Keystone Keywords – Selecting a Niche to SEO The Keystone Keyword – SEO for niche sites The first step in any SEO campaign is to identify appropriate keywords. There are two major classifications of keywords – the infamous ‘long tail’ and core or ‘keystone keywords’. Most often ‘long tail’ keywords are actually derivatives of keystone keywords. For instance, if “search engine optimization” is our keystone keyword then possible long tail variations are “florida search engine optimization” or “high ROI search engine optimization” as well as a plethora of other search terms. In order to optimize a site for long-tail search terms it is critical to choose the best possible keystone keywords. Picking the best Keystone Keywords – 3 Criteria 1. Choose keywords that get high search volumes. This sounds obvious but the idea here is to not reach for long-tail terms that don’t have high volume keystone keywords. Rather, look for keywords that have high volumes of searches already, this has two benefits: a. going after the high volume keyword and b. targeting a likely broad source of long-tail traffic. 2. Research the long tail available under each keystone keyword you are considering. First off, you want to be sure that the long-tail of the term you are targeting is sufficiently high in volume. If the long tail is limp than you won’t get the highest possible return on your efforts. It is also advisable to look at competition on several of the long-tail terms related to your keystone keyword. Be sure to compare the relative competitiveness of the long-tail terms to the keystone term – this will help you determine how much and how quickly you can expect to gain traffic from this long-tail group. 3. Always look for keystone keywords that have a high degree of relevancy and whose corollary long-tail terms have a high degree of relevancy in general. As with all search traffic it is important that you actually service the niches you are targeting through your keystone keyword and subsequent long-tail keywords. If the long tail keywords are largely non-relevant to your business, your conversion rates will be sub-par and you will again fail to realize the full potential of your efforts. In the end picking the right keystone keyword for each niche is critical, whether you are running several niche sites or one large site that has many niches. As with all keyword selections it comes down to volume and relevancy as these concepts apply to the keystone keyword and its relation to it’s own long-tail. Good luck, and if you need some help looking for the right keystone keyword – ask Fruition.