An Introduction to Keyword Research | SEO 101

Keywords and SEO 101

Keyword research

Keyword research:

The most important part of SEO!

A lame excuse for people who don’t know about ranking for everything!

There are generally 2 opinions of keyword research: The Good and the bad. But there is an ugly side and Google doesn’t help us with it!

The keyword planner is a tool created by Google to utilise keywords for people to bid on Adwords. See what people are searching and then bid on the most competitive or most highly searched terms. Great idea right? WRONG!

The problem lies in a very true statement written by Tom Buckland of Ghost Marketing:

Google’s primary aim is to generate ad revenue. If they state a keyword gets XXXX amount of searches, businesses will bid on this keyword, driving up the cost per click. In reality the keyword may only get XX number of searches, meaning that the individuals with the highest bids will appear every-time, because the search term is not frequent enough to allow more bidders to be shown. And hence, Google makes more money by inflating the numbers.

This is evident in a term that we have been trying to rank our agency for, for about 6 months now, the keyword is SEO Cardiff and although we are in the top 5 results most of the time, we haven’t had 1 visitor from the traffic! That’s a 0% conversion rate! Yet when you look in Google keyword planner you can see that the search volume is 820 and yet people continue to “search” but yet no one that ranks for this term gets any traffic or leads…. Strange.

The inflated search data is due to 2 points. The first is pretty obvious and annoyingly TRUE!

SEO’s checking ranking. If you have 30 SEO companies all trying to rank for “seo Cardiff” then you now have 30 people that are searching in Google for this term to check their rankings. Chances are they do this incredibly frequently if the average person searches 4 times a month, this has just added 120 searches per month, that is 100% inaccurate and not useful to anyone!

The second point goes back to Google being money hungry nazis. And the fact they will do anything (including making the algorithm less effective) as shown in the 2015 update with local results which was probably the worst update I’ve seen Google do since well, ever! But they did this for 1 primary reason: To increase ad revenue! And what makes you think they won’t hyper inflate their numbers to get people bidding more and more importantly bidding higher on search terms.

SEO testing

SEO testing

But the kicker comes when people have actually tested a search volume. Jerry West of webmarketingnow ran a test to rank a site in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position for a keyword that allegedly got around 4000 searches per month.

Anyway Jerry being awesome, did this and reported on the monthly traffic across the 1st site: It was about 400 visits per month from the keyword. The site in 2nd had about 100 and the site in 3rd had an average of 40 a month. Which meant that this 4000 searched term actually was getting probably nearer 700…. Tut tut tut Google! Long live Bing!

Thanks for listening to my rant.


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