In picking to use for various purposes such as in articles, on blog posts, in sales copies etc i have noticed that most people only take the search volume and competing websites (absolute number) into consideration in deciding whether to rank for these keywords or not.

Let me quickly digress and draw your attention to this important and useful information. You will notice i have not included pay per click amongst the purposes listed above.

This is because in this case, in a sense, amongst the two factors listed above, only search volume is important in determining targeted keywords since as long as you are willing to pay the required PPC price to rank at the top, your site will get the desired customers to view it.

On the other hand, competing websites (absolute number) is important to consider even for pay per click (ppc) since anyone who is rational will wish to pay the minimum amount to rank highest, which will be enhanced by identifying the relatively uncompetitive keyword phrases which will command relatively lower ppc prices to rank highest.

Now away from the digression. While these two factors: search volume and competing websites (absolute number) are important in determining targeted keywords, they are not sufficient as the only factors to take into consideration.

In this article, i will identify two more factors that are of utmost importance in determining keywords to rank for.

  1. Quality of CompetitionThe importance of this will be appreciated when you note the fact that the objective of any webmaster is to rank on the first page of google and if possible, within the first three on the first page. This is because this is where the views are concentrated.

    It is thus vitally important that you identify the strength of the competition on the first page of google for your targeted keyword phrases to determine whether your site stands a chance to rank.

    Imagine for example that the first page is concentrated with high authority websites, though the absolute number of competing websites is low, is it not now obvious that your site may stand a very low chance of ranking despite the relatively low absolute number of competing websites?

    On the other hand, imagine that the quality of the competition on the first page is weak, while the absolute number of competing websites is relatively large. Does that not indicate that the large absolute number of competing websites can be “walked over” with relative ease?

  2. Search Volume Trends 

    This is another vitally important factor to take into consideration in determining targeted keywords.

    Digressing here again, absolute figures of search trends while useful is again not as crucial as “normalized” figures which would have “evened out” some undesirable effects. This is the subject of another article, given its wide nature, and so, just note that, while we move on.

    Importance of search volume trends, can again best be justified by using illustrations. Imagine that a keyword phrase has a high absolute search volume but its search volume trend indicates that the search volume over time is actually declining.

    If you as a webmaster got wind of this information, would you still want to rank for a keyword phrase whose search volume may have completely dipped in a few years time?

    What would become of the hard work you have put into writing articles, backlinking etc for these keyword phrase?

    An example can be seen in this forum thread
    => What Is Going On With My Main Keywords?

    Some good tools to capture the effect of search volume trend is google trends and google insights for search

    You can get to learn about google trends here

    You can also get a lot of useful information on google insights for search here

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