Find the Right Keywords from the Start


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SEO is about finding the right search terms to connect your website with potential customers. But with so many options, you might wonder how to choose which ones to target and how to get your website to rank for them.

In this article, we discuss how to find the best keywords for SEO and how to implement an effective keyword strategy that gets your keywords ranking on Google’s prestigious first page.

What Are Keywords for SEO?

Keywords are the words or phrases people enter into search engines. For example, if someone’s looking for information on starting a business, they might enter the keyword “How to start a business.”

For the best results, you need to include these different types of keywords in your SEO strategy:

How To Choose The Right Keywords

Why is Keyword Research Important?

If you want to improve your rankings, increase your traffic and generate more leads or sales, you need SEO keyword research. It offers invaluable insight and shows you what terms users are searching for when looking for your particular product or service.

Start with SEO Keyword Research

Understand the Keyword Research Process

There are many factors to consider when implementing a keyword strategy for your website:

Map Out Your Seed Keywords:

Identifying your seed keywords is the foundational step in your SEO and PPC campaigns. These are the broad terms that define your niche and help you tap into your target market. Here’s how to pinpoint your seed keywords effectively:

Understand Your Business and Audience

Start by thoroughly understanding your business, products, or services. What are the core offerings? Who is your target audience? For example, if you run a bakery, your seed keyword  could be “cakes,” “pastries,” or “breads.”

Brainstorm Service/Product Relevant Search Terms

Think about the words your customers might use to describe or search for your products or services. These should be broad terms that summarise your main business areas.

Analyse Competitors

Look at your competitors, especially the ones who are successful in SEO with top SERP rankings. What keywords do they base their overarching strategy on? This can give you insights into effective seed keywords in your industry.

Consider Different Keyword Aspects

Seed keywords can be product-based (e.g., “running shoes”), problem-based (e.g., “foot pain relief”), or audience-based (e.g., “athletes”). Ensure you consider different aspects relevant to your business.

Keep it Broad

Remember, seed keywords are not long-tail keywords. They are broader and more general. For instance, “digital marketing” is a seed keyword, whereas “digital marketing services for small businesses” is a long-tail keyword.

Seed Keyword Example for a Mortgage Broker:

Seed Keyword
Potential Long-Tail Expansions
Broad term related to home loans
“Mortgage rates today”, “Best mortgage lenders”
Home Loans
General term for loans to purchase property
“Home loans for first-time buyers”, “Low-interest home loans”
Referring to the process of revising a payment schedule
“Best refinancing rates”, “Refinancing home loans calculator”
Property Investment
Investment in real estate properties
“Property investment strategies”, “Best areas for property investment”
Loan Approval
Process of getting a loan approved
“Fast loan approval”, “Home loan approval process”
Interest Rates
Rates charged on borrowed capital
“Lowest home loan interest rates”, “Fixed vs variable interest rates”
First-Time Buyer
Individuals buying a home for the first time
“First-time home buyer grants”, “Tips for first-time home buyers”
Mortgage Calculator
Tool to estimate monthly mortgage payments
“Mortgage payment calculator”, “How to use mortgage calculator.”

When conducting keyword research, seed keywords are the starting blocks for identifying relevant keywords and informing your holistic keyword strategy. They should encapsulate the essence of your offerings and serve as a springboard for more detailed keyword research. By carefully selecting and refining your seed keywords, you lay the groundwork for a targeted and effective SEO strategy.

Understand Keyword Relevance:

The keywords you choose should be relevant to your business and your products/services. Put yourself in your target customer’s shoes and ask yourself what you’d search for to find your business and website.

Search volume:

The number of people searching for a particular keyword can give you an idea of the potential website traffic you can expect from that keyword.

Keyword Competition:

Keywords with high competition will be more challenging to rank for. When starting out, you ideally want to select high search volume and low competition keywords, and gradually move towards the high competition, high search volume SEO keywords once you have a solid foundation and rankings on the search engine results page.

Long tail keywords:

Long-tail keywords are extended phrases that are more specific and often less competitive than shorter, more general keywords. They are particularly effective for targeting niche demographics and addressing specific user queries. While they typically attract lower search volumes, their specificity makes them more relevant to a particular audience, often resulting in higher conversion rates.

