3 Secrets to Selecting Highly-Effective SEO Keywords

3 Secrets to Selecting Highly-Effective SEO Keywords

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The following guide will provide you with 5 ideas to keep in mind when you are selecting keywords on which to build your online marketing.

1.Picking SEO Keywords: Focus on Good Phrases

When it comes to search engine marketing, there may be no larger misnomer, no more archaic term than the ubiquitous keyword. In my view, there should be an official migration to the more accurate term keyphrase, but for now I will be forced to use what I consider to be an inaccurate term. My frustration with this term is that it quite simply implies a single word, which is rarely the strategy that we employ when doing keyword research and selection in the service of PPC and SEO campaigns.

All too often, people dramatically overthink the most basic keyword research concepts; keyword generation should start simply with answering the question of “What products or services do you sell?” If you sell dog food online,  the root wordsdog and food alone would be very poor keywords because on their own, neither dognor food do a remotely good job at describing what you sell. Though this example makes it obvious, many times we have to fight through our urge to include those bigger, broader root keywords.

2.Picking SEO Keywords: Avoiding “Vanity” Keywords

Now let’s look at a trickier example—one where the root keyword arguably does a good job describing what we are selling. Say I own an online jewelry store that sells all types of jewelry. To rank highly for the keyword jewelry would probably be at the top of my search engine marketing goals. And yet this would probably not be a profitable keyword that will drive relevant traffic to my site. That is because, from an organic SEO perspective, you are unlikely to rank highly for this term unless you are a huge, highly authoritative site—or lucky enough to be Jewelry.com, knowing that Google rewards keywords that match website addresses.

In this case, you would do well to go after more specific keywords such as gold jewelry, silver necklace, or women’s Rolex watch.  Not only is the competition for these terms less fierce but, from both an SEO and a PPC perspective, those more specific keywords are going to have a significantly higher conversion rate to purchases on your site.

Sometimes we refer to those root keywords as “vanity keywords,” because if you do just one search to see who seems to be winning the space, you are likely to pick the single broadest keyword and see who comes up ranked highly.

3.Picking SEO Keywords: Using Google’s Wonder Wheel

This is in my opinion the best little secret of everyone’s favorite search engine: the Google Wonder Wheel. Released about a year ago but virtually unknown compared with Google’s much more visible search tools, the Wonder Wheel can be accessed by doing a search and then selecting “Wonder Wheel” under the filter options on the lefthand navigation.

What you are presented with now is a visual representation of the way that Google groups together keywords. (Indirectly, you can also deduce how users themselves perceive search terms.) This alone can become the basis of your PPC and SEO keyword research.

Starting with the search term dog food, I see related more specific terms like dog food reviews, dog food comparison, and dog food brands, which can help identify other keywords to focus on. Then, clicking on dog food brands, the search engine automatically expands that keyword to be another hub, with more specific keywords related to dog food brands such as nutro dog food, Purina dog food, and so on.

At my comapny, Wpromote, we use this tool to help shape overall content strategies. Continuing with the dog food example, we can see that ratings, comparison, and reviews all were all grouped as closely related to dog food in general, implying that people that are searching for dog food are very interested in the comparison and review side of things. So from a content strategy perspective, it would be a very powerful takeaway to include a heavy emphasis on customer ratings, third-party reviews, and side by side comparisons to help the consumers make their dog food selections while shopping on our site.

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