If Gordon Gekko was an SEO consultant, he’d be out of business. Of all the things you should know about selecting keywords it’s that greed won’t get you anywhere in search engine optimization.
SEO can be pretty complicated at times, but the easiest lesson of all is one that most people mess up on. I messed up on it to, so don’t think that I am picking on new comers or late bloomers. I didn’t come to this “selecting keywords” conclusion lightly though. It was only through real world application and trial and error that I am able to tell you this ahead of time.
Over the course of a year, I mistakenly believed that through the magical powers of strongly written content, I would be able to take control of the most highly coveted keywords. Trust me, it didn’t go well. I ended up spinning my wheels and learning this lesson the hard way.
Okay, What Should I Go After?
Hold on sparky, we will get to it.
As you advance through your SEO education, you will learn that even if you could somehow magically jump to the top of your market and reap the keyword benefits, you’re probably not set up for it. Do you really think that you could manage the supply and demand that comes with ranking first for cars, or sneakers, or makeup? Not to mention the burden you’d be placing on your servers. So leave those types of keywords to the major enterprises and uninformed folk.
Let your competitors go after greed and find disappointment at the end of the rainbow. You, on the other hand, are going to begin selecting keywords that actually make a difference.
Understanding Your Goals:
This can be hard to grapple with, but you have to keep realistic goals in mind when working with SEO (like other aspects of business).
If you are new in the market (even a couple of years old) or a small business (even two or three locations), it really is like David versus Goliath at times. You have to remember that you’re not only competing with every other small business in your market, but you are also competing with giants.
If you run an ad campaign, you are going to go over your budget quickly if you are attempting to compete with massive enterprises. So this is why selecting keywords appropriately and having organic search streaming to your business is so valuable. No matter what though, you have to go at it with the right mentality.
Setting realistic goals should be a top priority. You can want all of the keywords related to basketball, but you can’t have them all.
To win your battle against Goliath you have to narrow your focus on specific keywords.
Targeting Specific Keywords:
Avoid the “mother of all” keywords for your specific market. For our market, some of these unobtainable keywords look like:
These are keywords that when you look them up on Moz (or similar tools) they show a difficulty counter of 100 (meaning highest difficulty) and only moderate opportunity.
You can see where that can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. Instead, try going after keywords that cater more towards your specific market. In our case we offer SEO services in New Jersey, so the keyword NJ SEO is relevant to our market and our targeted statewide audience.
You can get more specific than this though and begin working on long-tail keywords.
Long-Tail Keywords Are Our Friend:
NJ SEO, believe it or not, would be considered a long-tail keyword. But the ones that I am really talking about get into the nitty gritty of your targeted keyword.
You are essentially safe to target keywords that have a low monthly volume because your bigger competitors are too busy obtaining the high value ones and most of your smaller competitors are going to be chasing the same thing.
Focus on winning the lower volume keywords and stay true to your plan. Guess what? You will win at all of these terms with time, content, and optimization.
Even if there are only 10 people a month looking for the “best SEO company in NJ,” those 10 people have to go somewhere. Why not send them to your business?
Closing Remarks on Selecting Keywords:
If you are the sole person representing SEO for your company, don’t fret. While you can’t perform the sheer volume of a multi-million dollar marketing team, you can target keywords that will get customers through your doors.
Just remember each time you are going after a keyword – you know exactly what is going into the optimization on your site. The same can’t be said for a team of 20 people. So don’t go after every single keyword scenario.
Stay focused and in the long term you will make lasting gains in your market. Make sure to pick the best keyword variations that will truly resonate with your target market and ignore the rest – even if just temporary. If you are brand new to SEO, scale down the volume of searches. Don’t get lost in the weeds just because you feel like you can take on the world.
Now get out there, find the sweet spot for your search volumes and own them.