When beginning to start your search engine optimization efforts you run into a problem right off the bat–since you can’t get a #1 ranking for every single keyword on your list, which keywords should you focus on? Here is a very simple matrix for helping you prioritize.
One thing I’ve left out is competition. All other things being equal it’s harder to get a good ranking for a keyword that everybody else wants to rank well for, and generally speaking those keywords that have higher search volume or more people searching for them are more competitive, so just remember that, and I’ll talk about it a little later as well.
First, let me explain these terms.
Search volume – The number of searches being made for a keyword. The more people who search for a certain keyword the higher the volume.
Results – Whether or not a certain keyword gives you a high percentage of business relative to the number of people clicking through. For example, if you have a widget company, your site ranked for the keyword “widget,” and 50% of the people who clicked on your link after searching for that keyword ended up buying a widget, those would be pretty good results. If your site ranks for a keyword but the people who come to your site after searching for it don’t buy anything, then those are poor results. What’s the use of ranking well for a keyword if the people who come to your website after searching for it don’t buy anything?
Now, onto the matrix explanation.
High search volume / Good results – Obviously we’d all like to be in this space. If you can get a good ranking for a keyword a lot of people search for, and that keyword happens to give you good results, then you’re golden.
High search volume / Poor results – Even if a keyword doesn’t give you the greatest results, it can redeem itself if there is a lot of volume. The challenge here is that while you get poor results, someone else might get good results, and therefore might be more motivated to rank well for this keyword.
Low search volume / Good results – This is where most people end up. A low search volume means less competition, but if you get good results from the keywords, then you’ve found a niche that might fit you very nicely. For example, I have a web design firm. I’d love to have the site rank well for “web design” but that would be pretty tough because there is a ton of search volume and everyone thinks they can get good results, so the competition is fierce. However, there is a lot less search volume if I add the word “utah” to the mix. There’s not nearly as much competition, and I get a lot of leads from the traffic I get from that keyword.
Low search volume / Poor results – And of course nobody wants to be here. If nobody is searching on a keyword, and those that do don’t buy what you’re selling when they come to your site, what’s the use of ranking well?
So how do you use this? Well, if you’ve got some keywords that have high search volume and produce good results and you can get ranked well, that’s where you focus first. But there’s a good chance you won’t be able to go after any of these types of keywords. The entire area might be off-limits to you, especially if you are a new company or the market is hyper-competitive, like real estate or web hosting.
Most people will have success in the box of low search volume and good results. Find ways to alter your keywords such that there isn’t too much competition, meaning it’s easier for you to get a good ranking, but the traffic you get from it produces good results. If you can find a large number of keywords you’ll be able to get high search volume by aggregating the results of all keywords, and achieve positive overall results.Liked it? Share it!