When Keyword Ranking Requires A Pass
Keyword Ranking is ultimately the goal of every SEO and Adword campaign. I was invited to an Upwork project this past week, I always like being invited and generally I try to make the project work. Someone out there noticed my efforts and wants to hear from me. It is unfortunate though when I feel I have no other choice but to decline the invite and not submit a winning contract.
A new site was seeking proposals for ranking at the top of search results using only organic search. I love a challenge but this search term was epic … Big Data. Initially I thought sure you can do it with six months to a years worth of work, a dedicated staff and a budget to grease the wheels of backlinking.
Maybe a personal interest story that resonated with the public at large concerning your keyword and how you would change society would muster up some viral shares that network news might pick up. The budget allocated was one hundred dollars.
Take a few moments before determining a keyword and check out Google Trends. You’ll gain insight into the keywords popularity. In these Google Trends graphs keep in mind 100 does not mean it was searched a hundred times, but on a scale of 0 to 100 how many people are searching for that keyword.
I realized at that moment this client hadn’t taken the time to research the current state of that keyword. Big Data is a buzz today and everyone wants to claim authority of that phrase. Even though we’re looking at Organic Search it can be useful to turn to Adwords and see what people are paying for regarding your keyword. Knowing what others are already doing is essential to understanding keyword ranking.
While Google Adwords Keyword Plan suggests the keyword has “low” competition a simple search of the keyword shows seven companies advertising under that keyword. SAS, Oracle, and Amazon are just a few actively paying for that keyword. Organic search results show IBM and Forbes ranking on the first page. These would be our competitors, I hadn’t even looked on page two. In my previous time with HP I knew they sought that keyword ranking as well…any computing company would.
Its competitive…consider the “low range” cost of that search term is $7 a click with up too a million searches a month in the United States alone. Now at $7 a click the earnings are likely much greater but how many clicks will turn into sales, and for a generic brand? Keyword Plan forecasts about 190 clicks for $110 dollars.
The client wasn’t ranking at all for this keyword, a lot of effort would be required to attain top keyword ranking. I knew that the likelihood of failure was high, the reward was low and so I declined to submit a proposal for that project. I want to maintain a high feedback score and I could see the client likely needing more resources to achieve their goal than they were willing to invest. I was surprised when I saw the project already had 15 proposals from other freelancers.
Advice I’d offer Upwork clients…It’s important to set attainable SMART goals and the best way to determine if a goal is attainable is to research it for a few minutes. There are free tools out there that can help draw the geography ahead.
Advice I’d offer to freelancers…pass on the deals that are unlikely to satisfy the client. If you do submit a proposal to a deal like the one I noted, be frank and honest about the prospect of attaining the goal. Possibly suggest an alternative keyword with similar relevance.
I’ll be watching “Big Data” and I wish the project luck.