How To Choose Yoast Focus Keywords: A Guide To Keyword Research And Learning The Competition In Google Search Results

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If you’re using Yoast, you’re probably familiar with setting a focus keyword so you can optimize content for green lights.

These should not be guessed. You don’t want to create content for a keyword you’ll never rank for, or have to go back and change content. We need to know WHAT people are searching (keyword research) and whether your site is capable of ranking for it (keyword competition). A little research can easily get you on page 1, and should be done before writing content… writing about ‘how to get out of debt’ vs. ‘how to get out of debt on one income‘ is different.

I wrote a definitive Yoast tutorial that shows you how to configure the ideal settings, verify Google Search Console and fix crawl errors, optimize content (there’s more to it than green lights), and add accelerated mobile pages (AMP). Be sure to check it out when you’re done.

At the end of the day, keywords are just topics. If the topic is being searched a lot and already has strong content in search results, it’s probably competitive (especially if your site has low authority without many backlinks). If two topics are different enough, create a page for each.


1. Keyword Research Tools

  • Answer The Public – visual keyword map broken down into questions, prepositions, and comparisons. Keywords are pulled from Google Autocomplete. The greener the circle, the more searches the keyword has.
  • Keywords Everywhere – Chrome Extension that shows you the monthly volume, CPC, and organic competition when searching keywords in Google, Google Autocomplete, YouTube, Amazon, Moz, and other popular websites.
  • MozBar – Google any keyword and see each result’s DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) which are core indicators of how competitive a keyword is. Try competing with websites who have similar domain authority.
  • Google Autocomplete – cool tricks like using the underline character _ to have Google fill-in-the-blank. If you search Chicago _ Photographer, you will see wedding, newborn, photography, and other types of photography services.
  • Moz Keyword Explorer – similar to Google Keyword Planner (only better) as it’s designed specifically for SEO while Keyword Planner is designed for AdWords. Moz Keyword Planner shows you the competition for organic results based on each result’s links, domain authority, etc. While Keyword Planner mainly uses CPC (cost per click) based on their advertising data.
  • HubShout WebGrader – see all keywords you (and competitors) rank for. Includes other metrics like each website’s domain authority and # of backlinks.
  • Google Trends – shows history of keyword volume for Google, YouTube, other mediums. See trends for specific geographies, and questions people are asking.


1.1. Answer The Public

The coolest keyword research tool is definitely Answer The Public. Search a keyword and it generates a map of keywords being searched in Google Autocomplete. The greener the circle, the more searches that keyword has. It also breaks keywords down into specific categories (questions, prepositions, comparisons). Then it breaks them down even further (below is an example of “question keywords” about “Yoast” and I can see all the whats, hows, wheres, etc).

Question keywords (great way to make sure your content answers people’s questions)…

Yoast Keywords – AnswerThePublic

Preposition keywords…

Preposition Keywords – Answer The Public

Comparison keywords…

Comparison Keywords – Answer The Public


1.2. Keywords Everywhere

Keywords Everywhere lets you Google any keyword (in Google, YouTube, Amazon, Etsy and other search engines), while showing each keyword’s monthly searches, cost-per-click (CPC) and competition. Combine this with MozBar (the next tool I cover) and it’s a killer combination.

Keywords Everywhere Autocomplete

YouTube Keyword Competition

Amazon Keywords

Etsy Keywords


1.3. MozBar

MozBar’s Chrome Extension lets you Google any keyword and see each result’s DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority). Higher numbers = higher competition, and you want to try to compete with websites that have similar domain authority – check yours here. You can increase domain authority by getting more quality links (eg. by creating awesome content).

Mozbar Keyword Competition

MozBar Tips

  • Learn your DA using Link Explorer and compete for keywords in your range
  • Broad phrases usually have high DA + PA, long-tail phrases have low DA + PA
  • Build your DA by getting more links to your site (through awesome content)
  • Websites (especially new ones) will have low DA, so target very specific phrases
  • You can build PA by improving the content and pointing internal links to the page

Combine Keywords Everywhere with MozBar to see a nice glimpse of your competition…

Keyword Competition

Avoid Keywords That Show Strong Content
The best opportunities are when you Google a keyword, weak or irrelevant content appears in the top results. Just Google the keyword and skim through the top results to see if people cover the topic extensively. If not, that means it’s the perfect opportunity for you to rank high.

