Christine Churchill has an excellent article today listing costly keyword research mistakes. They are
- Targeting keywords that people never use
- Confusing keyword popularity with keyword appropriateness
- Not considering user intent in keyword selection
- Selecting single word keywords
- Keyword misalignment
- Not considering the competition
- Failing to periodically review keywords
- Not allocating enough resources and time to perform good keyword research
Detailed explanations are given in her article and there is a lot to consider there. It would almost appear that they are presented in increasing order of importance. Certainly her summary paragraph points to this:
A better strategy would be to take the time it takes to do the project right. A sound keyword process is one of the best investments a company can make. Take a few minutes today and review your keyword lists. Chances are you can save yourself and your company a lot of money and improve your return on your search campaigns by simply improving the keyword pool.
As it happens, her paper could well be an introduction to a post on SEO at the Cre8asite Forums by Ammon Johns, a top UK SEM consultant.
You enter a market where the top 30 sites on many terms are all using SEO. The top 20 sites are all spending around 100k per year, either on salaries of their in-house SEOs, on agency services, or commonly a mixture of the two. If you as a newcomer to the market can only afford 20k investment in SEO this year, then your only possible chance to make that work is to put all that resource into a focal point (the 100k budgets are spread across the market, so by picking one flank or one specific point and spending all your effort there you can plan to break through – the niche market).
You can’t bank a business on hoping to ‘get lucky’ and miraculously hire a better SEO for 20k than they hired for 100k. That kind of optimism is not business, that’s roulette. If a market leader has a three year head start, and is also spending twice as much resource and effort as the newcomer can afford, then it is quite reasonable to predict that you will never overtake the market leader.
If these are figures that surprise you, bear in mind that they are in UK sterling pounds so you double them to give an approximate US dollar figure.
The bottom line on all this is that there are no quick fixes on becoming visible in the search engines keyword reports. The Internet is a very crowded place. It requires good knowledge and thorough and persistent effort to outperform your competition.
Your Keyword Selection Strategy – Mark Beck
Keyword Strategy to Avoid Bidding War – Shimon Sandler
[Video] Keyword Research 101: Basic Keyword Strategy & Tips – Aaron Wall