Keywords: Your Key to a Successful Online Presence

Written on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 6:58 pm by Adaire
Filed under Sharing Success.

You have a brand-spanking new website which you’ve submitted to the search engine gods. Your company blog is shiny and pretty. You have podcasts prepared for future dates. You sign up for social networking sites to spread the word about your business. If you think you’ve done your homework, allow me to point out something crucial you might have overlooked along the way.

Your first clue is in your copy. You know, that wall of text squeezed in somewhere on your site’s home page, between the picture of your star product and that of your pet ferret? :) The latter was said in jest, of course, but you know what I’m saying. The copy that you write is critical to a successful online presence simply because search engines like Google feed on keywords.

People use search engines as the very first tool when they need to find something online. Let’s say I want to look for a reputable wine dealer in my area who won’t charge me an arm and a leg plus my firstborn for stuff that tastes like airplane fuel. :) On my favorite search engine, I type “wine dealer” and my city and zip code, maybe even throw in the word “best” or “reputable” to weed out the not-so-great ones. The search engine results pop up, and I make my selections from the first page.

You are probably wondering how you can work your way to that coveted first page spot. Thankfully, Fred Meek shares tips on “How to Choose the Best Keywords for SEO” at Internet Marketing TNT. In his introduction, Meek points out why keywords are king, and guides us on how to choose the best keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is something I like to call as the Race to First Page.

Here are the three things that Meek advises you to consider when adding keywords or keyword phrases to your web copy:

Relevancy
The phrases you select must be relevant to your target audience. If you’re in the plumbing business and based in Des Moines, then your web copy should contain the keywords “plumbing”, “Des Moines”, even “clogged drain” and “clogged pipes”. So think what a visitor would type on a search engine to look for services that you offer.

Daily Search Demand
This means you need to choose a keyword that is commonly used by search engine users. “Car Loan” versus “Auto Loan”? There are plenty of online sources dedicated to determining the most popular keywords per industry. Use them to boost your copy and ultimately your site’s ranking.

Competition
Expect stiff competition for the most popular keywords or keyword phrases. To raise your chances at SEO success, target words with lower competition but are still commonly used by the average online visitor. You can even include a niche word or two to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Now that you know how important keywords are, it’s time to revisit your online marketing strategy. The last thing you want to see is that you’re wasting money on bad keywords. If you invested in Pay per Click (PPC) advertising, you want only the best keywords and phrases to direct traffic to your website.

If you think your copy needs some cleaning up but don’t know how to go about it, here are two tips from the Internet Marketing TNT article “Are You Wasting your PPC Budget on Bad Keywords?”:

Remove Non-Relevant Keywords from Keyword Tools
Keyword Tools are computer-generated lists and not as reliable as one put together by a person. Look at your keyword list and pare it down to the most relevant ones. Put yourself in the shoes of a search engine user. Get your team involved in the process to get a broader mix of words.

Test your Keywords
Web analytics is your best friend. Check if your words or phrases convert to online leads or customer inquiries. Are visitors drawn to your keywords? Use good tracking to monitor the keyword effectiveness.

Keywords can make or break your online presence. An awesome web design and interface are great to have, but without SEO-friendly copy, no one is going to know you exist.

Adaire


Image by: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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