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keyword relevance

relevance of your keyword selection for the clients site



4:06 am on May 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I was wondering if anybody else out there was having trouble with developing keywords for their clients. I never had a problem coming up with all relevant keywords for a clients site. Now my problem is selling the fact that traffic these keywords are going to create will be a good ROI for the client. I usually get between 500-1000 per client. Do any of you have these issues?


6:02 pm on May 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I don't think that you can get a positive ROI on that number of terms. What we always try and explaing to clients is the fact that there are degrees of relevancy. If you use the dart board analogy, Your core terms are at the center. The next ring is variations of your core terms. As you move outward, the terms still relate to the particular business and may be searched on by potential customers, but they don't directly relate to the particular product or service offered.

An example might be a company the builds custom leather automotive interiors.

Core terms like "custom car seats" or "leather car seats" won't produce a ton of traffic, but the conversion rates for these terms will be extremely high. On the other hand, a term like "sports cars" may generate a large amount of searches, and sports car enthusiasts may be the type of people who order custom leather car seats, but the majority of visitors coming from that term will be looking for something else and will leave quickly. This results in very low conversion rates.

When you go after too many terms, the low conversion rates of the broader, less relevant terms off-set the conversion rates of the core terms. The result is the client ends up paying far more money than necessary to get the same basic amount of sales. Since the costs involved with SEO in terms of man-hours is basically the same, (regardless of the conversion rates of the individual terms), going after too many terms can easily produce an initial negative ROI.

SEO marketing isn't about volume. It's about attracting a better quality visitor. I personaly don't think there is any particular product or service that can come up with 1000 truly relevant terms.


9:07 pm on May 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

jannis, that is always an issue.
I agree totally WG. The only time you can really push for relevancy on such a wide range of terms is when the client has a full array of products or services that fit those terms directly. For example, we had a client that sold high end consumer electronics. We developed a "short list" of over 1600 terms for PPC bidding. We narrowed that down to several highly searched product categories for thematic subdomains.
IMHO the highest searched terms, or the "core terms" are seldom those with the highest conversion rates. It has been my experience that the more information used in the search term, the more motivated and focused the searcher is.
E.G "MP3" is one of the top searched terms. My client wanted to bid high on it. "MP3" searchers are usually looking for free tunes. "Mp3 player" is less searched, but more targeted and would convert better, although many would be searching for a free downloadable player. "Buy Mp3 player" is the "bullseye" term, with few searches, but VERY high conversions. This can be extrapolated to encompass all products in a wide product line, and used for either PPC or "information pages"
[edited for typos]


12:31 pm on May 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That is the issue! We have cleints that have 100's of products. Where do you draw the line. We go after everything becuase we dont what is going to achieve the rankings to create the traffic. I would like to be more targeted in our keywords, but that just seems like we are throwing away possibly great traffic.


2:31 pm on May 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you are doing SEO, not PPC I would suggest targeting the categories, versus the individual items. If you are ready to mount a "doorway campaign" or information pages campaign, and can handle nearly automatic creation of pages with significant content, go for the less searched terms- which will have less competition. I might even go so far as doing research on model names and or numbers.


10:41 pm on May 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Just to clarify, my comment about not being able to come up with 1000 relevant terms was for individual products. Obviously, if you have a client that sells fruit online, it would be fairly easy to come up with 1000+ terms covering all the different types of fruit.

>>IMHO the highest searched terms, or the "core terms" are seldom those with the highest conversion rates.

I completely agree with the exception that I don't consider the highest searched on terms to be "core terms." Your core terms are the ones that most accurately describe what the product or service is. Using your MP3 example, "buy MP3 player" or "MP3 player" would be the core terms. MP3 would be in the same category as the "sports cars" exampled I used. The key is to start from the center and work outward. The difficult part is determining how much time and effort should be spent on the broader terms.

>>We go after everything becuase we dont what is going to achieve the rankings to create the traffic.

Actually, if you spend enough time crunching all the numbers, you can usually predict with a great deal of accuracy which product/keyword set will produce the best bang for the buck. If you break all your products down into indiviual keyword sets or themes and then look at things like:

1. Predicted search activity for each term
2. Combined search activity for each set
3. Number of competing pages for each term (across mutliple engines)
4. Percentage of terms within a given set that have multiple ocurrences of low competitive page counts
5. Percentage of terms within each set that produce a high level of directory matches.
6. The overall level of competitive optimization for each set.

If you take the time to answer all these questions, you can structure a modular program that prioritizes the various products by predicted ROI. Going after the keyword set that contains the greatest number of overlooked, yet frequently searched on terms, helps you effectively manage the client's perception. Quick initial results that bring in new traffic almost always makes the client much more willing to make the long-term commitment necessary to go after the more competitive phrases.


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