Selecting keywords for SEO can be really confusing. You know you need to target keywords with a lot of traffic but then there’s too much competition. But if you choose a keyword that’s more specific there won’t be as many searches for it.
So is it a bad thing to have a more specific keyword that doesn’t get as many searches?
You may be surprised to find out that a more specific keyword with fewer searches is actually better. And that’s what you want to find and target.
Let’s look at how this works…
The idea is that when a keyword is more specific each of those searches, even if fewer overall, is more targeted.
So you’re better off getting a high percentage of people searching for something specific than a low percentage of people searching for something more broad.
What To Do After Selecting A Keyword For SEO
After selecting a keyword for SEO it’s time to start writing your new blog post to target that keyword.
It’s best to target one main keyword per post but you don’t “set” the keyword anywhere. Instead you include it in a natural way and an appropriate number of times.
The Yoast SEO plugin is really helpful for writing to target a keyword since it gives you guidelines for the right places and the right amount of times. I highly recommend using Yoast.
Google is smart — they scan the whole post and will work out what they think are related searches that your post will also be a good match for. It’s not just about the targeted keyword it’s about the whole thing having useful and related info that Google will understand in a bigger picture way.
When you use a keyword tool to look up the number of searches and the amount competition for that keyword you’re seeing numbers for that exact keyword. But Google will also rank your same post for very similar searches too.
So when you choose a main keyword Google will rank your posts for similar keywords too, automatically.
A Broad Keyword Vs A Specific Keyword
Say you’re considering “backyard bbq” as a keyword to target in a new blog post. The problem is it’s way too broad. It doesn’t tell you enough about what the goal of the search is.
So then a more specific keyword like “how to host a backyard bbq” may be much better (assuming it has enough search volume and not too much competiton). If someone searches for “how to host a backyard bbq” they are telling you what they need right in the search. Since they need to know how to host a BBQ then you can answer that specific question and give specific recommendations in your post.
You want each post to be specific. As you build your site with lots of related posts then Google sees that you have an overall expertise on the subject in addition to sending specific search results to you.
Understanding Keywords With An Analogy
Here’s an analogy to help you with selecting keywords for SEO.
Say you go into a retail store and ask where the “bbq department” is (that’s your broad keyword). The closest result you would get would be maybe 10 aisles of products that had something to do with BBQ.
But if you ask where to find “bbq utensils” (that’s your specific keyword) then they could take you to an exact aisle that has a selection of utensils.
Search is the same way. As a blogger you want each post you write to be like that single aisle of products or even a single shelf in that aisle.
You don’t want your post to be like a whole department or a whole store.