Search Engine Optimization October 17th, 2012
If you have decided to embark on a SEO campaign to boost your website’s rankings in the search engines and generate more visitors and hopefully increase your sales then you need to know how to choose the right keywords. Choosing the keywords for your campaign should be step one and if you are hiring a SEO company or freelancer then they will usually ask you for a list of keywords that they will then expand on to offer you a choice of which ones to use for your campaign. This may sound like the hard work is done for you but there are some factors you need to be aware of.
The SEOs that you hire may be experts in online marketing and all things Google. But don’t forget that you are an expert in your industry; so if your business is making shoes, plumbing, dentistry or rocket science, you should know more about it than them. This is important to keep in mind as you will be presented with an extensive list of keywords to choose from and you have to be willing to automatically discount any that aren’t relevant to your website and your business. Even if it is getting 20,000 searches a month if it’s not relevant then ignore it; Google is smarter than you think and they will work it out.
If you are using Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool to find the keywords you want for your SEO campaign then you must be sure that you are using it correctly, otherwise you could end up choosing the wrong keywords completely. Many people mistaking search for keywords before changing the search parameters to ‘exact’ rather than ‘broad’. Having it set to broad will mean that you will be shown the search volumes for all sorts of keywords that are related to the specific one you are looking at; whereas, exact will show you just that, the search volumes for that exact phrase. The same thing goes for the ‘only show ideas closely related to my search terms’ option so you are best to tick that box too.
If you hire a SEO specialist, they will present the keywords to you along with their average monthly search volumes in the area that you are targeting. For example, the UK and also the competition of that keyword or phrase. The competition will be presented in a percentage out of 100 and it is in relation to the strength of the sites that are already ranking in the top 10 for that keyword. The stronger the sites are in the top 10, the higher the competition percentage will be. If you are presented with competition levels over 45% then you need to realize that it could take around 6-9 months to rank on page 1 of Google, whereas, a completion level of 20% could see you on page 1 in a matter of weeks. So you should be aiming to find the perfect keywords that have high search volumes and low percentages, which is easier said than done.