Choosing Keywords for SEO
Selecting the right keywords is the foundation of search engine optimization. It’s a balancing act between what people are searching for and what’s relevant to your particular website. These terms will essentially serve as a gateway to your website, so it seems like you would want to select keywords that get the most searches, right?
If something has been getting a lot of searches, you can bet that you’re not the first person to realize it. Keywords with high search volumes can be extremely competitive. In other words, there are usually a lot of websites fighting for the top search spots, and the ones that made it probably got there because they put a lot of time and money into SEO efforts.
Let’s say you sell Halloween costumes for dogs. After a little research, you discover that the word “costumes” averages over 6 million searches a month. Numbers like that may make a keyword very tempting, but think about it. “Costumes” is pretty vague, as many high volume search terms are. There are costumes for Halloween parties, theater productions and Star Trek conventions to name a few. You will be fighting for the top search result spot with all of these, and that makes it much more difficult…and more expensive.
And remember, you’re selling Halloween costumes for dogs, not Spock ears. You may be able to get yourself to the top of the search results for “costumes,” but is your website what people were looking for in the first place?
Watering down your keywords in pursuit of search numbers alone doesn’t guarantee success from a return standpoint. It would be great to top the list on every remotely relevant search, but since you have to draw the line somewhere, you’re better off going after the ones in the market for a Chihuahua bumblebee suit.
You probably can’t win all your battles, so you might as well focus on winning the right ones.