How do I choose the right SEO keywords for my business?

Written on 10 October, 2016 by Ben Pearce
Categories: Search Engine Optimisation

When implementing your SEO strategy, arguably the hardest task is finding the right keywords for your business.

There are dozens of checklists anyone can follow for on- and off-site optimisation that can be applied to any website in any industry. Keywords, however, are industry related and sometimes require geo-location targeting, which cannot be achieved by following a spreadsheet.

But who needs a checklist when you have this article?

Today, I will show you how to choose the right SEO keywords for your business.

Who are you targeting?


Before you start your SEO keyword research, identify your target market and competitors.

If you're targeting a local area, then you will want to include keywords that contain the name of your state, city or suburb. You will also need to know your main competitors as we'll be spying on them to gather more high-quality keywords (discussed later).

Write down the areas you wish to target and your three biggest competitors who have an online presence.

Google Keyword Planner


Google Keyword Planner is the perfect place to start your SEO keyword research.

You can target keywords searched by location, which is ideal if your target market is in a specific city or suburb.

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In the 'Your product or service' box, enter keywords that relate to your business. For example, if you're a gym owner in Sydney, keywords may include Sydney gyms, running in Sydney, or fitness in Sydney.

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Using the three terms above, Google has returned a total of 645 keyword phrases searched by people in Sydney relating to gyms and wellness. You can sort the list by average monthly searches and pick keywords that best relate to your business.

As a starting point, find 10 keywords that receive 1,000 monthly searches to optimise your website for.

Spying on your competitors


One of the best ways to find SEO keywords for your business is to see which keywords your competitors are trying to rank for. Using a service like SEMrush, you can enter the website address of any competitor and it will reveal keywords they rank for.

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SEMrush provides you with data on their top organic keywords, other competitors in your niche, whether they use AdWords, where their backlinks come from and more.

Note: SEMrush is a paid service and free users can only see part of the results.

Übersuggest


Google Keyword Tool Planner and SEMrush primarily focus on finding seed keywords (keywords that contain two words or less). Übersuggest focuses on long-tail keywords which are just as important.

You simply enter a keyword and it will return a list of long-tail keywords in alphabetical order.

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Übersuggest is a free service but doesn't tell you how often keywords are searched for. Best practice is to cross-reference the long-tail keywords on the Google Keyword Planner to see how many average monthly searches they are getting, and then decide whether you want to target them or not.

Summary

A successful SEO keyword strategy is all about research. Luckily, there are enough free tools online that you needn't waste time guessing at what your business's keywords are. Use the tools above to gather a deeper understanding of your industry's keywords and create a content plan to target those keywords.

Are you struggling to get your search engine optimisation strategy in full-gear? Then see how WebCentral can help.