What are three key considerations when evaluating keywords for search engine optimization

Organic traffic is unpaid traffic. You don’t pay Google to run your ads. All you have to do is have a website that passes the checklist of successful SEO and you get free traffic. To get there, you need to pick up the right keywords for your website. But it’s just the surface of SEO success. It involves more than using keywords in your content.

Picking the right words is important because it can make you rank on the top. And the top-ranking result gets clicked about 9.28% of the time, while positions two and three get clicked 5.82% and 3.11% of the time, respectively. But if you want people to rank on top, you need to think about three things. 

Let’s explain what are those three key considerations when evaluating keywords for search engine optimization.

Key #1: Keyword Frequency in Search Engine Optimization

What is Keyword Frequency?

Keyword frequency means how often a specific word is searched on a search engine within a set time, usually monthly or sometimes daily. This data shows how popular a keyword is and helps understand its demand. But search volume alone isn’t enough for choosing keywords. You need to consider competition and user intent to find keywords with good visibility and ranking potential. Will talk more on this later in the post.

There is No Accurate Search Volume

According to Ahrefs, the accuracy of search volume data from famous tools can be misleading for SEO professionals. They rely on these metrics to understand keyword popularity, but they don’t know that those aren’t actual search numbers. GKP’s numbers are rounded averages while GSC’s impressions are influenced by various factors like rank-tracking tools and web scrapers. As a result, it gives you a distorted view of actual figures.

Professional SEOs know that Google Keyword Planner (GKP) doesn’t show exact search numbers for individual keywords. It only gives an average of over a year and groups similar keywords together. Google Search Console (GSC) also does something similar like counting robotic visits as impressions, making it look like some keywords are performing good, when in actual they aren’t. 

What if the search volume was accurate?

In case you find a SEO tool that tells you the real search volume for any keyword. Despite this, you won’t be able to predict how much traffic you’ll get from those searches. It’s because the search rankings keep changing. Your webpage might be #3 one day, #5 the next, and then #1. The thing is that search results are always changing. That’s why it can always affect whether people click on your page or not.

Studies show that when a webpage ranks high in search results, it often shows up for many different keywords. It means that you don’t need to focus on one keyword and miss out all the other related searches that could bring you potential traffic.

Search volume only gives us a good idea to understand how popular a keyword is and how hard it might be to rank for it compared to others. It doesn’t tell you the exact figure . However, they can still be very useful to plan your strategies and achieve good results.

Key #2: Keyword Competition in Search Engine Optimization

What is keyword competition?

Keyword competition tells you how hard it is to rank your website first page for a keyword. If the keyword is popular, it will be tough for smaller or newer sites to rank high because other websites would already be there with top positions. As a result, you would need to choose keywords that are easier to rank for quickly.

Understanding the competitiveness of keywords involves several key factors

Keyword competition aka Difficulty Score ranges from 0 to 100 by SEO tools. The number indicates how tough it is to rank for a keyword. Higher the score, the more difficult it is to rank. When we talk about keyword difficulty, we look at how many other websites are ranking with the same keyword we want to rank for. We also check how strong those websites are.  

This involves competitor analysis where you check websites similar to yours to see their strengths and weaknesses like where they might be weak. This helps us figure out how to do better than them. We check out their websites there to see what their content is and how they’ve set up their websites. 

For example, the keyword “healthy recipes” can be quite challenging because it has a lot of high-quality content from big cooking websites competing for top spots. That’s why you would need to find a similar keyword but with less competition to create content that attracts more organic traffic, increasing website visits and getting more leads.

Authority Scores of Top-Ranking Sites

Keyword difficulty depends on link power, organic traffic, and your website profile. Link power checks how many quality backlinks you have while organic traffic measures your website’s CTR (click-through-rate) when it ranks on search engines. The website profile checks if your site has spam indicators in its backlinks. If it finds spam, then it negatively affects your authority score.

