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Five Tips for Picking SEO Keywords

The backbone of powerful SEO is great keyword selection. From long-tail traffic to ultra-popular mainstream keywords, the businesses that dominate the search engines are those that put a lot of effort into designing, picking, and building a business around their keyword selections. As an online businessperson, you are at a natural advantage over your offline counterparts: your entire business can be shaped and started around a keyword.

So how do you pick a target keyword phrase that both sells your business and effectively promotes you. There are lots of strategies to take, but these five have typically had the most powerful effects for online businesses. Get your SEO notebook out, sit back, and read through these five essential tips for picking SEO keywords.

1. Dominating a long-tail keyword is not always good
When you pick a long-tail keyword to dominate, you give yourself a relative advantage over all other ranking keywords; the competition is lower, the effort required is significantly less, and even some small SEO actions will have effect. The problem is that you are forever limiting the amount of traffic that work can bring you. Sometimes it is best to focus on keywords that are more competitive and difficult to rank for, yet more lucrative when you do rank. There are cases where it is better to have a small share of something big, with the possibility of moving upwards, than a major share in something that can’t develop.

2. Consider turnover when picking target keywords
There is another factor to take in for SEO as it is not all about keyword competition. Turnover can affect high-ranking domains, especially for ultra-competitive keywords. Before you commit time and money to dedicated SEO efforts, watch the top ranked websites for your target keyword. If they shift and change a lot, it could be an indicator that the particular keyword is too volatile.

3. If nothing fits, create your own term
If ranking for a preexisting keyword is too difficult, just make your own. If your online business has the capabilities to pick up real PR and word of mouth traffic, you could set yourself up to dominate the next big keyword. It is always better to dominate your brand than to have partial control over it, and by having your own keyword your business could differentiate itself from your competitors.

4. Test through PPC before you spend time on SEO
PPC is great for long-term SEO marketers. Instead of spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on a poor campaign, PPC tools allow SEO marketers to test a keyword’s effectiveness before they invest a single hour into SEO. If you are debating between several different major keywords, try running PPC advertisements built around each one side by side, and pick the most successful.

5. Don’t go make your search power too precise
If you rank high for one, and just one keyword, what’s going to happen if your ranking gets slapped? There is a saying in life, one that is particularly true online: “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”. Invest in a wide range of SEO keywords, and do not just put all your time into ranking high for a single term.

Five Tips for Picking Keywords

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