How to find the best keywords to rank upon?

Reminder: What are keywords?

Keywords are words that internet searchers use to find information and that describe the topics you write about on your website.

Keywords are one of the fundamental aspects of SEO because they are what searchers use to find you online. It’s these little gems that you need to look after to get you ranking in Google. Here I’ll reveal how to find the best keywords for your website to rank upon.

1. Brainstorm
Back to basics, pen and paper at the ready.

You may be working in the digital world but there’s nothing better than using a pen and paper to brainstorm for ideas wink.
First of all make a list of all the keywords that describe your business activity. These can range from being very specific to a little more broader but keeping in mind that they still need to relate to your domain. Once you have your list of words describing your activity, then think about what you personally would search for in Google to find your business i.e. what specific words or terms would you type into a search engine for your website to appear in the top three results.

Finally if you want to go a bit deeper in brainstorming for keyword ideas, have a look at social media hashtags related to your activity to see what people are currently searching for. Hashtags are up-to-date, real-time trends so this could be very useful in finding the keywords that people are currently using to search. They also could be less competitive with a potential high search volume meaning easier ranking for you.

  • Make a list of keywords that describe your business activity
  • Think about what you would search for in Google to find your business
  • Look at related social media hashtags to see what people are currently searching for within your domain

2. Think about focusing on long-tail keywords
I want to rank on ‘blue and white pinstriped trousers in size 12’.

Remember that long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that searchers tend to use for their search requests in Google to find more specific information.
So as well as using your keywords listed from your brainstorming session above, try to think about what long-tail keywords could be used to describe your online business activity. Long-tail keywords tend to be easier to rank upon, as due to their specificity there tends to be less competition for them. For example, if your website sells house furniture, trying to position yourself upon ‘dining room tables’ will be very competitive so it’d be better to try with ‘wooden dining room tables for 4 people’.

Long-tail keywords are used by searchers who are closer to the purchase stage of the buying process because they’re typing exactly what they’re looking for into Google rather than a general search using one or two words. Optimizing your content with these long-tail keywords could be the key to increasing your website traffic and ranking more easily in the search engine results. You don’t need as many within the page unlike keywords and they look more natural in your textual content.

  • Long-tail keywords are what people tend to use when searching online e.g. longer, more specific phrases
  • These keywords can be easier to rank on as there is less competition for them
  • Long-tail keywords also look more natural in your page’s textual content

3. Add your location to your keywords
I’m just opposite the church down the small road on the left-hand side.

Now this point is more targeted towards businesses with both a website and a physical location of their business. If you’ve got a physical location of your business then incorporating your location with your keywords is essential as not only will it increase your chances of ranking higher up in the search engines but also make you stand out from the crowd. Having that extra ‘uniqueness’ of a physical location improves the user experience.

Not only this but your business will also appear in Google Maps to give your local customers a choice of how they want to shop from you (online or in-store). For example they find a product on your website that they like but are still not 100% convinced to click on ‘buy’. They see from the search results that you also have a shop in the next town, perfect for them to double check in-person that the product is what they’re looking for! A known example is clothes shopping, personally if I see something I like online I prefer to go and try it on in the shop (if there’s a shop nearby of course wink) to avoid the hassle of it not fitting right and having to send it back.

  • Ranking keywords with your location is important for businesses with a physical location
  • Your business will also appear in Google maps to give your customers a choice of how they want to shop e.g. online/in-store

4. Check your competitors’ keywords
It’s always good to see what they’re talking about.

Always put time aside to check-up on your competitors to avoid any nasty surprises that could affect your search results positioning. As well as focusing on the keywords you want to position upon it’s essential to see what keywords your competitors are ranking on.
The first thing I’d advise you to do is to type a few of your chosen keywords at a time into Google and see what websites appear. This will give you a first impression of who is dominating the top three results.
From then, and if you haven’t already done so, use your keyword tracking tool (I can advise of a very good one 🙈) and add three or four of your competitors to see if they’re ranking for the same keywords that you’re trying to. You’ll get useful information of whether they’re actually ranking on the same keywords as you and their ranking position on these keywords in the search results.

  • Search for some of your keywords in the search engine to see who appears in the top 3 results
  • Use a keyword tracking tool to see the position of your competitors on the keywords you want to rank upon

5. Repetition can be the key
Darling, how many times do I need to repeat myself?

You probably already know that Google hates and will penalize those that repeat keywords too many times on a page (otherwise known as keyword stuffing). Repeat in the sense of including the same keyword fifty times but, repetition is just fine if the meaning of the keyword or phrase as a whole is sufficiently varied!
Choose one keyword or phrase and come up with different meanings of that word. For example your website compares house insurance prices. Your main keyword is ‘house insurance comparison’ so a variance could be ‘house insurance reviews’. The meaning is varied enough for the content associated with the two keywords to not be exactly the same and therefore not be seen as duplicated content.

  • Repetition is good if you come up with different meanings of your main keyword
  • E.g. house insurance comparison can also be repeated as house insurance reviews

6. Use a keyword research tool
I need keywords that best describe my website of cat accessories.

If after going through all the points above you still want or need to find keywords then have a go using a keyword research tool. A keyword research tool provides you with keyword suggestions based on a keyword or keywords that you’re already trying to position yourself upon. What’s more is that once your keyword suggestion list is generated you’ll get access to important metrics such as:

  • search volume: this is the number of times a keyword is searched for in a search engine
  • competition level: this is the number of sites that are positioned on a certain keyword
  • CPC (cost-per-click): this is the cost of the keyword if you targeted it for paid advertising (e.g. for Google AdWords)

These metrics will help you decide whether or not certain keywords are worth trying to optimize or not. For example it’s better to choose a keyword that has a high search volume but low competition rather than spend time trying to position on a highly competitive keyword without any great success. This type of tool can also be helpful in checking if your keywords that you brainstormed yourself earlier are worth optimizing or not.

  • This type of tool will give you keyword suggestions related to your business activity
  • The tool will provide useful metrics such as search volume, competition level and CPC (cost-per-click)
  • Provides insights into the best keywords to optimize


A keyword is the glue that keeps your website being positioned in Google so it’s important you take the time deciding what keywords you want to rank upon. Remember to choose wisely and take into account the search volume, competition and CPC.
So, get your thinking cap on, pen at the ready and start finding your winning words.

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