Suppose your website’s authority score is 100, because you have quality backlinks and high CTR from organic traffic. This will allow you to compete with bigger brands within your industry and you will be able to outrun them in ranking high on search engines.

The Presence of SERP Features

SERP features are things like a featured answer box or a map showing local businesses. If a keyword has special features, it becomes harder for you to compete with it. For example, if a website shows a featured snippet for a query, it means the content it holds is loved by Google. It would take a lot from your side to create something more beneficial and exceptional to get that position. 

Just like that, if a keyword doesn’t show any snippets or special features, it’s easier for you to rank for it. So while doing keyword research, you can find out which SERP features each keyword triggers. This will help you figure out if you want to put efforts in making content for that particular keyword or target some other keyword.

When the Keyword Is Branded

Brand keywords like Tesla  are also harder to rank for in search results. The reason is obvious. Search engines prefer content from the official website of that brand. As a result, it becomes challenging for you to show up high in search results for the same keyword. Again, you will have to create content that holds high authority in the eyes of Google. You can follow the E-E-A-T principle where the content you create is unique, authentic, and written in high quality native English. If your website’s content provides actual value, search engines will rank it high in the results.

Key #3: Keyword Relevance in Search Engine Optimization

What is the keywords’ relevance?

Keyword relevance means knowing why people search specific keywords online. Keyword relevance allows you to select the perfect keywords for your content and improve your SEO. By understanding what your target audience wants, you can make your website more tailored to them. As a result, you increase the engagement and attract visitors to your site who are genuinely interested in what you offer.

Below are some common types of search intents.

  • Informational Intent

Informational intent searches are about seeking and finding answers to questions. Example keywords: “how to clean vinyl floor” or “Ariana Grande’s height.”

  • Navigational Intent

Navigational intent searches are about searching for a particular website or brand. Example keywords: “Netflix site” or “Paypal.”

  • Commercial Intent

Commercial intent searches are about searching to make a purchase or explore products/services.  Examples: “discount adult toys” or “best gym deals near me.”

  • Transactional Intent

Transactional intent searches are about users who intend to complete an action or transaction online. Example keywords: “download mp3 songs” or “subscribe to Amazon Prime.”

Understanding Search Intent Through User Experience

Imagine you want to buy a LEGO Star Wars set as a gift. You search for the keyword “buy LEGO Star Wars set,” and the first website you visit shows different LEGO sets. However, you don’t find the set you were looking for. You go back and search for a different keyword this time “LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon best price” and find exactly what you’re looking for. 

This search result matched your intent and made it easy for you to provide what you were looking for. When websites understand and meet search intents like this, users get better online experience. Search engines, as a result, rank those websites high in results because they provide what users look for.Search engines want to help people find the best answers to their questions. 

Take another example where a lot of people search for the keyword “buy LEGO Star Wars set” and they have a great experience with a certain online store. Soon the search engine will rank that store’s website up higher in results for those keywords. This tells us the importance of understanding what users are looking for when they search for keywords.

Mastering User Search Intent

Brian’s did research to demonstrate why it’s important to tailor content to match what users are looking for. When he tweaked his posts to better match user intent, Brian saw better search rankings. What we can learn from him is that simply having good content and links isn’t always sufficient. You need to give people exactly what they are searching for. If you are unable to do that, you might not do well in search results.

So if you want to do well in search results, you need to understand why people search for certain keywords. For example, a person who is searching to buy a laptop stand has a different goal than a guy who is looking for information on how laptop stands can help with neck pain. You can study the top-ranking pages using tools and manually to make sure your content matches what users are looking for.

Final Thoughts

So now you understand What are three key considerations when evaluating keywords for search engine optimization. Google cares about how people interact with your website. It looks at metrics like bounce rate (when users leave quickly) and session duration (how long users stay) to judge your site quality. Making visually attractive, easy-to-read content with clear sections and pictures can improve your SEO. Finally, you need to keep updating your content based on what users do and what they search for. It increases how many people visit your site and help you do well in Google’s search results.

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