Why Pet Keywords Can Get You In Trouble

seo pet keywords

The benefits of search engine optimization services are becoming well known by webmasters and marketers alike. Lured by a higher return on investment, more and more marketers are shifting resources away from traditional forms of marketing and reallocating money into search engine marketing.

At the end of 2010 we looked back on clients that have been with us for longer than 6 months and found that the average return on investment was 2,500 percent. That means for every spent with SEO.com they averaged in additional revenue.

While this statistic is exciting, this kind of ROI is not guaranteed. Your investment can be negatively impacted by not understanding a fundamental difference between traditional and Internet marketing with regard to keyword selection.

Outbound vs. Inbound Marketing

Outbound marketing is the traditional form of marketing and involves finding customers by creating brand awareness. The focus of inbound marketing is getting found by customers.

The two differ in that outbound marketing may be infinite in its reach while inbound is finite. For example, there is really no limit to how many advertisements a person can be exposed to. There are enough billboards, television commercials and newspaper ads to give every marketer a chance to reach the consumer.

However, this is not the case with inbound marketing and SEO. There are a limited number of results that can be found on the first page of the search engine results page. Considering that about 90 percent of searchers never go to the second page, not being in the top 10 makes it hard to be seen.

As a result, competition is fierce for these few positions, and unlike traditional marketing, targeting a competitive keyword can be expensive and take time, making it difficult to see an impressive ROI.

Luckily this can be avoided since there are many keywords an SEO campaign may target. Problems only arise when companies think that because a keyword performed well for them in print or on television, it is the only word on which they should build their SEO campaign.

The “Pet” Keyword

Consider a custom shoemaker who decides he wants to begin SEO. He would no doubt want to target the keyword “shoes.” He knows this is the keyword that will bring him the most traffic and increase his revenue (and he is probably correct). Perhaps he even had a lot of success from his “Shoes” newspaper ad campaign. Maybe it is personal, maybe “SHOES” is his customized license plate or he named his dog “Shoes.” Regardless of his reasoning or affinity for this keyword, it doesn’t mean it is the best keyword to begin an SEO campaign.

A custom SEO strategy is not focused on what keyword has the most search volume; it is focused on a group of keywords that will get you the biggest return. Most of the time this is not the keyword with the highest search volume; instead it is the keyword with the perfect combination of above-average search volume and below-average competition.

The main problem is that when you focus all efforts on a large volume keyword, you are missing a lot of low hanging fruit. It could take a long time to see any revenue from an extremely competitive keyword, but by ranking quickly for keywords with lower competition, you will be able to start realizing an ROI much sooner. In almost all cases it is better to be on the first page for lower volume keywords than on page three for a high volume keyword.

If you feel discouraged, don’t be. The good news is that with the revenue from less competitive keywords, and the authority of your website increasing every month, it may not be too long before that high volume keyword doesn’t seem so difficult anymore, and ranking for your pet keyword becomes a reality.


SEO.com » Blog

June 3, 2011  Tags: ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing

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