BrightHaus Digital Marketing Agency

Lust – Choosing Attractive Keywords Over Right Ones

March 25, 2013

In my last post, I spoke about keyword stuffing and duplicate content. This week, I want to look at the keywords themselves. This week’s sin often committed by SEO services is Lust- choosing the attractive keywords over the right ones.

I know what you’re thinking. Surely the most attractive keywords are the right ones, right? Well, I suppose that depends on your idea of what an attractive keyword is. This is where good SEO services can help show you what the best choices for you are.

More often than not, clients will have an idea about what keywords they want to use. A lot of times, they will base these ideas on a factor like they have a very high global monthly search volume or because they are industry specific terms. These are the things that make a keyword very tempting, but does it make them the right choice?

Not too long ago, I had a new clients was absolutely determined to go for a keyword that was industry specific. It was quite simple really; that was the service his company provided, so he was going to rank for that keyword. Even better, the other SEO services he had spoken to prior to signing with us had already confirmed that it was an attractive keyword with good potential for him to rank quickly. Clearly, there would be no question about including this keyword.

When I started my research, I have to admit that I was tempted. I can understand why the other SEO services had been so enthusiastic to agree to optimize for it.  The competition for this keyword was ridiculously low, and the client already had the keyword naturally in the content on his site. Most striking, though, was that he was already ranking for that term so Google was already recognizing him as an authority.

This was a very tempting keyword.

But there was a problem. All of the search results that came up for that term were either job descriptions or advertised training courses. When doing my keyword research, it only took a moment to recognize that even if we ranked in position one for this keyword, we wouldn’t be reaching the right audience.

So although that keyword was the most attractive, it wasn’t the right one.

This is not the first client that I’ve had that has been tempted by keywords, and he hasn’t been the last. I guess this is why this topic is so important.  It’s always even more difficult when they’ve first been tempted or had previously been led astray by black hat SEO services that make seductive promises, but that is next week’s topic (shameless plug).

The point that I am trying to make is that it is important to realize that there are many factors that good SEO services should be using to determine the right keywords, including how often those terms are searched, how competitive the terms are, whether or not Google already recognizes your site with that keyword and whether or not the search results generated are relevant to your industry.  Don’t be tempted to go for a keyword which looks really attractive in one aspect without balancing the others.

Next week I am going to delve into the dark side of SEO (brace yourselves – the Star Wars jokes are coming) with my look at Greed – Black Hat SEO




Christine Martindale is one of the Account Managers at SEOhaus. If you would like to stay up-to-date on all of the latest SEO industry news and tips, you can subscribe to our blog here. Thanks for reading the SEOhaus blog!



  • Terri says:

    That is an interesting theory you have there, but it is based on the premise that the search results determines the keyword, rather than the keyword determines the search results. In other words, because you didn’t like the results already there, you determined his keyword would also not bring in the right audience. Maybe, maybe not. I would have figured the very best place you could be might be is where the search engines got it wrong, that way you would be the only logical choice. Isn’t there a better way to test whether or not a keyword phrase is searched for the “right reason”, or the reason that matches what a person is marketing?

    Interesting SEO blog. Your articles are not all the usual mainstream topics, I appreciate that.

    • Christine says:

      Hi Terri,
      You are right in that I do base this approach to choosing keywords on the bet that search engines are getting it right more often then they are getting it wrong. Another factor to consider is that usually a campaign as only a few precious keywords to work with, and usually it doesn’t seem a good investment to hope that the search engines are wrong. It could happen, but there are probably better keywords out there to work with.

      I’m glad you are liking the series!

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