For example, consider the broad, short-tail keyword “inbound marketing.” This term is highly competitive and broad, attracting a vast and varied audience. In contrast, a long-tail keyword like “inbound marketing services for small businesses” is much more specific. It targets a particular segment – small businesses interested in inbound marketing – and is likely to face less competition.

Keyword Type
Target Audience
Short-Tail Keyword
“Inbound Marketing”
Broad, General Audience
Long Tail Keyword
“Inbound marketing services for small businesses”
Specific, Niche Audience

Keyword Research Selection & SEO Strategy

1. Identify Search Intent

Search intent is perhaps the most critical factor to consider when selecting the right keywords to improve your SEO rankings. When choosing keywords for your SEO strategy, ask yourself the following questions: Are they looking to buy something? Find out more about a particular topic? Navigate to a specific website?

Navigation Keywords

There are four main types of search intent:

What is Keyword Search Intent?

Navigational keywords are what people use to find a specific website by typing in the website’s name (or URL) directly into the search bar, like “Facebook” or “YouTube.”​​​​

Information-Seeking Keywords

Informational keywords are used when searchers are looking for information on a particular topic, like “How to bake a cake.”

Transactional Keywords

Transactional keywords are those people use when they want to make a transaction, such as “Buy school shoes online” or “Book a hotel in New York.”

Commercial investigation keyword phrases

Keyword phrases with commercial search intent are used when comparing products or services before purchasing. For example, “Best camera for vlogging” or “Cheap flights to Europe.”

2. Analyse the Competition

If you’re just starting, it’s best to avoid high-competition keywords, as it can be difficult for new websites to rank for these terms. Look at your competitors and see how you can differentiate yourself, your business and your website. If they rank on page one of the search engine results, they must have an effective SEO strategy. Take inspiration from their activities to inform your keyword strategy.

3. Keyword Difficulty Scores

Keyword difficulty is an essential concept in SEO that gauges how challenging it is to rank for a specific keyword in search engine results. It reflects the competitiveness of a keyword, considering factors such as the strength of current ranking pages, their domain authority, and the quality of content. Higher keyword difficulty indicates a greater challenge, often due to the presence of well-established websites with strong domain authority and comprehensive content in the top search results. 

A popular metric for measuring keyword difficulty is the Keyword Difficulty Score, often presented on a scale from 0 to 100. This score typically aggregates several SEO factors, including the number of backlinks to ranking pages, domain authority of these pages, and content quality. Higher scores indicate greater difficulty in ranking for the keyword. Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz each have unique algorithms for calculating this score, providing insights into how competitive a keyword is in SEO.

4. Research Search Volume

Search volume represents the number of searches for a particular keyword within a specific timeframe, typically measured monthly. It’s a critical metric in keyword research as it indicates the potential traffic a keyword can bring to your website. For example, the keyword “best SEO tools” might have a high search volume, indicating significant interest and potential traffic. However, it’s likely to be highly competitive due to its popularity among users seeking SEO solutions and tools.

Imagine the keyword “best SEO tools” has a monthly search volume of 10,000 searches. This number suggests a substantial interest in finding top-notch SEO tools, making it a lucrative keyword for SEO-related websites or blogs. However, due to this high interest, there’s often stiff competition to rank for such a keyword. Established websites with comprehensive reviews and comparisons of SEO tools might dominate the search results.

The key challenge here is to balance the lure of high search volume with the reality of stiff competition. High search volume keywords can offer great rewards in terms of traffic, but they also require significant effort and resources to compete effectively. Therefore, while targeting such keywords, it’s crucial also to consider long-tail variations or related keywords with lower competition to maximise your chances of ranking well in search engines.

The Best Keyword Research Tools in 2024

Here are several of the best keyword research tools to identify the right keywords and improve keyword rankings. 

Free Keyword Research Tools

These are our favourite free SEO tools for search volume analysis to help you research your keywords and understand their search volume. 

Paid Keyword Research Tools

If you want more detailed data on keyword search volumes and positions, you can also use premium paid keyword research tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs or Moz. These keyword research tools offer a free trial, so you can try them before committing to a subscription.

