5 Must-Know Tips for Choosing Keywords

Posted on August 10, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

Everyone knows that if you want to implement a good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you have to start with strong keywords. These keywords are what your customers will use in the search engines in order to find your site, so it’s important that you choose keywords that are not only relevant to your business, but also popular among those who are searching.

When it comes down to choosing your keywords, you need to pick those that relate to your website. Using the following tips will also help you choose the best keywords for your website.


1. Think about the phrases.

When most people perform a search, they typically don’t stick to using one single word in order to locate results. Instead, they use a phrase or even ask a question. When you are determining keywords for your website, make sure that you are thinking about phrases and not just single words. For example, if you are selling candy canes in Atlanta, your keywords shouldn’t be “candy”, “cane” and “Atlanta” all by themselves because they’re not strong. Instead “candy canes Atlanta” should be a keyword, as it’s something that users are most likely to enter into a search field.

2. Be more specific.

Sometimes one single word to describe your business is just too broad and overused that it won’t do much for your business. For example, if you’re a marketing company, the word “marketing” as a keyword won’t produce the same results as a more specific keyword. This is because too many sites are trying to use “marketing” as their keyword, which decreases its value. Instead of trying to use “marketing”, opt for something more specific, such as “search engine marketing” or “social media marketing” or any other more specific term that can be used as a keyword.

3. Watch repetition.

Some people think that repeating the same keyword is more beneficial because it puts an emphasis on the keyword, but this is not the case. For example, “blue shoes” and “navy shoes” are basically the same thing, so you’re not going to increase your value for the word “shoes” simply because you’re using it more than once.

Repetitive keywords are only beneficial when the end result is different. For example, “blue shoes” and “red shoes” are acceptable because blue and red will yield different results.

4. Be natural.

Your keywords need to be those words are phrases that people will use in order to locate their needs, so don’t go crazy coming up with random combinations of words if they don’t make sense. People are going to use what comes naturally, which is usually a short description, a location or even asking a question. For example, “digital marketing company Chicago” will be more valuable to your buskins than “business in the Chicagoland area with a focus on digital marketing”.

5. Use tools.

The Internet is full of tools to help you determine the best keywords for your website. Sites such as WordTracker allow you to see how strong your keywords are as well as provide you with a list of keywords that are used for your product, service, business or industry. This can help you see those that you may have overlooked.

Choosing your keywords is an important step in the SEO process, so make sure that you take your time to fully assess your site and which keywords best describe what you have to offer. Remember that SEO is not something that you set in motion and forget about it—it’s something that needs your constant attention, so be prepared to work on it consistently in order to generate results.

This article was written by Garrett Payne for SEOMAP – the keyword strategy experts.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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