Picking the best keywords for your web site can make all the difference between success and failure. Yet, many web site owners still ‘guess’ what their best keywords are, rather than find out.

According to keyword research firm Wordtracker, guessing your keywords is just not good enough and they set out to prove it through a game, the Keyword Challenge. In the game, players are presented with a series of screens, each of which shows two keywords from a specific market sector. They then have to guess which is the most popular. Wordtracker found that even experienced search engine optimisers guessed wrong 45% of the time.

Wordtracker took the ‘Keyword Challenge’ game to search engine and web conferences in New York, London, Las Vegas and Chicago, and asked attendees to guess between pairs of randomly generated keywords. To ensure that players were motivated to win, they gave away a highly prized video iPod each day to the player who scored the highest in the shortest period of time.

From recorded scores of over two thousand players, many of whom were experienced search engine optimisers, the percentage correct were little better that you would expect from chance – just 54.9% correct overall.

The pairs of keywords were drawn from fifteen topics and players scored best on these topics:

‘web related’ keywords – 59.1% correct
‘food related’ keywords – 59.0 % correct

They scored worst on these topics:

‘fashion related’ keywords – 49.1% correct
‘family related’ keywords – 50.6% correct.

“This might be fine in a game,” says Andy Mindel, CEO of Wordtracker, “but if you relied on such guesses in your online business, you’d be losing substantial amounts of sales.”

“Most people’s starting point on the web is a search engine and so it is crucial that your web site comes high in the results”, says Mindel, “and the key to that is to use the best keywords in your web site copy.”

The Wordtracker Keyword Challenge continues at Internet World.


Full results across all categories:
Web 59.1%
Food 59.0%
Gift 58.8%
Computers 58.2%
Travel 57.0%
Sport 56.9%
Music 54.9%
Offices 54.5%
Health 54.4%
Finance 53.9%
Home 53.6%
Kids 53.5%
Smallbiz 51.5%
Family 50.6%
Fashion 49.0%

For further press information on Wordtracker
please contact: Karen Durham-Diggins at kddPR
T; +44 (0) 20 8989 2541
E: kdd@easynet.co.uk
M: +44 (0) 7808 584 624

Editors Notes:

Wordtracker (http://www.wordtracker.com) is a privately owned London business that started in 1997 and provides keyword research services to search engine marketing professionals and website owners worldwide

To succeed online clients need to know what keywords users are searching for and then type into a search box. Wordtracker provides thousands of clients throughout the world with that specialist information.

Wordtracker is the market leader in keyword research with over 5000 clients worldwide and 80% of turnover coming from the US.

Clients include Monster.com, MarketPosition.com, iExposure.com, AsktheBuilder.com, ParkSeeds.com, BrowserMedia.co.uk and a host of other search engine optimization companies.

Published on: 12:00AM on 2nd May 2007