With so many choices available when it comes to selecting keywords, it can be hard to narrow down which ones are the best fit for your SEO goals. To make sure you’re on the right track to choosing the best keywords, consider using these 5 tips in your keyword research process.

1) Decide on Your Topic

If you can’t decide on a topic, try asking yourself: what do people need to know about right now? How can I help them? What questions do they have? Your post will likely answer one of these questions, and research shows that posts that tackle timely topics receive more traffic. 

2) Know Where You Want to Rank

If you want to be found, you must research where your audience tends to hang out online—and that may not be where you’d expect. For example, if you are a financial advisor, you might expect people searching for investment advice would be top of mind; but Google search data shows how do I invest my money? gets more searches than anything else related to investments. As a pet groomer you might think “Dog Grooming near here” is top of the list, but maybe “How do I bath my dog” might be more relevant to your audience.

3) Choose Long Tail Keywords

One of the best ways to choose good keywords is to focus on long tail keywords. These are keyword phrases that are typically longer, have lower search volume, and don’t necessarily show up at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). Long tail keywords tend to have less competition, so it’s easier to rank them. If you choose a niche with a high number of long tail keywords, you should find it easier to compete with other sites that rank well for those words.

4) Analyze Competition

Search volume and competition can make or break your chances of ranking on a given keyword. Look at trending keywords and see what’s already receiving a lot of attention. If there are a lot of competitors, it’s going to be difficult to get results quickly. Also look at how many people are searching for terms, but also what they’re searching for specifically. Choosing the best keywords here is critical, so give yourself the best chance possible.

5) Use Google’s AdWords Tool

There are plenty of keyword research tools out there, but Google’s AdWords tool is free and highly accurate. To start your search, visit their website and type in a broad term related to your business. If you’re a Photographer in London, for example, use wedding photographer London. From there, Google will spit out key words that you should consider using on your website or marketing materials.

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