Understanding Keyword Search Engine Optimization

I don’t know if it’s frustrating, troubling, or amusing.  But some people seem to think that keyword research and keyword selection are the same in the world of keyword search engine optimization.  They are not.

I speak with many business owners.  They typically seem to think in very general terms:  “I want to rank for this keyword.”

That’s nice.

If you want immediate gratification, it’s called paid search or pay-per-click.  If you want to win with search engines, you need to learn what it takes to succeed.

Keyword research and keyword selection are different because of what is at stake.  You can research keywords until you get so tired that your head crashes into your keyboard.  But just looking at data has no real consequences for how the keywords are going to perform on a web site and gain favor with search engines like Google.

Keyword selection unlike keyword research must be made in the face of many factors affecting an Internet marketing campaign.  They include relevance, competitors, in your domain name.

As an online marketing specialist, I know how to size up a situation.

How do you know which factor is more important than another?  You don’t.  Think of it as a scale where you’re weighing two objects.  In this case, were actually weighing many different objects.  But for simplicity sake we’ll focus on two.

Let’s put a few items on one part of this scale like what keywords are already ranking well, how well competitors are ranking, whether keywords are beginning to appear in your website analytics, and how much content you have today to support the keywords.

On the other side of the scale, let’s place your website  age, the number of pages on your website, your domain name, and how many inbound links you have to your website.

You are probably getting the picture.  In other words, it’s a lot of data to consider.  Now, you could map all of that out on an excel document and back it up with some type of formula.  But it really comes down to an intuitive sense of what to do with the data right before your eyes.

Your final decisions with keyword selection have more to do with experience than most anything else.  Nothing is equal.  You might think that one set of factors is going to outweigh the other simply because your ranking well today for some keyword phrases.  On the other hand there is a lot of power in a domain name that includes at least one of the keywords you are really targeting.

Given all those variables, you have to decide what path to take.  Brace yourself for more intangibles.  It’s hard to get your arms around some factors.  What about your capacity to add content to existing pages or with new pages?  I can’t give you the special formula for how many pages you need to support any given keyword phrase.  My best advice is not to go over the top.  In incremental approach is your best bet.