Selecting Keywords

Last updated: April 24, 2017

“Scrape” a large list of related phrases to your topic.

Selecting the right SEO keywords to help rank your website is an important factor in any SEO plan, (these can be made up of multiple word phrases).

If you select the correct keywords and you endeavour to make sure your on-site and off-site optimisation is done correctly you will enable your website to rank better, quicker and by doing so you will target the right audience (those that want to spend money).

picking profitable keyphrases

Getting this wrong and choosing the wrong keywords and even if you get the on-site and off-site optimisation process correct you will still not be able to rank your website, attract the wrong kind of visitors who are not spending money.

So as you can see it is crucial that you take some time to select the right keywords for a website to target, there are several factors to consider:-

Keyword relevance

– it is important that you focus on keywords that are very relevant to your products or services that you offer.

By focusing on the most relevant keywords, it will be quicker and easier for your website to rank or those keywords you are targeting and more of your visitors will convert in to sales or leads.

The commercial intent of the keywords

– this means you are targeting people who are actually looking to buy and are not just browsing for information, the further in to the buying cycle the searcher is the more likely they are to convert in to a customer. You are looking for customers not visitors,

The search volume

– by focusing on keywords and phrases that people are actually looking for you will generate more visitors, so ranking well for that keyword phrase will drive more traffic to your site. By using keyword tools, you can get an approximation of potential searches performed for any given phrase.

How competitive is the keyword you have chosen?

– In order to rank quickly and save money it is important not to pick phrases that are targeted by well-established websites or brands that will easily outrank you.

Take a look at the metrics of the leading sites that rank in the top ten positions of Google for the keyword phrase and assess the amount of competition for that keyword and if you can compete with them.

Let us look at an example

of choosing the right keywords for a company with an advertising budget of £600 a month to spend on website promotion. Let us consider a company offering cheap car insurance for students.


– this word is just too broad and it is impossible to ascertain the searchers intent, they could be looking for home insurance life insurance or even holiday insurance it is not possible to know how many actually want to buy car insurance from just a single word search and the conversion rate would be low and difficulty to rank high.

car insurance – this keyword phrase is still to competitive although it is relevant to the website it is far too competitive to rank for this keyword phrase and would cost a lot of money to compete with established sites.

Cheap car insurance – is a keyword much more focused on what your potential customer is looking for but in such a competitive market, the chances of ranking for this keyword phrase with a small budget are low.

Cheap car insurance students – this is a great keyword to target, it’s very focused on the target audience there is a lower level of competition and the search volume is reasonable.

This keyword is likely to be very aligned with your target audience, but they still may be in the early stages of the buying cycle so it may not convert well

Buy cheap car insurance for students, is the perfect keyword phrase, it has commercial intent, an acceptable level of competition, reasonable traffic and will be possible to rank your website for this term for your beat.

By augmenting this keyword phrase with the date, region and other generic terms, you will rank your site for searches that are highly likely to convert in to sales and be focusing on people who want to spend money.

If you get a high ranking for this keyword, you can do so for less money and quicker than more general broad keywords. However, you must balance this with the actual search volume, its pointless getting too specific and targeting phrases that nobody actually searches for.

New website businesses usually unrealistically focus on trying to target broad general keywords that they have no realistic chance of ranking for because they see all the potential visitors they may gain from these general keywords.

If you cannot get to the first page for the keywords then you will not get a high percentage of the traffic for these keywords and the visitors you do get will not be targeted or deep in to the buying cycle.

Therefore, the lesson is not to focus on generic keywords but pick several specific keyword phrases. People are more inclined to use searches with more words in them (four or more as they get deeper in to the buying cycle, so targeting these keyword phrases is going to get the right type of visitors to your website, for less money and quicker than broad keywords.