As online marketing shifts toward intent and interest, I always advise agency partners to leverage audience targeting and make great strides with advanced conversion modeling. This is where smart keyword selection comes in.

Keyword selection goes beyond knowing what search users usually type in queries; its true value lies in how you build the direction for your content and link building strategy. When you start an SEO project, our team will show you how to improve your keyword selection methodology and ensure your clients are satisfied with the results.

So, how do you successfully target high-value phrases for your campaigns? Let me walk you through our process:

1. Determine Relevancy on Your Client’s Target Niche

We get to know your client’s business and brand to assess relevancy for the target market niche. To ensure we’re on the right track for keyword targeting, we determine the scope of your client’s business and define the industry it belongs to.

We look at three things to set the line for our keyword selection:

  • Location and Language Targeting
    We use location and language targeting as basis for possible search terms that focus on your client’s niche.
  • Commercial Value
    We assess the commerciality of the keywords. This answers the question: does the keyword have the potential to increase conversion?
  • Search Habits of Target Audience
    We research on your client’s target audience to determine what relevant terms they use when making queries.

2. Analyze the Competition and Traffic Level

Our team looks at two things to find the right keywords that fall within your client’s niche: competition and traffic level. We check on possible competitors and the search terms competing sites are bidding on.

Analyze the Competition and Traffic Level

During this stage, we determine which keywords will give you more opportunities of ranking on the first page and getting higher conversion. We use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to get the estimated average for search volume and competition.

We sort your keywords from the lowest to highest monthly searches to provide an overview of the traffic level. After assessing the competition and potential traffic, we proceed with the recommendations to be included in our website audits.

3. Refine Your Keyword List

To finalize the target keywords for your campaign, our team filters the list of search terms we’ve gathered. We use the following metrics to refine your list:

A. Average Cost Per Click
B. Estimated Search Volume
C. Keywords with Specific Terms
D. Keyword Competition
E. Keywords in AdWords Account

Using Variations

Our team follows different variation forms: Extension, Permutation, Location Specification, Semantic Changes, and Adjective Addition.

Using Variations

Determining Word Order

Keywords can provide different set of results, depending on their word order. We recommend different word order variations that are relevant to your client’s niche.

Providing Exact Match and Phrase Match Options

We recommend the type of matching option for your keyword list, whether exact or phrase matches. Through this, we give directions on how Google will match your search phrases.

4. Align Keywords with Your Off-Page and On-Page Strategies

Once we have your refined list of keywords, we will recommend the appropriate package for your web optimization strategies − Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Plus. Every package includes the number of keywords and keyword groups to be optimized for your off-page and on-page strategies.

To ensure the selected keywords are aligned with the methodology, we follow these guideline questions:

  • Is the keyword within the traffic range?
  • Does the keyword serve your client’s business?
  • Are the keywords grammatically correct?
  • Does the keyword provide sufficient commercial value?
  • Does the keyword have the potential to produce traffic and leads?
  • Is the keyword currently ranking?
  • Is the keyword too competitive?

Keyword Selection Tools for Your Campaigns

Tools are as important as the strategy you implement. Our team uses the latest keyword planning tools to drive your campaign to the right track. Here are some of our recommended tools:

Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner provides the average search volume per month of a specific term—results depend on the location you are targeting. This tool also shows the estimated competition level of a search term (low, medium, or high). This also shows other relevant keywords that can drive potential traffic to your client’s site.

Google AdWords Keyword Planner


Wordtracker is one of the authoritative tools for keyword selection and research. This tool takes away the guesswork of finding high-value search terms that fall within your client’s target niche. This also provides access to the latest keyword metrics.


Scribe WordPress Plugin

This WordPress plugin allows you to check if your client’s site is focused on main keywords for your content marketing strategy. This tool makes it easier to optimize search terms for your on-page content, which can translate to relevance and rankings.

Scribe WordPress Plugin


This tool makes it easier to analyze and research competitor sites bidding on search terms. This provides a range of data on different keyword metrics – search volume, cost per click, site results, competition, and trends.


Spearheading Your SEO Projects with Smart Keyword Selection

Smart keyword selection is one of the pillars of a successful SEO project. By incorporating the right keywords to your optimization strategies, you can gain better traction for your campaigns and bring more value to your clients.
Sign up today and let our team spearhead your next campaign.

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Clayton Wood

Clayton is the Marketing Director of and managing partner of numerous successful online brands offering white label SEO and other online marketing services.