I bet you would think this is a huge topic. In fact I do too. So I am talking about it in this article only as a start point of this big subject. And I will discuss more details in a serial of articles regarding different aspects of keywords strategy.
No doubt more and more businesses are doing SEO and most of us think SEO so technical that the only thing that matters is to find a brilliant IT company. Then we could just hand over all the credentials, pay the cost and wait for clients to ring. Easy yet not right at all. Admittedly good SEO must have good understanding of many technological details of websites, protocols and servers. But they are important only because we need them to implement our e-marketing strategy. Simply put, if we are targeting wrong keywords, we are targeting wrong clients or even no clients.
I guess someone would think how hard could this be? If I am selling A, just target A as the keyword. Well, yes and no. Several months ago I met an business owner selling air conditioning. He used to pay tons of money on “air conditioning” and indeed his website once listed in top three positions. The phone did ring slightly more than before. However at end of the day he found only few led to successful sales. The money he made out of this e-marketing effort was far less enough to pay the SEO services. So what was wrong? Indeed “air conditioning” has high search volume, but it doesn’t have high search value for sales. If we are targeting leads for selling A, we are targeting people who would like to buy A, not people who just want to, for example, get some general information about A, or repair A, or install A. I am not saying A is not worth doing at all. I just have to say we might not achieve our goal by only targeting A.
What is the solution then? Keywords combinations. In my point of view, we need to think all the relevant keywords in three levels. Then we can decide our keywords combinations as per our marketing budget, short term and long term goals.
Basic Level – Specific Keywords
For example if we are selling used cars, it’s highly likely that we sell some popular models way many than others. Perhaps “used model A cars” only has 5% search volume compared with that of “used cars”. It is still worth doing because when a client search for specific keyword he/she would have a strong will to buy this specific product or service. The chance of making a successful deal is relatively the highest. Additionally this kind of keywords are normally not very difficult to achieve. Therefore we can target more than one specific keywords simultaneously which times our chances of getting potential clients.
Medium Level – Range Keywords
Range keywords are a good part of the big picture. I’ll still use “used cars” as an example. If our shop is located in Melbourne, “used cars Melbourne” is one of the range keywords. This category has higher search volume than specific keywords and relatively good value for sales, although not as good as that of specific keywords. The competition of doing this kind of keywords is often higher than that of specific keywords.
Top Level – Broad Keywords
The last level is just what it is. Now we are talking about “used cars”. Keywords like this are really hard to achieve. We will get remarkable impressions (when people see our site listed in the search result) and clicks (when people click our site in the search result), yet not necessarily good sales. Whether we should do this category or not depends on lot of factors which I will try explaining later.
Now we are clear about these keywords levels and we can get down to a good sheet of our keywords combinations. In my next article I will talk about how to decide the keywords in these three levels based on the size, the characteristic and the locality of the business.