How to Choose Effective Keywords for Your Website

Word phrases (aka “keywords”) are typed in search engines more than 15 billion times each year. Keywords are basically the multi-word phrases you type into the search engines to find products, services, and information. Using keywords effectively and placing them in the right places on your website will boost traffic to your web pages.

Achieving online success depends on your research and selection of keywords. If you want your search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) efforts to pay off, start by picking the most appropriate keywords for your business’s website.

Keywords are not Words but Good Phrases

The biggest misnomer in SEM and SEO is the term “keyword.” This doesn’t actually refer to a word, but rather a phrase. A more appropriate term, then, would be “keyphrase.” It’s almost always better to go with multi-word phrases.

Keyword selection is based on the products you sell or the services you deliver. From there, you can choose keywords that will have potential customers finding and landing on your website in no time.

Be Specific

Given the nature of your business, it sounds reasonable to use the keyword “accounting” or “accounting firm” as your primary keyword, for example. Unfortunately, this isn’t the most practical approach, as those keywords won’t drive relevant traffic to your site. They may help your pages rank higher, but unless you own a huge accounting firm, run a highly authoritative website, or use the domain “” (which is very unlikely), you won’t get that boost you’re hoping for. The shorter the keyword, the more likely competitors will use it. It’s very unlikely to rank high for “accounting” because the number of search results will be astronomical.

You’re more likely you’ll see better results by using very specific keywords such as small accounting firm, accounting firm + location, and local accounting firm + location. These sorts of keywords are also referred to as “long-tail keywords”. So, the more specific and descriptive your keywords are, the greater the likelihood that potential clients will visit your site.

Keyword Research

Keywords are considered to be the “staple of SEO.” Mastering keyword research is one of the most effective ways of increasing your site’s exposure and traffic. Once you perfect this technique, reaching out to your target audience will be a breeze. A variety of tools for keyword research are available online, but at a cost. Free tools are not recommended because they won’t give you the rich results you need to identify which keywords work best for your unique business and its brand.

You will need to conduct research that is based on each web page you want to feature on your website. That way, you can target multiple keywords that apply to your business and even create content based off of them if you want. For example, “accounting consulting” may not work for your web page, but it could make for a good blog post.