Good SEO equals less traffic – Introduction – What Keywords

So you just put up a bran new shiny site and now want lots of traffic. So you decide to get your SEO game face on and start optimizing everything in your way.

You open the keyword research tools and look for those that will bring you lots of lovely traffic. You work hard, day and night, optimizing your site until you finally break the top page of Google. You then sit back and wait for all those customers to navigate your site, fill out forms, download products or whatever else the objectives of your site are. The problem is you optimized your site for keywords to bring traffic into your site; you neglected to think about keywords that would actually result in sales, leads etc.

SEO is not really about gaining traffic, it is about fulfilling a business objective. Knowing how to optimize your site to attract customers who want what you are offering. So a visibility report may show you how your keyword campaign is performing, it will not show you what actual business objectives you are fulfilling. The right keyword selection is imperative.

The Search for Keywords

1. How a user searches

a. A user starts with the shortest query that might work

b. They then expand & refine their query by adding extra words

“Target The Head, Mine The Long Tail”

2. What makes up the SERP

a. 80% of the search volume on Google is generated by 20% of the phrases

b.  20% of the search volume on Google is generated by 80% of the key phrases

2. Using Google Insights to track how a user searches

Google Insights is a great little tool for tracking user searches. It gives you great insight into what a user’s search path may be.

If I was interested in generating leads for a new “keyword tool” and was soon to put up a mini-site to attract leads. I may look at the keyword on Google insights initially.

The numbers given on insight are generic numbers given out of 100. They do not give proper volumes and should only be used as an indication of how popular that keyword is (in a future post I will show you how to use a baseline for Google Insights so you can apply volume to these numbers).

The more interesting part of this screen is the bottom.

What the keywords below tell you is what users may have searched for after initially looking for “keyword tool”. This is great data to get. Google takes this data from server logs.

The breakout terms are also worth noting. These can make great article pieces to draw users into your site that initially searched under “keyword tool” and branched out to search for something else. These are all users you want to attract.

I am going to have to break these posts down into parts. I had to tend to Joomla issues and Mac issues during this post so it’s way past my bed time. Not a great start to my first post. But lots more info to come.

About Kieran Flanagan

Online Marketer who implements both inbound and paid strategies to help companies grow internationally. Lover of content marketing, SEO, analytics, CRO and strategy. A highly motivated marketing geek high on data crack.