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The Art of SEO, 2nd Edition by Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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Determining Keyword Value/Potential ROI

Once you have obtained the raw keyword data by doing research with your favorite tools, you need to analyze which keywords have the highest value and the highest ROI. Unfortunately, there are no simple ways to do this, but we will review some of the things you can do in this section.

Estimating Value, Relevance, and Conversion Rates

When researching keywords for your site, it is important to judge each keyword’s value, relevance, and potential conversion rate. If a keyword is strong in all three criteria, it is almost certainly a keyword you want to plan to optimize for within your site.

Determining keyword value

When judging the value of a keyword, you should contemplate how useful the term is for your site. How will your site benefit from targeting different keywords?

Identifying relevant keywords

To identify relevant, high-quality keywords, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How relevant is the term/phrase to the content, services, products, or information on your site?

    Terms that are highly relevant will convert better than terms that are ancillary to your content’s focus.

  2. Assuming a visitor who searches for that term clicks on your result in the SERPs, what is the likelihood that she’ll perform a desired action on your site (make a purchase, subscribe to a newsletter, etc.), create a link to your site, or influence others to visit?

    It is a good idea to target keywords that indicate imminent action (e.g., buy cranium board game, best prices for ...

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