Keywords play a huge role in the world of Search Engine Optimization. Every search string is essential to search engines, which are the elements they are matched against. Selecting the right set of keywords to optimize for is thus the most crucial step towards a successful SEO campaign. Once you crumble during this stem, the challenges ahead may be more dominant as opposed to doing it right the first time. Not only are you subject to wasting more time, but also a candidate to financial losses.

There are a number of ways to determine which keywords to optimize for and the final list is typically produced after a thorough analysis of what the online community is searching for, which keywords have your competitors employed and above all—which keywords best suits the intentions of your site.

The Right Keyword

With the dense population surrounding the Internet, it is near impossible to obtain consistent top ratings for a one-word search string. Reaching constant top ratings for two or three-word search strings is a more realistic objective.

For instance, if you have an online casino platform, do not try and optimize for the keyword ‘casino’ or ‘gambling’. Instead, you could try to focus on specifics such as ‘Scam reports regarding Royal Vegas Casino’ or ‘Royal Vegas Casino bonuses’. Success for popular one-two word keywords are almost impossible to achieve, it’s best to concentrate on less competitive highly specific keywords.

First and foremost, you have to come up with keywords that best explains the content of your website. Ideally, you know your users well and correctly predict the search strings, they are likely to input when searching for your page. In addition, you can also employ a Website Keyword Suggestion Tool, which comes up with a draft of keywords you can employ. Try running your initial list of keywords by the Goggle keyword suggestion tool and you’ll get a list of keywords. Try making a shortlist of keywords that are relevant and have ample global search volume.

When selecting keywords to optimize, you need to put into considering the monthly number of searches as well as the relevance of these keywords to the website. Although narrow keywords get fewer searches, they are more valuable than generic keywords since users are more interested in your offerings rather than the entire picture. For example, you have a page on your website that endows poker tips. You might discover that the term’ poker tips and strategies’ are more likely to get better results than ‘casino tips and strategies’. This page is not of interest to current casino players, but for potential individuals looking to hone their poker skills.  So, when looking at the number of monthly search hits, consider unique hits that fit into your site’s niche.

Keyword Density

After choosing keywords that best portrays your site and are supposedly of interest to your target market, the next step to undertake is to adding keywords and obtaining a sufficient amount of keyword density for your target keywords. Keyword density is not the main concern in SEO when it comes to measuring relevance. Typically, the idea is that the higher the keyword density, the more relevant to the search string a page is. The recommended keyword density ranges from 3-7% of the major 2-3 keywords and 1-2% for minor keywords.

There are no strict policies when it comes to this, but try optimizing for a reasonable amount of keywords—4 to 8 will do. If you attempt to optimize for a list of 300, you will realize that it is not possible to have a good keyword density for more than a few keywords, without making the text artificial sounding and packed with keywords. Severe penalties are given to those who stuff their text with keywords because this is considered an unethical practice that suggests manipulation of search results.