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Selecting the Right Keywords to Capture your Target Market

May 30, 2009 / by Starr Gelbhaar

crystal-ballUtilizing the most sophisticated and in-depth SEO methods is absolutely useless if you aren't using the right keywords. While this may seem obvious to those of us in the industry, I believe there are many who are still using the wrong words and failing at SEO attempts.

If you think like your consumer and select the words they are most likely to be searching (even if it’s not what you want to call your product or service), you will find achieve ranking success.

I had a client who offered psychic services. This particular client detested the term “psychic”, and wanted to use terms like, “Channeled Sessions.” This particular phrase doesn't even report a single search incident. The closest term is “Channeling Sessions,” which reports a meager 28 searches for the past month, while terms like, “Psychic Reading”, “Psychic Phone Readings,” and “Spiritual Psychic Readings” are searched 165,000, 12,500, and 3,600 each month, respectively.

My client committed SEO suicide by refusing to adapt or modify her existing keywords and content, to reflect and support said keywords. The end result: her business failed. No one searched for her terms, and her site was never found. Why? Because she didn't consider which keywords her target market would use. Instead of accepting suggestions that would have brought her traffic, she crippled all efforts put forth to make website optimization a success. She couldn't get past her vision of how she wanted to label her services.

Let’s say you sell oranges. Only, you don't like to call them oranges. You prefer to call the fruit 'persnipples'. And let’s assume that you grow the best persnipples in the world. If you build a website using the keyword 'persnipple', no one will ever find you, and you'll end up with sheds full of rotting fruit. Why? Because they were searching for 'oranges'!

So, remember, consider your consumers' standpoint when picking your keywords. Because after all, once you invest all the time, energy and money into building and promoting a site, you definitely want your consumers to be able to find you.

Topics: SEO Keyword Research Blog search marketing

Starr Gelbhaar

Written by Starr Gelbhaar

Starr is a former SEO Strategist at SEO.com. She currently resides in Charlottsville.

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