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How to know which keywords to target on Google Search?

Posted December 15, 2014

There has been some speculation about SEO (search engine optimization) being dead or not worth one’s time, but let me assure you that’s not true. Websites around the world generate hundreds of millions of clicks every month just from Google Search. And even though you might think it isn’t possible to overcome some of the bigger/older players in your niche, it really is possible with proper research and work.

Image source:, CC0 Public Domain

Google search. Image source:, CC0 Public Domain

I’m going to share some secrets with you that I always implement at – a fast-growing online coupons website I started working on some time ago.

The first thing every company needs to do when it comes to their SEO strategy is to research the keywords they want to target (more information can be found at Go to Google Keyword Planner Tool and choose “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”. Enter a broad keyword related to your product/service. Let’s say your company sells flowers online, so we can start by entering the generic keyword ‘flowers’ and selecting your target market. In this case, the United States.


Now choose “Keyword ideas” and you will see how many searches different related keywords get in the United States.


As is often the case, the broader the keyword the more searches it gets. However, that also means the conversion rates might be lower, because people might be searching for ‘flowers’ in the hopes to find some pictures of flowers, but if they search for ‘cheap flowers online’, it’s likely they want to actually buy flowers. What’s more, generally the bigger the keyword, the stronger the competition.

So let’s choose a keyword that’s not extremely big, but is quite targeted and still big enough. In this example I would go for ‘cheap flowers’. What we need to do know is to research what kind of pages rank best for this term and how strong they are.

First we need to enter that keyword into Google and see what results come up (note: these results won’t be extremely accurate, since they will consider your current location and your search preferences, but they should be good enough to get the sense of the whole situation).


For these high-paid and well-converting keywords you don’t necessarily want to be in the 1st position, because it’s really hard to do and even 3-5th positions will make decent amounts of money. However, for this example let’s click on the 1st result and analyze it. They have obviously optimized their meta tags, meta keywords and title (that’s a must for every website, but definitely not the major ranking factor). The main ranking factor is how many websites they have linking to this page and how strong those websites are. So we go to a great tool, called ahrefs and enter this particular page.


Now we see that this page only has 14 referring domains, which is definitely not enough to rank for such a competitive keyword. In that case you can assume that the domain of the website is extremely strong. So enter its root domain and make sure that is indeed correct.


We see the website has almost 1,000 referring domains, which is huge for any e-commerce website, especially in a niche market, such as flowers. The obvious assumption is that it will be extremely hard to overtake this page, since its root domain is so strong. So you might want to research other pages that rank worse or simply find a less competitive keyword to target.

Hope that helps! If you have any questions/remarks, please add them in the comments section below.

Written by Jacob Laukaitis

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