Trying to get to the first page of Google is just like trying to get anywhere else and you need to know some basic facts in order to get there. First off, you need to know where you are and you need to know where you want to go.
This question is the one that is probably going to take some time to figure out because there are many things to consider when finding the right keyword or search phrase to target. This is done with good keyword research and analysis of the value of the keywords that you are targeting. Putting a value to your keywords can help guide you to finding the sweet spot between value and traffic. Finding those high traffic keywords is not always the best choice for getting paying customers to your website. Here are some factors to consider when searching for the right keywords:
Putting a value to the keyword is one of the most important things to consider. What I mean by this is to estimate what your average customer will spend if they were searching for that keyword. So if you’re a contractor and they found your website searching for kitchen remodelling in “your city” how much would that be worth to you.
It’s great to target keywords that have a ton of search traffic but most times it’s more lucrative to find the balance between traffic and sales. Just because a keyword shows a lot of traffic doesn’t necessarily mean that it would be profitable for you target that keyword. Let’s use the above example. The search term kitchen remodelling will have far more traffic than the search term kitchen remodelling + “your city” but unless you own a national kitchen remodelling company it is far better to focus on your city or cities around you. Narrowing down your keywords to specific sub categories or sub niches also helps deal with the last factor – competition.
In most cases the higher the competition of the keyword you are targeting the more it will cost to get high rankings for that keyword. Also, the higher the competition the more time it will take to get high rankings for the keyword. There are other factors when looking at competition too such as the power of the websites on the first page and the power of your website. This doesn’t mean that you have to target low competition keywords it just means that you have to factor in the time and expense of ranking for that keyword compared to the value of the keyword.
Just like using GPS to find your exact location on earth, you can use a rank tracking software or service to see exactly where you are in the search rankings. There are some basic free rank tracking services such as Small SEO Tools keyword position tool and one of my favorites Microsite Masters which is free for up to 10 keywords. The benefit of Microsite Masters is that it keeps track of your progress and you can graph out your progress to see your ranking history.
Using some sort of rank tracking is a must if you really want to know where you’re going and if the effort that you are putting in is producing the results that you want.
One of the most crucial parts of SEO is knowing exactly where you want to be and to have a way to measure your success. Just hoping to rank for something will do nothing to get you there.
Now it’s time to get your map out and claim your piece of the internet real estate.
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