Choosing Keywords

Learn how to choose the right keywords for your website!

If you are implementing SEO for your website, it doesn’t do much unless you choose a good combination of keywords, or rather, the best key phrases. A keyword, or key phrase, is a word or phrase that people search in Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines.

Think of the internet as a town. Your website is your brick and mortar store. Key phrases are the town’s streets. SEO then, is the process of moving your store closer and closer to your main streets. Some streets are busier, some are more expensive to be seen on and others are just a ghost town. Most businesses would just want to get moved right to the location with the most amount of traffic—but there is so much more to consider when choosing the best key phrase.

1. What best describes your company?

Start here. Write down the top 10-20 key phrases that best describe what it is you do. There should be a few words here—not just “lawyer,” but “San Diego divorce lawyer.” Then use a tool like and the Google Adwords website content tool (on the old interface) to see what words are used the most on your site and what Google thinks your site it about. This can open your eyes to the need to change content on the site.

how to choose the right keywords

2. Where is the most traffic?

Plug in the best key phrases into the Google Adwords tool to find the most searched results. Use the synonyms feature (on the old interface) to get more ideas. Never look at broad match (I cover my screen until I click “phrase” and/or “exact” because I don’t even want to get my hopes up). If there is a lot of traffic (in the thousands), focus on the exact match only. If there is not, then look at the phrase matches. Rank them in hierarchy of traffic, export them into an excel spreadsheet and highlight the ones you would like to rank for.

3. What is least competitive?

Download SEO for Firefox, if you haven’t already. View the page links of the top 10 sites for your highlighted key phrases. See how closely the domain names and titles match the key phrase. Then search “allinanchor:” followed by the key phrase in quotes to see who is actively perusing this phrase. The least competitive key phrases will have a low number of page links and not exact matches for the domain names. By studying the competition you can judge how long-term of an investment this is going to be. The more competitive the longer it will take to rank and the harder it will be to stay at the top.

4. Is it a buying or shopping key phrase?

After all of the analysis is done…stop. Just think to yourself if someone entering in that key phrase into Google is looking to buy or just peruse. Going back to the town analogy; if you even got to your ‘main street’—are the pedestrians there just window shopping or are they coming into the store with wallets open? A phrase like “swiss watches” may have 10x more traffic, but a phrase like “buy a swiss watch” will bring in the bucks with a higher ROI and will take a much shorter time to rank.

So if you are looking to make the move from the backstreets of the internet to being the ‘talk of the town,’ remember to find the right main streets—choose the best key phrases.

Need more help? Fill out the form at the top to get a Free Keyword Analysis!