This is a guest post from Jason Capshaw. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.
It is tempting to make SEO-related decisions simply based on search data, such as traffic volumes and competition. Yet, there is a far more important factor involved–profitability.
I have seen webmasters rank for ridiculously competitive keywords with tons of traffic, and have it bring very little value to their business. On the other hand, I know webmasters who rank for low-competitive keywords that convert better than their head keywords, and as a result, bring in much more profit.
There are a couple of factors that can cause this phenomenon:
- The site’s product offerings do not match the searchers’ intent
- The site offers good information, but does not brand itself well, so the viewers do not come back when they are ready to purchase
I have found that a large number of searchers type generalized keywords when they are conducting research in the early stages of the buying process. If you can provide that information and facilitate all the buying stages, you will do well with generalized keyword searches.
However, searches that are done in the later stages of the buying process are usually more specific, and these searches will include specific keywords that indicate their intentions, such as “buy,” “discount,” or “price.”
Identifying these keywords in your research and targeting them on your landing pages will help you cherry pick the best traffic from the search engines–traffic that converts well.
The Use of Brands in Searches
I have a close friend that runs a start-up ecommerce store that is a little over a year old that sells equipment to builders and construction workers. Let’s just call this equipment the standard “blue widget.”
He has good top ten rankings for both the head keyword “blue widget” as well as other mid-level keywords: specifically, “brand-blue widget”, where a specific brand or model number is used in the search. Originally, all he cared about and obsessed over was his head keywords. However, he didn’t see quick results for his new site, so he relegated himself to mid- level keywords.
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