How do I pick the best keywords?

Keywords are chosen based on your audiences search criteria. When choosing the right keywords to optimise your website you'll need to consider relevance, volume and difficulty.

The first step in SEO is deciding which keywords to optimise your search for. Three primary criteria go into selecting the right keywords to optimise your website: relevance, volume and difficulty.


When putting together your list of possible keywords, try to think about what keywords a prospect looking for your offering is likely to type into Google search. Come up with as many different variations as you can.

Estimated Search Volume

Even if you get the number one spot in the Google search results for a keyword, it doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get lots of visitors to your site. The amount of traffic you will drive is dependent on how many people search using that keyword. To pick great keywords you need to have a sense for the approximate number of times users search for that word.


This is a measure of how hard it will be to rank for the keyword based on the strength of the competition and your own website’s authority. Of the thousands of web pages trying to rank for a given keyword, only 10 can make it to the front page. So if you have a new website and are trying to break into the top 10, you’ll have to displace someone else.

For some keywords this is relatively easy to do, if the existing top 10 are relatively weak. For competitive keywords the strength of the competition may be high and ranking on the first page may be difficult.

Picking the best keywords is an exercise in balancing these three factors. If your site doesn’t have much authority yet in the eyes of Google, you’re unlikely to rank well for a highly competitive keyword. In addition, if you don’t make it into the first page of the search results, you’re not likely to get much traffic from those keywords.

Choose keywords that have relatively low competition instead. Then, as you build authority for your web pages and start ranking for these keywords, you can move up to higher volume keywords that have more competition.