Which Keywords Are Best To Target: How To & Why Guide

There is not doubt that Google keeps all marketers on their toes as it keeps rollin’ out one algorithm update after another.

In all honesty my heart skips a beat every time I hear of another update.

There is however one thing in my SEO toolbox which has stayed consistent throughout all these Google algorithm updates for all marketers looking to optimize their websites: keyword research.

In this article we’ll go over:

  • Which keywords are best to target
  • What is keyword research
  • An easy and quick way to conduct your own seo keyword research
  • Three main elements of finding the right keyword to target

Ready? Let’s roll…

Which keywords are best to target?

The best keywords to target for your blog or website have specific problems on the search results page. Your job as an SEO is to to identify a SERP where there is a clear problem or issue which you are going to address such as:

  • content ranking in top 10 spots is old and outdated
  • the content quality of top 10 results is poor and not thorough
  • the word count of the articles ranking in the top is very low
  • the title of the content ranking high is not exactly when was entered into the query

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is a process by which you research and identify search terms which your target customers type into search engines such as Google so that you can strategically rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP) with your own blog or website.

Here is a very practical example, let’s say you want to rank #1 or high up on Google for “productivity app“, you need to figure if:

  1. This term has a decent search volume and clicks from Google – i.e. a good amount of people actually search and click over to what they find on the search result
  2. This term is not crazy competitive – i.e. you have a shot at ranking for it
  3. MOST IMPORTANT QUALIFIER: There is a problem with the search result – there is something wrong which you identify with the search engine results page such as:
    • Titles of the articles showing up on Google do not fit the intent of the search
    • Articles are outdated
    • Relevance gap – info showing up on Google is not relevant to the search
    • Content showing up on Google is not detailed enough, it’s under 800 words
    • Forum threads are showing up on Google such as Quora, Reddit, Twitter
    • Problems with Google Page Speed Score

If you identify a term which has a good search volume and clicks, keyword difficulty is not very competitive, and has a clear issue or problem with the search results which you found – you’ve struck gold! Typically SEO consultants call a keyword like this – long tail keyword – I call them pure gold! 🙂


Quick Video Demo

Here is a quick video of how I use TopicRanker.com to identify issues and problems with search results:


How TopicRanker Uncovers Easy To Rank Keywords

Here are all the different ways TopicRanker.com uses to find which keywords are best to target:

1. Titles of article in Google results are mis-matching with search intent

2. Domain authority of websites in results on 1st page of Google is lower than yours

3. Forum websites showing on on 1st page of Google – Quora, Medium, Twitter, Facebook etc.

4. E-commerce sites showing up on 1st page of Google

5. Word count of articles showing up is below 800 words

6. Old content – content is 6 or older months

7. Poor content quality in the article

8. Poor Google Page Speed Insights score

Here is how a SEO by the name of Niche Site Lady described how she finds which keywords are best to target:

1. Do the titles match the keyword?
If you search for “How long to drive across Scotland?”
But the articles are about “How to visit Scotland”
Then that’s a really good sign that you can win!
Zero competition keywords are gold.


2. DR of each site on page 1

Ideally, I want the domain rating of most to be lower than mine.
I use the ahrefs SERP overlay tool to show this right on the page.
(Please comment if you find it another way for free)


3. Are there forums on page 1?

If I see Reddit, Quora, or niche forums then I know I can beat these.
Google only ranks forums if there are no half-decent articles.


4. Are e-commerce sites on page 1?
Depending on the keyword, this can be a bad sign, as it may mean that you’ve misunderstood the search intent. Commercial intent vs. informational keywords are different.
But if you want to write ‘Best X for Y’ then it can be good as it shows nobody else has done it.


5. What’s the word count of the top 5 articles?

I open each in a new tab and use the SEO Minion chrome extension to give me the word count.
I love it when they’re short.


6. What’s the content quality like?

While each page is open I look at:
– Is it poorly written?
– Big chunks of text?
– Stock photos?
– Bad grammar?
– Not enough headings?
We can beat that!