Weak Search Results

Avoid Competing With Authority Websites

  • and so forth…


1.4. Google Autocomplete

Go to and start typing in a keyword to have Google complete the phrase (remember, you’re looking for long-tail phrases usually with 3+ words since those are much less competitive). You can also use an underscore character _ anywhere in the phrase and Google will fill in the blank. You will need to END on the underscore character for that method. If you don’t see the full dropdown menu with all the keywords, try using an Incognito tab.


Try using different variations, like plurals


Or different word ordering

Google Autocomplete Keyword Ordering

Autocomplete works with most search engines including YouTube for video SEO

Video Keywords

Autocomplete Tips

  • Choose specific (long-tail) phrases which are less competitive
  • No need to include “best” and other non-descriptive adjectives
  • Synonyms can be targeted on the same page (as secondary keywords)
  • Most businesses have multiple keywords per service (I have WordPress SEO Services, WordPress SEO Consulting, WordPress SEO Audit… all of which are different enough that I have a separate page for each and I’m ranked in the top 3 for all them… it works)
  • Being more specific can mean choosing Chicago WordPress Designer (instead of Chicago Web Designer) or WordPress SEO Consultant (instead of SEO Consultant)… targeting a geography or a specific type of ‘web design’ is one way to get more specific


1.5. Moz Keyword Explorer

To make sure you don’t miss keywords, use Moz Keyword Explorer. This is similar to Keyword Planner only it’s completely free (you don’t have to sign up for AdWords) plus you can group related keywords so you’re not browsing through the same ones. Start with a broad keyword.

Moz Keyword Explorer

Click on keyword suggestions –> see all suggestions.

Moz Keyword Suggestions

Moz Keyword Explorer Tips

  • Group related keywords with low lexical similarity (use filter)
  • Start with a broad phrase, then look for specific, long-tail phrases

How Many Searches Should My Keywords Have?

Step 1: Check your domain authority in Moz Link Explorer.
Domain Authority

Step 2: Use this handy chart by Orbit Media.
Keyword Research Shortcut

But Can I Target More?
If you plan on creating strong content (ideally with 3,000+ words and lots of graphics/videos), you can target keywords with more monthly searches (my WordPress SEO tutorial will help as it has over 100 tips including 20 on content optimization). Use the chart as a general guideline.


1.6. HubShout WebGrader (Competitor Keywords)

HubShout WebGrader shows you:

  • All keywords you (and competitors) rank for
  • Each website’s estimated traffic value based on CPC
  • Top ranked content, domain authority, backlinks, and referring domains

HubShout WebGrader Report

See a full list of keywords you (and competitors rank for)…

My Keywords


Google Trends tells you whether a keyword is on the rise, or declining. It also filters for finding local keywords and YouTube keywords. This is especially helpful for finding what seasons are busiest, whether your market is declining, and where people are searching these keywords.

Ramen is on the rise!

Google Trends Keywords

Better publish that YouTube tutorial on gift wrapping before December :)

YouTube Keywords – Google Trends


1.8. Search Analytics

The Search Analytics feature in Google Search Console (which you can verify with Yoast) tells you your keywords, ranking position, CTR (click-through rate), top ranked pages, and the countries + devices of visitors. I hardly use Google Analytics for SEO – I use Search Analytics.

Cool Trick: find queries (keywords) where you already rank in the first 5 spots in Google, then improve those pages so you can get in the top 1-3 where all the traffic is.

Google Search Console Queries


1.9. Avoid Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is designed specifically for AdWords – don’t use it for SEO! The competition is not for organic results. Google Autocomplete, or keyword tools that pull keywords from Autocomplete (like Answer The Public) are better at categorizing keywords and showing you the organic competition. And for the record, no keyword tool is better at estimating a keyword’s competition than Googling the keyword yourself, and analyzing the top results to see what content is already out there – so you know what/who you’re up against.

