At last month’s NEMOA conference, I attended an excellent workshop led by Michael Biggs of Website Publicity. In it, he outlined 5 important considerations to help you sort out which keywords will bring the biggest bang for the buck:
1. Volume. Naturally, ranking #1 for a keyword that gets little traffic doesn’t do much for you. While Google’s Keyword Tool is imprecise, it does give you a sense of how much traffic one keyword gets compared to another.
2. Competition. To judge how much competition there is for particular keywords, do a Google search with the phrase in quotes, such as “aquilegia McKana hybrids.” At the top of the search results returned, Google shows how many sites use that exact phrase – a good barometer of competition.
3. Consumer Intent. You can often discern whether someone is in buying mode by the search term they use. Someone who searches on “vegetable seed catalog” is probably shopping. Someone who searches on “how to grow peppers” may just be looking for information.
4. Google Intent. What kind of search results does Google return for your keyword? Are they primarily shopping sites, or informational sites? Google does a pretty good job of determining which search terms signify someone is shopping, and responds accordingly.
5. Relevancy. Make sure that your site delivers content that’s directly relevant to the search term in question. If there’s a disconnect between the two, the strongest keyword in the world won’t convert for you.
Follow these guidelines, and you’ll find that prioritizing a jumble of keywords will become a whole lot easier.