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HOW TO TARGET THE RIGHT SEARCH ENGINE KEYWORDS
By André le Roux, Pandecta editor

SEARCH ENGINE KEYWORD TARGETING REALLY MATTERS

Most people target search engine keywords that they think their customers are likely to use when looking for their products.

That's good. It means you and I have a real advantage.

Proper search engine keyword targeting will get you twice the traffic with half the effort. The secret is to target keywords with high usage but little competition.

SEARCH ENGINE KEYWORD USAGE

Keyword "usage" refers to the number of times people actually enter a specific keyword on the search engines.

KEYWORD COMPETITION

If you've tried optimizing a page for keywords like "software downloads" or "travel", you'll know that competing for those terms is near impossible.

Even if you get high ranking for a very competitive keyword, the amount of work involved in maintaining that ranking is rediculous. You might think it's worth it for all that traffic. It's not...

KEYWORDS AND CONVERSION RATES

Here's something I learned the hard way:

Very competitive keywords do not convert.

That simply means that all the traffic those top keywords bring in uses up a lot of your bandwidth but does not result in many sales.

Optimizing your site for "lawnmowers" is a bad idea if you're selling a large golf course lawnmower. Most of the people who search for lawnmowers want regular ones.

The bottom line is that your time is best spent optimizing for relevant keywords where you can get and hold a top 10 position with little effort. That frees up your time to optimize for a more keywords, making up for the smaller amount of traffic each of them bring in. And the real advantage is that those smaller keywords convert to sales.

GETTING ACTUAL NUMBERS

If you're interested in really getting into effective keyword targeting, Try the Search Engine Yearbook. It takes an in-depth look at keyword targeting, reveals the best way to get actual numbers on keyword useage and explains exactly how to balance usage and competition for optimal results.

Have a look at the table of contents.

You might also want to look at the Search Engine Dictionary. The dictionary is a great way to familiarize yourself with some of the key concepts in SEO and keyword targeting.

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André le Roux's
Search Engine Yearbook 2004

Review by Jill Whalen:
"If you love all things about search engines, SEO, SEM and whatever other acronyms are cropping up, you'll want a copy of this reference ebook..."

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