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Do your keywords tick all the right boxes?

Written by: Sandeep Challa

Updated: November, 4, 2010

This is a guest post by Ben Hook, owner of Navaro, a UK SEO company and Algobreaker, a website providing SEO tips to help you increase your online presence.
Getting keyword research right can save you so much wasted time and spend when it comes to SEO, but so often people try to optimize for phrases that just don’t work for them.
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Here I want to go over a few filters I place against my keywords in order to evaluate both their effectiveness, and their compatibility with an SEO campaign.
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The three questions that any keyword has to answer yes to before I consider it are as follows:

  • Is it going to drive enough traffic?
  • Is it going to drive relevant traffic?
  • Is it achievable?

If the keyword works across these three factors, it’s probably one you want to be working with. People will often choose keywords that only tick one of these boxes, and wonder why their SEO campaigns are failing. So let’s have a look at why each of these questions are so important.

Is it going to drive enough traffic ?

When people think of keyword research, the most important things is usually to make sure you are targeting a phrase that will drive traffic. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because you use that term, other people will.
If the keywords you want to target don’t drive any traffic, there’s no point in optimizing for them, no matter how useful you think they are.

Is it going to drive relevant traffic ?

Traffic is only useful if it converts. 99% of the time, it’s not the traffic you’re after; it’s the conversions that come from the traffic. This is why it is vital that the keywords you optimize for will not only drive a decent amount of traffic, but that this traffic is likely to convert in to sales / leads etc.
In most cases it is worth optimizing for a term that would drive less traffic if the traffic is more likely to convert.

Is it achievable ?

It’s tempting to think big, especially when it comes to keywords, but don’t underestimate the competition. Really consider the amount of time and budget you have for an SEO campaign before you go chasing the impossible keywords.
It’s better to be position 1 on a specific term than page 3 on a broad one. There is no reason why you can’t step up the campaign when you have achieved the smaller goals.
Careful consideration of the three points above will help you decide on the right keywords, and help you to make the most of your SEO campaigns, reducing wasted spend and increasing that bottom line.
Recently Google Webmaster tools also introduced Keyword Variants for helping out website owners to analyze the effectiveness of their interlinking posts.
Do have think your website’s Keywords are ticking all the right boxes ??

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