Even if you have a beautifully designed website it won’t generate any sales or leads if you don’t market it. One of the most effective methods for driving traffic to your site is search engine marketing. You can use either paid advertising or search engine optimization. Both require you to generate a list of keywords.
What is pay per click advertising?
This refers to the list of ads displayed in the right side of the search engine results pages (SERPS) where advertisers pay each time someone clicks on their ad. If many advertisers are competing for the same keywords you’ll pay more than the less competitive keywords.
What is search engine optimization?
This refers to the results listed on the left side of the search engine results pages. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing use keywords embedded in your website to find and rank your web pages. Multiple factors determine how high your site will rank ie keywords, quality and quantity of backlinks, domain age, social media signals, etc.
Both methods above first begin with keyword research to determine how many search counts a keyword or keyword phrase receives each month.
Here are 5 things to consider before conducting keyword research
1. Not all keyword research tools are created equal
Each keyword tool gets it’s data from different sources. For example the Google AdWords Tool gets all its data from Google and not any other search engine so this means its results are skewed towards Google. It also includes automated searches generated from automated software programs.
On the other hand WordTracker is more accurate than the Google Tool because it filters out automated searches and gathers its data from all multiple search engines (metacrawlers) such as Dogpile.com and Metacrawler.com. It also doesn’t include duplicate results and filters out adult-oriented keywords.
2. Results only contain a representative sample of total database results
It’s impossible to obtain a totally accurate count from any keyword tool because it doesn’t show the results from its entire database. For instance WordTracker’s results are only a 2% sample of its database.
How does this affect you?
Even though you may only see a few searches displayed inside WordTracker for a specific keyword, your sites stats may show a much higher number because it’s receiving traffic from all over the Net. The keyword tool only provides a representative sample from its database.
3. Keyword research doesn’t guarantee conversions
Even if you’ve created an effective keyword list, optimized all your web pages for the search engines and got hundreds of links pointing to your website it won’t guarantee your visitors will convert into sales or leads. One of the main factors affecting conversion rates is web copy. Well written web copy will generate higher conversion rates than poorly written content. Other factors include web design, load times and usability.
4. High competition
Selecting keywords that are highly competitive will only waste your precious time. For instance if you select a keyword phrase that receives 5000 searches per month (according to the Google Keyword Tool) and the top 10 websites have 1000s of backlinks pointing back to them plus their domains are over 10 years old, your chances of outranking them will be very slim, especially if you’ve built a new website (with a newly registered domain).
5. Avoid using single keywords
Single keywords will generate thousands of more searches than long tail keywords (keyword phrases containing 2 or more keywords) because they are so general. Even though the search counts will be less it will be easier to gain high rankings for them because there is less competition.
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