How to find keywords for a website + easy mistakes to avoid

One of the questions that often keep my web design clients on edge is wondering how to find keywords for their website. It comes down to researching keyword phrases with the right tools, and then implementing them accurately.

Two entrepreneurs sit cross-legged looking at laptop screens on the floor

Why you need to find keywords for your website

Although a website is one of the best marketing materials for your business, it’s most effective when it helps people find you. That’s where SEO enters the picture.

SEO keywords, when selected and used correctly, take people from Google to your website and into your inbox. It’s free leads — with no money spent besides on your website hosting.

Tips for finding SEO keywords

Use a specific phrase, not just one word

The best keywords are often what’s considered a long-tail phrase. Basically, you don’t want to optimize your website just for “photographer,” but rather, want to use something like, “Arizona wedding photographer.” The more specific you can be, the better.

Optimize for location

If you serve specific locations (like a bakery in Phoenix or a photographer in Salt Lake), you’ll want to find keywords that include your location. This will bring local clients to you!

Use keyword research tools for statistics

Now, don’t just come up with a specific phrase without looking it up! I recommend using a tool like Ubersuggest to double check that the keyword you have in mind gets a lot of monthly searches (ahem, more traffic) and has medium to low competition if at all possible (which means that it’s easier to rank and get found. Yes!).

Actually using the keyword

Use the keyword verbatim in on-page text

When you are optimizing actual text content, it’s best to use the keyword you found verbatim. For example, if you found that “Arizona wedding photographer” is the best keyword phrase for your home page, try to use that phrase exactly. No dashes are necessary when it’s an actual word in the content!

Optimize your images

Once you’ve picked your keywords, you can optimize the images too! Learn how with this image optimization post.

SEO keyword mistakes to avoid

Don’t use the same keyword on multiple pages

Using the same keyword phrase on multiple pages just makes you compete against yourself. Pick a separate, distinct phrase for every page. Let’s say that you choose “Arizona wedding photographer” for your home page. This means that you’ll want to use something like “Arizona wedding photos” for your gallery page.

Don’t over-optimize

You should definitely use the keyword you chose all over the page of your choice, but don’t use it too much. Typically, it’s best to use the keyword in the title, url, introduction paragraph and then a couple of times throughout the rest of the page. You can also use the keyword in a few image titles.

Let me know if you need help with the keywords! I’m happy to share my preferred experts when it comes to SEO.