Since we started providing search engine optimisation services for companies, we've seen a worrying trend in the industry. It appears to have been going on for years, but as we approach SEO from a marketing angle and not a purely search engine angle, we seem to have been immune to to most of it.

Thing is, when we tested a lot of search engine companies, even the big ones, the first thing they ask is “what keywords do you want to be optmised for?” The problem for many companies is they just don't know and even if they think¬†they know, they're not the expert so what if they're wrong?

We've had two enquiries from companies this week who have had no results from their search engine optimisation campaign. Now I don't think this has anything to do with the actual SEO process, I beleive it's simply down to using the wrong words.

If you target the wrong words then you'll get the wrong results. You can be number one for a particular phrase that you think absolutely nails your core product, but if nobody's searching for it, it's a complete waste.

We know companies that have spent thousands on SEO to get their product to number one and within five minutes I've been able to prove to them that the search is never or poorly used. If only fifty people in the world ever search for the term ‘amalgamated widget', you're going to have a tough time selling anything.

But there's a worse problem – choosing a search term that is too¬†popular. I'll tell you straight, unless you've got a very big chequebook or access to a bank vault, you'll have an uphill struggle trying to compete with Google and Amazon with the keyword ‘books'.

This is where the art of the SEO engineer (I know, grand title but it's late and I'm struggling for a decent description!) comes in. We won't just take your ‘desired' list of keywords and merrily hit the search engines in the hope of getting you to number one. Nope, we we'll tell you why your keywords are wrong and then suggest some that you'll have a chance with.

It's not all about volume, it's about volume and quality. If we can get you a hundred leads from customers ready to buy, it's better than thousands of random visitors just clogging up your website.

Simply attacking the process by desperately trying to get high Google ranking on keywords you ‘think' are the right ones is simply a waste of time and money.