How to Pick the Keywords for Your Website

Find out about Website Keyword Research and Optimization for beginners.


4 min read

Keyword optimization

Yes, the main driver of the information and articles you include in your website will be your message to the world (details about the service you offer or information about the products you are selling in your store). Nevertheless, you’ve probably heard that you have better chances of popping up earlier in a Google search if your website includes words that people in your target audience are already looking for.

Even before you start writing content for your online business’ new website, take an hour to find the most commonly searched keywords/keyphrases in your chosen online business niche. Keyword research is a process of finding and analyzing the words and phrases that people use when searching for products or services like yours. It’s a key part of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – the process of making your website more visible in search engine results pages.

The step-by-step of keyword research

There are lots of different ways to do keyword research, but at its simplest, you can start by brainstorming a list of words and phrases that are relevant to what you do. Once you have your list, you can use a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest or Google Keyword Planner to find out how many people are searching for each term, and what the competition is like.

One of the key first steps is to create keyword ideas with the help of a small number of seed keywords (usually 2 or 3). What is a seed keyword? When you are creating your short list of seed words think about the key services that you are going to offer in your online business and summarise those into two or three words. Try to think about your audience, imagine you are one of them. What type of keywords will they be searching for? Thinking like your customer helps you use target keywords that are relevant to your target audience.

Where will you find the seed keywords related to my niche? You could start out at where $10 will get you 10,000 keywords (with your limit expiring a year after you purchased them). Alternately, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer provides a comprehensive tool for keyword research, however runs at $99/month (or $83/month if you choose to pay yearly). And, of course, you can always pay an SEO agency to do the job for you. But let’s assume that you are coming into online business development without spare cash to put into subscriptions. A free keyword research tool available to all those starting out is UberSuggest Keyword Research

You’ll need to sign up and, once you do, you can search away! How, might you ask? Wes McDowell gives a clear step-by-step tutorial on that on YouTube

So, you’ve typed in your first search keyword. What do the different results mean?

  • Searches per month – This will show you how many times someone has looked up this keyword in the last month. In terms of actual numbers, anything over 100 could be fair game to you, however between 1000 and 5000 is a good range to aim for.

  • CPC (Cost Per Click) – this is how much money you’d have to pay Google if you wanted your business to be seen as an ad when someone types in that particular keyword. Intuitively, higher CPC prices mean that the keyword is more valuable to whichever business is paying for it. In other words, other businesses are willing to pay a higher price to be seen by a potential customer when they are searching for that keyword.

  • Paid difficulty – this is a score between 1 and 100 (with the latter being the hardest) and it shows the competition amongst businesses for paid advertising against this keyword.

  • SEO difficulty – this number will tell you how easy or difficult it is to be presented earlier in Google in competition with other businesses. The higher the number, the harder the competition is, with numbers up to 35 meaning fairly low competition, numbers between 35 and 70 suggesting medium difficulty and numbers over 70 meaning that there are already a lot of websites putting out a lot of good quality content relating to this keyword.

Choosing YOUR keywords:

Step 1. Choose 5-10 keywords relevant to what you are offering in your online business.

Step 2. Do the keyword search in Ubersuggest and add 5-10 related keywords for each of the ones you’ve already selected.

Step 3. Of the 25-100 words you now have, choose those where the Volume is over 1000 and the SEO difficulty score is 30 or less. This will help you choose realistic keywords. It may be tempting to go after the most popular keywords, but if they're too competitive, you'll never rank high for them. Instead, focus on less popular keywords that you have a realistic chance of ranking for. What you have ended up with are the keywords to include in your website content (as long as they are relevant to your online business). The CPC and Paid difficulty scores will give you an understanding of how valuable each of those keywords is and whether you’d like to try paid advertising for any of them.

Summary of keyword optimization tips:

1. Start with keyword research. Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner to identify which keywords are being searched for most often.

2.Think about your audience. What type of keywords will they be searching for? Make sure to target keywords that are relevant to your target audience.

3. Consider your competition. Which keywords are they targeting? Identify any gaps in their keyword selection and make sure to fill them!

4.Choose keywords that are realistic. It may be tempting to go after the most popular keywords, but if they're too competitive, you'll never rank high for them. Instead, focus on less popular keywords that you have a realistic chance of ranking for. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to choosing the perfect SEO keywords for your business!

Once you’ve done your research, you can start optimizing your website for the keywords you’ve chosen. This means including them in your website content, as well as in the tags and titles of your web pages. Optimizing your website will help you to rank higher in search engine results pages, and ultimately to attract more visitors to your site.