These Keyword Selection Mistakes Can Cost You a Lot of Time and Money

May 29, 2010 by  Filed under: SEO 

I don’t think I’ll get too many arguments if I say that keyword selection is probably the most important aspect of internet marketing.

Yet, most people do their research the wrong way!

They hurry through it so that they can rush out their project thinking that the faster they get done the faster the money will come in, but the truth is that not taking the time to do keyword selection properly can cost you a bundle in the long run.

You see, what most people do is target a main phrase like “weight loss” or “dog training” and then they extrapolate that phrase into longer keyword phrases that contain the main phrase.

Then they choose a phrase from that list and go into Google and try to find out how many “competing” pages there are.

There are many schools of thought on this, but most people are told to type the keyword phrase into Google using quotes around it and if less than a certain amount of results are returned than the phrase is deemed “easy” to rank for (the actual number of results varies depending on who you talk to and whose method you are using but it’s usually somewhere around 20,000)

Using the methods above, one could blast through the keyword selection process in an hour and be good to go but the problem is that if you find your keywords in this manner you’re not digging out the real “gems” and you may find that you spend a lot of time trying to get them to rank and walking away frustrated in the end.

Here’s How You Should Do Keyword Selection Instead

In order to be competitive in todays internet, you need to find the keywords that no one else is targeting – the ones that bring in enough traffic to be worthwhile but that you can also rank for with minimal effort.

Finding the balance between these can often be a challenge, but taking more time during the selection phase can help you target keywords that are worth your while to go after.

Expand Your Horizons

The first thing you need to think about is expanding your horizons when it comes to your keyword phrase.

Instead of weight loss, why not use fat loss, or calorie reduction? Think of all the related terms to your niche and spend the time to dig into them to find the real gems.

Evaluate Your Competition

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make in keyword selection is simply looking at how many pages are targeting that keyword phrase and not evaluating the competition properly.

You see, there could be only 10 other people targeting the phrase but if they are all 10 year old domains with thousands of quality back links then it’s going to take you a very long time to break into the first page.

On the other hand, there could be a million pages targeting your keyword phrase but if they have weak on page SEO and 0 backlinks then you could skate into the #1 position easily.

Do you see why this piece of the selection phase is critical and if not done properly could cost you both time and money?

The right way to evaluate your competition is to type your search phrase in without the quotes (who searches using quotes, anyway?) and see what comes up in the top 10. These are the websites that Google thinks are the best for this keyword phrase.

Then you must evaluate each of these sites for their strength based on domain age, number of back links, quality of back links and on page SEO.

Doing your keyword selection this way will allow you to dig out hidden gems and help you decide if it is worth your time and effort to be able to rank for the keyword.

Find out more about how to choose the best keywords and get details on the important step of evaluating the competition with my keyword research lessons and videos at

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