SEO Tips: How To Pick The “Right” Keywords

Picking the right keyword phrases is perhaps the most important step in creating a successful SEO / Search Engine Optimization campaign. Why? Because if you pick the right keywords, they will drive the right traffic (if you rank well for them of course!). So let’s learn how to pick the “right” keywords and keyword phrases for your website.

Determine your target audience
SEO Tip – The first step is an important one. Think hard…what type(s) of people do you want to visit your site? If you sell something on your site, who would be your top consumers? If you provide a service, who would be looking for it? This may seem obvious at first, but knowing who is searching will affect how they’re searching.

Determine what they’re searching

Now the hard part, you’re going to have to step into the shoes of your average consumer and think:

“If I wanted to find one of the products/services offered on my website, what would I be typing into a Google search right now?”

Maybe you think people interested in getting a truck driving job are only using phrases like “truck driving jobs,” “trucking jobs” and “trucker jobs.” But have you considered the sizeable group of seasoned truckers that would use different phrases with the same meaning, like “cdl jobs”?

Is your product/service geo-specific? Consider geo-targeted keywords like “PA insurance agents” instead of “insurance agents.”

There are many angles to consider, so think like your customer and do your best!

SEO Tip Make a keyword list

In general terms there are two major types of keywords: “generic terms” and “long tail terms.” An example of a generic term is the keyword “Dealership.” An example of a related tail term keyword is “Philadelphia Nissan Dealerships.”

A car dealership that owns a Nissan dealership in Philadelphia would probably like to rank well on both of those terms, but each has its advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage of generic keyword terms is that they will net a greater search volume, so ranking #1 for that head term (“Dealerships”) would inevitably get many people to your site. The disadvantages are that 1) people search generic terms (like “dealership”) for all kinds of reasons, so the chances that they’re looking for your exact product/service are lessened and 2) since it’s such a broad term, it will be very competitive and difficult to rank on.

The disadvantage of the long tail terms is that they get fewer searches per month. But on the flip side, those individuals that do search for your tail terms pre-qualify themselves (for example, anyone searching for “nissan dealerships in Philadelphia” would certainly be interested in your site). Another advantage to the long tail terms is that they are less competitive and relatively easier to rank on.

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