How To Choose The Right Keywords To Target

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In the business of search engine marketing, choosing the correct keywords to target is crucial towards the overall success in your online business. The folks who use Pay Per Click services, such as the Google AdWords program, their overall success depends on bidding on the right keywords. For search engine marketers who target organic keywords, the same process is involved; however, instead of bidding for keywords are you rolling the dice on whether you can rank for the keywords you target. Both aspects of search engine marketing have their pro’s and con’s and both equally have their share of stresses.

In my business of search engine marketing, I don’t fool around too much with Pay Per Click. I focus on organic search. The two primary reasons why I focus on organic search versus pay per click is because I am very good at it and secondly I have something to show for my work after it is done. With Pay Per Click, once your campaign money expires so does your listings in the search engines. With organic search, I have an endless amount of free traffic for as long as my keywords continue to be ranked in the search engine.

With all that said, I want to show you an example of how I choose keywords to target in the organic search section of search engines, mainly Google.

I have used quite a few tools in the past to help me do keyword research. Over time, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool has grown on me. It is my favorite tool to use and it is free. In the examples in this article, I will be using this tool. If you have never used the Google AdWords keyword tool for researching keywords, you should give it a try. I think you’ll enjoy it. Let’s roll through a few examples of how I find keywords to target.


Nike is a very popular brand of shoes. It is very unlikely that I would be successful ranking well in Google for the search term: Nike. Granted, it could be done, but it would take a ton of work in order to pull it off. Needless to say, the amount of time and energy I would have to invest towards ranking for the term Nike I could instead use that towards ranking for about 20 other keyword phrases instead.

Google AdWords Keyword Tool Results For Nike:

Google AdWords Keyword Nike

[Click to view full size]

Looking at the above screen shot you will see that Nike generates over 13 million searches in Google each month. Ranking #1 on the Nike page in Google would be a total dream. Like I said, anything is possible, but with the amount of time and energy needed to do so, it might not be worth it. Instead, I use my time and energy to rank for longtail keywords.

Longtail keywords are keyword phrases that have a much lower level of competition while also having a decent amount of monthly searches. Longtail keywords are also keyword phrases that are much easier to rank well in Google.

Longtail Keywords For Nike

Here are some examples of longtail Nike keywords that I would target.

  • Nike Shoe Sales
  • Nike Shoes on Sale
  • Nike Shoe Deals
  • Nike Shoe Clearance
  • Kids Nike Shoes
  • Mens Nike Shoes
  • Nike Baseball Cleats
  • Nike Football Cleats

I would write blog posts using these keyword phrases as post titles. From there, I would make sure that the first paragraph of the post included the title phrase, and then I would make sure the entire article include proper alt text and images all with the post title name. Once the content is indexed, it is very likely that the page will rank well. If it doesn’t then you will have to do a little link building, no big deal. The point is that the amount of time and energy invested into ranking for longtail keywords are much less than trying to go for primary keywords. Also, most all attempts to aim for mainstream keywords end in failure.

One of the main reasons why I target longtail keywords over mainstream keywords is because I feel it is better to rank on the top ten for a keyword phrase that has only 1000 searches per month compared to ranking on the second page (results 11 through 20) for a keyword phrase that receives 10,000. Not very many people investigate the links on page two.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this article. What are some other ways you research longtail keywords? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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