Keywords play a very crucial part in SEO. Getting them wrong increases your odds of being unsuccessful in any business online. SEO would be a lot simpler if webmasters were taught how to properly select their keywords.
Here are the basic types of keywords:
1. Generic keywords: This category generally includes one or two word keywords, which generically relate to the theme of your website. Examples of generic keywords are toys, used cars, xbos games, pizza places etc.
2. Long-tail keywords: This category usually comprises of three or four word keywords, which specifically relate to your website. Because the keywords are long-tail, they describe your product or service more accurate than generic keywords and therefore help in increasing your relevancy in the search engines. Examples include buy Mustang 1967, Medieval 2: Total War review, Max Payne high quality wallpapers etc.
If you are operating in a niche it is always a safe bet to start optimizing for the long-tail keywords in the beginning. Long-tail keywords provide traffic which is directly related to your product or service. For example, optimizing for the keywords "Mustang 1967 edition" will provide much more targeted traffic than optimizing for the term "used cars".
Although most people know that they should optimize for long-tail keywords, they are put off because of the lack of traffic available for these keywords. When they compare long-tail keyword traffic with generic keyword traffic, they always seem to prefer generic keywords. The total amount of traffic should not matter to you. What should matter to you is what your conversion rate is.
The problem with generic keywords is that even if you do manage to rank at the top, most of the traffic to your website will not convert into sales. So even if you get tons of traffic to generic keywords, it does not provide you an edge from a business perspective.
I would suggest targeting long-tail keywords in the beginning of your SEO efforts and then move into more generic keywords at a later time. Once you rank high for long-tail keywords, you will surely get a considerable amount of visitors which will quickly convert, increasing your profit.
Make sure you do not start with generic keywords in order to try to get more traffic. This approach will cost you a lot in SEO and make it very difficult to get traffic that converts.
Always make sure you have done a thorough keyword research before you start your SEO campaigns. Selecting the right keywordsis the difference between making thousands of dollars and not making a dime.
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