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How to Choose the Right Keywords For your SEO Strategy

Keywords and links are closely related: the choice of keywords is crucial in many ways in SEO. And netlinking is no exception! Indeed, Google takes into account several criteria to determine the relevance of a link (internal or external). Many of these criteria are geared towards the quality of the keywords that make up that link. Why and how to carry out relevant keyword research for your links? What are our tools to build a list of interesting keywords that can boost your netlinking strategy.

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A good SEO strategy is a must-have for all websites. Without the latter, it is impossible to claim to accumulate traffic in quantity and quality over the long term! The keyword strategy is at the heart of natural referencing: it consists of carefully selecting the most important words that the site will highlight in its content, but also excluding others.

In this article, we will see how to choose the right keywords and how to use the most effective tools for this!

What is a good SEO keyword?

In digital marketing language,  a keyword is a term used by a user in a search engine to search and find content that interests him . Each keyword or phrase typed in a search bar corresponds to a SERP ( Search Engine Result Pages) , i.e. a search engine results page.

For a website, it is very important to manage its keywords well, because  it is thanks to them that the platform can hope to see Internet users arrive from the SERPs.

Keywords are therefore at the center of any SEO strategy.  However, their influence does not stop there!

In other branches of web marketing, keyword analysis is also used to:

  • better understand the search intent of the Internet user in order to optimize his content marketing
  • improve its SEA campaign (paid referencing) to target the keywords actually searched by Internet users
  • develop brand awareness, in particular by associating it with certain promising keywords

In SEO, it is therefore necessary to  establish a list of keywords  to be placed intelligently in the content of the site and thus  position each page on certain queries  to gain organic traffic.

What makes a keyword a GOOD keyword?

A good keyword is a keyword that takes into account  two factors . The  first factor is the difficulty of the keyword , in particular according to the SEO positioning and the position of the website:

  • SEO positioning  is how the site is visible on the SERPs compared to the competition on the same keyword
  • The position  of the site is the marketing and commercial ranking of the company compared to other companies in its field, i.e. its competitors

In both cases, this situation of the company influences  the keywords that it can reasonably aim  for and therefore also on those that it should not aim for, otherwise it will waste a lot of energy and time for nothing.

The  second criterion is  the interest of the word in terms of traffic . Finding keywords is not difficult, rather finding the right balance between difficulty and profitability is. Indeed, even if a keyword corresponds perfectly to your activity, if this keyword is not searched by anyone, then it will have no impact in terms of traffic.

So, a good keyword is a keyword that is accessible to the website and will bring traffic to it without much effort.

The different types of keywords in SEO

In SEO,  we usually focus on several types of keywords . These different categories make it possible to segment the keywords and expressions analyzed according to their length, their traffic and the competition that is on the corresponding SERP.

It is necessary to understand the inherent characteristics of each category to better select the interesting keywords.

The main keywords

Main keywords are phrases that usually consist of one or two words and  carry a lot of traffic . This also means that  the competition is very tough!

As a rule, it is the important websites that can benefit from the traffic contribution of these keywords. The main keywords generate SERPs that are very little changing:  it is most often the leaders of a market who monopolize the first positions , hence the great difficulty of finding a place there.


Much of the search volume for these relatively short keywords comes from the fact that they are also quite generic, and  this also shows in the quality of traffic.

For example, the query “Laptop” is a high-volume main keyword: 368,000 searches per month on average. Logic would dictate that it would be interesting to place yourself there for an e-commerce that offers this type of product.

True, but only partially. In reality, we must take into account the fact that  the search intent  here is quite uncertain: Internet users can type “laptop” for many reasons,  not always related to their desire to buy.  They can look for information, a particular brand, to find out more about this type of device...

The principle remains the same for a blog: the less we know about search intent, the more difficult it is to offer the right content to the right person.

