One of the most common mistakes when a company decides to invest in SEO, whether in-house or with an agency is the lack of understanding of the importance of the development of the SEO campaign plan. Often the most difficult core competitive keywords are chosen without considering the issue of profitability, as many companies hope to move up on the search engines for these broad industry keywords. SEO is not just about being seen it has to be about profitability further down the line and this should be central to the development of the SEO campaign plan.
If your company is selling products online the first step is to evaluate which products have a better margin and then go about keyword research. If your company is offering services then the same principle applies, only in evaluating the long-term worth of your potential clients to each service if this applies. The SEO campaign plan should market your most profitable products or services when possible.
Next you need to understand that you must split the keyword that apply to your chosen services or products into core competitive keywords and long-tail keywords. Core competitive keywords will be the more difficult keywords that all your competitors hope to be on page one for as well. The long-tail keywords are less competitive and often by their nature can mean that the person searching is closer to making a decision.
For example a core competitive keyword for a ladies clothes website will be dress, whereas a long-tail keyword for the same website will be one one-shoulder dress or halter neck dress. These long-tail keywords have a higher chance of moving up the rankings of the search engines faster and additionally as the lady searching is looking for a specific style of dress there should be a higher chance that she is ready to buy.
When it comes to deciding your keywords, both the core competitive keywords and the long-tail keywords to include in your SEO campaign plan there are some shortcuts. If you are already running a pay per click campaign you can evaluate the keywords within this campaign in terms of cost effectiveness.
Look at the cost per conversion if you have this information available and you should notice that the long-tail keywords will have a lower cost per conversion, the same principle will apply to your SEO campaign plan. It applies in a different way as you will either be investing a cost in an agency or in-house over a period of time.
Mix and match some different approaches to gathering keyword data. Combine what you have decided from your website and ppc campaign, if you have one and use the following free tools.
You can search on the search engines and you will find a variety of free keyword tools, some of which are very good. In general these offer the more high traffic keywords so to create long-tail keywords you will need to use ppc data or be creative.
Try to step out of your own mindset and put yourself into a potential buyers’ frame of mind. Some search very broadly yet others can be surprisingly specific!