Posted Thursday, October 21, 2004
Search engine optimization (SEO) is not a guessing game. Much like the process of writing a research paper (or locating the right person to do it for you), your SEO strategy must be thoroughly studied and outlined before being put to action. Targeting the wrong keywords can be a real waste of time, and has a great chance of resulting in:
- Irreversible damage to scalp - Broken keyboards and computer monitors - Loss of voice
- Fire. . . and lots of it!
You are now going to learn how to choose the wrong keywords. In doing so, you will be able to fully comprehend exactly how to select the absolute best keyword or search phrase to focus on in your quest for a top ten search engine ranking.
## STEP ONE - Target Keywords That Nobody Searches For
Targeting keywords that no one searches for is a rather simple process. What you'll want to do first, is go to the Word Tracker web site (http://www.wordtracker.com). If you do not already have an account with them, use the trial.
Enter a keyword that is closely related to your business, and WALA -- a hot batch of freshly baked keywords. Click on the separate keywords, found on the left hand side of the page, and on the right side of the page you will see a listing of how many requests each one receives per month, as well as how many sites you are competing with.
Now, it is of great importance that you scroll down to the bottom of the page, and choose the keywords that receive the least requests per month. Zero is a good number, but three to five is an acceptable amount as well.
LESSON TO BE LEARNED: Make absolutely sure that people are searching for what you are optimizing for. If you optimize your page for something nobody searches for, then your efforts will all be in vain.
## STEP TWO - Choose Keywords With Lots Of Competition
Did you notice that this nifty web site also shows you how much competition you're facing?
That's right -- in order to choose the wrong keywords to focus on, your secondary goal is to focus on those with the absolute maximum amount of competition. Don't even bother with keywords which show two, three, or even four-digit numbers of competing web sites. Choosing these would almost ensure your success in achieving a decent ranking.
The keywords are listed in descending order, according to the number of requests per month - and not according to the amount of competition. Therefore, your goal here is to first choose the least popular keywords, and then select those with the greatest amount of competition.
LESSON TO BE LEARNED: The less competition you have, the greater your chance of achieving a top ten position. There is a good chance that 99.9% of the people you are competing with don't even know what META tags are, so if there is very little competition, then success is at hand.
An explanation of META tags and other search engine basics can be found at (http://www.mrfire.com/cgi-bin/a/t.cgi?searchengines)
## STEP THREE - KEI Analysis? Go As Low As You Can Go!
Once you have placed a good amount of keywords in your basket, go onto the final step: KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) Analysis. For now, all you need to know is that a keyword's KEI is based on a simple competition versus popularity ratio.
* For a detailed explanation of this, go to (http://www.wordtracker.com/help/keihelp.html).
When choosing poor keywords, you should always shoot for a KEI of 0-30. Anything above that might give you a shot at a decent search engine ranking, and since your main goal here is to choose the worst keywords possible, you'll definitely want to stay within these boundaries.
LESSON TO BE LEARNED: Don't settle for a KEI of less than 100. Typically, I will not even attempt optimizing a keyword that has a KEI of less than 200, simply because I know it will save a lot of time if the best keyword is chosen right off the bat.
I've made the mistake of choosing the wrong keywords to focus on more than once. The result was an enormous amount of wasted time and energy, and was overall an extremely frustrating experience.
Until I discovered there was a service that could actually count the number of requests and competition for each keyword, I was playing Pin The Tail On The SEO Donkey. Don't make the same mistake that I, and thousands of others have made over the years.
Do the research before optimizing your page for the search engines, and you will reap great rewards.
About the Author
Charles Lewis is editor of "The Creative Marketer", a weekly newsletter dedicated to delivering proven online marketing techniques. To sign up and receive a free copy of his $39 Internet marketing strategy guide, click on the following URL: (http://www.coe-d.com/creative.html)