Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

10 Ways to Pick the Best Keywords

Some of the important factors we use to evaluate keywords include search frequency, buying intent, and competability (the ease or difficulty of achieving first page rankings). Hannah Howard has expanded on that list in a blog post over at Here are some of the factors she considers valuable.

  1. Keyword selection criteriaHaving a keyword in the domain name (though we think that’s losing potency fast)
  2. Popularity for PPC (pay per lick) advertising like Google’s AdWords
  3. Local search volume from Google’s Keyword Tool.
  4. search about you from other tools such as and
  5. Global search volume from Google’s Keyword Tool.
  6. Microsoft Advertising Intelligence, a tool offered by Microsoft that works in Excel and can be used to research keywords based on Bing data.
  7. The authority of sites currently ranking highly for a given keyword. That will indicate the level of difficulty you can expect to compete for rankings. measures that might be relevant here include link counts, PageRankmozRank, and Domain Authority.
  8. Domain selling sites like and,can reveal how competitive domains are for a given keyword.
  9. “Ask ten taxi drivers”. This was a suggestion from Google years ago, and what it meant was ask 10 potential customers who are not in your business what they would search for if they didn’t know your name. They’re likely to use words and phrases you may not have thought of because they’re not as close to your business as you are.
  10. Google suggestions: start typing it in Google and if Google automatically suggests that keyword after the first few letters are typed then you may have a strong keyword.

I recommend Hannah’s post to you for elaboration on each of the above suggestions.

1 Comment
  1. When deciding what keywords or phrases to use on your website or in an online ad campaign, it’s important to find out how often

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