Is keyword selection important for SEO ?


We used to say YES. That keyword selection is important for SEO.

But maybe the answer should be NO! Now that's controversial!

This is an update of an article first written by Cornish WebServices in 2007 as part of a series of articles on SEO.

Why could keyword selection be NOT important for SEO?

Cornish WebServices believe that incorrect keyword selection may be detrimental to SEO. This is especially true when no proper keyword analysis is done. The website then becomes full of the 'wrong' keywords, giving no room for the better performing keywords.

So a website stuffed full of poor keywords will be unhelpful and make effective SEO harder to implement.

How NOT to do keyword selection

It is probably easier to explain what NOT to do for keyword selection, than describe the detailed market and keyword analysis that should underpin keyword analysis. So here are some good ways of getting poor results, which are sadly employed by a few 'keyword analysis companies' offering a quick report.

  • Use Wordtracker for the US market and then apply the results to UK markets.
  • Assume that the best keywords are those that have a high KEI (ratio of searches to ratio of websites targeting these keywords
  • Assume the value of visitors from different keywords is the same.
  • Assume results of a few searches per day are meaningful and significant

When looking into target keywords, Cornish WebServices use the following principles:

  • What is the point of being ranked number 1 for keywords that produce no visitors?
  • What is the point of being ranked number 1 for keywords that produce rubbish visitors?
  • What is the point of optimising for the US market if your market is the UK?

We frequently see keyword optimised websites that fail to produce results, Optimising on the wrong keywords is a useless task with no business benefit.

There is still too much emphasis within SEO agencies on unreliable 'keyword ranking reports'. The real measure of successful SEO is larger numbers of relevant visitors from the search engines. Having a high ranking position is nice, but not the end in itself. And being highly ranked for unimportant keywords is a waste of time and effort (and money).

So less emphasis on keyword rankings, and more emphasis on increased numbers of relevamt visitors.  This is the Cornish policy for SEO. It gives the best results for our clients.

Contact Cornish WebServices for help with keyword research or keyword analysis and optimise your website for increased visibility in the search engines.

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