We all want to see results, right? If you’re paying an SEO firm to grow your traffic, you want to see traffic! However, when you’re evaluating keywords and looking for the best keywords for SEO, you should start by asking a few questions. Here are some examples:

  1. What do we offer our users?
  2. How are we different from our competitors?
  3. How do those users think about us?

The reason these questions are so important has to do with keyword selection, not keyword discovery. What’s the difference? It can be easy to choose some seed keywords, run them through a keyword research tool and choose the highest traffic keywords to optimize toward.

Let’s say we’re doing research for www.shoe.store , a seller of Italian men’s shoes. If we optimized for ‘shoe’ or ‘shoes’ the client would need to spend months or years working to rank for a very high traffic, high competition keyword…and perhaps never succeed.

But if they–or their SEO firm–asked careful questions about who they are and what they offer, they’ll quickly get to the heart of what the best keywords for SEO are, as it relates to their brand. The right keywords depend entirely on what your organization offers, how competitive the website is, and what users you want to reach.

Take our ‘shoes’ example. Even if the website ranked for ‘shoes’, the bounce rate would be sky high given that most users searching for ‘shoes’ probably aren’t looking for Italian men’s loafers. It’s all about the right keywords for the right user.

So, if you find yourself wondering, ‘what are the best keywords for SEO?’ you may have missed some steps during keyword discovery and keyword research. Try backing up to define your organization, goals and ideal users before getting too far into the keyword research. As always, if you need help with discovery, research or optimization, get in touch. We’re always ready to help.