10 Rules for Choosing Effective SEO Keywords

When you start or enhance a search engine optimisation campaign, choosing the best keywords is part of laying a strong foundation that will help you be more successful.

Keywords are an integral part of an SEO campaign that will help you get more site traffic and even help you increase sales and build your business. But, to see these benefits you need to choose your keywords very carefully. Here are 10 rules that can help you do this.

Find Keywords that are of Value to Your Business

The first qualifying factor for any keywords you use should be that they are of value to your business. The keywords you use should be words people who are likely to become customers, or to respond to your calls to action, would use.

Start with Current Rankings

Is your website already ranking for any keywords? If it is, you may already have a good starting point. Assess these keywords and decide if you want to include them in your SEO campaign.

Check Search Volume

There are several keyword research tools out there, including some from Google, that let you find out how many people are searching for specific words and phrases. Before you start trying to earn keyword rankings, check to make sure their search volumes are worth the effort.

Research the Competition

Keyword research tools can also give you an idea of how much competition you will be facing if you work to rank for certain words. They usually rank the competitiveness so you can get a general idea of how hard it is going to be to rank for them.

Of course, you may also have a good idea of what other businesses or websites may be trying to rank for specific keywords. You can find out what sites have top rankings simply by typing keywords into a search engine.

Choose Keywords that are Specific

Keywords that are more specific, called long tail keywords, are often easier to rank for and can actually have better conversion rates. For example, instead of targeting the keyword “smartphone” you may want to use “Android smartphone,” which is more specific and could help you target potential sales leads.

Brainstorm as if You Were Your Market

As you brainstorm keywords, try to think as if you were a member of your target market. What keywords would they search for? What terms would they use if they were looking for one of your products or just your business in general? This strategy can help you choose keywords that will be more valuable to your business.

Use Keywords that are Relevant to Your Site Pages

Of course, if you rank for keywords that aren’t very relevant to the pages they lead to, your SEO campaign won’t really help you be successful. Choose keywords that will capture your market and encourage people to respond to your calls to action.

Look for Related Words and Terms

While you are building your keyword list, try to find related words and terms. This will help you target a wider audience and could help you find more words you can rank for, which will be beneficial to your campaign in general.

Consider the Conversion Rates

Some keywords convert site visitors better than others. You can probably make some educated guesses on which ones will have higher conversion rates, but the only way to find the best ones is to track your site visitors. As you discover which keywords have higher conversion rates, consider focusing more heavily on those ones.

Use Location-Based Terms When Possible

Location-based terms, like “computer stores in London” or “London web designer” are specific, detailed, easier to rank for and may even have higher conversion rates. Whenever possible, use keywords and phrases that include city, neighbourhood, community or even street names.

Start improving your SEO efforts and strengthening your campaigns by using these 10 rules as you choose your keywords. Always track your efforts and successes so you can alter your plans and make them as effective as possible.