The basic idea with articles is to create informative content that ranks well for a range of keywords, and provides your visitors with useful information.
These articles can then guide your visitor to any of your main pages, to try to get a sale. If the article was useful and informative, your visitor will have more confidence in your recommendations on the main pages.
We mentioned in the last chapter that you wont immediately be able to compete for highly competitive keywords, so the place I always start in my keyword selection for articles is at the bottom (low competition, often low number of searches keywords).
Once your site starts to mature, it becomes more realistic to target more competitive phrases. The phenomenon known as the Google Sandbox, can often mean new sites wont rank well for several months, but adding high quality content does appear to shorten this "quarantine".
So how do you decide which phrases to target as articles?
Well, KRA comes to the rescue again.
I did some quick keyword research back in 2003 on barbecues. The research resulted in 1942 phrases relating to BBQs.
In KRA-WT I can filter these according to my own criteria. For articles, I start off targeting the low competition phrases.
Criteria: In the maximum competing pages box, enter 100. Enter 5 for the minimum number of daily searches, and filter.
KRA-WT returns 81 keyword phrases with less than 100 competing pages, and 5 or more searches per day.
These are the phrases I would start off targeting for articles. These 81 phrases represent a total of 546 daily searches at Google. That means, if we can rank well for these low competition phrases, we can get a reasonable amount of traffic.
If 81 sounds too many to target initially, why not change the filtering criteria.
Try 10 as the maximum number of competing pages, and 5 as the 24 hour minimum. KRA-WT spits out 39 keyword phrases you could target (representing 238 daily searches at Google).
You could take this even further and find just those phrases with 0 or 1 competing pages in Google. KRA-WT finds 10 of those which account for 55 daily searches in Google. How difficult would it be to rank well for those phrases?
Now, this research was done last year, so the data is going to way out of date now, but I think you get the idea.
One of the problems with this approach is it is often difficult to write interesting, informative content on some of these phrases. Your content needs to be high quality, and something that the visitor is actually interested in reading. We will look at ways to create interesting articles from most phrases when we come to the article writing section of this course, but for now, let's look at a different question.