The first step in any Internet marketing campaign is picking the right keywords. Many businesses and law firms make the mistake of choosing keywords to target based on their opinion of what keywords potential customers would use to search for them, rather than basing that decision on research. Don’t do that.
The other big mistake I see some companies make is picking a huge basket of keywords for which to promote their web site. Don’t do that, either. Think small in number and highly specific.
So just what do you do? Let research guide your decisions, and pick keywords that meet three specific criteria.
Here are the three major criteria to consider for any potential keyword:
1. Degree of relevance. You want a strong sense of congruity between a keyword and a particular web page. It doesn’t have to be relevant to your home page, but it needs to be relevant to SOME page on your web site.
For example, a good keyword for the home page of a Ford auto dealership in Memphis might be “Memphis Ford dealer.” A good keyword for a page about Ford Mustangs on this same dealer’s site might be “Memphis Ford Mustang dealer.” These are completely hypothetical examples.
2. Search engine traffic. The more search traffic there is for a particular keyword, the more potential traffic the keyword could drive to your web site.
3. Competition. The fewer competing web sites there are for a keyword, the more attractive that keyword is for the subject web site.
So the three major criteria for any keyword you are considering targeting is relevance, traffic and competition. The relevance criterion is judgment-based. It is common sense. For the traffic criterion, the best tool to use to generate that data is the external Adwords research tool, located at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. For the competition criterion, I suggest basing it on Google “allintitle:” searches, because this will return the number of web pages that are closest to being specifically optimized for that keyword.
Compile a list of potential keywords using Google’s external keyword, eliminate the less relevant ones, then rank them by the number of searches Google claims for each one. Then look for ones that are in a favorable competitive situation. Your highlighted keywords at this point are your best bet for generating targeted organic search engine traffic in a reasonable amount of time. Your chance of ranking for those keywords, and thus generating visits to your web site, is excellent.