Keyword Research

Researching your keywords is the first step in any search engine optimization project.

For the sake of this discussion, let’s say you own a plasma TV dealership. With any website, you’ll have hundreds or even thousands of relevant keywords. Let’s take a look at a few choices.

Too Broad

One keyword you might find enticing is “TV”. But what is somebody searching for when they search for “TV”? Maybe generic information about TVs, but they are definitely not looking to buy a plasma TV.

Although this is obvious to most web professionals, the temptation is still there and my good friends over at Invision Plasma decided to spend a few grand buying top placement on the keyword “TV” on Overture and Google Adwords.

After a month of brand building, CFO Roger Gerhardt reported that they saw very little increase in calls. Sure, it is a keyword that drives traffic, but not sales.

Too Narrow

One type of SEO would recommend easy keywords along the lines of “Seattle Plasma TV”, or even “Panasonic Plasma TV Seattle”. Or perhaps a selection of various other, non-competitive keywords.

This is counterproductive. It is true that SEO is competitive, but giving up and going with search terms that may or may not drive 100 unique visitors per month is like marrying the fattest, ugliest woman on the planet just because you’re never going to score Britney Spears.

Just Right

The ideal keywords are going to be both highly productive and highly relevant while at the same time being cost effective.

To see whether or not the keywords are productive, pay a visit to WordTracker.com. The more searches the better.

To see whether a keyword is cost effective, check out the competition. Feel free to use my patented, ultra high tech method. First, go to Google.com. Next, enter the keyword into the search box. Next, position the cursor directly over the “search” button, and with your right index finger, press down once on the mouse’s left click button.

This should bring up the top ten results for that keyword. Now go to each of the ten and check the PageRank and backlinks of each of the pages in the top ten.

Now, when looking at the backlinks and PageRank, do you feel emasculated? Do you feel like a hopeless school girl? Do you feel like somebody just kicked you in the gut? If so, the keyword might just be a tad bit out of your league.

If, on the other hand, you look at the backlinks and PageRank and suddenly feel a rush of stamina, and a desire to call your competition and sadistically warn them of their pending demise, then you’re good to go.

In Summary

Chances are your whole dot com idea is just a stupid phase. Face it, you were burned out. The 9 to 5 routine got boring so you thought, hey, I’m going to become a millionaire on the Internet. Join the party. You lack innovative, original ideas. You’re destined for failure. You lack commitment, self discipline and drive, so forget the keyword research and go beg your old boss for your old job.

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