Are Your Keywords Sabotaging Your SEO Efforts?

August 6th, 2014 by Search Influence Alumni

Choosing the right keywords to target is one of the most important aspects of a successful SEO campaign. The goal of SEO campaigns is to get more online visibility, more traffic to your site, and more sales and leads. Keyword selection is central to bringing these goals to life.


Keyword Selection Must-Haves

When choosing keywords, make sure they:

1) Are RELEVANT to your business

Keywords should answer the questions: What do I do? What products and services do I offer?

2) Are SEARCHED often

If the goal is to bring more users to your site, you need to make sure users are actually searching for the keywords you select. Hint: use Google’s Keyword Planner to help you decide what keywords have the greatest search value.

3) Bring up the RIGHT SEARCH RESULTS that your business should appear in

You always want to do a Google search of the keywords you are considering. Make sure they represent a search that you have a realistic chance of ranking for and that your direct competitors are appearing in. For example, a bedding store in Mobile, AL might think “Mobile Bed” is a good keyword. In actuality, that keyword brings up national sites that carry movable beds.


Your Go-To Keyword Research Tips

With those 3 items in mind, below are a few tips to use during your keyword research process. Take it from me, comprehensive and strategic keyword research and selection can make or break your SEO efforts.

1) Be very thorough when brainstorming keyword variations. You’d be surprised how much search value differs for small variations such as “buy gold,” “gold buyer,” and “cash for gold.” The goal is to think of every possible way people are searching for your business and then narrow them down from there!

2) If you are a local business, be realistic when choosing what geo-modifiers to target. If you are a dentist in Metairie, LA (a suburb of New Orleans), it will be very difficult for you to rank on the first page for “dentist new orleans.” Check out the search results for that keyword, and you’ll see why! It’s best to be practical and start your focus on where you have a reasonable chance of ranking on the first page.

3) Try and try again! Sometimes you might target a keyword for 6 months to a year and don’t see the results you want. Don’t give up; Google is constantly changing its algorithm, so revisiting your keyword strategy and making changes is perfectly normal and to be expected.

Do you have more keyword research tips and tricks to share? Leave them in the comments below!