Are You Selecting Your Keywords for the Right Reasons?

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Keyword research has, and always will be a major part of SEO. It’s a vital part of any effective SEO campaign and ensures that all the time and money you invest is going in the right direction.

Far too often people underestimate the importance of spending enough time researching potential target keywords, and instead rush to get started on the optimisation – after all, the sooner you get to work optimising the sooner traffic is going to come right? Not necessarily…

The main aim of keyword research is to find out which keywords are going to be the most profitable for your SEO campaign based on the amount of time you have to invest. Considering this, there’s a few different key metrics you want to be looking at that often get overlooked.

Traffic Volumes

This is the obvious one. Keyword research is often performed to find out which keywords people are looking for, and which ones they aren’t. The amount of searches on a phrase is a good indicator of popularity, and can help you remove any keywords that probably won’t drive any traffic to your site.

It’s important to try and get figures from a few different keyword tools, as this can help to give a more varied view on traffic figures to help give you a better understanding of what you are more likely to receive.

Competition

Most people are driven by traffic volumes, without properly considering the competition on the keyword. It’s a lot more beneficial to be position 1 on a term that has 1000 monthly searches than page 2 on a term that gets 5000.

Make sure you properly research the competition before getting started on the optimisation. Not just a quick check, make sure you look at link volumes, on page optimisation and other important metrics to help you gauge the competitiveness of the target keyword. This can help you assess the amount of time it will take to gain rankings based upon the resources you have and make much more informed decisions.

Relevance and conversions

Another important factor to consider is the relevance of the keyword to your business. Is the most popular keyword really relevant to what you offer? What are the chances that someone searching for that keyword will convert into a sale? Rather than targeting the broadest phrases in your industry, have a look to see if there are niche keywords that are more relevant – the chances are these will have less competition and a higher conversion rate.

A lot of people will be mislead by traffic figures, without considering the competition or relevancy. The result is that a lot of time and money is invested trying to reach a larger audience, only to bring the same results as a smaller, targeted SEO campaign that focuses on the more relevant and effective keywords.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try and target the keyword with the highest searches – as long as it’s relevant and rankings are achievable you’re on to a winner.

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Ben Hook
Ben Hook is a search marketer who works for Navaro, a SEO company in the UK that provides regular SEO tips and advice
Ben Hook

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