The Importance Of Choosing The Right Keywords For SEO

Choosing the best keywords to optimise your website for is an absolutely vital foundation of SEO and should be given very careful consideration by anybody looking to undertake an SEO campaign for their website.

A keyword (also known as a keyphrase) can consist of one or two words (known as a short-tail keyword) or it can be a phrase consisting of 3 or more words (this is known as a long-tail keyword).

Ideally you should typically target only one keyword per page so it is vital that you choose a phrase that your customers will be searching for in Google. For example if you are an electrician based in London then it would be sensible to choose the keyword “electrician in London” for your homepage.

Many people are overconfident regarding their choice of keywords that they often neglect to do the proper research into the keywords that people commonly search for on Google and the other major search engines.

This is what I would recommend as a good procedure to help SEO beginners choose the right keywords for their site:

1) Ask as many people as you can – this may be your friends, family, staff and current customers. Ask them what keywords they would search for in order to find your website (you may be surprised!)

2) Be as specific as possible – long-tail keywords are much easier to rank higher for in Google and you are much more likely to receive high-quality traffic especially if you are a small business offering a local or regional service.

3) Use Free Keyword Analysis Tools – There are several free tools which enable you to check the popularity of your potential keywords such as Google Adwords. They will show you the number of monthly global and local searches for each keyword and how much competition there is from other sites. Consider choosing a less popular keyword if there is significantly less competition from other sites.

4) Check Your Competitors Sites – Before I embark on any SEO campaign for a customer I always have a look at the competition to see what they are doing and how well they are doing it. Pay attention to the keywords they have chosen for each page (check the page source and look at the H1 tag which should reflect their primary keyword for each page, assuming their site is correctly optimised).

By taking the time to follow the steps above and invest in some proper keyword research this should hopefully give you a reasonable base from which to start your SEO campaign. If you get it right at the beginning then this will hopefully enable you invest your time in both on-page and off-page optimisation and see some real results for your chosen keywords in the near future.