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Finding The Question Is The SEO Keyword

Picking The Best Keywords For Your Site

What is the best burger in town?  Thats your keyword, not your burger brand.

Keywords For Google Ranking

SEO efforts always start out with the simplest goal.  Every web site wants to rank for their name.  UltimateSEO.org for instance, most people would say how does it rank for Ultimate SEO?  But thats honestly not of any value, think about it … the only people searching Ultimate SEO are those who already know about you.  More likely you’re the only one searching your brand name unless your a huge company.

Finding Your Keywords

Your name is what I call a vanity keyword.  Others will call it a “Branded Keyword.”  It would be great to rank for it but its only for your peace of mind.  In a recent election I had to explain to the candidate that ranking for his name would be nice but wouldnt he rather rank for every other candidates name on the ballot?

Heres a bit of an exchange I had with a prospective client’s question on a keyword.

Local SEO

Review site…gotcha. So you’d potentially have “New Hope Restaurants” “New Hope Festivals” “What’s Happening Tonight In New Hope” stuff like that are likely going to be the audience’s searches that your site serves.

In those searches you’ll do well if you have good content on the search topic. BUT it’s going to be a struggle to rank for “New Hope PA” like the city government, county, wikipedia, local news, local radio stations, libraries, schools, existing local businesses are all going to be competitors with established backlinks.

“New Hope PA” is not your keyword.  New Hope Places to Get A Beer or Where should I go to dinner in New Hope. Those are the keywords that people looking for a review site would want to see.

New Hope PA is going to be considerably harder to rank than “Best Florist in New Hope”. ranking for that phrase isnt impossible, just the content has to be there to beat out the others. You’re likely better served going for keywords that are “New Hope _______ ” Cause like if I search New Hope PA and just want to see a map …. your site isn’t going to be relevant to me so I’ll skip it and Google keeps tabs on how often people don’t click on your site as a result….and factors that in.

BUT you have a better chance of landing in “New Hope Wedding Chapels ” or “New Hope Churches” if you have a list of those things.

So that is more competitive than a brand. Looking over it here there are 508M pages on the net competing for that term. It is searched 33,000 times a month.

You’re likely to have some difficulty in it because of those 33,000 searches how many are likely going to find the answer to their search on your site?

That’s an important part of the SEO … User Behavior. If we rank you up there you have to have a site that keeps the users engaged on your site for their search or they’ll leave it….enough leave often Google notices and lowers your ran

Whats the question

Your Brand Is The Answer, SEO Is About Finding The Question.  That question is your keyword.


My city councilman Mr. NewGuy isn’t running for reelection after his first term.  A Mr. I’dDoIt is going to run and there are others.  Whats the best keyword in this paragraph for the new candidate?  Its …. likely Mr. NewGuy.  The name of the old council person who isn’t running is likely to be searched this election a lot more than Mr. I’dDoIt.  The new guy is unknown …. he is the answer the question is “Is Mr NewGuy running for council” or “who is replacing Mr NewGuy?” “Why is Mr NewGuy not running”

The person who capitalizes on the question gets to define the answer and that is their brand but it is not their keyword.

Another example … I have a client who keeps saying …. this is my keyword “Best Hairstylist in Lexington near me” He puts Lexington on everything…so much so that his site is literally 5% Lexington.  He calls it local SEO.  Its not though.  If I look through my Google history I never type the city I am in cause like everyone else I think I’m the center of the universe and “Best Martini Near Me” is what I search.  By forcing Lexington into everything he’s kinda requiring people to be self aware that others are not in Lexington.

And Local SEO is important but it IS NOT how many times you repeat the name of your city.  Local SEO is how many other local sites repeat that you’re site is the “The Best Martini” Google understands that the other businesses are in Lexington, and that IS local SEO.  Making the site 5% Lexington more so positions you for searches like “Who founded Lexington” than “Best Martini Bar”.

What do people search?  Thats your keyword.

I can tell you that in Ultimate SEO’s searched phrases on Search Console the word Louisville isn’t on the radar…its understood though that if the person is in Louisville and searching “SEO Agency Near Me” that Ultimate SEO should come up over an agency in Budapest.

Matthew Leffler


Matthew Leffler is a freelance SEO on Upwork.com and SEOClerks.com with 20 years of technical experience and a technical education background. In those years of experience he's worked in several technical roles in informtation technology and software training. Matt has worked at Hewlett-Packard and Gateway Computers. Matthew earned his BSIT, MBA in Technology Management and MEd in Instructional Design. He holds over a dozen active technical certifications including A+, Netowrk+, Security+, Project+, is a Certified Webmaster Professional, and a HDI Help Desk Analyst.

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