Google Keyword Planner


2. Types Of Keywords

The following sections break down keywords into specific types.


2.1. Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for and usually have 3-7+ words in the phrase. They also attract a more targeted visitor. You can even target Chicago WordPress Design instead of Chicago Web Design since that is a more specific type of web design. As you saw in the chart by Orbit Media in section 1.5, websites with low domain authority (DA) should almost always target longer-tail keywords. As you build your DA, you can start targeting broader keywords.

Long-Tail Keywords

Examples Of When To Get More Specific

  • Chicago Painter is competitive, Chicago Interior Painter is better
  • Chicago Real Estate is competitive, Chicago Commercial Real Estate is better
  • Chicago Computer Repair is competitive, Chicago Macbook Pro Repair is better
  • Yoast SEO Plugin is competitive, Yoast SEO Plugin Settings is better
  • SEO Consultant is competitive, WordPress SEO Consultant is better
  • SiteGround Review is competitive, SiteGround WordPress Hosting Review is better


2.2. Date Keywords

Drive even more traffic by targeting date keywords (mainly for time sensitive content)…

Time Sensitive Keywords

When optimizing content, you should include the date (year) in your page title, SEO title, and meta description. Of course this requires me to keep the tutorial up to date, but this has already driven quite a bit of extra traffic during 2017 as I’m included as a featured snippet.

Dates In SEO Titles


2.3. Local Keywords (Small Town vs. Large City vs. National)

The larger the area, the more specific your keywords will be, and the more you will have. Smaller towns will have broad keywords while larger cities will have more specific phrases…

Local Keywords

Unless you’re targeting a small town and have 1 primary keyword like “Lake Forest Divorce Lawyer” you probably have other keywords you can target (find them using keyword tools).

Small towns have a small number of broad keywords…

Small Town Keywords

Large cities tend to have multiple specific keywords…

Large City Keywords

National keywords are even more specific, and there’s more of them…

National Keywords

Don’t forget to use Google Trends to see local keywords and their popularity…

Local Keywords – Google Trends

Multiple Locationseach location should have it’s own page (sometimes multiple pages) depending on whether multiple keywords are being searched in each area. Each location should also have it’s own citations (online directories like Google My Business, Facebook Page, Yelp, Bing Places…) which is exactly what my WordPress local SEO guide walks you through.


3.4. Blog Post Keywords


Getting traffic to your blog is fine and dandy, but how does this get you clients?

Here’s what I did…

I offer WordPress speed optimization as part of my SEO services. I wanted more of these projects so I learned what phrases people Google when they have a slow WordPress site. I looked at Google Autocomplete for “slow WordPress…” and saw some results. Then I really put myself in my searcher’s position when I Googled “why is wordpress” and saw it completed the phrase with “why is wordpress so slow” with that keyword on top. There are plenty of variations below it in Autocomplete, indicating that keyword has a good amount of searches. It’s also within my competition if you Google the keyword using MozBar. We have a winner!

And so my blog post was born: Why Is WordPress Slow (And 7 Ways To Fix It)

People read my guide, realize they don’t have the technical skill to do everything, and some inquire. Completely coincidental that this happened while I was writing this post (seriously, I haven’t gotten one of these for weeks) but I literally just got this comment 3 hours ago:


Update (2018): That guide is now one of the most popular tutorials on my website!


2.5. Multiple Keywords (Synonyms)

All you have to do is research a synonym of your primary keyword then incorporate both of these in your page title, SEO title, and meta description. This is by FAR the most important part but you can also sprinkle your secondary keyword 1-2 times in your content. You do NOT have to incorporate both as full keywords (exact matches) otherwise your headline will look spammy. Crafting a headline that sounds nice AND includes partial matches is the way to go.

Here’s an example:

Step 1: Research your primary keyword…

Secondary Keywords

Step 2: Research your secondary keyword…

Secondary Focus Keyword
Step 3: Write a headline that incorporates both and still sounds nice…


Step 4: Rank for both keywords…



You can use the same strategy in your meta description and (sparingly) in the content body.


