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Pick your battles - affordable SEO success by keyword research

By now most "hot" keywords have become extremely competitive and difficult to get top ranking. So much so that many would-be online entrepreneurs have been discouraged from even attempting to get their website ranking for good search results. Stories of business owners or professionals spending thousands of dollars per month to get a handful of leads abound in many competitive search markets.

While there are plenty of instances of business owners either being taken for a ride by an unqualified or over-priced SEO firm it is a huge mistake for any business to write-off search marketing from fear of a lack of ROI.

A skilled SEO professional or even a determined business owner can achieve greater search traffic by researching the most productive and "cooler" long-tail key words. Many online searches follow a pattern of starting with an extremely general and broad search term, and then gradually narrowing their search by entering increasingly specific search phrases.

This search trend creates a large opportunity for those who know how to take advantage of it.

The potential for better ROI from longer, more specific search phrases or keywords stems from two factors:

  1. longer, more specific search phrases have a better conversion rate than more general keywords - better conversion means more $$!

  2. longer key words and phrases are much less competitive and easier to get top ranking for! Much easier.

The best way to take advantage of these factors involves 3 components -

  1. Thorough key word research and a detailed analysis of top-ranking websites

  2. A well-optimized website. The content of the site should have a high level of keyword optimization for the target phrases

  3. Plenty of written content. A major factor in targeting long-tail keywords both targeted and unexpected is how much written content is on your website. You will need to have enough relevant content to begin to rank for more searches.

By now you may be wondering were the affordable part comes in.

You may notice all of the above items are all directly on your website. This differs from SEO strategy for more competitive keywords. These days getting top search results for short or "hot" keywords usually requires a large effort of building links that go back to your website and a much higher cost over time, but targeting long-tail keywords allows for good results by having your website content relevant and optimized. Getting good ranking for longer search phrases by your website content alone opens the possibility for many business owners to utilize popular open source content management systems or blogs such as wordpress to optimize their own website and publish their own content.

In fact a good strategy for a small business with a limited budget but unlimited ambition would be to hire an SEO consultant to do the competitive analysis, keyword research and a bit of training then make regular lengthy posts at least once per week. Putting this task into a scheduled routine will go a long way to making it effective. Over time with weekly or better still daily posts, a business's website can end up with many pages of optimized content; and many pages that pick up great ranking for long-tail keywords!

Remember even though there are far fewer searches for a given long-tail search phrase most website conversion come from these type of searches... So do your research, don't let the nay-sayers discourage you and write your way to effective online marketing.
posted by Glenn Williams on Sat., Sep 25th, 2010 in search engine optimization web marketing website content



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