SEO is much like building a house. You can have the best materials, the best builders and the best carpenters, but if your foundations are poor, your house will fall down. In SEO, the foundations are the keywords.
Too often in SEO people pluck keywords out of thin air, without giving a moment’s though to whether anyone is searching for them, whether they’re relevant or whether you’ll get any traffic for them.
The problem lies with who chooses the keywords. There’s no point someone with no experience in Internet marketing picking the keywords as they won’t know what words to choose. If you end up picking keywords that nobody is searching for, and put all your SEO budget into ranking for those keywords, you won’t get any traffic from them.
This means you will have a poor return on investment (ROI).
Several months down the line you’ll look at your Internet marketing efforts and deem them a failure, regardless of whether your SEO company has achieved the rankings you want or not. There’s no point ranking for search terms that no one is searching for.
What you should do is research your keywords. Use the Google Adwords Traffic Estimator and see what search phrases related to your industry are getting the most searches. Look at your competitors’ websites and see what they are optimising for, and what they are ranking for.
You need to get the keywords right before you start your SEO, or you’ll be throwing your money away!