SEO and Keywords: What Makes a Good Keyword?

SEO and Keyword Research

One of the foundations of good SEO is choosing the correct keywords. Misguided keyword research could lead to your website not ranking or not getting the results you set out to achieve in your strategy. Good keyword research takes a little more than hard data; you need intuition to lead you to the correct keywords for your company.

That’s where a digital marketing company like JumpSIX Marketing comes in. We’ve carefully constructed our SEO keyword strategy, and continue to innovate to make sure our clients reach the right customers while also making sure their website preforms in Google search engine rankings. Today, in our blog, we’ll cover some of the best practices for keyword research to give you an idea of how to choose keywords for your company.

What Makes a Good Keyword?

First, we’ll get a common misconception about SEO and keyword research out of the way. When we say keyword, we don’t mean it in a literal sense. Many people think you can only have one single word as a keyword, when in fact, it’s more effective to have several. For example, if you were looking for sneakers for your child you wouldn’t type in “sneakers.” More likely than not, you would search “sneakers for kids” or “children’s shoes.” As long as you’re using phrases that are relevant to what people are searching, you are effectively utilizing keywords for SEO.

Another example would be if you were looking for a real estate agent. If you lived in Springfield, Missouri, you would probably search “real estate agent in Springfield, MO,” instead of just “real estate agent.”

Keyword research can be challenging, especially when you have to consider keywords at a large and small scale. To learn more about the volumes of keywords, read this blog: SEO Keyword Research: Global and Local Keywords


So we’ve used the word ‘relevant’ a few times, and that’s because Google values relevancy above all else when it comes to SEO and search engine rankings. Google works for the user, not the company selling their products or services. This means you can’t just use keywords that people are searching for if it’s not relevant to your business.

Let’s say your company is a designer boutique for women’s clothing. You wouldn’t want “men’s clothing” to be one of your keywords, despite the fact that many people are searching for this term. It’s misleading and Google will penalize you for it.

How Broad or Specific Should My Keywords Be?

Now we’re getting into the section of keyword research that most people have trouble understanding the first time around. You want to rank high for your business and services, but depending on your business or service you might have some unbeatable competition.

Let’s go back to the shoe example. Let’s say you want to be on the top of Google’s search engine for the keyword “athletic shoes.” Are you Nike or Adidas? If so, could you send the JumpSIX Marketing team some free shoes? If not, you’ll never rank number one organically for the keyword athletic shoes. Instead, you should focus on ranking for keywords that will help you on a smaller scale. A better keyword would be “athletic shoes in Springfield, MO,” or wherever your store is located. If you go too broad, you’ll be trying to compete with well established, national or even international brands.

Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t trying to rank for the word “athletic shoes” at all. You’ll notice the keyword “athletic shoes in Springfield, MO” still utilizes the keyword “athletic shoes.” Google will pick up on this, and you’ll still be able to rank higher for the broad keyword than normal. That’s what high-quality SEO is all about, making you rank for a multitude of relevant keywords.

Put Yourself in the Shoes of the User

Another concept that people have trouble with is considering what real users are searching for. Let’s say you sell granola bars that are gluten-free and use locally sourced ingredients. You decide you want to rank for “gluten-free locally sourced granola bars.” The problem is, people just aren’t searching for this term. This renders the keyword ineffective. No matter how badly you want to rank for that keyword, people simply aren’t typing it in their search bar. Ranking for it would be a waste of your SEO resources because you wouldn’t be getting any customers out of it.

If a keyword has low search volume, it isn’t worth using, even if it perfectly describes your product. You’re much better served by using the keyword “gluten-free granola bars” because it’s a term that people will actually search for. A good SEO strategy considers the mind of the user first.

Let JumpSIX Marketing Help with Your SEO Needs

JumpSIX Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency. We can help you with SEO, SEM, social media marketing, website design, and more. We stay on top of the latest SEO trends in order to continue innovating and give our clients the results they’re looking for. We can do extensive keyword research and implement an SEO strategy that meets your unique needs. Contact us today for more information or view the JumpSIX Marketing website.

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