How To Select Keywords For SEO? [Marketing Tips For Startups]

For a startup with any sort of online presence, it’s critical to be found by Google. Search Engine Optimization, being ‘free’, lets you optimize your site to be found by Google [More about the basics of SEO here ].

This article is about a key issue startups confront once they decide to do SEO – what keywords to pick?

How do you decide what keywords do you do SEO for? Do you shoot in the dark, and come up with a best-guess of what might be the best keywords for your business?

Do you pick keywords with the highest search volumes? What if these keywords happen to give you very low conversion rates? What if they are highly competitive? How do you prioritize the various keywords you can pick?

One way to figure out the best possible SEO-keywords is to run an SEM campaign(using Google Adwords) for some time, so you can get a sense of what the most profitable keywords are.


(actual keywords have been masked).

You can rank keywords by their cost-per-conversion. This factors in intensity of competition as well(as more competitive keywords will have higher costs).

This gives you a quantitative measure of exactly which keywords are going to be the most profitable for your SEO. (If it takes too long to get enough conversions, you can still rank keywords by click-through-rates or cost-per-click).

This will involve some expenditure on SEM(during the testing period), but it can save you a lot in terms of opportunity costs.s

What do you think? If you know other such tips, please share below.

[Guest article contributed by Shamanth Rao,  He blogs at]

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