The One Thing You Should Ignore When Starting An SEO Strategy

There’s one thing you should ignore when starting an SEO strategy.

In fact it often runs counter to a lot online guides and best practices.

But ignoring this one thing will help make sure you see results faster from your SEO efforts.

That one thing is to ignore search volume when finding out what keywords to rank for.

For example, best practices would tell you that you want the most traffic you can get and to target keywords that have the most volume.

But what they don’t say is that those keywords are often the most competitive and toughest to rank for.

And even if you do happen to get ranked for those terms, often the visitors to your site aren’t ready to get your services.

That’s why it’s more important to look for intent than search volume.

The magic of high-intent keywords

The average monthly searches for the term “Philadelphia personal injury attorney” is around 800 a month. That means about 800 people typed in those words in Google and hit enter.

In comparison the term “personal injury attorney” gets around 8,800 searches a month.

A lot of SEO guides would tell you to go after the 8,800 search volume and 800 isn’t worth it. But those guides miss out on one important factor – intent.

Someone looking for a Philadelphia personal injury attorney is doing it because they need one. Narrowing it down to a specific area shows a high-intent.

Having visitors come to your website with high-intent for your services makes it easier to convert them into new clients and generate predictable revenue.

That was the strategy that I used to drive over $400,000 in revenue for Paubox, a HIPAA compliant email startup in San Francisco.

Rather than targeting “email encryption” or other terms with tons of search volume, we focused on “HIPAA compliant email.”

We quickly went from nowhere to the first page in Google search results. But the real magic happened when we got to the top-3 and now hold the #1 position.

It’s proven time and again that the top-3 organic search results get the most clicks, with the #1 result getting almost half of all traffic.

So when Paubox reached #1 for “HIPAA compliant email” the result was a steady stream of leads that were in the purchasing stage of their buyer journey. This resulted in converting nearly half of all the leads that came to us.

Now, would you rather have a bunch of tire kickers coming to your site, or ones that need your help right away?

One dollar bill and 10 dimes have the same value

My daughter just started the second grade and we’ve been counting money as part of her math homework.

It took a while, but she totally gets the concept now that there’s many ways to get to the same value.

But often when we look at things like SEO we miss out on seeing that a bunch of small wins add up.

Yes it would be great to rank #1 for a keyword with a ton of search volume, but that’s difficult to do and may not be worth it without a good marketing funnel to convert that traffic.

Yet if you stack up enough high-intent keywords, you’ll get better converting traffic that can add up to the same amount of search volume.

Next steps and getting started

The next thing to do is identify what high-intent keywords your potential clients are searching for.

There’s a bunch of ways to do this by talking to current clients and finding out what they would search for, use your existing Google search console data, and utilizing keyword research tools.

After that, it’s time to get ranked through providing good content that answers a searchers intent, making sure your website and page is optimized for SEO and generating backlinks and social signals to your content so Google’s algorithms recognize it’s value.

If you need help getting started or need to outsource the work, just let us know and we’ll be happy to talk.


About the author

Rick Kuwahara

Rick Kuwahara is a data informed, people driven marketer with over 12 years of strategic marketing experience.