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Being first in the search results is not always the right thing

The number one position on Google is something that most webmasters try to achive. Unfortunately, many webmasters don't take the time to find the best keywords for optimization. This can lead to problems with pay per click and with organic search engine optimization.

Suppose you sell ovens on your website. Many webmasters think that it would be a good idea to optimize the website for keywords such as "oven" or "furnace". It's not and we'll tell you why relying on the seemingly obvious keywords will cost you a lot of time and money.

You might lose money with every keyword

A new pay per click study shows that it is not profitable to have the first position for one to two words keywords. The most profitable positions in the paid results for short keywords were the fifth and the sixth position.

Keywords that consisted of three-words were profitable when the website was listed in the second or third position.

Why do people lose money when they bid for the first position?

One or two-word keywords are very general. That means that many companies think that their websites are relevant to these keywords. Many companies bid on the keyword and the keyword becomes very expensive.

In addition, general keywords don't attract targeted visitors. People who enter "oven" in a search engine might be looking for an oven manual, they might search for dutch oven recipes, for industrial ovens and many other different things.

They might not be interested in buying a new oven, even if you offer them on your website for really good prices.

That means that the keywords are expensive and the visitors that you get through these short keywords are not targeted. For that reason, it is very difficult to get a positive return on investment for these short keywords.

Keywords that consist of three or more keywords are much more targeted and they have less competition. For example, it is much better to have high rankings for keywords such as "buy an oven" or "smith oven model xp356" if you sell ovens.

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).

In addition, fewer people bid on multiple word keywords. For that reason, it makes sense to focus on these words.

How does this apply to organic search engine results?

While you don't have to pay for every click if your website is listed in the organic search results, it takes some time and work to get listed in the top 10 results.

The competition for general one or two-word keywords is much higher than the competition for specific keywords that will deliver targeted visitors to your website.

If you want to have a good return on investment, you should concentrate on multiple word keywords. These keywords deliver much better visitors and it is easier to get high rankings for them.

You will lose a lot of time and money if you optimize your web pages for the wrong keywords. Take some time to find the best keywords for your website and then optimize your pages for keywords that deliver targeted visitors and buyers.

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August 2008 search engine articles