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Keyword Research: Understanding Your Business

You know your business better than anybody else. Unfortunately, many business owners start selecting keywords based solely on search volume, rather than on the ability to drive targeted traffic. If you have a furniture store, the temptation will be to try and go after the keyword ‘furniture’ because it has high traffic volume.

Knowing your business means understanding when a keyword isn’t going to bring in highly targeted traffic. If a visitor comes to your site after searching for in ‘furniture’ will your furniture site provide them specifically what they are looking for? Maybe, but it also depends on what kind of furniture you sell and what kind of furniture they really want. You may sell home furniture while the searcher is looking for office furniture. You may sell patio furniture while the searcher is looking for kid’s furniture. The searcher may be looking for discount furniture while you sell only high-end. Understanding these distinctions can help you select the best keyword possible.

Ranking well for the generic term ‘furniture’ may produce a considerable volume of traffic to your site; however, that traffic will be poorly targeted creating a very low conversion rate. Quantity traffic can still mean lots of sales but it can also lead to more work for fewer rewards. The goal in keyword selection is to increase your conversion rate which reduces the overall cost per sale. Targeting keywords properly works to achieve this goal.

Before you go and disregard this advice, you should also consider the following:

  1. It is nearly impossible to rank well for single or generic keyword phrases. You can end up spending a considerable amount of time and marketing dollars trying to displace the Ashley Furniture or Thomasville equivalents for your industry instead of going after something more attainable that will provide more immediate returns for less.
  2. Recent search studies have shown that users who search using three and four word phrases are actually more prepared to make a purchase than those who are typing in a single keyword search query. In other words, in the research phase, let the users go to Ashley and Thomasville, but let them find you once they are ready to buy!

This post is part of a continuing series on the topic of:
Optimizing for Maximum Search Engine Performance

Sub-Topic: Research Your Targeted Keywords.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

One Response to Keyword Research: Understanding Your Business

  1. le corbusier says:

    quality is better than quantity. it is better for us to specify the keywords rather than ride along with the common and get nothing or less. that is a very good advice. thanks.