Thus,  the main keywords are very interesting for websites that can afford the luxury.  Other websites, on the other hand, can turn to long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords take their name from their primary characteristic:  they are longer expressions than main keywords , generally between 3 and 5 or 6 words.

In addition,  they carry much less traffic  than the main keywords. Nevertheless, they remain very interesting for all websites that choose to focus on these terms in their keyword strategy.

The main interest of long-tail keywords is rather at the level of the search intention:  the latter is much more precise and easier to determine  as Internet users add words to clarify their query.

The conversion rate of these words is therefore increased tenfold compared to the main keywords.

The other aspect of these keywords is their number:  there are far more long-tail keywords than main keywords.  And even if each of them brings less traffic than a single main keyword, it is generally  the sum of the traffic contributions of all the long-tail keywords combined on which a site is placed that gives it most of its traffic.

Relying on these keywords is therefore  the right strategy for the majority of websites , which cannot or do not want to focus on the main keywords, which are too competitive.

Low competition, high traffic keywords

This third category of keywords refers to terms that have high traffic, but still relatively low competition.

These stalled searches are a great opportunity to gain traffic quickly, but their presence is not guaranteed,  everything will depend on your area of ​​expertise!

Choose the right keywords with the right tools

Now here are the essential steps to select the most relevant keywords.

Establish your initial keyword list and expand it

The first step in a keyword strategy is to  list your current keywords.  To do this, several methods work and are even complementary:

  • Know your company and its sector  : a small survey within the company often makes it possible to find certain keywords of the company. Just ask yourself, "What are the keywords I should be on?" And those on which I am sure to be present? ". The answers will make it possible to establish the first draft of a list which will only grow as the stages progress.
  • Tools like Semrush's domain analysis  can  automatically compile the list of website keywords.

Thereafter, you must enrich this list with other unique and interesting keywords: to do this, you can go through the Keyword Magic Tool from Semrush .

This is a  search engine that generates keywords  based on the one you enter at the start of the search. You directly benefit from a list of keywords and all the useful details: search volume, Keyword Difficulty, number of words to target only the long-tail…

In addition, you have  many filters available to refine your search  : keywords only in the form of questions, around a particular theme...


To manage your lists of keywords more easily, you can save each found and interesting keyword in your Keyword Manager: this is where you will find all your saved keywords so that you can then export them or sort them according to other criteria.

Analyze the competition to close keyword gaps

Another very effective method for finding the right keywords is to  compare your website to that of competitors.

This is a process that can take a long time on most tools. However, on Semrush,  a feature has been developed precisely to meet this need.

With the Keyword Opportunities toolcompare your domain to that of 4 of your competitors to find great keyword opportunities.

The tool gives you a visual representation of the gaps in number of keywords between you and your organic competitors.


Thus, you quickly identify the keywords on which you are stronger than them, or weaker, as well as the keywords that you completely under-exploit compared to them!

Again, for each keyword that interests you, don't forget to save the word in your personalized list in the Keyword Manager.

Qualify your list of keywords one last time to bring out the best

The last step allows you to target only certain keywords according to the criteria you want.

To do this, go to the  Keyword Manager  and filter your keywords: a good idea is  to highlight only the keywords found that display an average Keyword Difficulty, for example around 50% or 60% maximum .

You thus obtain  a list of good keywords, interesting for your website  and which will be able to bring it more traffic in a relatively short time without investing too much effort.

Of course,  each situation is different  and establishing an effective keyword strategy cannot be done without analyzing the position and positioning of the company and the site.

Some websites are powerful enough on the SERPs to consistently include the strongest and most competitive keywords in their strategies.

Others, on the other hand, do not yet have this notoriety nor the sufficient strength from an SEO point of view to claim to appear on these very competitive terms. In this case, it is better to move towards less competitive keywords such as long-tails or certain very specific keywords which present relatively little competition given the amount of traffic they bring.

Don't forget: an SEO strategy is above all to be considered in the long term, so  don't skip the steps!