What keywords to target?

One of the most important parts of SEO is proper keyword research, without in-depth keyword research your SEO campaign will not be as effective as it could be.

There are three different ways to perform keyword research, I don’t mean tools you can use, I mean there are different strategies, and you need to use the correct strategy for your website.

LongTail Keywords

If you are building a large site which you plan to make an ‘authority’ site then this is most likely the best way to go for you.

Large sites mean lots of content’ and if you target each article you write to a specific keyword, even if that keyword only gets say 200 searches per month, times that by say 1000 articles and you’ll have a lot of traffic.

Longtail keywords are generally easier to rank for, and in a lot of cases they convert better as they are more targeted search terms.

Trophy Keywords

I personally do not go after these trophy keywords, especially with newer websites. By trophy keywords I mean just going after 1-5 main keywords which are highly competitive e.g. ‘car insurance’.

If you are a new site chances are you will never get ranked for that term no matter how hard you try. However, if you are creating a small micro site to just target one keyword that is fine, maybe you are selling a eBook or something in that market, but if you are going down this route you need to make sure it’s not too competitive, because otherwise even with an exact match domain you will struggle to rank.

I would suggest aiming for a keyword, which has low – medium competition, with at least 1000 searches per month. However, if for example you want to rank for ‘red mice’ then just because they keyword ‘red mice’ gets more traffic then ‘buy red mice’ it doesn’t mean it is better to target that keyword. As people typing ‘buy red mice’ have their buying hat on and are more likely to convert into a sale.

No keyword Research

Believe it or not, some people still create sites without doing one bit of keyword research or SEO. Sometimes this can work well because out of luck their content targets keywords anyway, but most of the time this method will fail, and in time they will have to go over their whole site and perform ‘On-Page SEO‘ to each and every page.

Keyword research should always be carried out before performing any other part of SEO, without it you have no idea what to write for your Meta tags, titles, links and articles.