When web surfers want to purchase something online, they go through three research phases. Web surfers usually start with general keywords. After becoming more educated about a particular product or service, they will use more specific keywords. As soon as the web surfers know what they want, they use specific keywords.

Keywords for browsing

During the first research phase, web surfers use general keywords to find information. For example, a web surfer might be interested in an MP3 player. The keyword that the web surfer might use in search engines could be:

mp3 player

People who use keywords for browsing are usually looking for information only. Keywords for browsing usually have a very high search volume. Getting a top 10 ranking for these general keywords is very difficult and nearly impossible. It is unlikely that a web surfer who uses such a generic keyword will buy something.

Keywords for comparing

In the second research phase, web surfers narrow their selection because they now know what type of product they want. For example, the web surfer might have found out the he is interested in an USB stick MP3 player with 1 GB flash RAM. The keywords of these web surfers are more specific:

mp3 player 8 GB
mp3 player usb stick
mp player under $100
trekstor mp3 player
samsung mp3 player

People who use keywords for comparing are more ready to buy. Comparing keywords are probably the best keywords that you can target for your search engine optimisation campaign. They often have much lower search volume than general keywords but they will lead to more sales and it is much easier to get top 10 rankings for these keywords.

Keywords for buying

During the last research phase, web surfers know what they want to purchase. They are just looking for the website with the best offer. For that reason, these surfers use very specific keywords:

TrekStor i.Beat move 8 GB Video MP3 Player
TrekStor i.Beat move 8 GB free shipping
SanDisk Sansa Clip 1 GB

People who use keywords for buying are ready to buy. However, these keywords won’t help you much if you offer competing products.

The best keywords for search engine optimisation

Keywords for comparing are usually the keywords that work best for search engine optimisation. People who use that keyword type are looking for a solution to their problem and they are ready to buy. To get best results with your search engine optimisation efforts, you should concentrate on that keyword type.

Do not use single word keywords

Single words cannot be promoted effectively. For example, it is not likely that someone looking for “free accounting software download” is going to type just “software” into the search box.

Avoid the most popular keyword phrases because you’ll be competing with millions of other pages for a search engine’s attention. It is unrealistic to think that a new website could rank number one on a popular phrase like “mp3”. More established companies who have been on the Internet for several years will have the big advantage of a high link popularity.

People who whose multiple word keywords are in the compare or buying phase. They are more likely to purchase goods or services than those using fewer words (source: Oneupweb Research).

Multiple word keywords make your website more relevant

Search engines analyze all pages of your website and put them in a context. Start with multiple word keywords and then extend your keyword list. If you’re selling MP3 files, you should optimize your web pages for keywords such as “independent bands mp3”, “alternative grunge mp3”, “80s pop music mp3 download” and similar keywords first.

If your website has many rankings for these keywords, search engines will find out that your website is relevant to the mp3 topic. As soon as search engines consider your website relevant to this topic, it will be much easier to get high rankings for keywords such as “mp3 download” or even “mp3”.

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Riaan Aggenbag

Owner / Online Marketer / SEO at More Clicks
My passion is guiding companies to online success. My expertise are search engine optimisation, pay per click advertising & social media marketing. How can I help you? Let's talk.