If you own or manage a website, then there is no doubt you understand the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). However, do you understand SEO, itself? Sure, you know to use strong keywords, and you even know where to find keywords but how do you know which keywords are best?
If you find yourself staring at the computer screen, numb from over-thinking your keyword choices and still unsure if you are making the right decisions, you can relax. There are ways to choose keywords that take much of the guesswork out of the process. Here are five tips for proper niche keyword research:
1. Your current keyword ranking
Use a tool like SEMRush to identify the keywords your site is already ranking for, and also to discover keywords your site is ranking for that might not have been obvious to you. Use these results to begin your list.
Sit down and think of what you feel would be the most commonly-used terms associated with searching for your site’s niche. What terms would YOU use to find your site? List as many keywords and terms as you can think of. You will eventually narrow down this list to the best, but for now, get it all out there.
3. Useful tools for list expansion
Of course, it’s impossible to come up with every single keyword possibility just through brainstorming. That’s what keyword suggestion tools are for. Plug the keywords and phrases from your brainstorm session into keyword suggestion tools like WordTracker, SEMRush, and Google Adwords Tool for a wide variety of keyword suggestions that you might not have thought of. Expand your list with the ones you like.
4. Search volume
Plug each of your keyword phrases into a keyword research tool of your choice (Google Adwords Tool is free!) in order to find out how they rank in regards to search volume. The higher the ranking, the more web users search for that particular keyword. You can use search volume rankings to organize your keywords from highest to lowest priority.
5. Niche relevancy
This is where you need to pay the most attention to detail, and keep your target audience in mind. Out of the keywords you’ve identified as being strong (high ranking), some are better suited for your site than others. Ask yourself how relevant each keyword phrase is to your particular niche. For example, if you own an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, the keyword phrase “Brooklyn Italian restaurant” would be much more relevant to your niche than the more general term, “Italian food.” Taking the time to appropriately research your niche site’s keyword research choices is an all-important part of developing your site.