I wanted to share this awesome resource with our readers because it really sheds light on the analytical process we follow when determining how hard it will be to rank for a particular term.
In some cases just putting the keywords on a page and building a few links is all you need to hit the top 10. More cases than not – the keywords that will bring the most traffic are MUCH harder to rank for – hence the concept of Keyword Difficulty.
If you’re looking for insight – check out The Ultimate Guide to Keyword Competition: Tips from 35 Experts on Analyzing Competitive Keywords.
This comprehensive article gives a snapshot of the ideas surrounding Keyword Difficulty from 35 SEM industry leaders. There’s some great insight here to put your quest for that number one ranking into perspective. There are so many factors to consider, beyond the metatag and the link.
Some of my favorite points are highlighted below:
Michael Gray – GrayWolf’s SEO Blog
Take the top 5 results [for a query], do a whois for the domains and see when the original registration date is for each of the domains. If all or most of the domains have been registered for more than 5 years, you’re going to need a trusted domain to rank.
Jill Whalen – High Rankings SEO Consulting
My quick and dirty trick is to find the most relevant keyword phrases that have decent search counts, and then do an Allititle:”keyword phrase” check in Google on them. If you put them in a spreadsheet with the number of searches and the AIT you get a clear picture of those with high number of searches vs. low Allintitles and your “keyword gems” become clear.
John Henshaw of Raven Internet Marketing Tools
Another thing to keep in mind is that short-tail keywords aren’t always the best keywords for a site. Going after highly competitive short-tail keywords will not only take you longer to rank for, they may also be driving the wrong type of traffic.
What struck me in this compilation – is the willingness to change strategy when the competitiveness of the keyword was weighted against the realities of the domain and budget. The lesson in this was clear to me – sometimes it’s not about the 5 BIG keyword phrases – it’s about the 200 smaller phrases that take less effort and drive just as much traffic.