You may think you are choosing a good keyword to target, but closer examination may reveal otherwise. Vice versa, a keyword you deem to be weak may actually have hidden strengths waiting to be uncovered. Consider the SWOT analysis to achieve this.
SWOT analysis aims to break down an element by looking at its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Use it to examine keywords you are considering to target to fully gauge their effectiveness.
List what you understand to be the strengths of the word(s) you have picked. These can be broad strengths or more niche and specified to your particular business. You should be able to list some strengths for your chosen word(s). If not, why are you choosing to target them? Really think as to what the value of these words are and how by targeting them they can add value to your business.
The obvious opposite to strengths, it is not uncommon for keywords to carry weaknesses with them. This may be that it is an industry-specific word or term that the layperson may not use or understand, yet it is the best word to describe your business/products/services. Being aware of any weaknesses means that you can work to lessen the blow (such as explaining in more detail with the meta description or microscopy). In this way, you prevent your business from suffering from a sucker punch of an unexpected setback when targeting a keyword and not foreseeing any problems to work around.
If you are to target this word or words, what opportunities does it or they afford your business? You may discover a keyword that your competitors do not have a lot of content about. Pounce on this opportunity and become associated with this keyword. In a similar fashion, if you are confident in your website and overall SEO arsenal; this in itself gives your business an opportunity to target more competitive keywords and dominate the lesser-used ones online.
Obvious keywords court threats from the competition online. If you are an ice-cream company and you are targeting the word ‘ice-cream’, you can expect to be in competition with thousands of ice-cream vendors online. When you identify a threat such as this, elucidate on what you still want to target it. In the case of ‘ice cream’, it is justifiable to target this as a broad keyword position at the starting and wider end of your sales funnel.