Choosing the right keywords for a website is absolutely crucial, however it’s probably one of the most common areas of online marketing that people stumble at.
In January I have lined up quite a few live coaching webinars for us, and one of them is with a keyword expert, so look out for that email. In this post though, I’ll be discussing the concept of building sites for the user, in these post Google Panda times we now operate in.
I’ve been and still am a big fan of the ‘Buyer Keyword’, for the simple reason that if you get someone to your website that is ready to buy, then you stand a much higher chance of converting that person into a commission. However you do need to give more thought to the kind of keywords you choose for your SEO websites these days, and can’t rely solely on buyer phrases only.
The reason for this is, if your site is built only on buyer keywords, yes you will be getting laser targeting traffic to your site, however unless done very carefully, the overall user experience on that site can be a bad one. In order to explain this, let me first provide some examples of classic buyer keywords: product names, model numbers, how to phrases, buy XYZ, XYZ review…
When people search in Google using these types of very specific keywords, they are much further along the buying process than someone who searches using very broad phrases such as “plasmas”. However if all your pages are built on these types of keywords and nothing else, then your site will not be able to provide a great user experience. For example if you have an affiliate marketing website on baby strollers, and all your pages are just targeting keywords which are stroller names, this might be an ok site IF you have good content of course. However I think a better site, especially post Google Panda, is to have a more balanced selection of keywords and interlink between this content as much as possible.
For example I would have pages targeting: “safest baby strollers” “most popular baby strollers” “compare baby strollers” “what to look for in a baby stroller” “baby strollers under $200″ “jogging baby strollers” etc….Even if you’re not trying to rank all of these pages, you are providing good content to improve the user experience on your site.
By doing this, you’re more likely to collect social votes from your users from Google +1, Facebook, Twitter etc and you’ll also collect natural links from various places…and Google will also view your site as higher quality because you’re not only creating sites for search engines but for the user, which is what Google wants.
As I just mentioned, some of the pages you won’t bother doing off page SEO on, however the buyer keywords you should, and also the keywords that might not be considered classic buyer phrases, as often these keywords are not as hard to rank for and will increase the scope of traffic you can get to your sites.
When choosing keywords for SEO websites, always ask yourself when doing your research “is there enough diversity in the keywords for me to create a site that will allow me to provide a good user experience, while also getting enough traffic to be profitable”. By thinking this way with your planning, you’ll have no problems with Google, as you are essentially giving them what they want.
Another simple rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you think you can create at least 3 different categories in your site, as this will provide diversity in the content, assuming you have a few articles in each category.
Also don’t forget to follow the other guidelines I discussed in my SEO Quality Score post, so you set up your sites the right way. It’s true that Google have made some big changes in 2011 with the Panda update, and what most people don’t know is that Panda is an ongoing thing. Google keep rolling out more Panda updates every few weeks. Each update Google learns more and gets closer and closer to filtering out the low quality sites from their listings, until they get what they want, which is high quality sites that provide a good user experience.
I know they have quite some way to go in order to get to this goal, as I still see some pretty terrible sites at the top, but don’t be fooled by this, as Google are not dumb and they will refine Google Panda until they have it just right. A friend of mine, who I’m getting on a webinar in the first week of January, is an expert at Google Panda, easily the most clued up person I know on this topic, and he’ll be providing some brilliant training on this topic for us, plus showing how to build sites that Google loves.
One thing that he said which I found very interesting was “some people falsely think Google Panda was all about attacking affiliate and Adsense sites, but this is not true. Panda is about filtering low quality sites, and sometimes this can look like Google is targeting affiliate and Adsense sites because the highest amount of low quality sites are often these types of sites.”
Hope you all have a nice end to your year and find some time to spend with family and friends. I’ll be in touch in the first week of January with some live webinar coaching.