How to find the best keywords

by Hazel Jarrett May 25th, 2011 

keywords

Keywords… are they important? Do I really need them? How do I find them?

Hell yeah, choosing the right keywords is essential to the optimization of your website!

Ok, here’s a little keyword information…

What are Keywords?
Keywords and phrases are the words on your site that match the words or phrases that people type into search engines.

Why do you need Keywords?
Search engines do their text query and retrieval using keywords and then rank the most relevant websites highest. This means that when someone searches for a particular product or service they will find the information they are looking for… which is obviously the point of search engines! The best keywords are those that are very relevant to your product or service and are also frequently searched for.

Are the right Keywords important?
Absolutely! Use the right keywords and your website will be found, but target the wrong ones and the rest of your SEO efforts will be pointless.

Now the important bit….

3 Steps to finding the best Keywords

  1. Start with an educated guess… what do you think people will use in a search when they are interested in your product or service? Think about what you are offering to help customers, as people are far more likely to search for a solution to their problem instead of a service or product.
  2. Research with a Keyword Tool… here’s three of the best:

    Word Tracker
    A subscription to Wordtracker’s premium Keywords tool will help you to:

    • Generate thousands of relevant keywords to improve your organic and PPC (Pay Per Click) search campaigns.
    • Optimize your website content by using the most popular keywords for your product and services.
    • Research online markets, find niche opportunities and exploit them before your competitors.

    Word Tracker offers a 7-day free trial.

    Google AdWords Keyword Tool
    Using Google Adwords Keywoord Tool will enable you:

    • To see how many people are searching for each keyword phrase
    • Generate related keyword suggestions
    • Show the level of competition for each keyword phrase

    Not only is it a Google tool but it’s also a free Google tool!

    KeywordSpy
    An interesting tool which will tell you:

    • Which websites are targeting a particular keyword phrase
    • Ideas for keyword phrases based on the search terms that competitors are using.

    Keyword Spy offers a free trial

  3. Choose the best – you should now have an idea of the best keywords to use in your site. One final step; go to Google and search for your chosen keyword. You should now see your competitors on the results page together with their title tags. These title tags will show you the keywords that they are targeting for the same product or service. And of course we know these sites are optimized as they are on the first page of Google’s results… exactly where you want to be!

Mission accomplished – the best keywords found – now go forth and optimize!

Hazel Jarrett

Hazel has many years experience in helping businesses achieve top Search Engine rankings and increased brand awareness. She's the SEO Consultant and owner of SEO+ in Devon, England and has a real passion for SEO and helping all kinds of businesses throughout the UK.

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6 Responses to “How to find the best keywords”

  1. Leah Baade says:

    These are great tips, Hazel. I love the fact that you can use free tools like Google AdWords Keyword Tool, and event Google's Wonder Wheel search option – and get really great results. Free tools are an easy way for people to try their own hand at SEO before they sink a lot of money into a keyword tool they may or may not use down the road.

    • Hazel says:

      Hey Leah,

      Thank you for your lovely comment.
      It is great that there are some good keyword tools out there and that you can get such good results from the free ones. I guess it's just a case of finding the best one for you.

  2. Jamie Graham says:

    I was going to mention Google's Wonder wheel as well. As a copywriter I've found it to be very useful for doing keyword research for my clients.

    It amazes me that still so many sites don't have any keywords in their meta titles or descriptions. I always cringe when I see an H1 tag with "Welcome" rather than a relevant keyword/phrase.

    • Hazel says:

      Hey Jamie,

      'Welcome to may website' text in that important H1 tag generally leads to me having a rant not just a cringe! Definitely one of my pet hates.

  3. Hi, Hazel.

    I am using Google AdWords and am glad for the fact that not only is it free, but that with it, we can make a comprehensive keyword search. I just have some certain questions bugging me about keywords though. Do we really need to maintain a certain keyword density in our articles? Does that really matter? Do we really need to have keywords in our articles or is having quality content that reads naturally more important?

    I would really appreciate it if somebody can enlighten me on this.

    Cheers!
    Kim

    • Hazel says:

      Hi Kim,

      Keywords do matter, but don't get too hung up on the keyword density; instead concentrate on writing quality content and keeping it focused to your topic as this will naturally include your keywords and therefore satisfy the search engines while still being useful to your audience and reading naturally.

      Here's what Google says:
      "Give visitors the information they're looking for. Provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do. If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site. In creating a helpful, information-rich site, write pages that clearly and accurately describe your topic. Think about the words users would type to find your pages and include those words on your site."

      Hazel