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How To Choose The Right Keywords For SEO

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Keywords are the most critical aspect of SEO. Forget about image selection, page speeds, backlinks, and good-looking websites – without the right keywords, search engines are simply going to ignore you.

A site that has been well-optimised with the right keywords allows search engines to connect visitors to you, driving valuable customers to your webpage. Choosing the right keywords for your web content is vital to ensuring that people can find you. Keywords are words and phrases that search engines use to make it possible for people to find your site.

When someone navigates to a search engine like Google, they enter the words or phrases that describe what they’re looking for information about – this is called a “search query.” The engine then feeds this data into its search algorithm, linking and ranking different results based on how relevant – or well optimised – they are to the search.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, there’s a little more to it than picking a couple of words that you think will work and then stuffing them into your website content. Choosing the right keywords will allow you to optimise your content, driving the right audiences towards you while climbing up those search result rankings.

What’s In a Keyword?

The English language is estimated to include around 1 million different words. That’s a lot, even for the internet. The trick to good SEO is carefully picking the words that will tell search engines exactly why people, searching for something you have to offer, need to see your page.

You can do this by conducting keyword research using tools and resources to dive into the data that tells you which keywords will work and which ones won’t.

But before we do this, it’s essential to understand how keywords differ from one another and how they’re categorised. 

  • Short-Tail Keywords – Consist of between one and three words. These are by far the most common keywords used in searches. High search volumes and competition for these words mean they usually deliver low conversion rates and are best used as a theme keyword, appearing throughout your website.
  • Long-Tail Keywords – Consist of more than three words and are more specific than the shorter keywords. Searched less and with fewer people competing for them, these keywords are great for showing user search intent or details on what they’re looking for. Long-tail keywords are best for targeted pages like product, service and blog posts.

While these two definitions relate to the length and composition of keywords, let’s take a look at the different types of keywords available to us. 

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Types of Keywords

  • Product Keywords – Describe exactly what you’re offering. 
  • Customer-Defining Keywords – Relate to who the customer is. These keywords associate things like gender, age, and profession. 
  • Branded Keywords – Include the name of your company and words that are unique to you. 
  • Market-Defining Keywords – Describe the business or industry at large that you’re operating in. 
  • Geotargeted Keywords – Focus on geographical locations, including suburbs, cities, provinces, and countries.
  • Competitor Keywords – Are the same or very similar keywords and terms used by your competition. These are great for research purposes. 
  • Buyer Intent Keywords – Tell us that the searcher is ready to take action and buy a product or service. These are often used by people approaching the end of the sales funnel. 

While there are many more different types of keywords out there, including negative match keywords, evergreen keywords, and phrase match keywords, it’s best to keep focused on the ones most closely related to your product or service.

Steps in Picking the Right Keywords

When picking the right keywords for your SEO strategy, the trick lies in choosing the right set of words and phrases that offer a combination of good search volumes, competitive starting bids, and healthy competition value.

While getting this right can take time and require some trial and error, here are the basic steps in getting started:

Step 1: Brainstorm

Figure out which keywords you think are most relevant to your business based on your goals and objectives and draw up a keyword list from the different types mentioned above. You don’t need to get it to spot on here; this first step is to get the ball rolling. 

Step 2: Do some Research

Keyword research tools are widely available and range from free-to-use to premium services that give you bespoke insight into the perfect words to use. These tools are crucial to choosing the right keywords for your business, offering vital information and statistics. 

Step 3: Categorise your Keywords 

Once you’ve narrowed down your top keywords by using your keyword tools, it’s time to segment and organise them based on what role each will play in your overall SEO strategy. Arrange your keywords around their intent, relevance and search volume before putting them to use. 

Step 4: Refine & Finalize

Finally, go back to your SEO objectives and critique your list. Get rid of keywords that are less relevant and sure to underperform. This can be tough, but if you apply a critical mind to this step, you’ll end up with a list of keywords that will boost your SEO ranking and work hard in getting results. 

Choosing the right keywords for your SEO strategy can be challenging, especially when you’re just starting. But with a bit of creativity and effort, identifying and selecting the keywords that work will allow search engines to connect your customers to you quicker and in more significant numbers than ever before. 

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