3. Content Optimization

Now that you have your Yoast focus keywords, you can start optimizing content! Including your keyword in “all the right places” is just 1 small part of it, you should really read the content optimization section of my WordPress SEO guide. I promise you will learn a lot.


Remember: Only Target 1 Keyword Per Page (Unless Synonyms)

Only synonyms can be targeted on the same page. This is because Google wants to show the most relevant results so keywords that mean 2 different things should have their own page.

Single Keywords


Frequently Asked Questions

🚦 How do you find good focus keywords?

The best keywords have a balance between monthly searches, low competition, and high profitability. You can usually only pick two. For example, if a highly profitable keyword doesn't have a lot of searches but has low competition, go for it.

🚦 How do I learn how competitive a keyword is?

Google the keyword and look at the top results. Do they do a good job at covering the topic? Is it from an authority website? Do they have high domain + page authority (you can check this in MozBar's Chrome Extension)? If yes, that keyword may be too competitive.

🚦 What are the best keyword research tools?

My top 4 keyword research tools are Google Autocomplete, MozBar Chrome extension (for checking competition using each search result's domain and page authority), HubShout WebGrader (for finding competitor keywords), and Keywords Everywhere to learn a keyword's monthly searches and estimated competition.

🚦 How do I learn how many searches a keyword has?

Keywords Everywhere and Ahrefs tell you how many monthly searches a keyword has.

🚦 Should I target broad or specific (long-tail) keywords?

I recommended targeting specific, long-tail keywords 95% of the time. They are much less competitive and bring a more targeted visitor to your site. New websites, or those having trouble with SEO, should always start by targeting specific, long-tail keywords.

🚦 How do I target multiple keywords (synonyms)?

Find 2 keywords that are very similar. These can be synonyms or even date keywords that include the current year if it's a time-sensitive topic. Use the primary keyword in your page title, URL, SEO title, meta description, and a couple times in the content. The secondary keyword should be sprinkled in these areas as a partial match - it does not have to be an exact match!

🚦 What about Google Keyword Planner?

Do not use Google Keyword Planner to research SEO keywords. It's designed specifically for AdWords and the competition is also reflected in Adwords, not organic search results.

See also: My Definitive Guide To Yoast SEO

If you found this post helpful, please share – I would appreciate it. And if you have any questions about Yoast focus keywords or Yoast in general, drop me a line in the comments.


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Sorry I do not agree with you about Google ads. Google ads is a really good tool to discover new keywords. Once you paid couple of dollars for its ad service, you will be able to access full detail of keyword list with the graph plus the graph of mobile,table and computer devices for a while. If you choose keywords between 10-100 bar of course it would not work. You must do analyze and research to target. You just created this post to appear on Google and people reach out to you like the other popular seo platforms tools. I… Read more »

Reply to  Tom Dupuis

as I said you created this post to sell your service like a marketer hawaiian guy.


Hi Tom
I am begining my aff site and you’ve pointed a LOT of useful information.
Also you are the first guy who really likes to help, lots of other guys end their posts with a “buy my aff course for $500”
Thanks a lot :)

Anirban Pathak

Great Post. Choosing a perfect focus keyword or keyphrase is not an exact science. You should aim for a combination of words that are actually used by a search audience. Aim for a keyphrase that is relatively high in volume and one that will suit your audience.

Garrett by Neil Patel is another great keyword search tool. It’s FREE too!

David Jeson

I am glad to gain this remarkable information from you. I have found here lots of interesting information for my knowledge I need. All the details you provide to us, it was very helpful and useful. Thanks for sharing this amazing post.


Hello Tom,

I thought I knew everything there is to know about keyword research but how wrong I was! Your keyword research guide is absolutely amazing. I learned many new things like using underscores in Google auto-complete.

Also, your tips on using synonyms in Yoast are enlightening.

Thanks a lot for this.

Devin Holmes

Didn’t this page used to be just one easy to follow video? Why did you switch to this convoluted format?

clipping world

Great SEO tips. Thanks for share

Brett @ Niche Laboratory

Thanks for the great roundup of keyword research tools. I find AnswerThePublic is pretty good, although it doesn’t work well in every niche.

