Selecting the right key words is an eternal tripping ground for many a business looking to make its mark on the web.
A popular myth surrounding the web is “Build it, and they shall come”. No, they won’t. A website that resides halfway down the second page of search results is going to get nothing, apart from the occasional lost traveller.
A beautiful web design on its own, with little to none SEO is not enough; a website must be planned with a firm idea of what you want it to achieve, and part of this planning is to perform an in-depth keyword research, to narrow down traffic and find your niche. A good looking website has to be visited for it to be noticed. It’s absolutely vital to obtain a high ranking in all major search engines.
You goal should be to hit the ground running; the website should be launched with all the key SEO factors already there. Don’t launch the website and then consider SEO; you’ll be the equivalent of the new-born foal that stumbles out of the starting box, whilst the thoroughbreds have finished the race.
Keyword Research – Selection
The single most important part of a good SEO campaign is the selection of keywords, consisting of keyword research and defining the long tail keywords that narrow down to your niche.Highly generalised key words will generate traffic that is looking for information rather than products or services so it is worthwhile looking into more specific long tail keywords.
There are two types, short tail and long tail.
Imagine you run a bakery…..
Short Tail Keywords
You could optimise for “bread”. That’s no good, ranking highly for this won’t attract customers, it’ll attract people researching “bread”. How about “fresh bread”? Still useless; you might be at the top, but attracting customers who want fresh bread, yet live in Ohio, whereas you trade from Lincolnshire.
Long Tail Keywords
Here’s one: “fresh bread in Skegness”. Much less traffic than the others; “bread” managed 60,000 potential visitors searching for that keyword, whereas “fresh bread in Skegness” only gets 400. But this time, you’ve got a captive audience who are searching for a specific product in a specific place, and you’re the logical provider.
This is a good example of traffic conversion. You stand a great chance of converting a significant percentage of site visits into trade.
The second step is to analyse the competitors that already hold the page one rankings for those keywords. If the top ten results in the major search engines are held by large, trusted authority sites with high page rank ratings it is very unlikely that a new website will be able to have a strong impact.
You may have handed him reams of carefully written text, giving an excellent portrayal of your business, but any web designer/developer worth his salt will have a good grasp of written English, or have specific staff or freelancers able to perform this SEO role. Over the usual course of development, page text will be subtly altered, in order to steer it towards the key words chosen, whilst retaining the underlying message and goals of the original text.
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