Figuring out Which Keywords are your Top Keywords

Identifying your Top Keywords For your Marketing Campaigns
SEO-mouse-keywordsThere is quite a bit of talk about keywords and keyword phrases, but none of it matters if you cannot identify your top keywords. You can do all the research and have the longest list, but if you cannot pick out the phrases that are going to help you make the most money, then you are not gaining anything.

Sure you could build a list of 100 keywords and use them all for your marketing with the hopes that a few will be good. You probably will find some really good ones, but it would be better if you could spot the top keywords right away and have a short list of targeted keywords to generate the traffic you’re looking for.

How to Find the Top Keywords for your List
The first step is to build a list of keywords so that you have a base to begin with. This list needs to be as long as you can make it. Do not spend hours upon hours doing research because it is not necessary. Instead just build a list until you have around 500 to 1,000 choices.

The second step is to go through each keyword one by one and decide whether it is one of your top keywords or not. Now, top keywords are what we call “buying keywords”. These are the phrases that people search for when they are ready to purchase an item or are very close to being ready.

There are some criteria that make a “buying keyword” what it is. When you are going through your list and trying to identify the top keywords simply read it and ask yourself if you were searching for that phrase in Google would you be doing so because you are ready to buy or not?  You should try to avoid expensive keywords with a lot of popularity.  These keywords can drive a lot of un-targeted traffic, however your goal is to find targeted keywords that someone uses when they’re ready to order a product or service.

For example, if you had the following list of keywords and you were to choose one, which one would you choose as one of your top keywords?

dog training methodsdog-training-keywords
free dog training methods
methods to train a pit bull puppy
dog training
training a pit bull

There are only two keywords in this list that belong on your list of top keywords. The third one “methods to train a pit bull puppy” and the last one “training a pit bull” are the best. The last one is even a bit borderline, but it is specific enough to be added to the list of top keywords.

The reason the first keyword phrase, “dog training methods” is not a top keyword is because it is too general. If you were to go search for “dog training methods”, then you are going to get a wide array of general information about the topic.

The second keyword phrase is a bit more obvious because any keyword phrase that contains the word “free” is not a buying keyword. However, if you are trying to build a list of subscribers to your newsletter and you were giving away a few free dog training methods to get someone to sign up, then it would be a top keyword.

The fourth choice, “dog training” is way too broad to be considered. Sure if you could get ranked for this keyword you would be able to get a large amount of traffic, but it would not be very targeted and would not be the type of traffic you want.

When someone gets more specific with their search they are ready to buy. If someone was to search for “methods to train a pit bull puppy”, then they either have a pit bull puppy and need to train it or are considering getting one and want to know how to train it before they get it. This means they are ready to buy, hence the “buying keyword”.

Why Buying Keywords are Considered Top Keywords?
online-marketing-keywordsUsing the example above let’s assume that one marketer spends time with all 5 keywords and builds webpages for them along with writing content, articles, and building some backlinks to these webpages. We will assume it takes them a full hour to get a webpage designed and up for each keyword. We will also assume they spent $25 per page for content.

Now let’s assume that another marketer only developed pages for the two top keywords that we identified. They spent $25 for content for each page and a full hour per page to design them. So the first marketer spent $125 and 5 hours on their site, and the second marketer spent $50 and 2 hours on theirs.

The first marketer will most likely never rank for the three keywords that are not “buying keywords” and if they do the traffic is going to be too general to convert. However, they may rank for the two “buying keywords”, which makes them believe their system is working, and in a sense it is.

The second marketer will most likely rank for their two top keywords and will get targeted traffic that will convert. They know their method is working and they can develop 3 more keywords for the same price and amount of time as the first marketer. This means they can get three times as much traffic in the same amount of time.

This is simply an example to explain that taking a little extra time to identify top keywords or “buying keywords” will allow you to develop more webpages and articles that will bring you traffic that will actually convert. It is much better for you to get 100 visitors a day that convert at 10% than to get 1,000 visitors that convert at 0.5%.

This is the difference between targeted traffic and general traffic. When you use top keywords you are intercepting the potential buyer at the right time because they are ready to buy. They may need just a little extra push, but they are done with the majority of their research and have used one of the top keywords because they are ready to take action and purchase.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing or Get Penalized!
While some people are trying to get their website ranked by using search engine optimization they might accidentally keyword stuff and look like spam. Search engines do not like websites that keyword stuff and they will not rank them nearly as high as they will other sites that have more relevant content.

Keyword stuffing is when you place a large amount of a specific keyword phrase into your content to try to get ranked for that phrase. This is an old black hat marketing method that simply does not work. It actually hurts you more than it will help you with the search engines.

A Few Tips to Help you Avoid Keyword Stuffing
First, you have to understand that the longer your keyword phrase is the less you want to use it in your content. The search engine spiders are very smart and if you have a keyword phrase that is 5 words long and you use is every 50 to 100 words they will see this as you trying to keyword stuff. This is not good practice at all.

Second, you want to use your keyword phrase only once every 150 to 200 words. However, if your keyword phrase is only 2 words you can use it a little more often. This will keep your keyword density around 1% to 3%, which is the range that the search engines like. You can get one of the many tools that are out there to check your keyword density.

Third, if you want to rank in the search engines you will also want to use your keyword phrase once in the first paragraph of your content and once in the last paragraph. Just make sure it sounds natural when you are using it or your site could be marked as spam from using keyword stuffing. This will not be good and you want to avoid it.

Last, if you simply write in a way that reads and flows properly, then you will be just fine. Just include your keyword phrase when it makes sense and you will not have to worry about the penalties that come along for those that do keyword stuff. You want to have quality content that does have your phrase in there, but not to the point where it is not natural.

What can Happen if you Keyword Stuff?
If you keyword stuff on your own site you will struggle to get any type of indexing with most search engines, especially Google. Also, your visitors will not stay on your pages as long because they will see your site as one big sales pitch.

Those that submit articles to directories will find that when they keyword stuff most of their articles will be removed. Some of the directories have not caught up with this yet, but it will not be long before they do. The bottom line is that you do not want to keyword stuff because it will not help you at all.

3 Responses to Figuring out Which Keywords are your Top Keywords

  1. David

    Thank you this post was very interesting and it definitely answered a lot of questions.

  2. Chris

    I’m using proven dog training methods on my website. In your opinion, does the extra word proven, make it more specific? Thanks

    • Stephanie Schoolfield

      Definitely. You should always use other qualifying words like proven or reliable to narrow down your keywords. The more popular the keyword the harder it is to get traffic to that word. However, if you add words in it will definitely make it easier to rank for those key terms.

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