How to know when your keywords are wrong

Posted on July 31, 2010

 

When you start a new business, it’s important to first conduct market research into the potential business to see whether it is a viable enterprise. You need to look at the size of the market, the strength of the competition and whether you can make enough profit to warrant the time and effort. You wouldn’t just have an idea and begin the business without any research, as you could be wasting your time flogging a dead horse in what proves to be a very costly mistake.

So why do so many people do this with their SEO?

It’s an all too common sight in the field of search engine optimisation to see websites, often promoted by SEO agencies, being optimised for the wrong keywords. Businesses can spend a lot of money, often thousands or tens of thousands of pounds, targeting keywords that are of no use to them in any capacity, or ones they have no hope of ever ranking for.

Let’s give you a for instance.

Say your business is in the divorce industry, and you’re a divorce solicitor offering quick online divorces. What words instantly come to mind when you think of divorce?

There’s the obvious, ‘divorce’, for example. But how competitive is that to rank for? You would need a sizable budget to be able to rank for such a generic keyword, or an already very established website, and how many people who were looking for your kind of service would simply use the word ‘divorce’ for their search?

No, that’s not the keyword you should be investing your time, effort and money into optimising for – although you will find that by optimising for the correct keywords, your rankings for ‘divorce’ would improve anyway.

How about other keywords such as ‘marriage breakdown’, ‘break-ups’, ‘split’ and ‘annulment’?

These keywords are all relevant to your business, and they’re the sort of words that should be appearing on your website, yes, but again they’re not the sort of keywords that you should be optimising for as such. Imagine that you’re looking for the services of a divorce solicitor, one that offers online divorce – what are the benefits of that service? What words would you use to find a service such as that?

More relevant keywords would be ‘divorce solicitors’, ‘online divorce’, ‘quickie divorce’, ‘cheap divorce’ and ‘divorce advice’.

Notice how they all contain the word ‘divorce’ anyway, so by optimising for keywords such as these you would be optimising for divorce as well?

Remember, when choosing keywords you need to ensure:

  • Keywords are not too competitive
  • Keywords are not too generic
  • Keywords are relevant to your service
  • Keywords will convert
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