SEO: How to determine what organic keywords to target

  • av

As digital marketers start their journey into search engine optimization (SEO), they often focus their energy on finding keywords with high search volumes within the general business area of the company they do SEO for and just go for it. Which is a good tactic if you are a huge and known brand already, or if you don’t want to see results for the next three years or so. Here are some other tactics to consider, especially if you are just starting:

Niche keywords or topic clusters

Look for the keywords and topic clusters with a medium to low search volume, and low competition. If you don’t use a fancy SEO tool that determines the competition level for you yet, add a column in your research spreadsheet for “Competition” and check out the search results for each keyword you are researching. The higher number of results, generally the bigger the competition to get to page one.

To clarify: We are talking about the very specific searches like “purple pigeon street art style artwork with metal frame” (5 600 000 Google results) not talking about search terms like “modern art” (3 160 000 000 Google results). If you feel like it, you can always calculate averages and do some percentages for ease of reading later, but generally what you want are the niche keywords or -terms, they will be easier to rank for fast. (Fast in SEO-terms, so in months, not hours)

Low search volume, spesific target audience

Say your company sells artwork. For some random reason, you see a trend in purchasing from finance institutions: They mainly buy framed art. OK, let’s get specific. While searches like “art for office wall” and “wall art for office” have a search volume of 6 600 searches per month, “Framed wall art for office” only has 140 searches per month. You may in time earn your rank in the first examples, but for a quicker increase in organic traffic, focus on the lower search volume phrases right now.

Use natural language terms

Generally, people search like they think or speak. And as we see an increase in the use of voice search, this is increasingly important to consider when working with SEO. 

This article from Search Engine Watch explains it well: People (well, normal people, not SEO professionals) will search for “who is the president of America” not “current president in the United States of America”, so consider if your content matches natural language searches or not.

So after figuring out your general SEO strategy, take another look at your keywords and content, and consider adding more conversational phrasing for each word, to include search in natural language terms. Think with Google has another article explaining natural language searching further.

Do you have any other tips to add?