You’ve mentioned a couple I’ve never heard of before so I’ll definitely check those out.

Robert Woodman

Hi, Tom,

I tried to turn off Google Autocomplete as you suggested in Step 1, and I discovered that Google no longer lets you turn off Autocomplete.

Christine Spliid

Hi Tom, really great article thanks :-) I have a question regarding my focus keyword on the frontpage of my website. I understand that it can be a good idea to try ranking first for a long-tail keyword, as over time you’re also likely to rank high for the shorter keyword. In my case I’m a Life and Career Coach, and my first thought was to use ‘life & career coach’ as focus keyword. But I’m worried that there are very few searches for this four letter word specifically. If many people search for Life Coach, and many people search… Read more »


Great content!!! Thanks a lot for sharing!

I’ve just started out writing on WordPress and I saw a recommendation to do rich snippets on your infographic. Do you use a special plugin to integrate a “review” type content into an article? Where did you get this “schema” type window? And the price, address, author, etc. on the left-side menu?

Thanks a lot!

aziz haida

great insight , i like the idea to stay away from keywords around which relevant and enough info provided by high sites .


Very helpful article.

Efe Michael Obasuyi

Thanks for the info.
Please help me out. Anytime i google search my domain, i will see my homepage
e.g yourname .com

now the problem is, i will see something like

yourname .com > page 2
yourname .com > page 3
yourname .com > page 4
yourname .com > page 5

If I click on it, I will go to my homepage, now I think that will make google see my homepage as a duplicate homepage.

i don’t know if Yoast is the problem or themes. I use Yoast and Newspaper themes

Thanks, man. I just reconfigure my yoast using your settings

Efe Michael Obasuyi

Please help me, on my google webmaster tools, I see a lot of Error 404 not found as
and continouly

Nice write-up. I also use Yoast SEO for my website. I wanted to know if it hampers a blog/website if the owner uses more than 1 focus keyword?

it’s very useful article to learn about Yoast

thanks you

Thanks Tom Dupuis for this post . plz help how to make genesis theme like your websites design . where you buy hosting and cdn plz send me message on my email

Wow! Lucky to have found myself here… Need to say a very big thank you. Until today, I never really understood long tail keyword… Thanks a million times…


This is a great post, lots to learn and put into practice, thanks for putting it together.

Wanted to ask, is this something that can work in spanish keywords also?


Yoast Plugin is the best and I’m using for now and works out to be very efficient.

Nice Articles


Impressive, thanks for the info, I watched it all through the night.
Thank you!

Hey Tom,

You have nicely explained the on-page SEO stuff, it should be done smartly!

Keyword research is essential to take the profitable keywords. Google Auto Suggestion is awesome and you have instructed well about it!

I use Moz and its Chrome extension, however, the webgrader is new to me. I’ll check its details.

Thanks for the complete details about focusing the keywords in the Yoast setup.

Actually being a blogger myself I am looking for answers to typical issues that everyone faces. On the same way I came up on this page. I think you could help me clear up some confusions. As your explanation skills are top notch. I’ll surely go through your website for further leads.
Thank you


Great post wonderfully explained. it is very helpful to me. Thank you so much



my question is why we use focus keyword in yoast plugin..if my post have 300 keywords.. focus keyword ignore my full post ?

Reply to  Tom Dupuis

thanks Tom

In fact, I think you cannot rely on anyone Keyword Research tool as such because, in the long run, the search behavior keeps on changing and also fluctuates from country to country. Keeping all options open for a global traffic and targeting for the maximum possible targeted keyword phrases should be the aim for the keyword research phase. Instead of focusing on only the keywords recommended by keyword research tools and Adwords also concentrate on the possible psychologies of users from various geographic areas unless you are concentrating only on a very particular area where only the language and slang… Read more »

MD Rasel Khan

I have been searching for a long time to get this article, today I got this effective resources, thanks

Shayla khan

I have got a more necessary idea from your website. thanks for this

Michael C Rogers


Great straight-shooting article.

