When trying to grow your business, one of the best ways to do so is with search engine optimization (SEO). Throughout this process it will help your site ranked higher in relevant searches.

Keywords in SEO are a huge component to building a relevant website. It is important to optimize your website with valuable relevant keywords as this has a strong effect on your site rank. Through time you may change the keywords, in return allowing you to change the direction in which your taking the campaign. The hardest part about keywords is that some are successful, and some are not. Over periods of time you will gather data to help narrow down which keywords can help your site. Here are some tactics to choosing the right keywords.

Understand your goals

Sit down and think about what keywords represent your brand and what your SEO goals are. SEO is used by many companies to increase the traffic that goes to their website, correlating to an increase in revenue. Three questions to ask in this stage are:

  1. Time period for results? Knowing that SEO is a long-term strategy it’s going to take a little period of time to see the results. If your expecting something faster, you may have to use a larger number of keywords or lower level competition.
  2. Who’s your audience? This all depends on who your website is catering to. Are you going after a specific target of clients or is it to a variety of clients?
  3. Who’s your traffic? Are your trying to build your brand or are you selling products to a customer?

Head and Long-tail keywords

There are two types of keywords. “Head” keywords are usually one-to-three keywords and better for long term traffic. They also draw a higher number of traffic and higher-level competition. “Long-tail” keywords are going to be more in a phrase format; these are opposite of “head” keywords since they drive lower competition and traffic. However, you are going to need a combination of both to get the best results possible.

Preliminary research

After you have figured out all the goals you want to reach, it’s time to move on and figure out your content/do research. To begin:

Come up with ideas

Why are people going to search for your company? No need to over think this part but it’s helpful if you come up with a couple categories that are broad. Also make sure both “head” keywords and “long-tail” keywords can be used to find your site.


Find a tool online that can help you generate more keywords and topics that you may not have thought about yet. Moz’s Keyword Explorer is a great tool that I also use in this situation. They will give you stats on the keywords that you are using or about to use

Master list

Once you have compiled a list together, I personally like to export all my keywords into a file of some sort; Word or Excel it’s your call. This is useful for when you want to compare them or sort them into different categories.

Narrow down the list

Now that we have a master list we can go ahead and start taking out the weakest keywords that you have written down. Here are 4 tips to consider when completing this step:


When talking about volume were referring to the “search volume.” This is going to help tell you how often a phrase is searched for. It’s also good for helping you gauge how much traffic you should be expecting. Don’t be worried if it isn’t constant as volume is known to fluctuate.


Make sure to see if competition for each keyword is high or low. It shouldn’t be a surprise that high volume keywords also have a high amount of competition. When considering high-volume keywords remember that the higher the competition the harder it is to be ranked for that word. That’s why finding the perfect balance is key.


Remember when considering keywords, also consider how relevant they are to the core of your brand. One question I always ask is “Will this word forward they type of traffic that is necessary for my site?” Your reply should give you the answer you need.

Current rankings

It’s always a good idea to see if you are ranking for any of the keywords/phrases that you have put in. Who knows, maybe you are ranking for one of them, meaning your already off to a good start against the competition.

Pick your top candidates

By now, you have built a list of keywords that will deliver you the best results you think. For now, pick 5-10 that you feel will be easy to optimize. The first batch of keywords isn’t going to be the best, but it will allow you to improve upon later down the road. If you feel changes are necessary, then make them.