Thinking of getting some SEO work done on your website to bring in more business? Great idea! Organic search engine marketing is still the most effective way to generate more business conversions on your website. Done well, it’s also very cost effective, because expert SEO work will last you many years. The most ideal SEO implementation is one that keep providing great leads long after the campaign has ended and also doesn’t fall over the instant that Google makes an adjustment to their search algorithm.
The first step to discovering opportunities for organic SEO is to perform keyword research to discover search opportunities for which your website isn’t performing all that well. The keyword phrases need to be commercially sound, on topic, and show a clear signal that the person searching it is looking for what you’ve got to offer.
Recently, I discovered “New Zealand’s leading SEO company” (their own words) had been showing their prospective clients some really interesting keyword research data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. For those of you not familiar with this tool, it’s the industry standard #1 place for most SEO operators to get real-life search data to work off. The tool allows you to measure rate of occurrence of words and phrases you already know about, but it also provides many examples of words and phrases closely related to what you do which you might not yet have your website optimised for. It’s an awesome tool and one I would find difficult to do my job without.
It was great to see they were using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to advise their clients, until I looked a little more closely at their report. Here’s an example of the kind of thing I saw. It’s not the exact report, but you’ll get the idea.
For the sake of this example, let’s say they are planning SEO work for a tax accountant in Auckland city. In the image below you will see a fabulous graph supplied showing seasonal trend and search volume data for the last 12 months. As expected, a low patch in December when people really won’t be sending their tax account Christmas pressies. There’s also small peaks correlating to key tax dates in NZ. Nice graph!
In the top text box are the two keyword phrases I am testing against: “tax accountant Auckland city” and “tax accounting services Auckland city”. On the left hand scale of the graph you can see the search volume figures of 25k up to 75k. The average looks to be about 60k, i.e. 60,000 searches per month in Google search. Impressive figure!
Here’s my question for you: If you are a tax accountant based in Auckland city, do you think these are great keyword phrases for your business? If YES, how much would you invest in getting to Google’s first page for these? Would it be more that $5 per day? Maybe it’s even worth $20 per day to you? More? The company who provided the report to our client was suggesting that if they could get our client to Google page 1 (not #1, just somewhere on page 1), they would charge $900+GST per month. If they couldn’t do it, they’d just charge $5 per month and no more. This policy is part of their “Google Page 1 Guaranteed – No Result, No Charge” policy. Seems like a fair deal to me.
tax accountant Auckland city
tax accounting services Auckland city
Imagine your are the tax accountant. What would being on page 1 of Google be worth to you for the two keyword phrases noted? They are highly commercial phrases and a search for this is exactly the kind of person you want coming to your website.
The clincher is in what the company hasn’t shared with you. Anyone who is familiar for the Google AdWords Keyword Planner knows there is more on that page other than the graph, right? Well here’s the rest:
You’ll see the section we already saw earlier, at the top. What you didn’t see was the bit right below that where it provides the statistics for our keyword phrases: “tax accountant Auckland city”, “tax accounting services Auckland city”.
Average monthly searches: – (zero)
Competition: – (zero)
To re-word this a little: for the keyword phrase “tax accountant Auckland city”, no-body is searching for this, and Google has no evidence that anyone used it this last 12 months, and they also know that the AdWords competition for it is zero, because everyone already knows not to place ads for phrases that never occur. Ditto with the phrase “tax accounting services Auckland city”.
But wait! Weren’t there really amazing stats for the number of searches that we looked at in the graph? There were about 60,000 searches per month on average for that, and if I could get just a little share of the pie for being on Google’s first page for these terms, then my phone would be running hot!
The fabulous statistics in the graph and indicated by the 60,000 searches scale point is for the 800 other words in the list that Google has suggested you might want to try instead. The bottom section of the Keyword Planner page contains a further 30 pages of suggested words, totalling 800 words.
According to your response, you were prepared to pay to get into Google page 1 for either (or both) of the phrases “tax accountant Auckland city” and “tax accounting services Auckland city”. These never occur in search, according to Google, so no-one searching also means no-one finding you using them. Your Return on Investment will be zero, yet you will have willingly paid the SEO provider for the privilege, had they gotten you to rank in page 1 for these.
Let’s try a little experiment:
Please Google “tax accounting services Auckland city” (with the quote marks) and see who ranks on Google page 1. If the only website you see in the organic results is this one (RankPower), then it shows nobody else has this exact phrase on their website and getting Google page 1 rank for it is going to be very easy. I did it. And my site is not even about Tax Accounting Services.