On Google search engines, keywords determine how web crawlers index content. The length of a keyword, the associations, the popularity and the form all play a part. Finding the perfect keywords is an important process in search engine optimization. Thankfully, there are guidelines to picking keywords that work well.
Don’t Get Creative
People should always consider their keywords carefully, but there is a difference between considering carefully and making things terribly convoluted. Don’t try to be a creative genius with keywords. A necklace deserves something with the keyword ‘necklace,’ not ‘neck trinket.’
While users may search for general terms, serious customers tend to be more specific in their searches. They’re looking for a particular product or service. Help your website rank by considering the specific keywords that apply to your services or products.
Don’t Be Too Specific
On the other end of specific, there is too specific. This refers to specialized keywords that no one bothers to search for, often because they’re not even familiar with the word or term. Even niche sites shouldn’t fall into the trap of making their keywords too esoteric.
Don’t be Too Broad
Keyword selection probably sounds like walking a tightrope at the moment. It kind of is. There’s a fine line between a perfect keyword and an unhelpful one. Broad keywords are words like ‘dog.’ They may be the right word to describe your veterinary services, but it describes thousands of others as well. Generic keywords do not help you stand out.
Be Realistic About Competition
There’s always competition with broad keywords, but the perfect keyword can have the same issues. Some keywords will simply place your website among a highly competitive bunch. Be realistic about the competition you’ll face. Otherwise, you’ll find the perfect keyword still leaves you pages behind in ranking while well-known and well-established competitors celebrate on the first page.
Use Google Tools
Nobody magically knows what keywords attract regular traffic. It takes tools to get a sense of what words and phrases millions of users are typing into their search engine. Google Adwords Keywords Tool and Google Analytics are two free SEO tools for keyword analysis.
Variations of words such as pluralized words and conjoined words rank differently on Google. Prepare for this by including the variations if you can. If not, include the plural version as searchers often fall back on pluralized words. For other type of variations, think about your target audience and their mostly likely search query.
These guidelines to effective keywords apply to every site. Would a medical site use their business name as their best keyword, or would they focus on the most popular subject? Based on the above information, they’d go with the latter choice. If you want to see examples, examine other sites for examples. Pass by a competitor site, and look at what keywords they’ve used. It’s a learning experience.