When looking at which keywords to target next, more is always better, right? Wrong.
There’s one simple trick that far too many internet marketers are ignoring. Stop trying to join the thousands of others trying to rank for popular searches, and target uncontested keywords.
Sometimes, a big piece of a small pie is better than none of a large one.
Why Uncontested Keywords Are Sometimes Better
If you can’t get to the first page of search results for a term, you might as well be nowhere. Statistics show that ranking 11th is not much better than ranking 11,000th.
For example, targeting a term with 100,000 monthly searches might seem like a good idea. But if it’s a competitive term, it could take months of work even to get to the 11th place on Google. Some research suggests you’ll only get around 1% of clicks for that term with the 11th position (about 1,000 clicks).
It’s not surprising so many people try to rank for “big” terms that have hundreds of thousands of searches each month.
After all, if you’ve done the math, you know that just a small percentage of that pie could earn you some good money.
But that’s ignoring simple cost-benefit analysis. Ranking for such a term could take thousands of man hours of work. And you’ll always be under threat from competitors.
Consider the amount of time, effort, and money required to rank for a popular, heavily-contested search term.
Your life can be so much easier if you go to the easy pickings of uncontested terms.
Saving Time and Money
Try targeting a term that “only” gets 5,000 searches a month but is far less competitive. If you do, you could get the number one ranking. And you could do so by expending a similar amount of time and effort that you would by targeting a more competitive term.
The first ranking on Google could garner around 34% of clicks for that search, or 1,750 clicks per month.
You could spend the time you saved by targeting multiple easy terms and building a portfolio that works for you.
Spreading your efforts and ranking for several easy terms rather than one big keyword is also more secure. You’ll be at less risk of getting bumped down the listings than if you put all your effort into just one keyword.
Targeting niche keywords makes even more sense when you consider those 1,750 visitors will be MORE targeted and more inclined to spend money.
They will be this way if they arrived at your site using “active” keywords such as “discount.” Many of those using broader terms will not be ready to spend money on your site.
Why Long-Tail Keywords Could Target Your Market for You
Picking long-tail keywords such as “[keyword] review” or “[keyword] discount” might seem counter-intuitive. Those search terms get even fewer searches, right?
Yes, but as I said, those are terms people use when they’re much closer to buying something. If you can provide online users with the discount they’re looking for, you should get the sale.
Long-tail keywords mean you get targeted traffic from people who want to spend money. And you get it from search terms that are easier to rank for than without the long-tail.
You’ve siphoned off the people who are just doing early research and simply aren’t interested in purchasing.
Keep in mind that some long-tail additions are better than others. Try to avoid people looking for freebies with terms like “free” or “download.”
And some long-tails actually make more sense than you might think. “[Keyword] scam” is one example. It might seem negative to include “scam.” But people search for this term when they’re just about to buy a product but want to make sure it’s legit.
Targeting long-tail keywords makes sense because those keywords have less competition. You won’t waste your efforts on people who are never going to buy your product.
Trying to rank for ultra-competitive keywords might be where the jackpot is. But doing so is an unrealistic and unachievable goal for many small internet marketers, especially those just starting out in the business.
You can see how targeting niche terms could be just the right answer for your business.