How to Find Perfect Keywords for SEO

When it comes to choosing keywords, there are a lot of factors to consider. In this video you’ll use how to leverage tools like the Google Keyword Planner, Moz’s SEO Toolbar and the Blog Social Analyzer… so you find keywords that have the right balance of search volume, popularity, monetization potential and competition.

Video Transcript

Hey, what’s up everybody, it’s Brian Dean from Quick Sprout and in this video I’m going to show you how to find the perfect key word for SEO. So let’s say you were writing a new blog post at Quick Sprout and you wanted to find a keyword to optimize that post around. Your first step would be to log in to Google AdWords and see what key words the Google Key Word Planner Tool gives you. So when you log in, this is what you’ll see.

Now click on ‘Tools and Analysis’, then click on ‘Key Word Planner’, then click on ‘Search for Keyword and Ad Group Ideas’ and you can enter a few key words related to your site. So in this case, for Quick Sprout, you put ‘SEO’, ‘Social Media’, ‘Business’, and maybe some other keywords related to your site or you can just put one if you have more of a narrow focus on your site or you have a blog post idea in mind already. Then you want to click on ‘Get Ideas’. Then click on the tab that says ‘Key Words Ideas’ and then Google will show you key words related to, in this case, ‘SEO’, ‘Social media’, and ‘Business’.

So your first step is to make sure that the keys words you’re targeting are relevant to your site because obviously the more relevant they are, the more people are going to share on social media because those are your fans, the more people will link to it because it’s more related to your site in genera,l and when people land on your site by researching for these key words, they’re going to be your ideal customers. So you do want to make sure that your keywords are relevant. And one way to do that is just to see which content has performed best on your site and then try to find similar key words and the best way to do that is to use the Blog Social Analyzer tool, so just Google ‘Blog Social Analyzer’ and this is the first result.

And then you want to put your RSS feed URL which usually your domain name followed by ‘feed’. If you use WordPress, it’s just domain name followed by ‘feed’. Then click ‘Go’ and that’ll do it’s thing and I already ran it. But basically what this does is it shows what posts are most popular. And that’s a great way to see what relevant content has performed best and then you can make sure that the content that you create at this point is focused around key words that have a track record of performance.

So what you want to do is find the social media network at the top here that’s most important in your industry. So if Facebook’s big in your industry, you’d want to look at ‘Facebook Likes and Shares’, if Google+ One was big, you’d want to look at Google+ or if LinkdIn was big, you’d want to look at ‘LinkedIn Shares’. So let’s just look at ‘Twitter Retweets’ and as you can see just by scrolling down topics like ‘The definitive guide to growth hacking’, ‘How to integrate psychology into your marketing’, ‘Social media tactics’, ‘Copy writing tweaks’, and ‘The anatomy of a perfect Facebook post’ have performed well. So you want to keep this in mind.

There’s no objective way to say ‘OK, this is the perfect topic’, but just by looking at this you get and idea of what content has performed best for your site in the past, then when you go back to the Keyword Planner, you want to keep an eye out for those similar keywords, so for example, something like ‘What is social media?’ may not be the best keyword because as you can see from the Blog Social Analyzer tool, more advanced topics tend to do well. So these are ‘Social media tactics’ and ‘Copy writing tweaks’, ‘Conversion rate optimization’ and ‘The anatomy of a perfect Facebook post’ are for veterans of social media. So a topic like, ‘What is social media?’ is probably too basic for your audience, so you may want to do something more like, like, ‘Social media optimization’ or ‘Social media statistics’ because those are topics that your expert audience, as in the case of Quick Sprout, would be most interested in.

Now on the other hand if you found from the Blog Social Analyzer tool that more basic introductory topics of social media performed well and were relevant to what your site was about then a key word like ‘Social media definition’ or ‘What is social media’ might be a great choice for your site.

