One of the first things done by any search engine optimization specialist, usually even before a campaign begins, is to do thorough research into which keywords and phrases are most relevant for your website to target. They would consider several key variables in order to compile the list of keywords for your website:
Relevancy to your business or industry
A popular line many of my clients have heard me say is “You’d rather have 50 hits to your website from people who are actually interested in your service rather than 5,000 hits from those who are not.” This means that although your Golf Course brings in hundreds of hits from people searching for ‘used golf club sales in niagara’, it doesn’t mean much if you’re not in fact offering used golf clubs for sale. Instead, you’d be much better off at targeting keywords such as ‘niagara golf course’ or ‘golfing in niagara’ and receiving less total hits (but more QUALITY hits) due to the more competitive nature of the keyword.
Popularity of the keyword
One of the most significant aspects that make a keyword worth while is how much it’s being used by the public. Using tools and resources available to them, an SEO specialist is able to see how often any search term is being used both in your local area as well as globally. There’s no sense in showing up on the first spot of Google for a search term that no one is even using, no matter how closely related to your business it may be.
Let’s face it, sometimes no matter how good an SEO specialist may be, there are just some tree’s that we shouldn’t bark up in certain situations. If you’re a small car sales business with a new website online, you’re likely going to be disappointed if you expect to see your website appear within the first 5 pages of Google when you search for “used car sales” only to find result after result of Nissan dealerships and AutoTrader.ca type websites. Some keyterms are so popular and being targeted by hundreds of established websites, that it may be a fruitless effort to try and compete, at least early on. Instead a good SEO specialist would be able to provide suggestions to alternate keywords that would be worth the time to invest into. For example, although you may not want to target “used car sales” (which is used roughly 27,100 times on a 12 month average) and show up on the 4th page of results, it might be a good idea to instead target “used cars for sale in Ontario” (which is used roughly 4,400 times on a 12 month average) and show up on the first or second page of results.
To summarize, before undertaking an SEO campaign, ensure that you will will be targeting keywords that are A. Relevant to your business, B. Popular enough to be worth while, C. Realistic in terms of success.
Quick Tip – It’s almost always a good idea to couple a generic keyword such as “auto repair” with a geographical element for more precise targeting such as “Niagara Falls auto repair”. This way you reduce your competition greatly to only those auto repair companies serving the city of Niagara Falls.