One of the most important steps in search engine optimization is selecting the key phrases that you want to optimize for. Many SEO professionals call this keyword research but I like to refer to it as key phrase research because in this day and age of SEO, it is not realistic to try to rank for any one word.
Some things to look for when doing key phrase research:
The type of key phrases used in optimization should match the theme and popularity of the client’s website. For example, if the client is a real estate agent in Denver Colorado, it wouldn’t make sense to optimize for the phrase “real estate” as this phrase is much too broad and competitive relative to the theme of the client’s site. Because the client’s website is geographically specific to Denver the key phrases would need to be Denver specific accordingly. So a more relevant phrase would be “Denver Colorado real estate”.
Additionally, some industries are more competitive than others in the search engine world. A good example would be the real estate industry. Because there are so many realtors who have websites in every city and they all target the same key phrases, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to rank for the highest searched terms. It is important to use discretion when determining which key phrases the client’s site will have the best chance to rank for.
Deciding whether you can choose to optimize for really competitive phrases depends on at what level your website is.
Some things you should look for to help determine this would be:
~ Your page rank on Google
~ The age of your website
~ How many of the website’s pages are indexed in the search engines
~ How many back links your website has