Jamsi has published a worthwhile post over at workboxers on how he used the Overture tool to find a keyword that was less searched for but also less competitive to target his blog on. He explains it a lot better than I do:
‘I noticed that the keyword “Funny vids” (which I had used) was very popular, however I entered the keyword “funnyvids” and saw that it was being searched for A LOT LESS than “Funny vids” BUT still enough traffic to pursue.
I decided to start easy and aim for a top 3 spot using the keyword “Funnyvids” .. and it worked. On the 3 major search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN) I achieved a rank in the top 3. My website statistics quadripled and whilst nothing to rave about, I was relatively pleased. 90% of my traffic was now coming from search engines. (1.2% from the US Military. Should I be worried?!?)’
Take home point - sometimes it’s better to target keywords on your blog that are not the most popular ones. The problem with popular keywords is that everyone is targeting them – pick a less searched for term and you might just find yourself on a winner.
This is a great strategy – the only thing I would add is that once you’ve established yourself highly with a less popular keyword and have built up traffic, inbound links etc – at that point you might find yourself able to switch your keyword focus slightly to the more popular keyword. This is not something you’d probably do very quickly – but in time you can build upon the success of the lesser searched for keyword with the real deal.
So in Jamsi’s example – in another year when he’s got a lot of loyal readers and SE profile – it might be worth switching back to ‘Funny vids’ as the main keyword being targeted on the site.
This is the experience that I had with my Digital Camera Review Blog. When I first started out I concentrated on a variety of less popular terms because the term ‘Digital Camera’ was just too hard. In more recent times I’ve begun to target the Digital Camera word more than previously with some success. These days I regularly find myself in the top 10 on Google for the term – something I’d never have been able to do in the early days.
Of course I’ve been at it for over 2 years now – it’s not a short term strategy.