How to Determine Keyword Value for an Effective SEO Strategy

As part of forming any comprehensive SEO strategy, you want to ensure you’re carrying out extensive keyword research

Keyword research guides almost every decision you make on your website.

By understanding what your potential customers are looking for on search engines, you can tailor your content and business decisions to fulfil their search queries. It will also help you to reach a wider target audience and drive more sales.

When your keywords match with searches being carried out by searchers, especially those with transactional intent, you increase your site traffic and conversions. 

But how do you know which keywords are best to implement on your pages? 

Which keywords are best?

And which ones are going to give you the most value at different stages of your strategy?

Enter keyword value.

Keyword value is an important player in the formation of your SEO strategy

Determining which keywords will give you the highest return on investment will help you to create an actionable plan focused on the phrases that will drive the highest return.

You’ll know what keywords perform  and be able to guide future content decisions around the gains you have already made and what is most likely to perform well next.

What is Keyword Value?

So, you’ve created an extensive list of raw keywords which are related to your website and the products or services you sell.

keyword list

You may have even categorised them into short and long-tail keywords.

But how do you know which ones are going to actually have an impact on your long-term strategy? Which ones are you going to be able to rank for with the resources you have?

This is where keyword value comes in. 

Keyword value

Keyword value is the process of weighing up the benefits of ranking for a particular word or phrase on your website, whilst looking at return on investment and your resources. 

Value can vary

A keyword’s value can depend on a number of factors and will change according to your website and what your goals are. 

For example, if your goal is to drive more traffic to your website, and you have the team, time and resources available to create regular content, then targeting a keyword with high search volume would be beneficial to you.

Creating content to nail a keyword

For example, you could create a series of blogs which covers all of the key questions around that keyword area, then create a guide which includes all the information.

Alternatively, if you want to increase conversions, but you don’t have a large team to help with content creation, then ranking for a long-tail keyword which is tailored to your niche may be more valuable to your website’s current SEO goals.

Ultimately, you want to rank highly for the most valuable keywords; that is, the keywords which will drive more valuable traffic to your website and complete the desired user journey.

4 Ways to Determine Keyword Value

There are many keyword research tools which are available on the market. And they can be great at helping you to understand what your current target audience is searching for. As well as how many people in the world are interested in your products or service.

However, although these are useful, they can’t offer insights into how valuable a keyword is to you. 

Determining keywords value to you. e.g. plumbers services, vs plumbers services Devon for a Devon based business.

What these keyword research tools don’t understand is what your business is really about. They lack the emotional intelligence to truly understand what your business stands for, what your goals for online are, or what capacity you have to target them.

So, rather than simply knowing what keywords can return the highest volume, you want to know which are most valuable to you and your business. Are they relevant? Are they specific to your niche?

There are a few tactics you can try yourself. They’re very easy to do and will give you great insights into what results they can deliver for your website.

1. Define your business

An important part of calculating keyword value is determining the relevance of them. That is, are they describing what your business is?

Before anything else in your keyword research, you need to have a solid understanding of what your business is. What do you have to offer prospective customers that your competitors do not?

which does my business have to offer

You can do so by asking questions such as:

  •  What is my business about? What words would I use to describe it?
  •  How does my business stand out from the competition?
  •  What is my website about? Does it reflect the entirety of my business?
  •  What promises do I offer on my website? 
  •  Who do I want to engage with my business?
  •  What is my purpose for having a website? 
  •  Do I have specific SEO goals?

These questions can help you to better match keywords to your website’s content. They can also provide you with the framework for your overall strategy.

You’ll know exactly who you are, who you want to target, and have a clear view of what your SEO success may look like in the long term.

2. Evaluate your website

The next stage in determining keyword value is to take the list of words and phrases you have created and weigh up their relevance to the content you already have on your website.

When looking at your list of raw keyword data, go through them one by one. Ask yourself whether or not they are similar to or already appear within the content on your website.  

evaluate existing content

If they are relevant and applicable to the content you have – especially the long tail terms – then they probably add high value to your site and could be easy wins in terms of ranking. Especially if you already pepper similar keywords throughout your content.  

Determining new keywords

If your keywords are completely new to you and your site, when evaluating their value, you should think about:

  •  Can your target market find what they are looking for on your website when they use the keywords you’re considering?
  •  Will your target market be happy with the results they find when they search these keywords?
  •  Will the traffic which finds your website through these keywords be likely to encourage CTAs, such as purchases?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then go right ahead and include the considered keyword in your content.

