(The second in a multi-part series that covers finding and using lucrative keywords.)

In last week's article, All Traffic is Not Created Equal, I looked into the idea of various types of traffic and the rates at which they convert. This week, I'm going to be looking at the hard data of keywords and conversions.

The quote below is from an article in Information Week that states that the “Four-Word Keywords Conversion Rates Best > In Web Search, The Sweet Spot Is Four Words” published on February 22, 2005:

"Internet users who employ four-word keywords in search engines are more likely to purchase goods or services or receive items of value--such as white papers--than those using one, two, or three words, according to a new report.

For Web-site operators, that means they should create three- and four-word phrases as metadata and keywords to attract visitors." (Emphasis mine.)

Now, why is this true? Why should you be optimizing your site - and especially your blog - to get more results from the smallest group of people searching at your site?

Because those searchers are the action-takers.

They are focused.

They came to your site through a search engine search looking for something very specific - if your site has it, they are far more likely to buy.

They are sophisticated - they understand how the Internet works and have probably bought online before. They know how to research you beforehand to make sure you deliver what you say you will.

You might be thinking that it's better to rank for a high traffic keyword, because in your mind, you believe that more traffic means more sales.

That is one of the most false conceptions on the Net. To prove my point, I changed my site around a little to rank on the first page of Google and Yahoo for the term "free traffic". As a result, I have 100 more visitors per day coming in from search engines.

And it's a great term for building leads - a fantastic one for finding affiliates.

But the searchers that buy are the ones who come to my site looking for "increase traffic to blog" - in tracking my buyers movements through web statistics, I even modified my site to make the products they want easier to find, as they often land on obscure parts of my site due to that search.

I might get only one person who searches for that term a day.

But that one person is normally a business blogger who needs traffic now, and can see by reading about the Google Blog connection, that I know what I'm talking about.

That person doesn't have time to dig through my blog and try to piece together the larger picture from data I don’t publish there anyway. This person can afford to forego one pizza dinner or a few nights out at the movies to get their results started in 24 hours - as long as it works.

And when they see the return in investment on their sales, they'll be back to buy again.

Those are the kinds of visitors you want - after you're making consistent sales, you can then afford to gamble on ranking on the first page for less targeted terms.

Here’s a quick example.

Let’s say that you’ve invented an incredible suite of internet marketing tools, services and products. You know that everyone who is marketing a book about any aspect of internet marketing would love to get their hands on the technology you’ve uncovered.

So it seems like the obvious choice to try and pin down the keyword “internet marketing”. You research the term and find that you could get up to 3216 visitors per day according to one of the keyword suggestion tools online, if you could get a top five ranking for the term.

It’s the last part of that sentence that most people miss - you can only get that kind of traffic if you rank in the top five for that term. If you set out trying to get ranked for that term anyway you can, especially if you’re operating on a small business budget, you’ll find yourself in one of two situations.

Either you’ll pay so much to get ranked for a paid listing for that term resulting in a very slim profit margin, or you won’t rank highly enough to get any traffic from it at all.

And if by some miracle you do rank for this term, you’re missing one other thing. A person doing a general search for a two word term like internet marketing is much earlier in the stage of the buying process than someone who is doing more specific searches.

Even if your current audience is made up of people who rarely use the internet for shopping, you have to ask yourself: given the choice, would you rather have a prospect who is actually eager to become your customer, or one you’d have to drag kicking and screaming the whole way?

It’s fairly obvious that most of us would rather have the easier sale who understands the value of their purchase and is actually seeking out a solution like the one we have, rather than a high maintenance sale that won’t be as secure making decisions regarding online purchases.

This is one of the best-kept secrets of the internet, though it’s not for lack of people attempting to expose it: there really is “gold in them thar hills”. It’s just that most people are fighting over the crumbs in the desert.

The internet gold is in lucrative keyword search terms. So what is a lucrative keyword, and how do you get your site associated with one? Find out in next week's installment in the Lucrative Keywords for Lucrative Traffic series: What Makes them Lucrative?.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
June 20, 2005

Tinu Abayomi-Paul is a website promotion specialist and author of five books and ebooks for the online entrepreneur.

Her last project was a contribution to Rok Hrastnik's comprehensive guide to RSS, "Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS". You can find more of her daily tips on RSS, Blogs, Google tools, and more, at her main blog, Free Traffic Tips.

Search Engine Guide > Tinu Abayomi-Paul > Lucrative Keywords Series: Targeting the Best Keyword Phrases