I recently homage and a visit to the Toys R’ Us in Times Square in New York City.  I heard an awful lot of “because I want it” through the din as only kids can.  It was said so emphatically and with such conviction, but is of course followed with little to no reason supporting it.

This reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend who was thinking of becoming an online marketing client, regarding SEO keyword selection.  Not particularly the child like tantrum part, but more the statement of “need” with limited planning and reason behind it.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is keyword selection.  Simply put, what ring do you want to toss you hat in and be competitive.  I have seen the best SEO initiatives fail because the target keyword set was too competitive given the allocated budget and on the other side; I have seen great rankings on a set of keywords that drove no revenue.  The root of both problems is the initial set of keywords.

Your internet marketing company or search boutique should not be afraid to ask you; why do you want that particular set of keywords.  The answer should never be “because I want it”.  If it is, you are on a course to planned failure.  Remember, it is always acceptable to say , I don’t know.  In that case the better SEO shops will work with you to figure it out.

The first place I always recommend to start is your own site.  What organic search traffic are you already getting?  A great tool for this is Google Analytics, and the best part it is free.  With a proper configuration, you will be able to see what the organic search terms you are getting and also how they are converting.  If you don’t know how to do this, Google partners with Internet Marketing Companies around the globe, that group is called the Google Analytics Certified Partners or GACPs for short.  These companies are certified partners of Google and know GA inside and out.  And incidentally, Endai was the first recognizedGACP in New York.

With this information in hand, you can now answer by saying; “I want this keyword because I’m already getting some traffic and it is making me money”.  That would surely motivate me to get as much of that traffic as I could.

Now that you got this great traffic, you will want to make sure your getting the most out of it.  This will involve optimizing your site to achieve the highest conversion rates. But, you will have to check back for more info on that.  It is time for me to go play with my goodies from Toys ‘R Us.