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Selecting Keyword Phrases

Target the wrong keywords and all your efforts will be in vain. Choose the right keywords, and you'll see your traffic skyrocket. Therefore, think long and hard on what keywords people are likely to use to find you.
Have you ever heard from someone who attained a top 10 position in a major search engine and the person was elated at how much new traffic flooded into his or her Web site. You'd expect them to be happy with such an outcome, right? But sometimes you hear from someone else who also achieved a top 10 ranking but they become disappointed when just a handful of visitors show up. How can two people achieve high rankings and have such markedly different outcomes? Simple. The person in the first example selected a keyword or phrase that many people are searching on, and the second did not!

The question to ask yourself is how do you really know if you're optimizing your pages for keywords that Web surfers are looking for? There are several good techniques you can apply to determine what people might be searching for:
a) Put yourself in their shoes and brainstorm.
b) See what keywords your competitors are targeting to spur new ideas.
c) Organize and focus your keywords into short phrases, etc.
However, the best way is to stop guessing and actually SEE what people are searching for, by using the Businelle Keywords service. Businelle Keywords is an integrated service that will help you brainstorm and create a list of effective keywords.

After you use this service, you'll soon have a list of dozens, if not hundreds of keyword phrases you could target on all of the search engines. The service illustrates what we've told customers for years: not everyone is competing for the exact same keywords! There are literally 1000's of opportunities available for any business. Find YOUR niche, make sure it's one that people are looking for, and then pursue it!
Bonus Tip: Some of the keywords are going to be much more competitive than others. For example, ranking well on the single word "travel" will be much more difficult than ranking in the top 10 for "Caribbean cruises." Remember that single keywords usually return the least targeted leads. If someone is searching on just plain old "travel" are they:

a. Helping their child with a paper on some aspect of "travel"
b. Looking for the "travel channel"
c. Looking to plan a vacation cruise?
d. Day dreaming about time travel?
e. Looking for driving directions for their travel across the country?
f. Looking for a travel club such as AAA?
g. Looking for the perfect backpack or hiking supplies for a travel expedition?

If you own a travel agency that specialized in vacation cruises and optimized your site for the single keyword "travel," only a limited number of the people identified in the example above would be qualified prospects. You'd find a great number of search engine referrals to your site if you attained a good ranking on the keyword, but many of them would select the "back" button in their browsers, turn around and effectively walk out of your store! That's not the outcome you'd be looking for. When you target longer keyword phrases there is a much higher likelihood that you have focused in on exactly the right prospects. It's the difference between attracting actual buyers versus tire kickers.

The best thing to do is to target multi-word keyword phrases that give you the highest quality leads. For example, we sell websites, but we don't waste our efforts trying to rank #1 on the word websites. That's just too general, not to mention too competitive.
Ideally, you will want to target keyword phrases that are queried with some frequency, that are specific to your Web site, but less competitive.

Also, just because a phrase returns 10,000 matches does NOT mean you have only a 1 in 10,000 chance of ranking number one. If you simply submitted your page and did nothing else, then yes, your odds of ranking near the top are low. Discovering the "magic" quantity of keywords and tags to rank in the top 10 is also next to impossible to do by hand.

We know that the majority of Web site owners are targeting the WRONG keywords. How did we reach this conclusion? Easy. A recent study showed that only 34% of Web site owners knew enough to include a simple keyword meta tag on their Web page! Therefore, just by adding a keyword meta tag AND properly optimizing the rest of the page for your keywords, you'll be doing far more than the 66% of Web site owners have ever done! If you take the time to target the RIGHT keywords, we're guessing you'll be ahead of 99% of the world and you'll be generating more traffic with less effort. Work smarter, not harder is what we always say!

[Annotated from a NetIQ article]

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