One of the biggest mistakes website owners make is targeting keywords that are unlikely to provide a return. Achieving a #1 ranking on Google for a keyword search term nobody is searching for is a waste of time and money. Targeting highly competitive keywords you can't realistically hope to rank for over the next two years may also be a poor investment.
For search engine marketing, keywords fall into two major categories: broad, generic short tail keywords, and branded, regional, more specific, long tail keywords. The stiffest competition is in the short tail keywords.
If you entered the head keywords ‘storage products’ into Google today you’d see over sixty-one million pages indexed. That’s a lot of competition. In the top five you’d find Rubbermaid. For a company with almost unlimited marketing resources very generic keywords may be worth pursuing.
We have a client in the Vancouver area. By choosing regional long tail keywords we have been able to secure the top position on Google for "vancouver storage products". The amount of traffic received for their SEO dollars has proven to be a good investment. Pursuing top rankings for ‘storage products’ with the budget we had to work with would have been a poor investment, with little or no returns. If you entered "spacesaver storage canada" today you would discover that these branded keywords also returned a #1 ranking for our client.
Whether you’re pursuing organic rankings or pay per click traffic, selecting the right keywords can be one of the primary decisions that determine your online success.
Keyword analysis is the starting point. You want to balance short term rankings and traffic with long term objectives.
Cole has been designing and developing websites since 1997. He’s a content strategist and writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.