Find relevant keywords for your SEO

Find relevant keywords for your SEO
relevant keywords

Le natural referencing (SEO) is an essential pillar of digital marketing. But for an SEO strategy to be effective, it must be based on carefully selected and optimized keywords. Finding relevant keywords, sufficiently relevant and targeted, is therefore crucial for the success of a website.

However, with millions of search engine queries every day, it can be difficult to navigate. How to sort between very generic terms and others that are too specific? On what criteria should you base your choice to aim correctly? A successful SEO strategy always starts with careful keyword analysis.

In this article, we will see what are the best practices to put in place to determine the key words and expressions that constitute the foundation of quality SEO. By applying these wise tips, you will be able to define a targeted, relevant and sustainable SEO strategy for your business!

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What are keywords in SEO?

A keyword in natural referencing (SEO) designates a term or an expression that Internet users will type into the Google search engine to find information. For example, Someone looking for an Italian restaurant in Paris can type “Italian restaurant Paris” into the Google search bar. Here, “Italian restaurant Paris” is the keyword entered by the Internet user to find addresses corresponding to their query.

By optimizing the SEO of its web pages for certain keywords, a website seeks to appear as high as possible in Google search results. Thus, this Parisian Italian restaurant would have every interest in optimizing its site and its pages for the keyword “Italian restaurant Paris”. The objective is to attract potential customers who carry out this specific search on Google to its establishment. Keywords therefore make it possible to understand what Internet users type into Google to find a website.

Tips for Finding Good Keywords

Here are some tips to help you find the right keywords to target in your SEO strategy:

✔️ Analyze your current traffic

The first step to finding the right keywords is to take a close look at the traffic your site already receives. For this, the Google Analytics tool is essential. It will give you valuable information on the habits and behaviors of Internet users who visit your pages.

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More precisely, go to the section “Acquisition" then "Organic Keywords“. This part lists all the keyword queries, words and phrases that bring visitors to your site from search engines.

Find out which pages generate the most traffic and the best conversion rate. Then analyze the top 10 to 20 search terms used to land specifically on those Powerful URLs. These are most likely the most relevant keywords that already meet the expectations of your visitors. They absolutely must be among your priority SEO targets.

Further optimizing their positioning will allow you to ride the wave of their popularity among Internet users. Targeting these relevant terms is a good way to further improve your current SEO results. So, by starting directly from what works on your site, you can be sure to base your keyword strategy on concrete data and real conversions. Enough to aim right from the start!

✔️ Study the competition

Another valuable source of inspiration for finding the right keywords lies in analyzing your competitor sites. Indeed, your rivals probably face the same challenges and questions as you when it comes to SEO. Start by doing a Google search with the main keywords related to your industry. Identify the first 5 sites that appear on the SERP (results page). These are your direct competitors.

keywords

Then go to a SEO analysis tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush. Enter the domain name of each of your competitors to discover their best-positioned pages and keywords. In the “Organic Keywords” section, you will find the Top 10 or 20 terms they primarily target. Take the time to analyze this list precisely. Some keywords relevant to your business may already be there.

Indeed, if these terms work well in terms of traffic and conversions for your competitors, they also have great potential for your own site. Go dig into their winning keywords! Studying what other players in your sector are doing represents a gold mine for determining the right keywords to target in SEO. To perform, focus on what works!

✔️ Use keyword suggestion tools

Once you've analyzed your current traffic and studied your rivals, it's time to take things to the next level. Many powerful tools exist to generate optimized keyword ideas in one click. Let’s take advantage of it!

First, define a list of 3 to 5 key words or phrases that represent the core of your business. For example “Naples pizzeria”, “Paris Italian restaurants” etc. Then go to reputable keyword suggestion tools like:

  • Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • From UberSuggest

Enter your basic terms one by one and start generating suggestions. These software will analyze thousands of data to find relevant keyword variations. So, starting from “pizzeria”, you could obtain:

  • pizzeria delivery
  • pizzeria address
  • vegetarian pizzeria menu
  • Italian pizzeria Paris 15th
    etc.

Keep the top 20 to 30 suggestions from each tool in your list. You thus enrich your thinking thanks to new opportunities for synonymous, complementary or derived keywords. By taking advantage of the algorithms of this intelligent software, save precious time to accelerate the optimization of your selection of key words and expressions. Enough to quickly move up a gear in SEO!

✔️ Fine-tune your targets

Once your list of keywords is established, the work is not finished. On the contrary, now is the time to further refine your targets to keep only the most promising ones. Immediately delete all terms that are too generic and broad like “restaurant” or “pizza” which refer to billions of pages. These queries are far too competitive in SEO and you have no chance of appearing on the first page.

Also screen your list for relevance. Eliminate suggestions that have no concrete relationship to your business or products. No need to waste time optimizing them! Then, strive to favor long tails in your keyword choices. For example, prefer “vegetarian pizzeria home delivery Paris 15th” to a simple “pizzeria Paris”.

The more precise the query and the Google-friendly wording, the more likely it is to attract a qualified Internet user ready to convert on your site! Finally, keep refining! Do research, read industry news, talk to your customers. And continually, finely adjust your selection of keywords to stay as close as possible to the needs of the moment. With this permanent refinement strategy, your list of target keywords will always maintain its full conversion potential!

✔️ Test and validate

Once your selection of keywords has been established, it is time to move on to the final step: testing them to keep only the most efficient ones. To start, select 5 to 10 of your priority keywords. Create or optimize as many pages or articles specifically targeting the SEO of these terms.

For example, write a blog post about “The best vegetarian pizzerias that deliver to your home in Paris” using this target keyword in some titles and subtitles. Then wait 2 or 3 months for search engines to properly index your optimized content.

