We all know how important keywords are to driving qualified traffic to our websites. But how do you know which ones are the right ones; the ones that will deliver the best traffic?
There are three basic requirements to selecting the right keyword:
- High Traffic: You need to pick keywords that get a lot of traffic; keywords that are used by lots of web browsers when searching for your product, service or solution. The difficult decision, though, is whether to “go broad” or “get specific”. Do you want quality or quantity? Obviously, the broader the keyword, the more searchers will be using that term. Unfortunately, many of those searchers will not be interested in your product, service or solution. An example of “broad” vs. “specific” is the use of the term “supply chain software” vs. “healthcare supply chain management”. The former gets 27,100 searches per month on Google, while the latter gets 880 searches. If your company provides supply chain solutions for hospitals, I’d choose the more specific keyword because although you’ll get fewer visitors, they’ll be of higher quality.
- High Relevance: The keyword you select also needs to be relevant to your business. It needs to be a phrase that people searching for your product, service or solution will use to find you. Many people make the mistake of selecting their tag line as the keyword phrase. A tag line, while important from a branding perspective, most often is not the right keyword. For example, we have a client whose tag line is “Publish Faster. Publish Smarter”. This tag line is a great descriptor of what this client’s software can do, however, nobody searching for a self-publishing solution will search on that term. A better keyword for that client would be something like “self-publishing software”. When determining whether a keyword is relevant, put yourself in the shoes of a person who doesn’t know your company but who is looking for a solution such as yours. This exercise should help you to come up with relevant keywords.
- Low Difficulty: Finally, you want to find keywords that not a lot of other companies are trying to be optimized for. A keyword of low difficulty means is typically one that is more descriptive than a generic keyword. For example, “supply chain software” is very high difficulty while “healthcare supply chain management” is of average difficulty. Low difficulty keywords, generally speaking, are terms that don’t appear too often in other websites’ page titles. Quite often, you’ll find that “long tail keywords”, those that have a descriptor or two attached to the keyword, are often of low difficulty, and while of low traffic, will deliver very qualified traffic to your website. The goal is to rank on the first page of the organic search results, and it’s easier to do so, obviously, for a keyword of low difficulty than high difficulty.