In our experience, the main reason people fail is that they do not spend the time up front to do the market research necessary to check if their business idea is viable. Instead they rush in, select a random niche, target random keywords or worse – they don’t target keywords at all and then they just hope for the best. This is usually a recipe for disaster.

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A good SEO campaign should be your STARTING point to get your marketing website well prepare for your potential customers and the search engines.

Essentially there are two major types of SEO: on site and off site. On site is everything that you can control on your site. This can include things like page titles, optimized sitemap, meta data, content, optimized photos etc. Off site is everything you can’t control. The primary aspect of this is incoming links from other sites. Links are the currency of the internet, and we’ll expand more on that topic later on. By reviewing and making changes to all of the things you do have control of on your own site, you’ll be making big progress towards favorable rankings, more traffic, and in turn, more revenue.

Having said that, traffic alone is not enough; you need keywords with commercial intent. They are the ones that will convert to a desired action, be it a sale, a trial signup or completion of a lead form. Not surprisingly, most of these converting keywords are extremely competitive and their websites are optimised to the hilt. Therefore, a tool such as Market Samurai can help you to find the hidden nuggets.

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It also lets you select On-Page factors such as Keyword in title, Keyword in URL, Keyword in meta description, Keyword in Heading, and age of Google cache. The results are in green for easy to compete, yellow for harder to compete and red for hardest to compete. In theory, if more columns show green, you should treat that URL as a competitor to replace. Of course, your new micro site is unlikely to unseat anyone in the first two pages for a very competitive term, but it’s good to know the competition.

This is arguably the most important part of a good SEO campaign. The bottom line is that if you select keywords with too little traffic, you’ll have wasted a lot of time optimizing, and see little in the way of results. On the other hand, if you choose keywords that are too competitive you’ll spend way too much time trying to achieve high rankings, and you may or may not ever get there.

Market Samurai is a keyword research tool developed by Internet marketer Brent Hodgson along with some behind-the-scenes programmers. This software tool helps people to find keywords that receive enough searches to bring in traffic but not so many that there is too much competition. Along with keyword research, Market Samurai also helps people get backlinks to their websites and publish articles to different directories.

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