No, I'm not going to give you a list of most searched or most clicked keywords or whatever. Instead I'm going to talk about how to determine which keywords will be the best for you.

There are a number of measurements that can be used when determining how good a keyword might be:

  • Search volume (high or low)
  • KEI
  • Number of search results for a keyword phrase
  • Number of search results that use the phrase in the title
  • Whether a competitor uses a particular phrase etc.

Personally, I don't think that any of those will actually pick the best keywords for your campaign.

Looking at keywords in terms of difficulty is great for having realistic expectation of how soon you might be able to displace other sites ranking well for them, but it won't tell you if your keyword is a good keyword for you. Same with looking to see if your competitor uses that term. For all you know they haven't done their research yet.

All of the information above is useful within context, but there are really only three things that truly matter. You want:

1. Keywords that target your audience
2. Keywords that get traffic
3. Keywords that get conversions

You can find and optimize for a lot of keywords that will perform well in one or two of these areas, but the BEST keywords are those satisfy all three requirements. Anything less won't do.

You can target your audience with low traffic keywords - but your conversion rates will be low.

You can get traffic that doesn't convert - but sales rates will be low.

You can get conversions by targeting low traffic keywords - but your traffic rates will be low.

You can target your audience with poor converting keywords - but your sales will suffer.

You can get traffic without targeting your audience - but your conversions will suffer.

You can get conversions without targeting your audience - but your traffic will suffer.

The best keywords ever are keywords that you have determined to be relevant and have tested to get results. Nothing else really matters.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.

April 24, 2007

Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.

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