Mastering SEO: Choosing Keywords, Understanding Google Rankings, and More


Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical aspect of any online marketing strategy. Choosing the right keywords, understanding how Google ranks websites, and analyzing keyword difficulty can significantly improve your online visibility. This article will cover each of these topics in detail and provide practical tips and statistics to help you make informed decisions for your SEO strategy.

How to Choose Keywords for Your SEO Strategy

The Importance of Keyword Research in SEO

Keyword research is an essential part of any successful SEO strategy. It involves identifying and selecting relevant keywords that potential customers use to find products or services like yours on search engines. According to Ahrefs, 90.63% of content gets no traffic from Google, primarily due to poor keyword selection (source). To avoid this pitfall, consider the following factors when choosing keywords:

a) Relevance: Ensure that the keywords you select are relevant to your business and accurately reflect your offerings.

b) Search Volume: Choose keywords with a decent search volume, as this indicates that users are actively looking for information related to those terms. A study by Ahrefs revealed that the top 1% of content gets 22% of search traffic (source).

c) User Intent: Understand the intent behind a keyword, as this will help you create content that satisfies the user’s needs. According to a study by Think with Google, 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while searching on their smartphones (source).

 Techniques for Effective Keyword Research

To perform keyword research, you can use various tools and techniques, such as:

Google Keyword Planner: This free tool provided by Google helps you find relevant keywords and their search volume (source).
Google Trends: Analyze search trends over time to identify seasonal fluctuations or emerging topics (source).
Competitor Analysis: Investigate your competitors’ keywords to discover new opportunities and understand market trends. SEMRush reports that 37.3% of businesses rely on competitor-based keyword research (source).
Long-tail Keywords: Focus on longer, more specific keywords that are less competitive and easier to rank for. Long-tail keywords account for 70% of all search queries (source).

How Google Ranks Websites

Understanding Google’s Ranking Factors

Google uses over 200 factors to rank websites, but some carry more weight than others. Here are some key factors to consider:

a) Content Quality: High-quality, relevant content is essential for achieving good rankings. Google’s algorithm rewards content that is engaging, informative, and original. The average word count of a top-ranking page is 1,447 words (source).

b) Backlinks: Having a strong backlink profile is crucial for SEO. According to a study by Backlinko, the number of referring domains is the most influential ranking factor, with a correlation of 0.286 (source).

c) Mobile-friendliness: As of 2019, Google uses mobile-first indexing, meaning that it primarily considers a website’s mobile version when ranking it (source).

d) Page Speed: A fast-loading website improves user experience and can contribute to better rankings. Google’s research shows that 53% of mobile users abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load (source).

How to Analyze Keyword Difficulty

Measuring Keyword Competition

Keyword difficulty refers to the level of competition for a specific keyword. Analyzing this metric can help you determine the feasibility

of ranking for a particular term. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating keyword difficulty:

a) Domain Authority (DA): Websites with higher DA are more likely to rank higher in search results. The average DA of top-ranking pages on Google is 60.8 (source).

b) Page Authority (PA): This metric measures the authority of a specific page based on the quality and quantity of its backlinks. A study by Moz found that the average PA of pages ranking in the top 10 results is 37 (source).

c) Content Quality: Assess the quality of the content ranking for your target keyword. High-quality content is more challenging to outrank.

d) On-Page SEO: Analyze the on-page SEO factors, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags, of the top-ranking pages for your target keyword.

Tools for Analyzing Keyword Difficulty

Several SEO tools can help you analyze keyword difficulty, including:

  1. Ahrefs Keyword Explorer: This tool provides a keyword difficulty score on a scale of 0 to 100, making it easy to compare different keywords (source).
  2. Moz Keyword Explorer: Moz’s tool offers a similar keyword difficulty score, along with other metrics such as organic click-through rate (CTR) and priority (source).
  3. SEMRush Keyword Difficulty Tool: SEMRush’s tool provides a percentage-based difficulty score and other useful insights, such as search volume and the number of search results (source).
  4. How to Choose the Right Keywords to Perform Better in Google


Balancing Keyword Metrics for Success

To choose the right keywords for your SEO strategy, it’s essential to balance various metrics, including search volume, keyword difficulty, and user intent. By doing so, you can select keywords that offer a reasonable chance of ranking well while also attracting a significant amount of traffic.

Tips for Choosing High-Performing Keywords

Follow these tips to choose keywords that will help you perform better in Google:

  1. Focus on Long-tail Keywords: As mentioned earlier, long-tail keywords account for 70% of all search queries and are generally less competitive (source).
  2. Prioritize High-Intent Keywords: Target keywords that indicate strong user intent to purchase or engage with your offerings. According to WordStream, conversion rates for high-intent keywords can be as high as 14.6% (source).
  3. Monitor Keyword Performance: Regularly track and analyze your keyword performance to identify trends and make necessary adjustments to your strategy.
  4. Test and Refine: SEO is an ongoing process. Continuously test and refine your keyword choices to improve your rankings and drive more traffic to your site.


Choosing the right keywords, understanding how Google ranks websites, and analyzing keyword difficulty are critical aspects of any successful SEO strategy. By mastering these skills and applying the techniques discussed in this article, you can significantly improve your online visibility and drive more traffic to your website.

Further Reading:

  1. Ahrefs – Keyword Research Guide:
  2. Backlinko – Google Ranking Factors:
  3. Moz – Beginner’s Guide to SEO:
  4. Search Engine Journal – Keyword Difficulty:
  5. SEMRush – Keyword Research Guide: [