This is a guest post by SEO Specialist Shane Smith of Inbound Visions.
It is crucial to understand that going after the most common keywords of your industry might not always be the best strategy for your search engine optimization campaign. Targeting “long tail” keywords often will bring a lot of traffic. For example, if you were targeting the keyword “horse trainer”, of course there would be a lot of competition and it would be more difficult to rank for that short phrase. However, more and more users on Google are searching with longer phrases to find what they need. So your target might be searching “quarter horse trainers in Denver, Colorado”, or even more specific, “reining horse trainers in Denver, Colorado”. More than likely your competition isn’t targeting these longer search phrases and that is where you can come in to the traffic you need.
The reason why choosing a highly used search term isn’t as effective is because of the amount of people that are trying to rank on it. It takes a large amount of time and resources to be ranked on those keywords, and usually you won’t even rank after all that time. Most people just end up giving up trying to get ranked on those popular terms before they see any results. So, before we get into more details about the strategy, let us take a quick look at how we should research to be making the right strategic decisions.
A great keyword campaign always begins with thorough research of your target demographic, what words they use to search, and how much work it will take to rank on those keywords. Making sure to understand exactly who your demographic is will allow you to predict what kind of content they like and how they will react to it. It is important that your audience is engaged in your content and that they will want to come back to you for more.
Once you know what type of people you will be marketing to, you are then going to need to know what words they tend to type in to search for what they want. This will be the part of your research that is most important and once it has been completed, will make all future research easier. Take your time and find as many search terms as you possibly can. After you find all of the popular ones, try researching similar terms. A lot of free keyword tools help out with keyword suggestions and similar keywords, so you might want to give one of those a try. Once you have a long list of keywords and the statistics behind them, you have many options on which ones to use. For future research, all you have to do is keep up with their statistics and find new search trends.
Alright, you now know who your audience is going to be and what terms they search for, so now it is time to check out your competition. Each keyword will have different amounts of competition, and as I stated earlier, popular terms are usually the more competitive, so you need to stay away from those unless you plan to engage in a large campaign.
The more keywords you target that have low competition, the more chance you will rank and the more traffic you will get. Most people think that just because the keywords are less popular that they won’t get them traffic, but in reality, if you rank high on 20 less highly searched keywords you’re going to be getting much more traffic.
After a while, you might choose to try different strategies to find which one is best for your business, but picking easy battles is a great way to start. It gets traffic to your site, increases your authority, and lets you practice with your keywords. The more keywords you play with the better you will get at, making the time and effort you put in worth it. Just remember, the biggest part in any campaign is researching as many keyword as possible, then make your decision on which ones to target and what strategies to implement.