Your comprehensive guide to choosing keywords efficiently
Statistics show that most Internet surfers only care about the search results on the first page, and that half of the clicks go to the first three results. Therefore, one of the most important things that you should pay attention to is the keywords that you want your website to target, and that you hope your site will rise to the top of the search pages for in Google, as this will be an inexhaustible reservoir of monthly visits.
Search engines - led by Google - keep changing and updating their algorithms, making it difficult even for SEO experts to keep up with them. However, one thing has remained constant and indispensable, and that is finding the keywords that people search for in search engines. This knowledge can help you build your content strategy.
Keyword selection is not limited to selecting highly searched words and expressions, building links, or searching for advanced rankings for a specific keyword, but rather more comprehensive than that, as it is the basis of any successful SEO campaign.
A study conducted by Ahrefs on three million searches revealed that the page that ranks first in the ranking of search results for a specific keyword will also rank in the top ten for a thousand other related keywords, and this means that it is enough for your site to dominate one keyword, and he will master a thousand other words with her.
What are the keywords?
Keywords are words and phrases that define the topic of the page's content, and in SEO language, they are the words and phrases that people search for in search engines.
Keyword selection is the skill of finding the words and phrases that people enter into search engines for you to use in the content of your web pages.
Types of keywords
Keywords are divided into three types:
Short tail keywords: consist of 3 words or less, and are highly popular in search engines, but are highly competitive.
Long tail keywords: It consists of at least four words, and it has poor turnout in search engines, and it is the main source of visits on the network.
The main factor here is specificity, the longer the sentence, the more specific it is, and the lower the search results for it in the search engines, which means that the opportunity for competition and conversion of traffic (lead conversion) will be better.
You can see how this works in the following diagram from the Backlinko website:
The number of keywords
This is what this graph means:
- If you search for “shirt” (a short keyword), you will get 25 million results.
- If you search for "green shirt" you will get fewer results (about 4.7 million results).
- If you search for “Adidas green shirt” (a long keyword), the search results drop to just 0.4 million results, meaning that the more specific a user adds to their search, the more accurate the results.
The importance of keywords in SEO
The importance of choosing the right keywords is not limited to content creation but also includes all promotional and marketing activities. Including content marketing and email marketing, it also helps to improve pay-per-click advertising and understand competitors. Monitoring the keywords your competitors are targeting can help you build your content strategy.
In the past, the keyword selection strategy was simple, all you had to do was fill the content of your site with a lot of words that you expect people to search for, and this will raise your site pages to the top of the search results pages on Google. Content quality was less important than keyword density.
Things have changed now, and this strategy no longer works today. On the contrary, Google has become penalized for excessive stuffing, so the wise choice of keywords is very important, but it is no less important than the quality of the content itself.
The importance of choosing keywords has increased with recent developments in the internet world, for example:
- People are using mobile devices that provide smart assistants, such as Google Assistant, which now supports Arabic. This means that people will use natural language to ask questions, not just write search sentences.
- Google offers the feature of immediate answers in the answer boxes, which are selected based on the quality of the content and the selection of appropriate keywords.
- In the old days, it was important to type in the content you were searching for precisely, as you would only get pages that contained the exact keywords searched for in the search results. But now Google is using the Rankbrain algorithm to analyze searches.
To make the matter clear, go to Google and type in the search box “iron is the price”. You will find that all the results on the first three pages talk about “iron prices”, which is the most common and common term, meaning that Google’s algorithms not only rearranged the sentence but also transformed it. to another, more common formula with the same meaning. Even more than that, Google will give you results in the English language, and it will not give you any page containing the keyword “iron is the price.”
For all the previous factors and others, choosing keywords has become more difficult than ever. It is no longer enough for you to guess the words that people might search for, and then stuff them into your pages. Rather, it is imperative for website owners to design a keyword selection strategy, because their competitors are likely to do so.
How to use and choose keywords
- Create a list of important topics related to the content of your site or project
Think about the topics on which you want to rank high in search engine results. You can come up with 5 to 10 topics that you consider important for your project, after that you will have to extract keywords from them. In other words, put yourself in the position of the researcher. What topics do you think your target audience is interested in?
- Extracting initial ideas about keywords
For example, if your site specializes in e-marketing automation, these are some keywords that can be targeted:
- Email Marketing Tools
- The best email marketing tools
- Email marketing automation
- What is the meaning of e-marketing automation?
- bring in hits
- Email Marketing
And other keywords that are likely to be searched by people interested in the topic of your site, which is e-marketing in this case.