If you have a website with 10 blog posts can you use the same keyword in each article if it’s relevant to the main topic without taking a hit from Google? Or will big G flag that as spam or over-optimisation?


I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your
sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website
to come back down the road. Cheers


Hey Tom,

Thanks a lot for this helpful article and wesbite :)

What to do if our service is a real niche and very few queries are made on google? few results and almost no predictions

Thanks for your light

very informative post. I will use the suggestions discussing here for optimizing my new blog site.This post will be very helpful for the begaineer SEO worker who are new in this field.
Keep posting this type of helpful post.
With best wishes.

Really shared valuable Article bro, i am waiting for this tips from many days. Now following all this tips & getting rank. Thanks for sharing

Such a amazing article. With deeply explained. i love to read even more from you. Thank you for sharing this tips.

ahha!! perfect article,

mr singh

Great info i using same as above you write well..have ranked my page …

thanks for this awesome idea

This is a very necessary idea about a website promoting. thanks a lot for this great resources

Great article! I have a question about focus keywords when there are several spelling variants of the key concept. The topic of my blog is a referral marketing technique called a popby gift. The trouble I have is that sometimes people spell this as popby or pop-by or pop by. If I create a focus keyword such as “Halloween popby idea” – will that include these variants as well? If not, how should I best handle these? I’ve looked at Moz and Google, but I’m not clear how I should best handle these spelling variants in my focus keywords. Do… Read more »

Reply to  Tara

You can solve this problem by using these keyword variations in your post/page tactically popby in title,pop by in meta description and pop-by in the body of your post in natural and contextual way


Awesome! Very easy to understand.

Hi there can you please explain about the Meta Keywords and how to enter this?

Hi Tom,
Amazing articles, thank you for that! Was reading: which is a blast.
However i’m facing an issue, on both these post you speak about “never show instant results.” on google settings.
Not sure if this has changed since the post was written but i do not have that option and i only get 5/6 suggestion which arent’ great…
How can i get it?

thanks for the info, please I will like to know if the stop word in Yoast focus keywords really matter

Hi I am very curious about to know which plugin you use for “Table Of Contents”


its a great article which doesnt care about green bullet on yoast. you keep the bullet going red for sure.

this all change my mind about yoast. Someone always told me the easy ways is make the bullets become green. And you break it all dude, i know if i follow all green bullets yoast make my article harder to read and not interest.

i just know if GKP is for not organic search. Its mean something to me who always depend on GKP for my keyword research.

Thanks Dude. That was awesome article.

Really nice article – thank you so much!

Pooja Mishra

I have been using Yoast SEO plugin but I never used to these extent .Thanks for sharing.

Jeff Campbell

Hi Great post (and others of yours as well). I’m feeling a little stuck with Yoast and keyword phases and how that fits into the post title and content and thus far I have not found a definitive answer. Let’s say, as a random example that I Google the phrase “how to tie my shoes”. Let’s assume the competition is low and I decide to write a post on that keyword phrase. I know Yoast doesn’t like stop words, but I believe I saw in one of your other posts to not exclude the stop words from the URL. But… Read more »

Amaan Aalim

Hi Guyz, Your articles were a crazy help in understanding SEO stuff. I have few questions and I will be glad if you could help me out. I made a list of keywords and they are around “33”, and I checked their volume individually and categorized them in volume. I did location specific targeting also. 10 out 33 have the traffic of 100-1K/month and rest have 10-100/month. I did competition analysis by Google keyword planner (low, medium & High). Now, I am planning to take keywords from those 10 which have 100-1K traffic and specifically, low & medium competition keywords.… Read more »

It’s amazing for beginner. I just loved the way you describe completely how to search out perfect keyword. I have read a few other posts where they only mentioned what tools are good for keyword research and they didn’t described with photo to do it efficiently.

Awesome, I’m really impressed with this blog.

One of the best Yoast how-to guides I’ve ever read! SUUUper helpful. Have this one bookmarked for later!

Thanks a lot!


some tool like keyword planner work nicely to find keywords that i need..

Waqas Ahmad

Your topic is very helpful.

Bloggers to follow

Great Stuff guys!

