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SEO Keyword Research Done Right - Why Your Ranking May Not Matter

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Updated By: Scott Sandbakken on Wed, Nov 28, 2012

So your hosting firm has provided you with report after report on how well you are ranking for a dozen or so key terms they claim to be focusing their efforts on. That's great, right? Perhaps not.

Keyword ranking is only part of the story. Granted, if you don't show up in the search engine results, you aren't going to be found. However, just having keywords in the top of the SERPs does not always correspond to good traffic.

Using Keyword Tools

In order to truly evaluate the performance of your organic search marketing, you need to dig a little deeper. Monitor your keywords using Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools to gauge their performance. Are your top keywords bringing in traffic? If they are not, then which ones are? Are users that have come to your site from your top keywords finding what they need? If so, these are the keywords that really matter to your site.

The tools offered by Google and Bing can provide you with invaluable information on the performance of your top keywords. A good key term will not just drive traffic to your site; it will drive qualified traffic to your site. Look at the bounce rate of a specific key term. A high bounce rate could indicate that your visitors are not finding what they are searching for. If your bounce rate is too high, you may want to adjust the landing page to include the information that a searcher is looking for.

Goal Conversion Rate

Another important factor to look at when evaluating a key term is the key term's goal conversion rate. Every website has a purpose. Some sites sell products or services while others focus on providing information. Your website should contain a measurable action that the user can perform that can be monitored to evaluate the effectiveness of you site (such as a contact form, shopping cart, or newsletter sign-up). These are your site goals. Monitor your key terms to ensure that the users they are bringing in are completing at least one of your site goals.

By focusing on the keywords that are driving qualified users to the information they are seeking, you can refine your search engine marketing efforts. This will save you both time and money, and provide a better overall experience for your users.

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Scott Sandbakken

About The Author

Scott Sandbakken

I’m a problem solver. I was drawn to programming because I like to create new functionality, either by adding to existing software or by creating my own, that solves problems or generally allows people to work more efficiently. I also consider myself lazy! That is not to say that I’m not willing to work hard, but I would rather create ways to automate repetitive tasks than do them myself manually. In my free time, I like to watch sci-fi, play classic video games, and even write a little code just for fun.

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