Even if the keyword doesn’t match any of your current website content, you should still ask yourself whether it is relevant. If it serves your business, and has a decent search volume amount, creating content around it will be valuable to your site. 

That’s the great thing about doing keyword research. From understanding what your audience is interested in, it can present new opportunities and direction for your website. This will in turn improve your user experience, which can provide your customers with an even greater satisfaction.

3. Competition analysis

Aside from looking at your own website, a major part of keyword research involves conducting a detailed competition analysis

Look at the competition

It’s something you’ve probably done throughout your business. But, for SEO, if done effectively, you can discover some priceless insights into what keywords they are targeting and how best you can try to knock them off the top spot.

But, in order to do this, you need to know which websites are already ranking for any keywords you want to use. And then determine whether you have the capacity to battle them for their rankings.

If you can suss out how challenging it is going to be to rank for a certain keyword, you can alter your overall SEO strategy accordingly. Ultimately, you can stop yourself from wasting time. Especially if you want to target the highly sought after short-tail keywords.

Instead, you can streamline your SEO strategy in a way that helps you rank for long tail keywords and increases your overall rankings. That way you’ll be in a stronger position to fight for the more competitive keywords in the future.

Although there is nothing wrong with using high-ranking and lucrative keywords, knowing what you’re up against puts you in the best position for success. 

You can do this quite simply by carrying out Google searches with the keywords you are using or want to use. Check out the top results, these are your biggest competitors.

Look at your competitors content

Next, take a look at the types of content that your competition has created. Think about how you may be able to offer something even more informative, engaging, and relevant for the user. All whilst incorporating your target keyword. 

Think about:

  •  What is missing from their content? 
  •  Does their content address the keyword in the easiest way?
  •  Is there another angle you can target your content at? 
  •  Is the content as up to date as it could be?

If you’re finding sparks of creativity from asking these questions, you have a window of opportunity. Namely, to try and knock your competitors off their rankings.

4. Run a trial PPC advertisement

Run trial ppc campaign on keywords

If you have room in your budget to test the waters, then consider search engine marketing (SEM). It can be a more effective, time-saving way of determining keyword value.

Buying test traffic through a PPC (pay per click) campaign is a great way to figure out a keyword’s value. Especially if it is a keyword which doesn’t yet have a page ranking for it. 

Using Google AdWords, you can customise your advertisement to only show your webpage to a user who has entered an “exact match” – that is, only to people who search for your exact keyword, with no variations.

Over time, you can then track the number of impressions and conversion rates to determine its value and whether it will be a worthy return on investment. 

These are just a few ways you can trial during your keyword research to determine if you want to target them in your overall SEO strategy. 

This keyword is the key target for my business

But remember...

It’s important to note that though these tactics can give you an estimation of keyword value, they are only best-guesses. Until you properly implement them into your on-page SEO, you won’t know how beneficial they really are.  

Remember not to give up if you don’t see the results you want straightaway. SEO is a complicated and time-consuming process. It will involve a lot of planning, research and creating before you even start to see the long-term effects.


Though you may have finished your keyword value research and began to implement your SEO strategy, it doesn’t mean your keyword valuations are over. 

Marketing is a fast-paced industry. And digital marketing moves even faster. With social media trends and influencers promoting new products, services and lifestyles, consumers’ demands are evolving at a faster pace than ever before. 

Therefore, it’s vital that you continue to evaluate your keywords throughout your online strategy. Ensure you’re adapting and creating your content to suit the demands of your target audience.

If you’re not, and no one is paying attention to it, then what’s the point in creating it?

Create content with purpose

Remember, to be successful with SEO, you’ve got to be relevant.

Outsourcing your keyword research to a marketing consultant

As you’ve probably gathered, keyword research and evaluation isn’t just a one-off process. 

Yes, it will play a huge role at the start of your overall SEO strategy formation, but to have long term success with it you will need to continually research and adapt in order to best meet consumer demands. 

This can be a time-consuming process and one which may be better when outsourced to a marketing consultant like myself. With over a decade’s experience working in SEO to grow businesses online, my team and I know how to research and choose the best keywords for long term success. 

Why not get in contact today to hear about some of the companies I’ve helped in the past. Even if my services aren’t of interest to you, I’d still be happy to offer some guidance on how best to target your SEO strategy.

About Murray Dare

Murray Dare is a Marketing Consultant, Strategist and Director at Dare Media. Murray helps UK businesses find better ways to connect with their audiences through targeted content marketing strategies.