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A big step in the SEO process is picking your keywords. What do you think a prospective customer would search to find your business? The keyword selection process can be extremely tedious.
This is a good example of a situation where having a good web analytics tool and historical data can make your life much easier. Look into your web analytics reports for keyword data and see what people have actually been using to find you. This information won’t help if all you see is your branded terms, but if that is all you see then you know that SEO is going to be worth it for you – no matter how tedious it might be!
One of the things that makes keyword selection difficult is that if pick words that are too broad and you could be optimizing forever with little or no results to show for all of your work. Pick keywords that are too specific and you might rank number one on Google, but so few people will be looking that it won’t matter – a king with no kingdom!
Most regular readers will know by now that we believe that search engine marketing is largely about real estate. For this reason, we believe in paid search and SEO – not favoring on over the other, but recognizing the value of both combined. One good reason to launch your paid search campaign first is that it can help make picking your organic keywords much easier and more efficient.
Run a paid search campaign for a month or two first and see which keywords generate the most impressions and compare this to the keywords that delivery the highest ROI. In rare cases, they will be the same. But more likely, longer-tailed keywords will have a higher conversion rate and ROI, but less traffic. General keywords will have high search volume, but if you use the exact KW filter on your web analytics tool, you’ll see that much of the traffic is poorly targeted (i.e. they aren’t looking for whatever it is that you are selling).
Keywords that fall in the middle might be a good place to start – find the balance between ROI and search volume. Then it’s time to get started!
A good rule of thumb is that you can’t effectively optimize a single web page around more than 2-3 different keywords. Sometimes you can get away with optimizing for more if they all fall into a very tight theme or category – experiment and see what works best for you (we can’t give away all of our secrets).
Remember – these days search engines don’t always come in via your home page. If you are a printer and you print thousands of different types of products, you can create landing pages for each specific category or product – direct mail, promotional products, business cards, etc. Optimize each of these landing pages around the best keywords for each category. If you find yourself wanting to add more than 2-3 keywords, consider creating another landing page within the same category.
One way to see this in action is to take a look at your Top Landing Pages report in your web analytics tool. This may give you some clues as to which of your web pages are currently being found by the search engines and for which keyword searches.
Remember – no keyword stuffing and write your content for humans not search spiders. At the end of the day, the best surefire way to get the top spot on Google is to truly become recognized as an authority in your industry and in your geographic market. If you take logical steps to do that, it may take you a while to succeed, but when you do it will be long lasting! Good things come to those that wait…
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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