How to Choose Keywords for SEO: The Beginner’s Guide to Better Blogs

Your keyword research is one of the biggest steps when it comes to great SEO. Here’s a quick and simple guide on how to choose keywords for SEO.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your website content rank higher on search engines like Google. Without SEO, consumers might fail to see your content. With SEO, however, you can attract site visitors, generate leads, and boost sales.

In other words, SEO is a great strategy for boosting your ROI! In fact, 93 percent of online activities start with a search engine. Unfortunately, 75 percent of searchers don’t look beyond the first page of a search.

If you’re not on the first page, you’re missing out!

The key to a successful SEO strategy is research. Learning how to choose keywords for SEO can make or break your marketing strategy. With these six tips, you can find the right keywords to reach your target audience.

Keep reading to learn how to find keywords for SEO with these easy tips!

1. Know Your Audience

Before you start your keyword research, take the time to learn about your target audience. After all, they’re the ones searching for your content. If you don’t know who they are, you can’t determine what they’re searching for.

First, take the time to break your broad target audience into smaller buyer personas. Smaller, segmented groups will help you learn more about each niche.

You can differentiate your target audience based on:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Household income
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Buying behaviors
  • Language
  • Marital status

Think about the consumers who are already buying your products. What do they look and sound like? What problems do they face that you can help solve?

Once you know more about your audience, you can start learning how to choose keywords for SEO. Start by developing a list of potential keywords to target. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Trends, Ahrefs, and SEMRush.

These tools will give you a list of potential keywords to work with. Look at each keyword’s search volume and competitiveness. When choosing the best keywords, you’ll want keywords with high search volume and low competition.

These keywords will help you rank higher on Google.

The higher you rank, the more people will see you. A higher ranking can help you build brand awareness, authority, and credibility. It can also help you generate traffic, leads, and sales, allowing you to improve your ROI.

2. Choose Long-Tail Keywords

Now that you have a list of keywords to work with, it’s time to start choosing the best keywords for your SEO strategy.

First, try to prioritize long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are phrases (a string of four or more words). You can learn more about choosing long tail keywords here.

By the end of 2020, voice searches will account for 50 percent of all searches. Voice searches are searches completed using a voice-activated device or smart speaker. In fact, about 35.6 million Americans use a voice-activated device at least once a month.

These devices are increasing the length of long-tail keywords.

Think about how a consumer might ask you a question. You’ll want to adjust your existing keyword strategy based on how people are phrasing their queries. Instead of writing for search engines, use natural language queries to write for your customers.

Then, you’ll want to create a short, summarized answer for these voice queries. The typical result is usually around 29 words.

Voice search optimization can help you appear for Google’s featured snippets. Featured snippets are the summarized answers that appear at the top of a Google search. These answers can appear as summaries, bullet points, numbered lists, or other formats.

Formatting your content for featured snippets will help you reach position zero. In other words, you’ll rank before any organic listing (and above your competitors!).

3. Find Phrase Variations

Once you have a list of keywords to work with, start creating variations. Using variations within your content will help your keywords read more naturally. For example, you can use a main target keyword, then use four or five variations within the same piece of content.

Make sure your variations are relevant to the content. In addition to benefiting your rankings, these variations can also improve readability.

The easier a piece is to read, the more likely someone will read that piece of content to the other.

Seeing the same target keyword a dozen times, however, can seem awkward.

4. Pinpoint the Intent

Before you start writing your content, make sure you understand the search intent.

Google’s search algorithm is growing smarter every day. With machine learning, Google is now able to understand what a consumer is looking for during a search. Usually, consumers are either looking for a product/service or an answer to a question.

Understanding the search intent will help you create content that matches what the consumer is looking for.

Then, you can use your keyword research to appeal to the consumer’s needs. Matching the customer’s needs will make you a relevant resource for your target audience.

5. Let the Keyword Inform the Content

Don’t write a piece of content and then try forcing the keyword to fit in the piece. Instead, let your keyword drive the content you create.

Take a look at your keyword research and your notes on the consumer’s search intent. What content are your customers looking for? Create content that matches that intent.

When learning how to choose keywords for SEO, you should let your customers guide you. That way, they’ll learn to rely on you as the resource they need.

When creating your content, make sure your main target keyword appears in the:

  • Title
  • URL
  • Intro and closing paragraphs
  • Body text
  • Header
  • Image alt tags

Try to avoid stuffing your content with your keyword. Otherwise, Google might penalize you for black hat SEO tactics.

6. Review the Analytics

As you continue learning how to write keywords for SEO, make sure to review your data. You can use Google Analytics to determine which pieces your customers are reading. Which pages do they linger on?

Which keywords are attracting the most website visitors?

Use your analytics to inform your keyword strategy in the future.

How to Choose Keywords for SEO: Six Tips for Effective Keyword Research

Now that you know how to choose keywords for SEO, get to it! The sooner you start creating and optimizing content, the more leads you’ll generate. As your SEO ranking improves, you can boost your brand and your business.

Looking for more ways to generate more business? Explore the Business section of the blog for more helpful guides.