15 Apr 2015

SEO 101 Series: How to Pick the Best Keywords for your Content [VIDEO]

This is the second of six SEO 101 series videos on the fundamental building blocks that make up well optimized websites. Each post over the next 5 weeks will cover a different topic in short, to-the-point videos that will help you ensure the health of your website and your published content. After all, you can’t be successful at content marketing or other initiatives unless you build your website on a strong SEO foundation. To check back for the weekly videos, you can find the list here or sign up for email updates.

In order to select the best keywords for your website, you should find the balance between search volume and competition. The best strategy utilizes keyword research tools that give you insight into what people are looking for online. When you understand the intersection of how search works, what people want, and what gaps you can fill that your competition has left wide open, you’ll be able to choose the right keywords that will aid your content development.

Transcript of the Video:

Today we’ll show you how to choose the best organic keywords for your content, to help you achieve better search engine ranking results and generate content ideas.

You probably have a common-sense idea of which keywords belong on your website, but how do you know if those keywords are the best options? Are other people searching with those exact keywords? Do you have a decent chance of bypassing the competition and ranking highly for those searches?

To find out, sign up for a free Google AdWords account and use the Google Keyword Planner tool, the de facto standard for quantifying keyword research. Even if you never do any Pay Per Click advertising, you can use the tool to discover more search queries that you may not have considered.

Use the Keyword Planner tool to create and download a big list of keyword possibilities. Next, narrow down the list, using your best judgement and knowledge of your business area, to select only keywords that fit the following criteria:

  1. Do the keywords have enough search volume for which it would be worthwhile to optimize or create content?
  2. Do the keywords have a relatively low AdWords PPC competition score, on a scale of 1 to 100? They probably have low organic competition as well.
  3. Do the keywords naturally fit and make sense for the content that is already on your site? Do the keywords represent new, unique content opportunities?

Keywords that fit these criteria are most often long-tail keywords, or keyword phrases that not only include 3 – 4 keyword terms, but they meet your visitors’ intent and needs in a fairly specific way. Long-tail keywords help find the sweet spot between worthwhile search volume and low competition.

When looking for even more long-tail keywords, for either content or optimization, check out these two additional free tools: Ubersuggest.org and KeywordTool.io. Both tools offer quick, alphabetized lists of long-tail queries from different search engines and channels like Web, Shopping, News, Video and App search.

For any keywords you find, you’ll know whether they belong in your bank of Best Keywords if they pass the three criteria test: Worthwhile search volume? Check! Low competition? Check! Natural and common sense? Check!

Learn more about keyword research here.

1 Comment

  • Janet Apr 16, 2015

    Great article Christina! I really don’t think people really understand how important keyword research is. If you are not ranked for the right keywords you are not going to make money. I think this is one of the most important things you have to learn.