So once you’ve determined a few key words that are relevant, it’s time to look at search volume because that basically going to determine how much traffic you get if you rank for that key word. So by default, Google shows you average monthly searches as sort of a mixed bag because it automatically sorts by relevance based on the key words that you gave it. And a lot of times they’ll show you very, very competitive keywords that have a ton of search volume, like ‘Social media sites’ has 18,000 search, ‘Social media marketing’ has the same. And that’s usually too competitive for most sites and most blogs.

So what you want to do is target the long tails in the list and to do that just click once on ‘Average Monthly Searches’, then click again and what this does is it shows you the key words in the list with the lowest amount of search volume so these are typically keywords that you don’t want to target because there isn’t enough search volume to make it worthwhile.

So what you want to do is scroll to the bottom and click this little arrow button. And what this will do is it’ll gradually take you towards the front of the list which are key words that have the most search volume. And depending on the goals for your site, a key word, with, let’s say, 70 searches per months, maybe a long tail key word that makes sense for you because if you rank for 10 of these that’s actually 700 monthly searches.

Or if you want to post less often or not post as much content, and you want to go after more competitive, higher-volume keywords, you can keep clicking this until you find keywords that have adequate volume and make sense for your site. So let’s just say that a key word, ‘Business SEO’, makes sense because using Blog Social Analyzer, you found that key words related to ‘Business SEO’ had performed well but you hadn’t targeted that key word and the search volume makes sense, that might be a key word that you’d want to go after.

Next you want to look at commercial intent because you obviously want people to come to your site who are going to buy what you’re selling. And if you look at commercial intent you can sometimes rank for really high-volume keywords but the traffic that you get from those keywords doesn’t convert for you. And one way to see ahead of time to see how well they’ll convert is to look at commercial intent. So let’s just look at the key word ‘Business SEO’. So right off the bat, the first thing you want to look at is Average Cost Per Click. And what this represent is that average cost per click of someone bidding on that key word in AdWord.

So in this case, people are paying almost $9 for one click from someone searching for ‘Business SEO’ which shows that this has some serious commercial intent. On the other hand, a key word, like ‘Search Engine SEO’, which is someone who basically doesn’t know what SEO is and is just searching for more information, has an average cost per click of $0. So it’s a huge, huge difference even though the search volume is the same so if you were to use Blog Social Analyzer and you saw that people really liked more basic content about ‘SEO’ and content about ‘Business SEO’, you’d want to choose the ‘Business SEO’ keyword because this has a much much stronger commercial intent.

Finally, you want to look at the competitiveness of the keyword because sometimes even long tail, low search volume keywords are too competitive to rank for. Your first step to do that is to install the MozBar, so just Google MozBar and this is the first result. Once you’re on this page click on ‘Download for Firefox’ or’ Download for Chrome’, depending on what browser you tend to use. And once that’s installed, you want to search for your keep word in Google. So I just Googled ‘Business SEO’, which is the key word that we found here and what we’re looking at is the page authority and the domain authority of the results in the top 10.

So basically, you want to focus on page authority, so if you see that there’s a lot of page authority, let’s say a page authority of 50 or above in the top 10, that’s probably too competitive to rank for. And in this case it actually looks pretty good. You basically have page authority 60 as the number one result, but you some weak results in here like page authority 37, 24, 39, and these are all results that you could potentially be.

Now the exception to that is if you see low page authority but the domain authority, which represents the authority of the entire, is really high across the whole top 10, so in this case a domain authority of 82 and 60 is pretty competitive but a domain authority of 30 is nothing to worry about nor is a domain authority of 19 or 18. So you want to take a look at both and there’s no hard and fast to say ‘This a certain level of competitiveness’ but it’s just something to take a look at before you spend a lot of time and energy trying to rank for that key word.

So that’s all there is to finding the perfect for SEO. As long as you find a key word that’s relevant, has adequate traffic, commercial intent, and low competition, you’ll be good to go. So thanks for watching this video and I’ll see you in the next one.