Now let’s look at elements of keyword research.

Three Elements of Keyword Research

There are three main elements to pay attention to when conducting keyword research.


Every website has a popularity score, Moz DA score, Ahrefs DR score or SemRush DR score are the three main ways marketers measure authority of a website. The authority for all three is measured from 0 to 100. You can use either one of these tools to measure the authority of your site and your competitors.

I like to use Moz DA because it’s been around the longest and in my opinion the best measure of authority.

Here is how I do keyword research using Authority as a qualifier:

  1. Install Moz bar extension for my browser
  2. Check and find Moz DA of my own blogMoz DA is 32.
  3. Brainstorm 5-10 ideas for keywords which my customers might type into search engine
  4. Google one of those keywords, let’s say its:  best productivity apps 2022
  5. Take a look at all the Google search results and their Moz DA to see if there is anything close to mine.
  6. If I do not see any Moz DAs on 1st page of Google which are in the range of my own – Moz DA 32 – I will have a tough time ranking for this term
  7. I must find results on SERP which have a Moz DA close to mine or lower – ie. Moz DA 35 or lower.
  8. Rinse and repeat!

Volume and clicks

The next thing to check is how popular is the search term I have in Google search. Does it get at least 50 or 100 people a month searching for it? How about 500? I do not want to go after a term that does not get any people searching for it. At the same time going after a very high volume keyword is usually not the best idea because it is usually very competitive and very broad  so it would take a very long time (1-2 years) to rank for it and the traffic would not be targeted.

Here is how I do keyword research using Authority as a qualifier:

  1. Install a keyword research tool KeywordsEverywhere for my browser and enable it
  2. Brainstorm a list of 5-10 ideas for important and relevant keywords for your business  which your customers might type into search engines
  3. Google one of those keywords, let’s say its:  best productivity apps 2022
  4. Check the volume of the keyword up top to see if it’s in 50-500/mo range
  5. Take a look at suggested terms on the right hand side to find related keyword suggestions
  6. Click on related terms to see if they are a good fit for your target keyword


Make no mistake – Google ranks content based on how relevant it is to the search intent – in other words your content will only rank high on Google if it meets the needs of the people searching for information about a specific keyword. The intent of the Google search could change as well so your job is to keep up to date on what types of information people Googling for something are actually looking for.

Keep in mind Google is keeping track of how many times your piece of content shows up on their Google search results vs. other results and how many people actually click through on your result vs. other results as well as how long people spend on your website or blog consuming the content. All three of these metrics show how truly relevant your content really is.

Your content must be the best resource out there for the information your target market is searching for. If you went to court and tried to prove a case that your content deserves to be #1 on Google because it’s the most relevant you should have no trouble doing so.

Here is how to think about relevancy:

Related Tools to check out

There are a few tools I recommend you check out:

Google search console – monitor which keywords you are already ranking for and you can optimize

Google analytics – essentially for you to monitor your search traffic and impact of your SEO efforts

Google keyword planner / Google ads keyword planner- similar to KeywordsEverywhere tool I suggested above – simple way to find related keyword ideas and their search volume

Moz keyword explorer – a simple seo tool to find a specific seed keyword, targeted keyword as well as just keyword ideas, very similar to KeywordsEverywhere


Over to you

This is not the most detailed or definitive guide on how to do keyword research and find keywords to target but it gives you a good idea of how to start!

Most people out there trying to rank for keywords simply come up with an idea for a specific keyword and forget to check to see if this is something they have a decent shot at ranking for or whether it gets any clicks or volume.

Hopefully now you know better!

The important part is to be able to start somewhere and have a a general idea of how to qualify a keyword idea as a ranking potential for your blog.

I’d love to answer any questions you have about keyword research in the comments below! Feel free to leave your keyword ideas and your domain URL in the comments below, I’ll let you know if you have a good shot at ranking.

Find and rank for easy-to-rank keywords personalized for your domain.