finding a reputable, last-minute dog sitter, what does that online search look like? Would you use keywords and phrases like “dog sitter near me” or “last-minute dog boarding”? Survey your customers and those that fit your audience profile for ideas.

Look At Your Competitors

Another part of your keyword research process should include looking at your competitors’ online content. Once you’ve put together a list of direct and indirect competitors, examine their websites and online content. Try to figure out what keywords your competition is using.

You can also use online keyword research tools to see what sites are ranking for which keywords. These tools will also reveal what short-tail and long-tail keywords your competitors’ domains are ranking for. This can spark content ideas as you find gaps to fill and address.

Optimize Keyword Phrases for Natural and Voice Searches

Short-tail keywords usually consist of one or two words. For example, “pizza” or “pepperoni pizza.” However, people who use voice search functions on smartphones or other smart devices don’t search like that. They typically use longer phrases or long-tail keywords.

Someone who wants to order pizza might say, “Chicago restaurants that sell pizza” or “pepperoni pizza restaurants in Chicago.” These are and have three or more words strung together.

Long-tail keywords will drive more relevant traffic to your website or online content, such as blog posts. You need a combination of short-tail and long-tail keywords to get the results you’re looking for. Remember long-tail phrases are also less difficult to rank for.

Keyword Research Tools Are Your Friend

Yes, you can find relevant keywords and phrases through manual research. This involves pouring over comparable online content and seeing what phrases and questions come up in search engines. However, keyword tools like and can streamline this process.

Within these tools, you can type keywords and phrases you want to rank for. Moz or AHREFS will produce a list of related phrases and words with difficulty levels, volume, and relevancy. You then select multiple phrases and keywords from that list.

Measure The Outcomes

Of course, you don’t want to just use targeted keywords and phrases and hope it works. You want to monitor and measure the results of your hard work. The tools that help you find the right keywords and phrases can also analyze your content’s performance.

If you find you’re not meeting your goals, you might need to re-optimize your content with slightly different phrases and keywords. When the results show you’re performing on target, note which phrases and keywords worked. You can keep using these in the future.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right keywords for your SEO strategy might seem overwhelming at first. But remember that is a scientific process. You’ve got to form a hypothesis about keywords and phrases and then test it to find out if it holds any water.


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