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keywords

Then analyze precisely in Google Analytics traffic and conversions obtained specifically on these pages and for these keywords. Do some work better than others? Did they result in sales or qualified contacts? Keep only the really effective terms in your list and delete the others. Repeat the operation regularly with new test keywords to further refine your selection.

This progressive testing and validation strategy will allow you to sort so that you only keep the very best keywords in the long term. Those who transform! By adjusting your targets as you go, your SEO will reach an optimal level of performance and relevance.

Different types of keywords and web traffic

There are mainly 3 types of keywords to take into account in an SEO strategy:

✔️ Generic keywords

Generic keywords (also called “query head” keywords) refer to the broadest and most popular terms and expressions related to an industry. Some examples : “hotel”, “restaurant”, “pizzeria”, “bakery”, “travel”, “shoe”, “insurance”, etc.

These keywords have the advantage of having a huge search volume. These are the queries most typed by Internet users in Google. Optimizing for these terms therefore allows you to benefit from very high potential incoming traffic. In addition, generic keywords are known to the general public and constitute the initial words used by Internet users to begin their search.

However, the disadvantages are major. Generic keywords are ultra competitive, because all players in a sector target them as a priority in their SEO strategy. It then becomes extremely difficult to position yourself in the top 10 of Google search results for these terms, unless you invest a lot of time and effort in optimization.

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In addition, by targeting only broad queries, you run the risk of artificially inflating your traffic with unqualified visits, which will convert poorly once on the site. Although difficult to rank, it is however strategic to keep a few generic keywords in your selection, if only to capitalize on your existing traffic. But be careful to balance them with more specific and targeted requests!

✔️ Specific keywords

Specific keywords are targeted, specific queries that go beyond simple generic terms. For example, instead of optimizing only for “hotel”, we will target “Nice 5-star hotel with sea view” or “design hotel Paris center”. The major advantage of specific keywords is that they are less competitive than general queries. In fact, they concern a well-defined need of a more restricted part of Internet users. As a result, fewer players position themselves on it, which makes SEO easier.

Targeting specific queries also makes it possible to attract more qualified traffic, truly interested in the type of service or product we offer. These visitors will therefore be more likely to convert once on the site. Specific keywords create tailor-made traffic, perfectly aligned with its offer.

On the other hand, the monthly volume of searches will logically be lower than for generic keywords, given that we are targeting a more niche part of Internet users with well-defined needs. But what matters, it’s the quality of the traffic! 500 highly targeted and interested visits will often yield more in terms of conversions than a vague flow of 5000 visits with no purchase intention. The ideal is to combine several of these approaches to identify many variations of specific keywords, before selecting only the most relevant ones to target.

✔️ Long size keywords (long tail)

Long-tail keywords, also called “long tail keywords” in English, refer to keyword formulations containing 3 or more terms.

For example:

  • “Goretex women’s hiking shoes sale”
  • “Inexpensive children’s ski pants for beginners”
  • “apartment rental with Eiffel Tower view for 5 people”

These ultra-specific formulations have many advantages in SEO. First of all, they benefit from very little competition, given their precise nature which fits the well-defined needs of a small research group. Additionally, the conversion rate for this type of traffic is excellent. An Internet user who types such a targeted query knows exactly what they are looking for. Once on a relevant page, there is a good chance of becoming a buyer or a qualified lead.

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Another advantage is that this long tail traffic, thanks to its high intent, goes directly to niche pages and articles corresponding precisely to the service or product that interests them. We thus observe less bounce and better user journeys.

Certainly, the monthly volume for a long tail keyword remains limited, of the order of a few dozen or hundreds of searches. But the ROI generated largely compensates for the relativity of the volumes, thanks to the excellent conversion rates. To identify these rare gems of long tail keywords, there are several approaches:

  • Analysis of existing traffic
  • Examination of questions asked in after-sales service and in chat
  • Customer verbatims in reviews and surveys
  • Brainstorming with front-line salespeople
  • Keyword suggestion tools

Although tedious, collecting long-tail keywords is well worth it, as their ROI is so interesting. A few hundred of these ultra-specific queries in your keyword mix are enough to significantly boost your SEO results!

Conclusion

Finding the right keywords is a crucial exercise for the success of an effective and sustainable natural SEO strategy. A relevant selection of targeted terms will allow you to significantly improve your visibility in Google search results. By analyzing your existing traffic, studying your competitors and using suggestion tools, you are off to a solid start in identifying the best keyword opportunities. Complete your approach by refining your targets and ultimately only keeping the queries that really perform well after testing them.

An intelligent compilation of high-volume generic keywords, ultra-specific long tails and relevant intermediate queries is the key to quality SEO. By regularly adjusting your selection according to the results obtained, your site will gradually rise to the top positions on Google results pages.

FAQ

What is a keyword in SEO?

A keyword designates a term or expression that Internet users will type into Google to find a website. Example: “pizzeria Paris 15th”. Properly optimizing your site for certain keywords allows you to rank better in search results.

How to find ideas for good keywords?

To find keywords to target, you can: analyze your analytics to identify queries that are already working, study the keywords of competing sites, use keyword suggestion tools (GKP, Semrush, etc.), do Google searches for potential keywords.

Should you target generic or specific keywords?

The ideal is a mix of both! Generic keywords (example: “pizzeria”) bring a lot of traffic but are ultra competitive. The specific ones (“organic pizzeria Paris 5th”) are less competitive and attract more qualified traffic and conversions.

What is a long tail?

These are very specific requests with 3 words or more (eg: “vegetarian pizzeria home delivery Lyon”). Although little sought after, these ultra-targeted expressions convert very well once on your site.

How many keywords should you target?

For E-commerce site, it is recommended to compile a list of around 200 to 300 optimized keywords on important pages and articles. For a blog, you can go up to 500 or even 1 target keywords.

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