Firms wishing to increase their search engine rankings need to carry out as much keyword research as possible to discovering which keywords are best for attracting customers, a new study suggests.
According to research by Wordtracker, nearly half of all website owners choose keywords on chance rather than by doing a proper investigation.
The announcement comes as the firm carried out a 'keyword challenge' in which search engine marketers were asked to choose terms they believed would be most popular for users on certain topics such as food and fashion.
However, respondents were found to have guessed wrongly about 45 per cent of the time.
Chief executive of Wordtracker Andy Mindel said: "This might be fine in a game, but if you relied on such guesses in your online business, you'd be losing substantial amounts of sales."
He added that as search engines are the starting point for the majority of internet users, "it is crucial that your website comes high in the results".
Mr Mindel advised that companies looking to boost their rankings should implement premium keywords within their website content.
Earlier this week, Greg Jarboe suggested on Search Engine Watch that integrating paid and organic search terms within copy could lead to "improved online performance".