One of the biggest mistakes people make when doing SEO is selecting the wrong keywords. There are a ton of free resources available that outline how to do proper keyword research, but they focus on the wrong criteria. As someone who built niche sites and put them at the top of Google before flipping them, I feel qualified to talk about this.
The problem with traditional SEO keyword research is that it focuses exclusively on finding low competition keywords (according to the strength of the competitors on the first page). The problem with this approach is that it involves making assumptions. And in marketing, making assumptions is a dangerous strategy. If you’re building niche sites and selling AdSense ads, then this approach is fine. If you run a legitimate business, however, this approach is not effective.
Low Competition Does Not Equal Profits
The problem with selecting your keywords based on competition is that you dramatically limit the types of keywords you can go after. The truth is most keywords that are worth going after are going to be competitive. This is especially true as more and more people have more and more tools to find longtail keywords and identify terms with low levels of competition.
Instead of going the low competition route, I recommend my clients run Pay Per Click ads to targeted landing pages. Set up a properly structured, tightly managed PPC campaign, let it run for a month, and figure out what keywords generate the best conversions. Given your brand, mission statement, and product/service are unlikely to change very much over the course of a month or six weeks, it is safe to assume that a keyword that drives high conversions via PPC will also drive conversions via SEO.
PPC = Profits
Which brings to the my main argument. The problem with selecting keywords based exclusively on the fact that they a) make “sense” for your business and b) have low competition pays absolutely no attention to whether or not they will be profitable for your business. There is no point in going after a keyword that has low competition if it’s not going to drive any business for your site.
A lot of people dislike my approach because the PPC results may show you that you need to go after high competition keywords. What you need to keep in mind is long-term profitability. Going after a high competition keyword can take a lot of resources, in both time and money. However, PPC is already competitive; if you can make money on a keyword with PPC, you can make 10x as much with SEO.
Organic Listings Get the Traffic
As you probably know by now, organic listings capture anywhere from 85-95% of traffic on Google. In other words, all the PPC advertisers combined are only capturing a small percentage of the traffic that is available. This is the main reason you should test using PPC before diving into SEO: if it proves possible with paid keywords, the profits can be massive through organic traffic. The question is whether or not you will commit the resources to achieving first page rankings or not.
Author Bio :- Chris Laub is an Internet Marketer from Southern California. He spent 3.5 years working at a search marketing agency before opening up his own PPC advertising agency: PPC Nerds.