When forming SEO strategies for a Web site, appropriate keyword choice is critical for bringing in targeted traffic. Choose the right words, and all the rest of your efforts will be rewarded.
SEO Keyword Choice: An Example
A prospective client approached me for advice on this Web site on which he sold a dip for potato chips. He told me that his site ranked well but his traffic and sales were poor. He indicated that he was optimizing his site for the phrase “chip dip”. It was clear that he did a number of the right things on the site with title tags, linking and good natural text. I suspected that the problem was with the phrase he chose for his SEO efforts.
On Google, a search for this phrase yielded 297K results and for the two words alone yielded 518K. Not bad. One keyword traffic tool indicated that the phrase had 40.5K searches in Google in the previous month. Still not bad. What was missing?
Then, it hit me. Taking a look at the PPC ads for that phrase, there just weren’t that many. And, there were only three of them. One might expect this from a really narrow niche or localized search term. Each one led to a search results page at Target, Amazon, and eBay - not exactly high quality ads. I began to explore alternatives.
Better Keywords for SEO
Using a few different keyword research tools led to few promising alternatives. The word Appetizer had some strong traffic as well as PPC interest, but that was it. The competition for Appetizer was extremely strong, and I felt that his site would get lost in the shuffle even further on his small budget.
I explored several variations such as party appetizers, easy appetizers, and best appetizers. All of these terms offered more traffic and more PPC interest than chip dip.
I suggested that he create multiple pages that were targeted for different related phrases. Because his whole site was concentrated on one phrase for SEO and it was a poor selection, his site was casting a small net out to a small audience that would likely never find the site. By targeting multiple related phrases across the site and tying them together with good internal linking, he would definitely raise his chances of attracting targeted traffic.
Did he follow this advice? It has been about a month since we last spoke, and I don’t see any change to his site yet. Hopefully, he didn’t abandon his SEO efforts.