Really helpful in finding the right focus keyword.
Keep it up.

Just have 2 words LOVE YOU . great article , finally learned how to rank high with focus keywords . thanks . great and one of the best post on the internet.

Hi, I am thankful to you for sharing this awesome article with this helpful knowledge. this is the blog that provide the lots of good information thanks for provide such a good information.

you are genius your article are very interesting and full of information and knowledge,
your article is clear enough thanks for sharing meaningful information with us

Simply awesome , thanks .

Thank You Very nice and helpfull Tutorials, Really, I can get traffic in mya blog with your tutorials. Thank You very much, Brother

Mr. Tom Dupuis everything you mention in this article is really helpful for everyone, this article contain almost everything about keyword research.


A very nice detailed article. I was using the default configuration for the past one year. This helps me alot.

Hii…Tom Thanks!! Really this post is helpfull for me now i am using yoast plugin and focus keywords

Really an informative article to go through …. Your article is simple but effective about the matter SEO,

Your ways will really help the readers to for doing their work efficiently.

Thanks for the great article.


Fantastic article,

Can I ask how you pick Focus Keywords in a shop where all the products are similar, without repeating?

E.g. we sell TV stands (which is what people search for). All our products are TV stands, just different versions

Sami Ullah

Does the readability matters in Yoast plugin?

Many thanks,

I am a newbie in writing search engine optimized articles. I used to just compose articles when I thought I was good at certain topics. For articles in local languages, it still works good.

Now, I am trying to blog in English. Some of your guidance looks excellent. Some I have implemented but there are still very good ideas I pick up from this post.

Hello Tom,
Great ways for finding out the best keywords as focusing good keyword will help to boost the rank of the blog,site or article on google …… Your ideas are simply great i loved the concept of autocomplete and long tail keyword..
Thanks for sharing such an informative article.

Sir really you are a genius in seo market


I think your articles is full valuable. I try your technique

First off Tom…Great article!

Some of the steps I have been doing, some not so much! So this is a big help! My big questions is: so all new material goes through the process described. However, with upwards of 7k pages on the website. Is there any automation methods to pull in keywords till each page can be reviewed an optimized over time? I know it wouldn’t be optimal but would buy time till the manual process can take place.

Excellent work Tom,
Outstanding article, Seriously great tips to choose focused keywords in Yoast for ranking you site or blog, Your article will ti use for really help me and other bloggers for the better analysis of keyword search and its planning.
Thank you for such an informative article, keep sharing like this.

I have been using yoast seo plugin.Thanks for sharing.


Hi Tom!
Awesome post. Thanks for sharing. Bookmarked your article for future reference :) By the way, I was wondering do you think keyword density still matters? if yes, what’s the preferable percentage for your main keyword?

Yoast seo plugin is helpful to do right on page seo. Almost 80 percent webmasters use it to improve ranking. Thanks for sharing it.

i’m using “Yoast SEO Plugin” , the results are so fantastic .

Thanks for sharing :-)

i am old user of yoast seo plugin and using since 3 months but i read this post and yes i learned something new about yoast which was completely new for me. Your article is 100% helpful for new yoast visitors. i will recommend.

Well researched post and you’ve got a fan in me!
Would appreciate if I didn’t have to come all the way down here to comment though, could have been before all the comments.

Really amazing article …. very nice …. Thanks for sharing this!! :) :)


Thank you for this article! Now I can see the light! I struggled to understand Yoast plugin and I used it quite blindly following their path. I was confused because they give green light when you put exactly the keyword while Google says variations are preferred.
I checked the competitions as you told with PA and DA but it seems there are no keywords for my website to reach the first page soon because it has DA=9 and PA=21. I have to wait it gets older…
PS Thank you for your SEO Workbook too!

Reply to  Tom Dupuis

Hi Tom! I want to say that I started reading your blog just few days ago and I already learnt so much. So far my favorite post of yours is this one – It’s because it helped me choose theme for my website. Mindfulness. I like how simple and interesting it is. As for this post, I still have a little problem understanding how to choose more specific and not too competitive keywords. I also have read about Ubersuggest here – Have you heard about it? I also think that localized keywords are best for small business. I… Read more »

Initially I love Thank you for the explanation and clarifications task .. honest, I have benefited a lot from the article you need to understand a few things in order to seo words and words that are basic to the site and discovered the many things have benefited from it or try them as less appreciation thank you for your site submitted.

