How to Determine Which SEO Keywords Are Best

Keywords and topics are at the core of search engine optimization. They are the foundation of all successful content on the web. Without them, you cannot engage in search engine marketing and you also cannot create content that has value.

With that in mind, we’re going to talk about how to determine your topics and keywords for SEO.

First, think about the general topics driving your website. Ask yourself: Who is your audience? Why are they interested in your brand? What related topics might they be interested in?

Initially, you’re going to have to rely almost entirely on your brand’s core values, unique selling points, and mission. As you start to gain traction, you’ll be able to devise audience profiles or buyer personas you can draw upon to get a better sense of what they want to read.

For now, focus on the things that you know you want to target. Come up with at least five umbrellas, and make sure they have some connection to one another. From there, you can branch out and start brainstorming keywords that fit under each umbrella.

What do you think people will type in relative to a particular topic? What keywords do competitor sites rank for? What are search terms related to those keywords? Here’s where you can bring in a keyword brainstorming tool like Ahrefs, SEMRush, or Answer the Public.

While you’re brainstorming, make sure your keyword lists include a mix of short- and long-tail keywords, leaning towards the latter. Lately, Google has been placing an increasing degree of focus on long-tail, conversational keywords. How to find out your SEO keywords rather than best SEO keywords, for example.

Finally, once you have created a good list of keywords and key phrases, your last step is to load up the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. This will allow you to research volume and traffic for your keywords.

Pare down your list by cutting out terms that have too little search volume. While you’ll probably rank high by targeting them, there are so few people searching for them that it likely won’t matter. You should cut out extremely high-volume keywords for the opposite reason.

There are so many people searching and placing for those terms that you’ll likely be competing with some of the top websites in your field. Maybe one day you can step into the ring with those major players. For now, however, it’s better for you to seek a happy medium: terms with neither too much or too little volume.

Keywords are the key to search engine optimization. To optimize successfully requires doing research, and understanding how you want your website to grow.

Author: Terry Cane

Terry Cane is a technical writer for, a reliable and supportive SEO hosting partner.