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The Art of Choosing the Right Keywords (for SEO Ranking & Conversions)

Posted by fusionbox on Feb. 22, 2011, 5 p.m.

Imagine this scenario – you already have a beautiful, user-friendly and seo-friendly website that delivers visitors. But, those visitors just aren't biting – you get leads but no sales, or buyers just won't hit that “confirm purchase” button!

What's going wrong? There are a few things that could be the culprit:

  • You're not solving your customers' problems because you don't know their pain points
  • Your pricing
  • Customers don't identify with your brand
  • Your e-commerce cart needs to be optimized for conversions
  • Your online lead generation strategy and/or funnels need tweaking
  • Your keywords are sending you the wrong visitors (or aren't sending you anything)

While these problems can be complex, there are a variety of strategies an SEO expert can incorporate to figure out the problem and fix it.

And sometimes, it's the simple things that work. If it comes down to your keyword choice – and this does happen, often – refining your strategy isn't hard, if you know what to do. Use your website's Analytics data to determine which keywords aren't delivering visits, and those that aren't delivering conversions. Then ask yourself these questions:

  • What do they have in common?
    • Look for themes. Those commonalities could point you in the right direction.
       
  • Are they too broad?
    • So “Colorado web design” gets you traffic, but you only do web design in Denver? Many of those users aren't your target and you're bound to lose them.
  • Are they too narrow?
    • Usually applies to keywords that don't deliver traffic – because no one is searching for them. Oftentimes companies focus on industry jargon they think is important, but their users don't know it (or very few do), and the visitors they are getting are really competitors looking for the same thing. Understand your audience, how they speak and how they search.
       
    • Or, the scope of your keywords can be too narrow. “In”, “the” and “as” aren't important, so spending time trying to rank for “web design in Denver” and “web design Denver” separately is a waste of time, money and resources. Focus instead on different aspects of what you do, or language from different areas you serve, such as “SEO-friendly web design”, “user-friendly web page design” or “web app development services”.
  • Are they off the mark?
    • Getting traffic from “Paris Hilton's dog” will deliver visitors, but they won't care about who you are and what you do unless you have a celebrity dog blog. This is a “spam”-type tactic, and you don't want to be a part of it.
       
    • Think about your branding. Are you the low-cost leader or a more expensive, luxury brand? If you're a luxury brand, keywords like “cheap headphones” or “inexpensive wall posters” won't hit the mark. If you're low cost, neither will a keyword like “custom web development”.
  • Do you just not rank high enough?
    • SEO keyword ranking tools can tell you where you rank on average in other areas. From variables like being signed into your account, to your IP address or your physical location, search results can and will differ. Just because you see yourself ranked #1 doesn't mean everyone else does!
       
    • Don't try and start to rank for very broad terms like “trucks” unless you are Wikipedia, GMC, The New York Times or Trucks.com. Start with smaller, more specific keywords and build up to broader ones. Think of it as a pyramid – ranking for the smaller terms actually helps you rank for the bigger ones (in the long run) that were impossible (in the short term).
  • Are they “buyer-mode” keywords?
    • Specific keywords like “buy shoes online”, “adidas adiZero F50” or even your brand name tell you that the user already has an idea of what they want, and are more likely to convert.
       
    • Larger keywords, if you can rank for them, give you more traffic that is less likely to convert immediately. But, as you've caught them earlier in the buying cycle you should do what you can do keep them around until they are. This is a more expensive strategy, and is generally not a good idea unless you have the budget for it.

As always, test – optimize – and test again. You won't hit the perfect strategy the first time, but with a little refining you can find visitors that turn into clients/buyers.

Contact Fusionbox, a Denver Internet Marketing Agency, to let us help you pick the right keywords for your website.