How to Get Top Search Engine Rankings – Part 3

How to Get Top Search Engine Rankings – Part 3

08:01 22 September in How To, News

Selecting Good Keywords


Keywords:  Words you want to rank well for

When we are talking about Keywords we are actually talking about multi-word phrases.  You need to put a lot of thought into the keywords you want to target.  Think about the phrases you hope your page will match when writing content for that page.

It is a common misconception that most of your traffic will come from a handful of 2, 3, or 4 word phrases. If you have a good information-rich website you will get traffic from many searches you never thought of.  This happens when you provide a lot of good relevant content.



The best keywords are 2-4 word phrases that describe what you offer using everyday language that searchers are likely to enter into search engines.  If your keywords are too general they are likely to be too competitive.  If your keywords are too specific then few people will search for your terms and you will get few visitors.

Note:  Search Engines rank pages, not sites.  You should target keywords on different pages.  Think about using more general terms on the home page and more specific terms on the inside pages.


Common Mistakes when selecting keywords:

  • Single-word terms
  • Terms that are way too broad, and not focused to what you offer
  • Terms that are too specialized, which nobody searches for
  • Terms which are unpopular
  • Highly-competitive terms which you can’t hope to rank well for


Avoid broad terms

Let’s say your business is selling Pies in Scottsdale, Arizona.  You decide you want to be ranked for “Pies”.  This is not a good idea as the overwhelming majority of your visitors searching for “pies” aren’t potential customers.  They are more likely looking for recopies or nutritional information.  Even if they are looking to purchase a pie they are probably not looking for one in Scottsdale.

It is not how well your site ranks on a given term or how much traffic you get from rankings.  It is how many potential customers visit your site.  Five hundred random visitors are not worth as much as one qualified lead.  You want visitors that are interested in what you have to offer.  One visitor searching for “Blueberry Pies Scottsdale” will be worth more than 500 people searching for “pies”


Avoid terms that are too specific

The more specific the search, the less the competition for the search term. And the less the competition, the easier it is to rank well on that term.



Number of Google Matches     Term




    real estate writer


    freelance real estate writer


    freelance real estate writer los angeles


But is not all that simple.  The more specific the search, the fewer people actually search for that term. Which is another way of saying that as competition goes down, so does the popularity of the search term.


Avoid terms that are not popular

As an exaggerated example, just because the phrase “perpendicular orange robin” is a phase doesn’t mean anyone will be searching for it.  Ranking #1 on terms that nobody is searching for is just as bad as ranking #500 for terms that everybody is searching for. You can’t get the traffic if people aren’t using your search terms, no matter how well you’re ranked.

Don’t take this as you should not use lesser-used keywords.  As long a a rare keyword brings some qualified traffic to your site then it is useful to your business.


Avoid highly competitive terms

You may not rank well if you use a term that is both popular and highly relevant to what you offer If too many other sites are competing for that same term.


The trick is to find search terms that are

  • highly relevant to what you offer
  • popular enough that they’ll result in decent traffic to your site
  • not so competitive that you can’t rank well for them.


There are many online tools to that will tell you how many searches are being performed for specific keywords, as well as suggesting keywords to optimize for.  Most of these sites have a monthly charge of $50 or more.



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Part 4 coming soon (Ranking Factors)

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