If you’re new to SEO and are in the beginning phases of doing keyword research, you may want to turn to your Google AdWords account first for help.
When it comes to doing keyword research for SEO, there are terms you know you want to rank highly for, and there are terms that get high search volume and convert well, and sometimes those terms don’t necessarily match up.
It’s okay to target your website for terms you know you want to rank highly for. But part of marketing and making marketing decisions is knowing what is happening right now, running reports and doing some analysis before you make that important decision. If you have a current AdWords PPC program, picking out highly converting keywords from your PPC campaigns can be very helpful when it comes to choosing your SEO keywords.
Not only can you get more accurate search volume estimates from your Adwords account, but you can also find keywords that convert at a higher rate than others. Some of those highly converting keywords may not have been in your initial research for SEO keywords.
For example, say you’re running a debt management solutions website. One of your core keywords you want to rank for is ‘debt management solutions.’ However, you may find in your AdWords account that, ‘how to manage debt’ has less volume, but converts at an extremely high rate. Why wouldn’t you want to rank for that keyword?
If that is the case, you could always target your homepage to the higher search volume keywords, but create a new page where you can target keywords that tend to convert at a higher rate. You can even write blog posts around that keyword and link that blog to pages within your site.
If you don’t currently have an AdWords account, I would recommend that you think about starting one for a couple of months, and get some real-time data and statistics from it. If you could afford to spend $1000 – $1500 you should be able to get enough data on specific keywords to make informed decisions about which SEO keywords you wish to target. What’s great about having a PPC account in AdWords is that you can throw as many relevant keywords in your account as you wish, and depending on your keyword bids of course, you’ll begin to know immediately which keywords are going to be successful over others.
When it comes to SEO keyword research, you aren’t just limited to the many free keyword research tools out there that provide so-so information on a particular keyword. Most of the time I find traffic estimates from the keyword research tools (even Google’s) to be very far off. Plus, they don’t give you any kind of conversion data, whereas the Google AdWords account can. And of course, if you can/have a Yahoo and Bing.com PPC accounts that will give you even more info to back up what Google AdWords tells you about your keywords.