SEO & Keyword Research
Developing an effective SEO strategy and then launching a site is just like preparing for war. Getting traffic and moving ahead on search engine rankings is the real battle. Whereas to earning passive income from your website is achieving victory. But who do you think should be rewarded with a medal of honor after dominating the search engines?

An efficient SEO strategy is developed and laid out before the battle has even started. Sheer luck doesn't exist when it comes to internet industry. You may reach the top of SERPs, but not for long.

Competitors will always keep up, seeing as money - and lots of it - awaits them on the top, especially if you are in possession of a spot for a very profitable keyword, and it will always be a recurring cycle.

Most effective SEO strategies should always seek for possibilities for the business' long term plans and objectives. It should lay emphasis on the idea of the business having limitless potentials when it comes to its future expansions. To give you a much clearer concept of a well-organized campaign, I'll list down the important factors and actions that should be taken before launching your campaign in this series.

Keyword Research

This is the foundation! To start with, choosing the most profitable and appropriate keywords that best describe what your site/page is offering is very vital. There are many options that you can choose from in selecting the right keywords for your site, but it's best to target specific key phrases or highly targeted phrases (two - four words), since these are the ones that will more likely convert.

Of course, if people specifically searched for something over the web (ex. "buy edible action figure"), they already have the intention to purchase or perhaps learn something specific about it. If they found your page first on search engines for that particular keyword, then the result would be something beneficial both to you and that visitor, right?

But remember, not all keywords are profitable. If you use Google Keyword Tool, you can see how many search volumes (both local and global), search trends, and level of competition a keyword has. But don't be blinded by the number of search queries made each month, or don't get scared of the level of its competition. There are search terms such as "SEO" that has millions of search queries made each month and a very high competition rate, although no one actually makes money from it.

Why? It's because the intention of the seeker is uncertain. The searcher may have searched for it just to know what SEO stands for or for many other reasons. But if you'll be succinct with the market you are targeting, like "SEO Services" or "SEO Software", you already have the advantage of knowing almost 90% of what your visitors from search engines are exactly looking for.

It's best to pick 5 to 10 keywords to target before starting your campaign. These keywords may vary through your pages or your homepage alone.

It's important to target more than one key phrase to make your link building efforts look more natural to search engines' eyes. There are 5 types of keywords that you can shoot for, and here are the following:
  • Major keywords. These are common words or niche areas (1 - 2 words) such as "Cars" or "Sociology", which mostly have very high monthly search volumes as well as competition. It's only wise to shoot for this type of keyword if you're already an authority within your niche or if you can find something not covered by your competitors related to that particular niche, then become an authority on it (ex. "sociology concepts").
  • Easy to rank keywords. These are keywords that have low competition but have substantial search volumes, but at times irrelevant to what you really are targeting, like "Sociology and". Shooting for keywords like this is good enough in generating traffic to your site, though you'll have to optimize your page to be relevant to it so visitors won't be disappointed in visiting your site.
  • Specific and highly targeted keywords. This is the type of keyword that every campaign should be targeting at, because this is where the profits are, such as "buy cheap used cars" or "university sociology". The more specific the search phrases are, the more relevant traffic is driven to a site. Possibly visitors that already have motives before entering your site. But don't expect it to be an easy one, because your competitors know about it.
  • Info search phrases. These are usually long tail keywords that target visitors who are only seeking for information, such as "how to...", "keyword + definition" or "what is...". You can take advantage of this easily, since it's easier to rank high on search engines for these types of queries, and you can generate decent and targeted traffic to your site as well, which can be eventually converted to loyal followers.
  • Brand. If you have what it takes to make a buzz out of your brand, then you can shoot for this keyword as early as your campaign starts. This one's very self-explanatory, you'll just have to spread the site's name like wildfire within your field and that's it. If your URL is unique, your site will certainly be on the top of search engine listings on the first week of your campaign. I do personally recommend this for starters, because it penetrates long term visibility, socially, especially if you can manage to establish an expert reputation in your niche.
Do not overestimate your findings! You may find it scary at first because of the competition or what, but you'll never know the outcome unless you take actions on it. It will always be a win/win situation, and always remember that. You get to learn and you're getting closer to earning.