Question. Thanks for the great webinar last week. Question about Google keyword ideas. When choosing a keyword the avg monthly searches have a wide range. I have a small website,~com and if the monthly searches are 10,000 won’t competition be difficult for me with the big boys? Also the competition rating does not correspond with the search count (high can be 50 or 50000)but how can I use this info? How to I find a balance? thanks.
Answer. Lots of strategy here. First, the Keyword Planner isn’t very good at volumes because it only gives you data on EXACT MATCH. So “knee pain” measures ONLY people show search “knee pain” and nothing else in Google. That’s kind of stupid and makes the tool hard to use; at some point, Google will figure out that this is dumb, and give us back the option to search for exact vs. phrase. Second, volume vs. value. You want to look for logical keywords for your business that are both high-volume and high value, but that is measured as value to you. Riches are in the niches: look for “nichey” keywords that are a very tight connection to your business, then build out to the next level, and the next.
I am not a believer in blindly using these tools: your brain and instinct give as much good advice as the tools.
That said, keyword volume matters. You definitely need to focus on the higher volumes, where possible, and pay attention to synonyms. You’ll be surprised what has higher volumes.
Pay attention to the competitive level of keywords. Some keywords are a lot more competitive than others. I had a professor at U.C. Berkeley who always said that even Mao Tse-Tung retreated against insurmountable odds. So don’t try to compete directly against bigger and stronger competitors. That gets back to riches in the niches: look for niches that they DO NOT SEE.
And finally: measure, measure, measure – see what works in Google Analytics, and then re-feed that data back into your strategy. Over time you will “learn” what keywords you can actually get to the top of, and which keywords are winners – ones that get you real customers.
Keywords are the foundation of SEO – so you are already on the right track. Think STRATEGICALLY about keywords. SEO is a sport. So aim.
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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