Updated: Jul 13
Wondering whether it’s worth trying to rank for a specific highly competitive keyword or not?
SEO consultant Janelle Cheesman shares her top SEO hack for finding out whether a keyword is worth your time and effort. Keep reading to find out how she finds out the potential value for a keyword, and how you can do it too.
How to find out a keyword’s value to your business
If you're creating a SEO strategy for your business, and want to know whether trying to rank for a highly competitive keyword will be worth all the time and effort or not, I have the answer for you.
We all know that the first page of Google is where 70% of the clicks happen, and it can take at least a year to get there. If you don’t already know this, read this: How long does it take to rank #1 in Google?
But if you finally reach page one for your target keyword, and you don’t get any leads or sales from the traffic, was it really worth all that effort?
Sure, brand awareness is great, but in most cases, the answer will be no...
So, how do we prevent this from happening?
We need to find out the estimated value of a keyword before you dive into your search engine optimisation for that keyword.
Here's how we can do it:
Use Google Ads paid search advertising
It’s a simple idea, but it makes a lot of sense. If you want to know whether a keyword is going to get you qualified traffic to your website that results in actual leads and sales, paying for clicks on the first page for that keyword will quickly let you know whether it’s worthwhile or not.
If you’re already bidding on a keyword and paying for Google Ads for it, you already know that it’s a valuable keyword to target because you’re already spending money on it. Therefore, you can justify putting effort into SEO for that keyword, because it’s proven to get results.
Create a Google Ads campaign
Create a Google Ads search pay per click (PPC) campaign with your target keyword/s you want to experiment with. Use the same or similar content, meta titles and descriptions that you would for the organic page, and make sure you have conversion tracking in place.
Run the add for a week or more depending on the search volume (higher search volumes will require less experimentation time), and you should have enough data to tell you whether going for that keyword organically would be feasible or not.
Put a decent amount of money behind it, too. If you were on page one of Google organically your website would stay there all day, every day. Make sure your ad stays on the results page for most of the day so you get an accurate reflection of traffic.
Tip: if you don't know how to effectively create and run a Google Ads campaign, hire a Google Ads Consultant!
How to know if you have a winning keyword
After you’ve run your keyword experiment, look at the data:
How much traffic did you get?
How many leads and sales did you get?
What was the conversion rate?
What was the cost per click?
How much did one lead/sale cost?
If you got sales but they were hideously expensive, that’s a good sign that going for this keyword organically through SEO is your best option, as it would be highly valuable to your business if you got to page #1 organically.
If you got a couple of sales and they were affordable, I’d recommend including the keyword in your SEO strategy, and also continuing with the paid advertising until you get there (if your budget allows).
If you didn’t get any leads or sales from your ads, including capturing emails, I’d recommend running the experiment for a little longer until you do, and change the copy and call to action on the landing page.
If it doesn’t seem like the keyword will bring in any leads or sales, it’s a good sign to go back to the drawing board and find a different keyword to target that will be of more value to your business.
SEO Hack: If ads for your competitors are running on a particular keyword already, it’s a good sign that it’s valuable to go for, without needing to run an experiment first.
For a step-by-step guide for finding the best keywords for your business, read: How to do Keyword Research.
Once you know which keywords are of the highest value to your business, it’s time to create a SEO strategy to rise through the ranks and obtain your page #1 status!
How to optimise your website for a keyword
Now that you know what keywords you want to target, how do you actually make your website rank for them?
How to SEO a blog post provides step-by-step instructions for optimising a a blog post for search engines, and also includes a free printable SEO checklist!
Need help? Janelle is a SEO Consultant who works remotely from Wellington, New Zealand. She charges an hourly rate and can do a little or a lot, depending on your needs and budget. Get in touch to book your free assessment and consultation.
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