Search engines are the mediums that drive potential clients to your website. But in order for web users to reach you, your website needs to give them specific and clear signs that will drive them directly to your site. You can do this by coming up with carefully selected keywords. Find the exact words or phrases and tons of traffic will be directed to your site. But if you choose keywords that are too over-used or too general, there is a reduced likelihood that visitors will make it to your site.
Your keywords are the most important aspect of your marketing plan. If they are not selected with great accuracy, regardless of your marketing efforts, the right people might not have a chance of finding out about it. Therefore, the first step in your strategy is to collect and weigh up keywords and phrases.
You probably imagine that you already know the right words to use in your search phrases. However, if you have not followed certain steps, chances are that you are wrong.
Consult your potential customers
You should be able to think from the perspective of your customers. You stand a better chance of success by going straight to the source. Instead of cracking your head to come up with a list of search words or phrases, get ideas by talking to as many potential customers as possible. You are likely to find that your customer has a very different understanding of your business. The consumer is a valuable resource. You will realize the words you collect from them are words or phrases you might have never considered. Once you have collected many words from outside sources, you can then add your own words to the list.
The goal of evaluation is to reduce your list to a lower number of words that will drive the greatest number of relevant visitors to your site. These are visitors that are likely to purchase your product, rather than just browsing through your website and leaving. In assessing the effectiveness of keywords, keep in mind three elements: specificity, popularity and motivation. Popularity is the best way to evaluate since it’s an objective quality. If your keyword is popular, there is a high likelihood that someone will type it into a search engine and come across your URL.
Popularity is not enough to decide that a keyword is a good choice. You need to factor in the next criterion, which is specificity. If your keyword is very specific, there is a higher possibility that a consumer ready to buy your services or goods will find you.
Consumer motivation also requires you to think from the customer’s perspective so as to understand what motivates a person searching for a particular service or product to type in a specific word.
Once you have selected your keywords, the work is not finished. You must consistently assess performance across various search engines, considering that trends and times change. Some tools have been created to help you evaluate the effectiveness of keywords in various search engines. There is even software that analyses consumer traffic in relation to consumer behavior. This will enable you to judge which keywords and phrases are bringing the most valuable customers your way.
Charles – I agree with consulting potential customers, there are always keyword ideas that come up from conversations with other search users. What I may search for isn’t necessarily what you may search for.
In regards to the evaluation though, popularity is nice – but what about analyzing that popularity against the competitiveness of the keywords? Or other companies that are optimized and targeted those keywords as well?
Also, what someone does with the selected keywords makes a difference. Are they tweaking or rewriting the on-page copy? Are they ensuring there are no technical obstacles from the crawlers to efficiently crawl the site? Are they implementing an off-page linking strategy of any sort?
April 8, 2011 at 10:38 pm Mike