Searching for keywords is probably the most important aspect of your SEO strategy. It guides the way you write your content, how you approach your audience and your content strategy as a whole.
Many non-specialists are not sufficiently familiar with this type of method. They know enough to try a strategy that often turns out to be fruitless.
This research phase is gaining simplicity and many SEO novices see it as complex.
SEO keyword search refers to finding the words and phrases that people use when searching for information. It is also a question of determining the volume of searches relating to these expressions as well as the level of competition. Keyword research is not a single step or action, but a process where all the steps are linked. For more information, see the full guide on Searching for SEO Keywords.
Here in this article, the objective is to approach the analysis and cleaning phase of the list of keywords based on two aspects: the perceived intention of the search engine and the competition.
How to choose keywords for SEO?
Choosing the keywords for SEO is of great importance. Most articles on the subject of keyword research mention only finding ideas and knowing the volume of research. This is problematic because they leave out an important aspect of research: the way search engines understand keywords.
After completing your list and organizing it according to the search volume, go to Google, type the keywords one by one and analyze the results. It’s up to you to keep them or delete them.
Does Google understand your keyword?
Google has to deal with a lot of nuances in search queries. For example, the term ‘plumbing’ can be used to find a plumber, buy plumbing supplies, or discover the Plumbing History. Google displays the type of sites it thinks is most relevant to this keyword. So, avoid using words that seem relevant to you if Google gives them a different meaning. We are talking here about research intent hidden the keyword.
For example, if you are working from a home office, you can probably choose the term ‘home office’ for the design of the room. This is not a good idea, however, because this term is mainly used by Google for pages about home office furniture.
Search for your keywords on Google. Analyze the first 10 results. What are the sites that appear? Do they match the intent of your keyword? Are these commercial sites, blogs, government sites, job sites? Would your site stand out if it appeared in the top 10?
You will be more likely to be well referenced on a keyword if the other sites are part of your industry. If you have a health-related site, the keyword ‘lose weight’ has a high level of difficulty, as 8 out of 10 websites are government or CPAM sites.
If you choose to use it anyway, avoid building your keyword strategy around because Google favors government sites.
Am I able to compete against this keyword?
Google takes into account hundreds of SEO factors to decide SEO pages on a certain demand. One of the most important factors is ‘authority’. This is the reputation of a site. This topic is quite complex, but by and large, Google prefers sites known as the World, Wikipedia or Amazon to small unknown websites.
Your goal is to choose expressions on which you can be present because the competition is not too high. Imagine that you are a young actor (theater or cinema). You will try to gain some time of experiences in order to have the opportunity to impress some spectators.
You could try to audition for the latest films. If you are caught, you will have the chance to play in front of millions of people. The problem is that you will only have a second supporting role or worse simple.
It is wiser to join a local theater troupe and get some stage time. You will have fewer people, but they will be really interested in your game. You will play in front of a larger audience eventually, but later.
In short … to choose and prioritize your list of keywords, you need to know the level of intensity of competition from the point of view of their authorities.
TOP tools to analyze the competition of a keyword
Go to the Ahrefs.com website to find out the Domain Rating (DR) of your domain name or indicate the desired keyword to perform an analysis of the SERP.
Ahrefs Rank (AR)
If you sort all the websites of the world according to the power of their links/backlink, you get the ranking Ahrefs (AR).
Domain Rating (DR)
Domain Rating (DR) indicates the relative ‘backlink popularity’ of the website compared to all other websites in the Ahrefs database on a logarithmic scale of 100 points (the loudest).
Majestic SEO (paid)
Go to majestic.com to find out the trust flow (authority) of your domain name. Download the Majestic extension for Google Chrome or Firefox, allows you to know the authority of the domain name of each site you visit.
The particularity of Majestic? The tool has a site topical analysis and a measurement tool (topical) or a web page called Topical TrustFlow. Each link of each site of the web transmits an authority and a theme by cascade effect. This is a very useful indicator for judging the relevance of a site in a specific topic.
I often use this tool because it includes a plugin for the browser and it’s free, very convenient. Discover the domain authority of your site by downloading (free) MozBar for the browser. You can also enter the address of your site on Open Site Explorer (via Moz)
Are domain authorities too high for you? The search results page is taken by well-known brands and sites?
If there are many sites with a high score among the results, are the displayed pages useful?
If you were actually looking for this keyword, would you be interested in the results? Often, when Google is not able to come up with a good answer, it chooses the least off-topic content from a site with a high authority score.
However, if there are many really useful articles written by well-known brands and sites that are part of the results, I do not recommend using this expression.
And, as you can see on this search, you will never be well referenced on the term ‘blog SEO‘.
Use this information to edit your keyword list. Avoid using keywords when your chances are very low. See this as an opportunity to be more specific.
if the difficulty level of the phrase ‘vegetable garden’ is too high, you may be able to point out a long-tail expression, such as ‘ vegetable garden planner”
Much of this process appeals to your sense of judgment. It takes practice to make the right decisions and to know your chances. Moreover, even SEO professionals sometimes have trouble searching for keywords. Remember, the best is the enemy of the good.
Follow these steps and you will have an edge over your competitors. This will also allow you to get a better idea of the level of your own site and to refine your content strategy.
Summary for choosing keywords
When you search and analyze keywords for your Google SEO, it’s easy to go wrong or procrastinate. Remember to check each step carefully.
1. Organize your keywords according to topics
Thus, you will use the keywords on your site in an organized way. Writing a single list of keywords is a good start, but quickly try to create several lists of related keywords.
2. Do not lose sight of your website
The search for keywords should be done as part of the creation of your content pages. Ask yourself the following question: Are the keywords I found really relevant to my site? Is your site a good answer to questions and keywords? Remember that to target keywords you have to use them on your site.
3. Do not lose sight of the search intent
It often happens that the meaning that Google attributes to a keyword is different. You should be aware of this during the research process but stay alert. For example, the keywords made up of the name of industry + the term ‘ads’ are mainly used by people looking for job offers.
Google is not always able to understand this type of nuances. Remember when you choose your keywords.
Remember to evaluate these two factors to choose your keywords for SEO. There is no point running behind a keyword with a large but unreachable search volume. Moreover, Moz is a free tool, so there is no reason not to start today.