The goal at this stage is not to create a final list of keywords, but rather to create a list of phrases and ideas that you think your target audience will use to find content related to the topics you identified in the first stage. We will sift this list later.
It is also possible to obtain keyword ideas by analyzing the keywords that people come to your site from search engines, and one of the best tools that help in this is the Google search console system, which provides you with reports on the number of visits to your site, estimates its level of performance, and solves its problems, and improve its ranking on the Google results page.
The Google search console helps you identify keywords that will attract visitors to your site. You will find this information by clicking on the Search Analytics bar in the middle of the page in the main dashboard.
If you scroll down a little further, you will see a list of all the keywords visitors have found you for, and the number of times someone clicked on your link after searching for each keyword.
If you click on a specific keyword in the list, you can see additional information, such as which countries people come from searching for that keyword, and what devices they use. And other important information.
If you have an online store, for example, you may want to focus on the visitors who return to your store. Try to know which pages they visit most often. The keywords that match the contents of those pages should be added to your keyword list. New visitors vs returning visitors (Google Analytics report)
You can learn more about how to use Google Analytics from the following post: Start Your Analytics Business with Google Analytics.
- Find related words and phrases
If you find it difficult to extract more keywords that people might search for in a particular field, go to Google and take a look at the searches related to the keyword you searched for, which you will find at the bottom of the results page as shown in the following image.
Or you can use Google Suggestions, which is a drop-down list that Google displays when you type in the search box and gives you an idea of what people are searching for. But remember that it is constantly changing.
For example, if we typed the phrase “marketing” in the search box, we would get the following suggestions:
You can also use the Keyword Tool, where you enter a word or phrase into it and it will give you hundreds of suggestions that can help you choose keywords. Important sites like YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay Play Store, Instagram, and Twitter. This is very important if you want to choose keywords for a YouTube video, Instagram content, or an app on the Play Store, and if you're in e-commerce, you can see what people are searching for on Amazon and eBay.
For example, if you search for the word "equipment" on YouTube, you will get the following results:
- Search for short or long keywords related to topics
It is important to have a mixture of short-tail and long-tail keywords to balance your strategy. This is because people search for short keywords more frequently. What makes competition for them very difficult compared to long keywords?
For example, which of the following two statements do you think is more competitive:
- How do I write a high-quality post?
Of course, the competition for the first phrase is much more difficult, but this does not discourage you. The short keyword “blogging” indeed gets more searches in search engines, and it can theoretically bring you a lot of traffic, but the visits brought by the long keyword “how to Write a high-quality post are better because if someone is looking for something specific like this, they are more likely to be more likely to buy your services and products (assuming you are in the blogging field) than someone looking for a broad and general topic like “blogging”.
Because the verbose keywords are specific, it is usually easy to guess what the people searching for those keywords want. As for those who search for a short keyword such as “blogging”, they may search for it for reasons that have nothing to do with you.
- Monitor the ranking of your competitors for the keywords that concern you
Understanding the balance between hard-to-compete keywords and those that can compete will make your keyword selection strategy more balanced. There are several tools that you can use to analyze your competitor's keywords, including ahrefs, Link Explorer, and others.
- Search for keywords that have a good turnout in search engines
What is the point of targeting keywords that no one is searching for? At this stage, you will search for the intensity of the search for each of the keywords in the list, as this will help you to determine the priority keywords.
The best way to find out the search intensity for a particular keyword is to use Google's free Keyword Planner tool. This tool will give you an idea of the number of search times for a particular keyword, and keywords similar to it, during a specific period.
For example, if you want to know, for example, the search volume for the keyword “create a blog,” all you have to do is:
- Go to Keyword Planner and click on “Find new keywords”:
- Typing the keyword or keywords you want to know the search volume for, in this example, we will search for “create a blog”:
- Analysis of the results:
- Narrow your keyword list
Not all keywords are equally important. So, at this stage, you will sift through the list of keywords that you have prepared. Try to choose keywords that are characterized by:
- Good turnout in search engines.
- Weak enough competition that you stand a chance of getting to the first page of the search results.
- Relevant to your site or project, and can be used to create high-quality content.
- Add keywords to your site
When adding keywords, try to make them look natural and unpretentious, and avoid over-stuffing. There is nothing more repulsive than to find in the title or content of a page a single word or phrase that is repeated oddly. The goal should be to attract the visitor, not the search engine alone.
