A competitive keyword isn’t always a good one to optimise for

Posted on March 27, 2010


Consider all of the keywords that are at the disposal of your SEO campaign. You have all of the words you and your staff naturally relate to your business. You have the words your competitors handily provide to you through their own websites. You have the words used by your customers, including slang terms and common misspellings. This adds up to a long list of terms, some of them more competitive than others.

Deciding which level of competition to target is far from easy, but most businesses plunge right in to competitive keywords. There are times when being in the middle of tough competition isn’t the best thing for your website.

Search engine optimisation can seem like a technical process, but at times it is as intuitive as any other form of internet marketing. Rushing right into the highest level of competition won’t get results that are as good as those a well-thought-out strategy will produce. A part of this strategy should be sorting your keywords into levels according to competition, and deciding exactly which levels you want to engage.

Just because there is tough competition for a keyword doesn’t mean you can’t target it. However, it’s a good idea to have a suitable mix in your search engine optimisation strategy. Instead of targeting the five major keywords for your industry, your optimisation campaign might be more assured of success targeting two low-level keywords, one medium and two high-competition.

The important thing to remember with optimisation is that you want to boost your site’s traffic. This may not happen if you take on the major keywords in your industry, only to be relegated to the back pages. It’s vital to realistically assess your chances of succeeding with high-competition keywords, and taking the easiest path where possible. Remember, gaining a stronger position overall will help you to be more competitive in the future.

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