This post is brought to you by an actual conversation I had this past week:
“If I add all related keywords related to my site, why do I need to do anything else?”
Unfortunately, many people have this same point of view when it comes to how online organic SEO works. Search engine optimization is a constant process that needs to be updated to the changing industry and search engine algorithms. But it can be confusing when you ask yourself why it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it process once you add as many keywords that you can possibly think of.
As we can’t emphasize enough, accurate and detailed keyword research is vital to any successful SEO campaign. Search engine and search users are more sophisticated than most people think!
The Google Keyword Tool is an effective and free way to research:
Which keywords to use: lawyer or attorney, expert or professional, best or great, shop or store, sofa or couch? Check the data and you’ll see that some phrases that you think are similar have much different search data.
Search competition: Do you want to rank well for a phrase that has half a million + competitors? This will require an aggressive plan that takes place over a course of many months. In the mean time, you can conquer other phrases with less competition by using the right long tail keywords.
Long tail keywords: These will usually run from 2 to 5 words and are usually descriptive adjectives that help better describe your product/service. Affordable hotel room, luxury day spa etc.
Search volume: There’s no point in ranking well for a phrase that no one is searching for! And with what we’ve mentioned about competition, it isn’t so effective to go after competitive keywords that get the most search volume. You’ll want to find a middle ground that matches your SEO manpower and monthly budget.
SEO involves more than just throwing together a page, adding all “relevant” keywords and calling it a day. The keywords you choose should be about quality and not quantity because let’s face it… choosing the right keywords is an art in itself. But it’s how you use them, afterwords. Check out this oldie-but-goodie resource by Rand Fishkin on how to “perfectly” optimize a page.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.