Many visitors will scroll through the contents of the page to find what they are looking for, rather than reading the entire content. Therefore, you have to organize your page in a way that makes it easier for visitors and search engines to browse the content and find what they are looking for. Here are some recommendations in this regard:
- Put the keyword in the page title: The page title describes the general topic of the page, and it appears in the first line of search results, so it's a good idea to put the keywords there.
- Put your target keyword in the h1 header.
- Put the keyword at the top of the first paragraph of your content.
- When you place links from external sites, put the keyword in the anchor of the link, for example, use the link "sports equipment", and do not use the link "click here".
- Try to focus on one keyword per page.
- Search engines cannot understand the contents of the images on your site. Therefore, you must place keywords in the alt texts (<alt>) of images, and their names if appropriate.
- Add keywords to the meta tag of the description.
- Create content from keywords
If your site does not have any content related to the keywords you have chosen, this can be a source of inspiration for creating new content.
Try to focus on each page on a different keyword, and do not use the same keyword more than once so that you do not find yourself competing with your content in search engines.
- Check the key density
What is meant by keyword density here is the density of your chosen keyword relative to the total number of words in the content. For example, if the blog post has 1000 words, and the keyword appears 10 times in the content, then this means that the keyword density is 1%.
There are several tools for calculating key density, including the free Keyword Density Checker.
- Monitor your site's ranking
Don't expect your site to rank on search pages for your keywords overnight. Because there are many factors that search engines take into account, and keywords are only one of them. Therefore, be patient and do not rush.
You can use the rank tracker to track your site's ranking on Google and YouTube, both locally and globally. You can also use this tool to track rankings by a city, region, zip code, and country. Keyword data can be exported as PDF or CSV reports.
This tool is paid, you can replace it with the free google search console that we mentioned above.
Errors in choosing keywords
In this paragraph, we will list some mistakes that website owners and SEO workers make while choosing keywords:
1. Targeting the most searched words on Google: This mistake is usually made by beginners, as they start with the most searched words during the month. Targeting verbose words is the most appropriate and easiest solution for beginners and small businesses.
2. Trying to target keywords that are not related to the content you provide: In fact, this is very common. Some people try to stuff as many keywords as possible into their pages, avoid this, and choose keywords related to the content of the page.
3. Uninformed guessing of keywords: Try to devote some time to searching and mining for keywords, so that you do not end up choosing keywords that are highly competitive, or that are not popular with search engines.
4. Forgetting the user and focusing on Google algorithms only: Some focus only on Google, so you see them keen to put keywords in the right places, monitor their density, and take into account everything, except for the most important element, which is the user who will eventually view the content.
5. Obsession with key density: Some people exaggerate the monitoring of key density, and you see it keen that the percentage of keywords from the total content not be less than a certain percentage, and they forget that the most important is the remaining 99% of the content.
6. Neglecting related and alternative keywords: If, for example, most people search for “buying sports equipment”, this does not mean that you neglect other keywords such as “acquisition of sports equipment” or “buying sports equipment” .. etc., in many cases. Sometimes the secondary keywords combined have more combined demand than the main keywords around which the page is centred.
7. Neglect your keywords: Before you search for new keywords, don't neglect the keywords that you already outperform your competitors.
8. Focus on a lot of keywords: Choosing keywords is not an easy job, and it can take a lot of time, so you have to set your priorities and focus your efforts on a sufficient number of keywords that serve your marketing goals.
Keyword selection tools
There are a large number of free and paid tools that can help you choose keywords, we will mention in this paragraph three of them, and they are all free.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool from Google that can help you choose the right keywords to create your campaigns, by knowing the popular words in the Google search engine, as this tool helps you choose the keywords that suit your business, by looking at the frequency of searching for keywords, And how much the search for it has changed over time, and this will help you determine which keywords have priority.
The tool is free, it is enough to have a Google account to use it.
Google trends ( Google trends ) is a service provided by Google and provides a lot of useful information, such as the most searched keywords in the world or a specific region. You can also know the level of interest in a particular keyword in a specific area and during a certain period.
For example, this tool can be used to see the temporal and spatial distribution of a search for the keyword “buying a car”:
Use Google Trends to search for the keyword
Keywords Everywhere is an add-on that can be installed in Chrome or Firefox browsers. This tool shows you the search volume for a particular keyword, as well as data on cost per click, and information on keyword competition.
Whether you are an SEO expert, an advertiser, or a blogger, this free tool will save you a lot of time, as this tool helps you to accurately find the keywords that your audience is searching for. Simply click on the Install for Chrome or Install for Firefox button, and start using the tool.