How To Get Your Chosen Keywords Ranking on Google

  • Building links to your website: Links are a major ranking factor for Google. The more high-quality links you have directed to your website, the higher your website will rank. Do this via guest blogging, directory submissions and social media. 
  • Optimising your title tags and meta descriptions: Make sure your title tags (from H1 to H3) and meta descriptions are keyword-rich and enticing. The meta description should include the target keyword and a call to action (CTA) and be 160 words for the greatest impact.
  • Improving your website’s content: Google looks for websites with high-quality and relevant content when determining keyword ranking. So, make sure your website’s content is up to scratch. This content can include blog posts, service or product pages, or videos.
  • Building links to your website: Links are a major ranking factor for Google. The more high-quality links you have directed to your website, the higher your website will rank. Do this via guest blogging, directory submissions and social media.

How To Track Keyword Rankings

You can track keyword rankings in innumerable ways, and we highly recommend doing so. These tracking tools help you measure your SEO success so you can make adjustments as needed. Here are a few of the most popular keyword rank checkers:

  • Google Search Console shows you how your website performs in Google search results. Simply add your website to Google Search Console and click on “Search Traffic” and “Search Analytics.” You can filter the results by keyword performance to see where your website ranks.
  • Use Google Sheets to track keyword ranking. Simply create a spreadsheet and add a column for each keyword you want to track. Then, use the GoogleRank (keyword) function to track your keywords.
  • Rank Tracker is a tool that allows you to track keyword ranking across multiple search engines. Enter your keywords and website URL; Rank Tracker will do the rest.

Key Takeaways for Effective Keyword Research in SEO

To effectively enhance your website’s SEO, remember these key points:

Incorporating these SEO strategies can significantly improve your website’s search engine rankings and online visibility. Remember, SEO is a dynamic field that requires continuous adaptation and learning.

Take The Top Spot With Search Engine Optimisation

One of the most important things you can do to improve your Google rankings is to conduct keyword research to effectively identify which keywords will most likely bring traffic to your website. The most important thing to remember is that SEO is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to monitor your keyword rank and adjust as needed. Let the SEO experts at Evolving Digital help you step up your SEO game.


How do I find relevant keyword ideas?

Brainstorm topics related to your business or content to find relevant keyword ideas. Consider the terms your audience might use to search for your products or services. Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, or SEMrush to generate a list of related keywords and assess their search volumes and competition levels. Look at the ‘People Also Ask’ and ‘Related Searches’ sections on Google’s search results pages for more ideas. Analysing competitors’ websites and your site analytics can also provide insights into effective keywords. Lastly, consider long-tail SEO keywords, which are more specific and often easier to rank for.

Choosing SEO keywords with high monthly search volume is only sometimes the best strategy. While these keywords can potentially bring more traffic, they are often highly competitive. This means ranking for them could be more challenging, especially for newer or smaller websites. Instead, it’s advisable to balance high-volume keywords with lower competition. Focusing on long-tail, low competition SEO keywords, which are more specific and generally less competitive, can be a more effective approach. These keywords might have lower search volumes, but they often attract more targeted traffic and can lead to higher conversion rates. Always tailor your keyword strategy to align with your SEO goals, resources, and the competitive landscape of your niche.

To find trending keywords relevant to your business, use tools like Google Trends to see what topics are currently popular in your industry. This tool tracks keyword popularity over time and identifies seasonal trends or emerging topics. Social media platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, can also provide insights into current trends based on what your target audience is discussing. SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs also offer features to discover trending keywords in your specific niche. Regularly monitoring industry news and competitor websites can help you stay updated on relevant and trending keywords in your business domain.

Primary and secondary keywords are two types of keywords used in SEO to optimise content and improve search rankings. Primary keywords are the main focus of your content. They are highly relevant to your business or topic and are what you primarily want to rank for in search engine results. These are often more competitive and have higher search volumes. On the other hand, secondary keywords are related to the primary keywords but are usually more specific and less competitive. They support the primary keywords and help to bring more depth to your content, targeting various aspects or angles related to your main topic. Using primary and secondary keywords, you can create well-rounded and SEO-friendly content that covers a broader range of search queries related to your business or topic.

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