Question: Is "free" a valuable keyword helper or variation? I know when I search for information or need a quote for a service, I’ll plug in the word "free."
Answer: Free can definitely be a powerful keyword, or helper keyword to your keyword strategy. As author Chris Anderson has argued in his book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price. "Free" can be infinitely more powerful than just about any price.
But there is another word, or phrase, that is equally powerful: It Depends. Free can be a good choice, but it can also be a disastrous choice. First and foremost if you are doing any AdWords Pay-per-click advertising, you might want to use free as a ‘negative’ word. You can often use it to distinguish searchers and search types, and thereby focus only on searches that might become a paying search.
PowerPoint Templates as a Google search vs. Free PowerPoint Templates
If your company is in the business of selling PowerPoint templates to businesses online, then the second search with the word Free might have a lot of volume but not so much value. It indicates that the searcher is looking just for free.
In terms of SEO, this difference is not as important but still there. What I do recommend with free is to use the term in terms of getting an action from your Web visitor. An attorney, therapist, or even a roofer, might offer a FREE NO OBLIGATION consultation and here the word FREE lowers the risk and barrier to that Web surfer to give you his or her email, or telephone number.
Finally, in some situations where people do some preliminary search looking for FREE as in Free Software Download, then that term might be helpful. It all really depends on what the term FREE says about your (potential) customer as they search Google and hopefully land on your website.
Got a question? Click this link to email Jason or call 888-993-1122. Dr. Jason McDonald is founder and Senior SEO / Social Media Director of the JM Internet Group. He teaches the SEO training classes for the group, and therefore provides most of the SEO tips for this blog. His goal with this blog is to provide an easy 'one-stop shop' for the busy marketer looking for tips, tricks, and secrets on how to get to the top of Google and Bing for free using proven SEO tactics. When not dreaming up SEO tips, Dr. McDonald lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two dogs, a cat, four iguanas and twelve children (just kidding). Really you read down to the bio on this guy? Enjoy the blog.
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