Keyword Strategy Part 2: Why Choosing The Wrong Keywords May Be Hurting Your Business

Date posted: June 20, 2013

seo tips, how to use keywords

By Gennady Lager

In Part 1 of this series, I explained how to choose the right keywords for your business. Here’s how to ensure you don’t choose the wrong keywords and inadvertently hurt your business.

  1. The messaging and impression a company makes within the search results is important. Do you want to be known for “cheap widgets on sale” or “premium widgets for luxury condos?” This impression will be made before the user even clicks on your listing and is based on the keywords you choose to target.
  2. Geographic keywords are crucially important for local business services. For example, if you are a pest control company in Pittsburgh, you should only be targeting geographical keywords in that specific area (e.g. Pittsburg pest control). While you can receive traffic with generic keywords (e.g. pest control), it’s likely that those keywords won’t covert to customers.  In other words, a searcher in Kansas City won’t be interested in a pest control service that’s only available in Pittsburgh.
  3. With industry jargon, beware of low search volume and propensity to convert.  Many B2B businesses approach SEO from a jargon-based keyword direction or simply presume that people are familiar with industry terms.  Often these industry terms have low search volume and aren’t what is being searched by potential customers.  For example, a major engineering and project management company who uses the keyword “PLM software” will only receive about 880 or so searches per month on Google.  This software starts at $50,000, so the odds of so few people finding your site and then buying $50,000 software is very low.
  4. Don’t forget to run an analytics program.  The goal of SEO is have your target keywords convert into sales leads or customers.   You should run an analytics platform that understands your “conversion” rate and can track the rate from search.   This tool will also help you to fine tune your keywords as you’ll see certain words carry higher conversion rates than others.

Gennady Lager is Head of Search Strategy at Trace Media Marketing (


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