Choosing Keywords for SEO and PPC

As customers hone in on what they are going to buy, their search queries (keyword phrases) get longer and more specific. Basically, one-word keywords are general whereas multiple-word keywords (around two to four words) are more explicit and will attract more serious prospects.

That’s because as customers start their search engine “research,” they typically use general keywords (e.g., laptop computer). After researching initial product options, they move into the “shopping” stage of the buying cycle and search more specific keyword phrases (e.g. dell laptop computer). Finally, armed with more information, they enter the ‘buying’ stage. Now they know enough to search with specificity (e.g., Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop computer).

Since over 80 percent of shoppers say they research products on the web prior to purchasing them, it’s important to have exposure on the web during all stages of the buying cycle. Your particular emphasis should be on the keyword phrases used by prospects who are ready to buy… those more toward the end of the sales cycle.

Choosing “longer tailed” keyword phrases, for PPC (Pay Per Click) or non-PPC (organic listings) campaigns, can reduce competition for the first page search results and can cost a lot less per click.

Think about it, only a handful of websites can rank within the first-page of search results. Keywords that are general and popular attract lots of competition for the top rankings. For example: “Cars” is a very non-specific keyword and can attract all types of competitors (car sellers, car mechanics, car painters, a kid’s book report on cars, etc.). The keyword phrase “vintage cars for sale” is much more direct; the keyword phrase “vintage cars for sale in Dallas, Texas” even more so.

So, use niche keyword phrases when you optimize your website for organic search results or create your keyword list for PPC marketing. Choosing a proper mix of keywords and keyword phrases will increase the quality of your visitors, reduce competition, and increase your Internet exposure while lowering your Internet marketing costs.