Do your keywords tick all the right boxes?

keyword checkboxes

This is a guest post by Ben Hook, owner of Navaro, a UK SEO company and Algobreaker, a website providing SEO tips to help you increase your online presence.

Getting keyword research right can save you so much wasted time and spend when it comes to SEO, but so often people try to optimize for phrases that just don’t work for them.


Here I want to go over a few filters I place against my keywords in order to evaluate both their effectiveness, and their compatibility with an SEO campaign.


The three questions that any keyword has to answer yes to before I consider it are as follows:

  • Is it going to drive enough traffic?
  • Is it going to drive relevant traffic?
  • Is it achievable?

If the keyword works across these three factors, it’s probably one you want to be working with. People will often choose keywords that only tick one of these boxes, and wonder why their SEO campaigns are failing. So let’s have a look at why each of these questions are so important.

Is it going to drive enough traffic ?

When people think of keyword research, the most important things is usually to make sure you are targeting a phrase that will drive traffic. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because you use that term, other people will.

If the keywords you want to target don’t drive any traffic, there’s no point in optimizing for them, no matter how useful you think they are.

Is it going to drive relevant traffic ?

Traffic is only useful if it converts. 99% of the time, it’s not the traffic you’re after; it’s the conversions that come from the traffic. This is why it is vital that the keywords you optimize for will not only drive a decent amount of traffic, but that this traffic is likely to convert in to sales / leads etc.

In most cases it is worth optimizing for a term that would drive less traffic if the traffic is more likely to convert.

Is it achievable ?

It’s tempting to think big, especially when it comes to keywords, but don’t underestimate the competition. Really consider the amount of time and budget you have for an SEO campaign before you go chasing the impossible keywords.

It’s better to be position 1 on a specific term than page 3 on a broad one. There is no reason why you can’t step up the campaign when you have achieved the smaller goals.

Careful consideration of the three points above will help you decide on the right keywords, and help you to make the most of your SEO campaigns, reducing wasted spend and increasing that bottom line.

Recently Google Webmaster tools also introduced Keyword Variants for helping out website owners to analyze the effectiveness of their interlinking posts.

Do have think your website’s Keywords are ticking all the right boxes ??


  1. Nice tips. Choosing right keywords and then optimizing it is of course very important and difficult task. It determines the future of a blog. That is why a lot of tools and plugins are developed to make this process more effective.

  2. Not a bad little basic guide to help beginners think about keyword research.

  3. Hi Ben

    Sometimes I wonder if it is more important to have a high Page Rank for a very limited set of keywords. My old company website is now a PR 3 site and I have idea why since its Alexa ranking is close to 8 million. I guess the fact that I show up on the top page of Google for some keywords is a factor. I think the keywords themselves matter too.

    1. Great tips proper keyword research and knowledge is so important these days and these time.

  4. Hey Ben,I am a technology blogger and don’t know how to monetize my blog, i am getting 20k+ monthly visitor, almost all related to mobile phones but have no adsense Any tips?

  5. Hi,

    I thinks Ben pointed out some of best points that has to be discussed more.I think keywords still play vital role in blog success.Goyal also pointed out the reality.

  6. Hi i think mostly key word is find with the help of google Edward all is correct in my site thanks for it.

  7. Thanks all of you for your comments.

    Goyal – It’s worth considering that just because you rank well for a keyword doesn’t mean that people are actually searching for it. It would be worth using a tool like Adwords Keyword Tool to check the estimated amount of searches performed each month. Also pagerank and Alexa rank work independently, and although PR is intended to be a representation of the random surfer model, a high PR doesn’t necessarily equate to a high alexa ranking and vice versa.

    Rakesh – Not sure about how you want to monetize your blog, I see you are already displaying ads on it.

  8. Yup, I really do believe my blogs keywords are ticking the right boxes. Along with these keywords, I am working hard on my blogs SEO so that I can get the benefit of getting into the front page for highly competitive keywords too. Anyways, Thanks for sharing an useful article.

  9. good share ben

    keep up the good work

  10. this is the first thing which any web developer would do for his site or blog….its always important….

  11. Keywords are very important if you want to get some traffic from Google. Choosing the right ones can be done very easy with Adwords. So I recommend doing a good research first.

  12. I can give a great example of what i call ‘converting keywords’. I have a Will writing website that sells Wills online. I also have a sister site that provides extensive information about Will writing however each site performs very differently for what i would call converting and non converting keywords. My main site is SEO’d for the converting keywords like ‘make a Will’. However my sister site is SEO’d to receive traffic from those who are looking to find out further information about Will writing as a whole. So these people may not be looking to write a Will right at this moment but i do still provide them with a link to my Will writing site if they feel that the info i have given them on the sister site has answered any queries.

  13. nice article, howeevr i would like to add pne more point > IS it going to generate leads……there is no point competing for keywords which will give u traffic but will not pay good…so profitable words are also the key along with competition 🙂 just my 2 cents 🙂

  14. hey Ben I will definitely keep these tips in mind next I am caught with keyword drama!! keep it up thanks for the insight!!

  15. Great tips proper keyword research and knowledge is so important these days.

  16. This is something I’ve battled with. The right key words are way to competitive and the non-competitive key words don’t drive the right traffic. I feel there’s a happy medium but creating relevant blogs focused on those long strings can be challenging.

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