Selecting keywords for SEO or keyword research as it is called is a process of determining the best phrases to use in order
to draw in desired traffic. It is a common on site SEO practice, but it is not always needed. Successful writers, bloggers are well known to despise SEO methods. And well they should, it may impede their creative flow. And quality content, even when not under SEO can be very powerful. I would personally rather promote great content than rehashed SEO content of poor quality.
Keywords are used to help search engines categorize your site and will lead to related traffic in turn. Related traffic is the highest quality traffic you can have, which will be interested in your content. In the past tricking visitors to your site was considered beneficial, now it is not only frowned upon, but due to the low average time spent on site may even be a negative statistic to your site. In any case, people not interested or deceived make poor customers and non productive visitors.
Let us look at some factors you should be aware of when choosing your keywords:
- The purpose of your site Your site can have many roles. Common roles for sites are informational, much like this one and transactional sites, such as those looking to sell products or display ads (well ads are not transactions, i just put them in the same category for ease of understanding). There are other purposes to websites, try thinking a few and post your ideas in the comments!If you are running a site that is designed to sell things you may try selecting keywords for SEO that already imply an interest in a purchase.Lets take my site on Cheap bookcases for sale as an example.The prefix word cheap implies that a customer is in search of a cheap, in this case bookcase. In most cases people do not just do that for fun.The suffix phrase for sale serves pretty much the same purpose. It implies a search for a transaction in a greater degree than a word like cool, awesome, free etc..
If your site relies on traffic (such as informational sites and sites running ads) you should in effect choose keywords that draw in as many people as possible. The keywords you choose should have as high search volumes as you can get.
- Desired traffic of your site. Traffic is great. Even poor quality traffic may increase revenue to a point. But choosing keywords for traffic is not just a matter of search volume, but also other factors, such as competition strength. Competition plays a large role in your SEO success stories. Areas such as weight loss, travel, internet marketing all sport some serious competition and if you are in search of a SEO battle, head into these areas. Treasures and pitfalls await!Since i like example i would like to point one out i just discussed yesterday. Someone made a page about cheap airline tickets. The search volume by using the free if somewhat inaccurate Adwords keyword tool is around 246.000 of exact searches for that keyword. If i had 10% of that traffic on all my websites i would be designing my own batcave at this point.Well all great so far. Now let us take a peek at the competition. 2.070.000 websites has the same keyword in its title. That means that you have that much exact search competition. If you reach the first 10 pages of that field, please do contact me and give me some tips on how to be a better SEO, since i have obviously been wasting my time. In short, the keyword is too heavily contested. Optimizing for it will only serve as a money sink and a waste of resources.Unless you get to the first few pages in the SERPs on that keyword, your investment will not pay off.
- Budget. Budget limits our ambitions. Budget or time, if we are doing SEO ourselves. High competition fields require larger investments to reach higher positions in the search engines. Therefore, you will need to balance the desired traffic with the amount you can spend on it. Search engine optimization is just like advertising. You invest, you profit.If your are doing SEO yourself, picking up the crumbs by optimizing for micro niches might be in order. A micro niche is an area with low competition and some traffic.If you have spending money, you might want to invest more into making support sites, backlinks, content and promotion in the social media. A note though, support sites, backlinking is not white hat and may get you arrested. Just kidding. Deindexed.
I hope this short post helped you out, please comment on the factors you think are important when choosing keywords for SEO.