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Choosing Solid Keywords


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#1 SteelersFan

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 11:02 PM

Hi,
When using the Google Adwords tool, I usually get a list of about 100 words for each term I'm looking at using on my website. I know that there will be some high value keywords that get say over a million searches or more a month and then there are going to be the keywords that get say 500 searches a month. I was wondering if there is a general search range number (like 5,000-80,000) where the pros will say this is a word we want to focus on because it gets good traffic yet not too much? Or here is a word we don't want to focus on because it gets little to no searches?



#2 Jill

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 07:39 AM

You would of course want the keywords with the most searches, but only if they were highly relevant to what you offer.

In other words, if someone were typing that keyword into Google, would they be happy to see your site there? If yes, it's a good keyword for you.

More important when deciding which keywords to choose is not the number of searches (although you have to factor that in) but the competition for the keyword phrase. That is, the number of other sites who are relevant for the phrase and who are actively optimizing for it.

That's the way to choose your phrases.

#3 SteelersFan

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 03:20 PM


Thank you for your advice Jill. But you've lost me here. How do I determine this? It seems I've heard about this before but can't remember where or what it was about. Is it like using the "link:www.yoursite.com" in the search engines and seeing what comes up?

And what constitutes too much competition for a word? Is there an number of websites that you would say "oh no, this is too competitive a keyword" to shoot for?

#4 Jill

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 05:22 PM

Dan Thies has some good info on keyword competition in the pinned threads here.

#5 SteelersFan

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 05:25 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Jun 30 2010, 05:22 PM) View Post
Dan Thies has some good info on keyword competition in the pinned threads here.


Ok, thank you. I'll go look. :-)


#6 WSO

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 01:19 PM

I might tweak Jill's first response to say that if EVERYBODY entered that phrase into Google and was happy to see your site, then it is a good word for you.

Suppose you have a site that sells vintage, antique clocks. Now it's not unusual for someone who is looking for that very thing to start off searching for just plain old "clocks". It doesn't seem too smart to us, because we are in the search business, but it's quite common that someone searches a very broad term first. That's one reason they have so many more searches performed on them. Anyway, that person searching on "Clocks" will see a wide range of results. She might see listings on mantel clocks, on grandfather clocks, on digital clocks, on the song "Clocks" by Coldplay, maybe even a news story about a woman who clocks her son-in-law in the face. So she'll realize she needs to refine her search, so she'll search on something a little more specific, such as "antique clocks".

So in that example, if your antique clocks site had shown up for the search of just plain "clocks", our fictional searcher would have been happy. But I do not think that is reason to make "clocks" one of your primary search terms. If we are talking organic SEO, "clocks" will be so hard to achieve results for that it will take a long time and a lot of work (money) to do so. And 90% of the people who see your listing for that search won't care (because they're not looking for antique clocks).

That's why the relevance of the term you are targeting is just as important (or more important) than its search frequency. As Jill said, you need to strike a balance of the two.

In terms of looking at the competition for a keyword (again, assuming we are talking about organic as opposed to PPC), I like to search google for "allintitle:search phrase". That tells me how many pages in Google's index have your search phrase in the <title> tag. I figure if the phrase is not on a page's <title> tag, they are not doing any active optimization for it. Search phrases with a smaller number of pages with the phrase in their <title> tag should in theory be easier to rank for than those with more. Does that make sense?

Tom





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