Congratulations, you have a website and you’ve been scaling up content proceedings, hoping to make a splash in the rankings and dominate your niche. But what is your niche? Furthermore, what keywords would best capture the right audience to really push your slice of the internet into the Success category and stave off failure? Worried? Don’t be. What keywords should I target and how do I research keywords are two age old questions pondered by amateur SEO’s everywhere; due to their determination to have all of the answers (note: it is never possible to have all of the answers when indulging in internet marketing), there are a few points and guideposts we can lay down right now for you to send you off on the right path. Ready to go? Strap yourself in.

keyword-researchValue: Subjective or Scientific?

Valuing a keyword begins with a quick introspective interview: what keywords are most relevant to my website? Will visitors be satisfied I’ve addressed their query when a keyword lands them on my site? What are my goals (financial, numbers, long distance conversion – newsletter signups etc)? After jotting down a few answers, start narrowing down your list by testing. That’s right, you might have to do some research first. There are a few ways to go about this too; enter a series of ten desired keywords and record their impressions, note competitors and check out who’s top dog on the Adwords charts (sponsored ads); launch a test Adwords campaign and throw a couple hundred dollars at two to five of your favourites, set over twenty four hours – how have they ranked? What is your quality score rating? What is the bounce rate?

Verdict: Scientific

Bang For Your Buck Now or Big Bang Later

Similar to the creation of the Universe (however that happened), success or the final product wasn’t presented in a single day; indeed, much like SEO, the universe is in a constant state of change. Long tailed keywords are for those who are in it to win it for a sustained period of time, why? Because those highly charged, popular keywords only account for less than 30% of all searches processed through a multitude of web browsers; by ignoring the specified, average terms, you’re instantly closing out a majority of possible conversion query. Ouch. Even though long tailed searches only pop up a few times a day, it’s great for staying power to mix it up and include a few relevant, long tailed terms in your keyword list. Don’t focus on the now, focus on the future.

Verdict: Big Bang Later

Too Hard or Suck It Up

Part of constructing the perfect keyword list for your website is knowing when to walk away from a keyword. It might by shiny, you might love it; the word may represent your business values or individual appeal right down to its last consonant, but if the work required to boost its rankings is far more than you have in your back pocket, find another word and cut your losses. Keywords aren’t supposed to be favourites or creatively designed and deigned, they’re tools. Imagine you’re selling cheeseburgers…Are you really going to fight McDonald’s for the right to rank for that word? No, you’re not. Be smart and think laterally.

Verdict: Be smart, not particular.

And what of you, our good readership? Do you have any keyword tips to pass onto your fellow internet citizens? Let us know below in the comments.

Jess Hannah is a member of the team at Search Factory, a leading Brisbane SEO agency.