Whenever you do an SEO campaign most people look for the big search volumes, in theory this is nice, but if they are the following…

  1. Very competitive
  2. Very competitive
  3. Yip very competitive

…then it is likely to take a long time to rank for them. Usually a big search will be like that, but even a 10 searches a month keyword can be hard to achieve if you’re in a very small but competitive niche, but not as often.

When it comes to choosing keywords we of course want to achieve the big keywords too, but most people don’t seem to grasp the concept of short term and long term strategies. they also don’t quite understand the value of low hanging fruit.

The simple way to explain it is say you had a brand new website launch on January the 1st yes you would be stupid to do that, but go with me on this.

So you do a keyword analysis and find 5 keywords that are the main ones for your industry, they all have great traffic, say a total of 100,000 searches (20,000 each). Looking at the competition levels and time to build an SEO campaign that won’t get you banned from Google will take a little time to get right. You’re probably looking at a decent campaign of 6-8 months to start getting real page 1 results from a brand new site. This can be shortened if you have decent budget available, but let’s assume a low to modest budget here.

Now if you try to target these and it takes you 6 months to get onto page 1 of Google that means you’re paying out for SEO services for 6 months with no likely returns until you do. Now the reward might be worth it if what you are selling is a big ticket item so the profit margins are great, but if you’re profit margins are small, this just won’t be a viable option.

Weirdly though this is a trap a lot of SEO firms and Customers fall into, trying to attain and focus on the BIG fish right away.

Lets assume you pay £1000 per month for your SEO Campaign , that’s an expenditure of £6,000 before you’re likely to see a return. If you can absorb it and the rewards are good then there isn’t a problem but if you can’t then you’re likely to go out of business before you attain the rankings you want.

So what’s the alternative, well it isn’t anything new. Find the low hanging fruit, the fringe keywords or phrases people use to find your service or product.

These keywords may only get 10,20, 50 searches per month but there could be hundreds or thousands of them that you can go for. They are also be far more likely to be buying style keywords, which means they are more likely to convert to an actual sale than a more generic wide (usually technical) range term.

These fringe keywords are also usually much easier to rank for, sometimes with very little effort other than a few well placed words on your landing page. So if you’re profit margin is decent say £250 per sale, then you just need 4 conversions from traffic per month to cover your SEO costs any more and you’re making money almost right away, but say say within 3 months for a decent target, so not the 6-8 months down the line of the higher searched, harder to achieve keywords.

The great thing about the low hanging fruit approach is that you build up the authority of your site and Google gets to know what your site is all about and will actually start to rank you for keywords that you aren’t even targeting or know exist.

Once you have sufficient authority you’ll actually find that targeting the more “difficult” searches are actually now easier than what they would have been.

It’s something to really think about, maybe review your strategy as long term and short term can be part of the same strategy working in harmony whilst generating that much needed revenue to keep the business going.


Author: Alan Fair

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