Even the least experienced SEO knows that not all keywords produce traffic that’s equally valuable. Given the choice between ‘information about _____’ and ‘buy _____,’ it’s fairly obvious which keyword would be more worthwhile as an SEO target.


Despite this, there’s a lot of value hidden in informational keywords – keywords that lack any direct commercial intent, but indicate a reasonable level of interest. As well as this, there’s a distinct lack of value in the traffic generated by many commercially important keywords.


SEOs have long agreed that the first website listed in the search results receives the bulk of the traffic. Figures range between thirty and fifty percent, but the rule tends to be the first place in the organic results is the place that you want to be.


The dirty little secret of search marketing, however, is that many SEOs can’t achieve even a fraction of this amount of traffic, even with a first place ranking. As Adwords advertisers capitalize on top keywords, earning traffic via SEO becomes very tough.


Because of this, many of the most commercially valuable keywords for advertisers have very limited value for SEOs. After all, when your website occupies the top slot in the organic results but is knocked below the fold by three Adwords ads, it doesn’t quite reach the same level of visibility as it would on a less competitive keyword.


Because of Google’s growing investment in Adwords and its rapidly changing search results design, the SEO top spot just isn’t what it used to be. Crowded by Adwords, a first-place ranking on some search terms is now little more than a consolation prize.


Because of this, targeting competitive keywords that attract a lot of attention from Adwords advertisers shouldn’t be your top priority. Spend some time searching for informational keywords and enjoy the real traffic boost that they can provide.