Thank for this useful article Tom Dupuis sir. This Focus keyword tutorial will definitely change my website traffic graph.


Hey brother! thanks for the great article.

I have one question, can we use multiple keywords using separator like comma in basic free version of yoast (Not the premium one).

Luigi Florimo

You are the Best :D I found everything I need all around your Web Site. Thank you!!!

Great article. Thanks. Would love a pdf download of it for reference.

as am using Yost seo plugin from last 6 months as i got positive results in my WordPress blog. but i juat want to say thanks u sir for this deep information about Seo

Hey Tom
You removed many misconceptions from my mind through your great article. I am a very newbie in blogging and seo stuffs. I think you can answer me this question, which is eating my head since i installed seo plugins in my wordpress – if we do keyword research and so many stuffs to find a suitable long tail phrase to use it in our blog title, why do we need a seo title? Is it just because of the meta description only? Forgive me if I am sounding lame.

Reply to  Tom Dupuis

Thanx for the reply Tom. I am all convinced with your reply. Just having the feeling that – if we can phrase the blog title, keeping it within the suitable and permissible dimensions as prescribed by seo plugins, then perhaps bloggers like me don’t need to touch the seo title tab. Oh yeah, what the seo plugin gave us is the meta description tab which we can phrase for better seo, otherwise which is almost impossible without a plugin. Am i correct?

Finally a blog post with some understandable, practical information. Yoast posts a lot of articles on this subject, but they tend to be vague to buy a course from them. This post is easy and way better. Thanks!

Reply to  Tom Dupuis

Hi Tom. One more thing I am wondering about in my quest for choosing the ultimate focus keyword. Measuring the competition by the amount of search results might not be the best clue, do you use any tools to quantify competition? I played around with a bit -> This tool calculates a difficulty score, based on the websites of a search term. I notice a high traffic search term may have the SAME difficulty as a low traffic search term. So why would you settle for the lower traffic keyword in such case? Looking forward to your perspective!… Read more »

Ashton Kimberly

Hello Tom,

Thank you for helpful article. I have one quick question regarding point number six.
In case I am targeting second keyword, where do I input it?
According to example, second keyword should be included in meta description. Am I correct?



this is the most complete and accurate information regarding yoast seo plugin.
thank you so much for creating this topic for newbies like me.

I want to ask something.

i currently own a website where i post latest songs, so i always try to post the latest songs as soon as possible.
as you know every day new songs are released, so how can i research for a specific song which have just released?
because google tells what people search but it cant predict itself, right?

looking forward.

Reply to  Tom Dupuis

Thanks for the response. Is it good practice to use all related keywords in video description while using only one focus? i have seen many websites doing this trick, they write all the related keywords that people are going to type while searching that particular song. In my case (video songs,mp3 songs), actual video/mp3 description is not that important, like people don’t (or very few) search for ‘producer’ ‘drum beater’ ‘sound engineer’ ‘studio’ etc that is available in video description. Let suppose the keyword is ‘abc xyz song’ where ‘abc’ is song name and ‘xyz’ is movie name, so people… Read more »

Reply to  Tom Dupuis

Thank you so much for your time and suggestion, i will definitely keep it in mind for future posts.
Stay blessed.

Hi!! Tom Dupuis, I recently found your post. Its a great. I have one question for you. That is which other tools i used to find competitor’s Keywords. Can you please suggest me? that you mention it not give me any result, that you shown in your video tutorial. Please give me guidance on it. :)

This is what they call “Evergreen article”. Awesome post Tom! I love the part about LSI keywords. Do you think that Google will change their approach as people start exploiting these keywords? I mean, it makes sense. LSI keywords lead to better content. Yet, I see it as something that can easily be taken advantage off. Then again, most of the things can when it comes to SEO.

amazing article … i really like it