One of the biggest hurdles to get over in achieving a high ranking position for a website can be the business owner themselves. 

It is sometimes quite difficult for SEO professionals like WSI IMS to see a well meaning client literally stand in the way of their own online success.  The purpose of this post is to help business owners understand what they should and should not do to make sure that they get the very best return on their investment when they hire a professional SEO specialist

Keyword Research  

Perhaps the most common mistake we see either when working with clients or discussing SEO with business owners who are doing their own optimisation work is the incorrect choice of keywords.  It is far too easy for business owners to become distracted by the massive potential traffic numbers churned out by many of the free keyword research tools.  Do not become distracted purely by traffic numbers, retain your focus on the only number that counts, your sales. 

You might think that this is not happening in your business however below is the transcript of a fairly typical telephone conversation we have had with some clients after we have carried out professional keyword research and recommended the appropriate keywords to the client: 

Client: I think we should target keywords X, Y, Z

WSI IMS: We agree that the research we have done does indicate that those keywords will bring traffic, however we are not convinced that those keywords will necessarily bring in any sales income

Client: I know my industry and those are the keywords that I need to show up for in the search engine results

WSI IMS: OK, we will run with it if that’s what you want, but let’s have a review in a few months time 

After months of effort and hard work the client sits at the top of the Google rankings for his chosen keywords, however our next conversation is along the following lines: 

Client: I don’t think I am seeing a big enough return on my investment with you to justify our continuing with it.  My sales have not increased significantly, certainly not enough to cover my contracted costs with you, let alone make any profits.  You have been working on this for several months and I am not seeing how search engine optimisation has helped my business at all.

WSI IMS: Well, we have managed to get your website to the top of the search engine rankings for the keywords you asked for, and as you can see from our web analytics the traffic to your website has increased significantly.  We did flag up back at the beginning that we were not convinced that the chosen keywords would lead to increased sales, so perhaps now we should look to optimise the website for the other keywords we recommended to you a few months ago.

Client: No, I am not sure that’s going to help at all, I just don’t think SEO is right for us. 

The mistake that clients often make with keyword selection is their insistence that their SEO partner focus their optimisation efforts on broad keyword terms that are unlikely to translate into sales.  A far more effective strategy would be to start with a list of long-tailed keywords – keywords that have a much higher conversion rate as they relate specifically to the term searched.  Long-tailed keywords are also easier to get a high search engine ranking for than broad keyword phrases.  You are much more likely to see a positive return on your investment using this strategy.  

This is the first part (of 2) articles and we will post the second article tomorrow.  Please leave a comment below or visit WSI IMS – WSI Digital Marketing Services in Surrey, Sussex, Kent & throughout the South East of England.

Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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