How to Select Profitable Keywords

How to Select Profitable Keywords

Guest Post by Brandon Hopkins

I often have clients ask me how long it will take to rank for their keyword.  Let me give you an example of a client I spoke with last night.  Names and information have been changed to protect my client, the “web rookie”.

After a brief exchange of emails Dave (the Client) called me and the first words out of his mouth were, “What do you do?” Since that question is open-ended, I swung for the fence and said, “I make websites rank #1 in Google’s search results.” Here is how the rest went…

Dave: What does that mean?
Me: I tell Google that a particular website is the best for a particular keyword. What keyword do you want to rank for?
Dave: Texas.
Me: As in the whole state?
Dave: Yes, I sell cars in Texas, and everyone is a prospect.
Me: Ok, let me give you a little information about how this works. First, do you sell new cars, used cars, or both?
Dave: Used only.Me: What city are you in?
Dave: Dallas
Me: Instead of targeting “Texas”, a better set of keywords would be “Dallas used cars” and “Used cars in Dallas”.  From there, we can expand to each make and model that you often have in stock.  For example in the future we could do, “Used Toyota in Dallas” or “Used F-150 in Dallas”.
Dave: Why not “Texas Used Cars”?
Me: If you wanted to buy a used car in Dallas, what would you type into Google?
Dave: Oh, I get it.  I would type “Buy a used car in Dallas”.
Me: Exactly!

Needless to say, “Dave” has a better understanding of how the internet works now.  So here are a few tips of how to select profitable keywords.

  1. Think like my Mother-In-Law.  My MIL has three computer problems. The first is that she doesn’t know how to use a computer; the second is she types with one finger, and the third is that she thinks the entire internet is “Google”.  If she isn’t on then she doesn’t think she is on the internet.

    So what does she type when she’s looking for something? She types as little as possible. If she wants to look for a particular car dealership, she types “car” into Google. When she doesn’t find the particular car dealership she’s looking for, she types “car place”.

    My point is that not everyone is computer savvy and knows that they need to type “used cars in Dallas”.  If you ignore those long tail keywords like “car place Dallas” you’re missing a small (but profitable) section of the population.

  2. Think like my Father-In-Law. My FIL is quite the opposite. He thinks the more he types the better it gets. If he wants to buy a car he would type, “I want to buy a used car in Dallas, Texas with 25,000 miles in like-new condition”. Obviously this won’t get him a lot of good results, but it tells us that content is still king.  If you have all of those words on your page, you’re likely to show up for that extremely obscure keyword. Just like my MIL, this is a small (and profitable) segment of the population, but these people are out there looking for you!

That exact reason is why general web directories do well with long tail keywords.  They hit a lot of long tail keywords and have a unique combination of words and phrases that you can’t find on one single site.

So the point of all of this is not just to spend more time with your in-laws, but to try to think like them.  What would they search for if they needed your product or service?

Questions or comments? Leave me a message below!

Brandon Hopkins is a freelance link builder with a focus on getting results.  If SEO is too time consuming and boring, let Brandon’s link building service handle that for you!


2 thoughts on “How to Select Profitable Keywords

  1. Great Post! I like the process of asking questions like “how would you search for what you’re looking for?”. It really helps change the perspective of the person trying to understand how to collect good and profitable keywords.

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