Choosing Keywords That Bring
the Best Results
Thackston © 2003
As a search engine optimization copywriter, I've seen my share of keywords.
When working with me, clients choose their own keywords (or have someone
else choose them) and then send me the list to include in their copy. I must
admit, sometimes I'm just amazed at the selections I receive.
It's absolutely imperative that you make wise choices in the area of keywords.
Many people simply look at statistics. Others go strictly on the most highly
searched keywords from one particular search engine. Still others do no research
at all and just guess. While the first two can work in combination with one
another, they still don't offer a complete solution.
From working with many search engine optimization (SEO) experts, I have gathered
a few tips on how to choose effective keywords that bring results. I'd like
to share that information with you so you can improve both your copy and
your search engine positioning.
Choose keywords that have a narrow focus. The most common "mistake" I've
seen when selecting keywords is choosing those that are too broad. For example,
one client sold cleaner for granite countertops. One keyphrase that was
originally under consideration was "granite countertops." However, as his
SEO expert explained (and I agree), people could be hoping to find information
on almost any aspect of granite countertops. installation, price, service,
dealers, etc. This keyphrase was too broad and eventually was discarded.
The same applies to geographic locations. A real estate agent wanted to use
the keyphrase "Richmond County." However, upon searching the 'Net for this
phrase, his SEO expert discovered that there are at least three states that
have a Richmond County. Instead, the SEO expert chose phrases such as "Richmond
County, Georgia real estate" to narrow the focus and ensure qualified
Applicable to the Page
Another common area where people wane is in being determined to use keyphrases
that simply don't apply to the page. In one case I was asked by a client
to use the keyphrase "payment portal" on a page that had nothing to do with
that topic. At the time, that was an excellent phrase to target, but it would
have been quite a stretch as it had little to do with what the site was
Just because a keyphrase gives you the opportunity to be highly ranked doesn't
mean you should use it if it has nothing to do with your site.
More Traffic or Better Traffic?
I see the battle between lots of traffic vs. more targeted traffic just about
every day. Clients are generally programmed by Web hype to believe you need
as much traffic as you can get regardless of where it comes from.
Most SEO experts I'm associated with (and this SEO copywriter) believe you
need traffic that will actually stick around once they reach your site.
Why have tons of people coming to your site if they will just leave after
three seconds because they didn't find what they were looking for? It's better
to have fewer people - more targeted prospects - who are more likely to
By targeting your keyphrases so they are as accurate and focused as possible,
you will gain the attention of customers who are specifically searching for
what you have to offer. While your unique visitor or page view count may
go down, your bank account balance will likely go up!
About the Author:
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