More Is Not Always Merrier – Keyword Strategy

Choosing keywords is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign.  After all, you could spend hours per day, even hire someone dedicated to perform SEO, only to be spend your resources in vain.  If you and your company aren’t targeting the right keywords, a lot of effort will obtain minimal and disappointing results.  Basically, it’s betting on the wrong horse.

The traditional train of thought back in the day when SEO first emerged was go go go! for the keywords with the highest search volumes.  The more the merrier.  Go for the most popular keywords always.  Yet this train of thought is quickly becoming obsolete, as SEO specialists realize it’s not about popularity, it’s about fit.

Let’s walk though an example.  Let’s say we are a company that sells marketing software.  Our software, based on data from past marketing campaigns (email, mail, pay per click, etc) helps small to medium size companies choose the optimal allocation for their marketing budget.  Let’s say the keyword “marketing software” gets a huge amount of searches per day nationwide.  Is “marketing software” the horse we want to place our bet on?

Not necessarily.  First off, for they keyword “marketing software,” large companies like Hub Spot come up in the first few results.  Trying to overthrow Hub Spot for #1 would probably take a huge amount of time and money.  And is it worth it?  People searching for marketing software may not even be looking for a product such as the one you are selling.  They are instead most likely looking for email campaign, sweepstakes or survey management software.  They aren’t looking for software to help with marketing finances per say.

Let’s go down a different path.  Let’s take “marketing budget software.”  True, the searches are less, but this a much more appropriate keyword.  These searchers are probably looking for something very similar to what you offer.  If a searcher finds your website via this search, he’s much more inclined to click on your website and buy your product.  Let’s go even deeper.  Let’s take “marketing budge software for small businesses.”  These are called “long tail keywords.”  Although long and perhaps low in search volume, the people searching for this keyword fit the profile of a future customer even more closely.  So more is not necessarily merrier, and when it comes to keywords (and SEO / SMO), you need to pick your battles wisely.

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