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SEO Website Audit

Can I Rank for Competitive Keywords?

December 14, 2011

Hi Jill,

Image Credit: PWBakerI recently viewed the course you did on SEO and I found it very valuable. I'm doing some keyword research to optimize an existing corporate website and I have a question about competition. Most of the keywords I've found that are most applicable to the services my company provides are highly competitive. Is there a way our website can still rank for those highly competitive keywords?


++Jill's Response++

Hi Lindsay,

Sure, you can still rank for highly competitive keywords, but you just may have your work (and spending budget) cut out for you. The level of competitiveness that you choose to optimize for is up to you. There are a number of factors that will contribute to which sites will have a shot at ranking for highly coveted keyword phrases including:

* How relevant the keywords are to what you offer.
* How well established your website is.
* How well known your brand is.
* How the website is linked to from other sites.

The bigger your brand, the easier it is to rank for the more competitive words. When I suggest to people that they find keyword "gems" to optimize for, it's usually because their website and business are not very well established and don't have the marketing budget to help it along.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't optimize for competitive phrases. Just be sure that you also have a content strategy in place that will bring you traffic from less competitive phrases while you're working on establishing your brand in the marketplace through traditional marketing means.



Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings,Jill Whalen an SEO Company in the Boston, MA area since 1995. Follow her on Twitter @JillWhalen

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