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Finding the best keyword strategy

Doing keyword research is a vital part of your content SEO strategy, but can be a long and difficult process. It’s just not easy to get into the heads of your audience: what words and phrases could they be using? What is their intention when searching? Another important aspect to check is whether it’s realistic to try to rank for a certain keyword or keyphrase, especially if there’s heavy competition.

In this Ask Yoast, I’ll get into a specific case of a business aimed at reaching people who want to start a company in Vietnam. What are the most important things to keep in mind?

Brian Ho emailed us his question on keywords:

I’m trying to reach out to people around the world who want to open a company in Vietnam. Does that mean that I need to add the word ‘Vietnam’ to all my focus keywords?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer to finding the best keyword strategy!

Finding the best keyword strategy

“Well, you don’t have to add it to all of them, but ‘Vietnam’ is probably one of your important keywords at that point. So if you think about ‘start business,’ then yes, ‘start business in Vietnam’ is probably the focus keyword that you want to optimize for, not ‘start business,’ because then your competition will be way, way, way bigger.

At the same time, there are reasons why people would want to move to Vietnam, and they don’t know that when they’re searching. So you probably also have keywords that relate to starting a business, and that might actually make you want to convince them that they should do that in Vietnam, but they wouldn’t use the word ‘Vietnam’ when searching.

So think about your keyword research. We have a course about that if you into that: our SEO copywriting course has a whole module about all of this. This is not something that you should just add, because just adding ‘Vietnam’ to your focus keyword is not going to change anything. You really should think about your strategy, like: “Okay, which keywords do I want to be found for, which topic should I write about?”. And then, based on that, decide your focus keywords. Good luck.”

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13 Responses to Finding the best keyword strategy

  1. Android Apps
    Android Apps  • 6 years ago

    Great information, thanks for sharing,,,,

  2. Cricket
    Cricket  • 6 years ago

    Your page information is very unique and interesting i am happy to be a part of your blog. Thanks

  3. Ali Babazade
    Ali Babazade  • 6 years ago

    Hi, if the keyword is not used in the title
    Can it be used in the focal keyword?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Hi Ali! Well, technically, yes, you can use a focus keyword that isn’t in your title. But that isn’t necessarily a good idea, since the title is one of the important places that Google checks to see what a page is about. Check out this article if you want to know more about titles: :)

  4. Boty
    Boty  • 6 years ago

    Hello Joost de Valk,

    Keyword Research is indeed very vital to write a good SEO Article. I have a question of my own.

    Is there a way Yoast can fetch Data from Google Webmaster tools to show me which keywords I should include in my article for internal links?


    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Hey Boty, if only it were that easy! :) But I’m afraid that’s not possible… So you’ll have to rely on your own keyword research. By the way, if you want an easy, superfast way to create internal links, check out the awesome internal linking tool of Yoast SEO premium! Read more about that here:

  5. Farooq Nawaz
    Farooq Nawaz  • 6 years ago

    Hi, can you explain how to be found for a keyword that is not a part of the root domain??

  6. Jyoti
    Jyoti  • 6 years ago

    This is nice information to learn seo and selection of keyword to target.
    Thanks for sharing

  7. Sharon
    Sharon  • 6 years ago

    Thanks for offering this opportunity, Valk. I will send in some questions soon.

  8. Shane
    Shane  • 6 years ago

    Hey Joost,

    I’ve been loving the Yoast plugin, but I find it difficult to figure out what keyword to focus on for each article, especially if I write the article to address a common issue amount our readers, not necessarily with SEO in mind right from the beginning. Do you have any tips for that?

    Also, I’m a bit confused about the term “keyword.” You’re using more of a phrase there: “start business in Vietnam.” That’s considered a keyword, yeah?

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Hi Shane, thanks for your questions, and great to hear you’re loving the Yoast plugin!
      You’re absolutely right: a phrase can also be a keyword (in that case it can also be called a keyphase) Marieke recently wrote an article about long keyphrases you may find helpful:
      Finding the right keywords can be hard, and it’s a process that requires you to regularly evaluate what is and isn’t working. One tip that might help you in this case: if you’re writing to address a common, specific problem among your readers, try to get into their heads and figure out what words or phrases they’ll type into google to find a solution to that problem, and optimize your post for that. Good luck! :)

      • Lisa
        Lisa  • 6 years ago

        Hi there! I am struggling myself with the wording of similar keyphrases for our website that publishes longer news articles and analysis. Often I would guess certain keyphrases that users would search for, but most of the time the exact word order of that keyphrase is not found in the text because that would make the text weird. Most of the time there are other words in between. So I never get a green light. For example an article about homelessness policy in city X. I would want to put the keyphrases: ‘Homelessness X’, ‘Homelessness policy X’ and so on. But the author of the article would have added adjectives in between in the text and title. No one would ever search including those adjectives.

        Or take the example of this blogpost. People would also Google ‘start business Vietnam’ without the word ‘in’. But then those exact three words ‘start business Vietnam’ would never be found in the article or title. How important is it to add the word ‘in’ in this case?


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