Keyword selection is the most critical component of your website marketing strategy and it starts with solid research into the words and phrases potential clients would typically use to find your business. Searchers use keywords to help find a solution to a problem or challenge, therefore high value keywords for your business should describe how your products or services solve problems. Yes you should already be ranking well for your business’s name. Chances are that those searching for your business with a company name already know who you are and they are just looking for a quick answer.
Is your business being found for what you offer? Don’t skimp on the most important ingredient in your search marketing efforts. If you are building a new website, all the more reason to invest quality time into keyword homework.
Google Adwords & Keyword Research Tools
Begin by making a list of words or phrases that describe your business or the products you sell in about 2-5 words. With this short list, you can begin getting some solid data from the keyword tools available to you. Also a good place to start is your own Google Analytics account. This video will show you how to access the keywords that searchers are already using to find your business:
Google also provides a great keyword research tool to help you start the process. It is important you make data driven decisions for your keyword selection process rather than just guessing what you think are important phrases.
The three Golden Rules of Keyword Selection are:
High Traffic Volume
Not all high traffic words convert into business. Searchers are in different phases of their buying cycle. Broad keywords will deliver a wide variety of traffic, many of which are currently “Just Getting Some Information” on their desired subject. When that same searcher is ready to make a decision and “Buy Now” , the phrase they use often looks very targeted with specific model numbers, brand names, colors and buying words like “affordable or best”. Also included is a geographical qualifier like “Philadelphia, Bucks County, Princeton NJ.” Or a zip code to help tease out local businesses that offer a solution for their needs. A good strategy is to target buyers rather than “tire kickers” with phrases that have a proven track record of converting into business.
The third Golden Rule refers to choosing your keyword battles wisely. If your competition has page one of Google all locked up with a specific phrase…don’t waste your time fighting a battle that you cannot win. KeywordSpy is a tool that will give you some insight into what words your competition is focusing on.
There are free versions of these tools available although they are limited in the information that they deliver. I have been playing with Yahoo Clueslately to help with some demographic information and geo targeting information. I also own two proprietary tools that allow me to take a deep dive into competition levels, niche markets and often provide my clients with high quality phrases that deliver serious clients that are ready with a credit card already out.
The Long Tail Keyword Phrase
You may have heard the term “Long Tail Keyword Phrase”, but do you know what that references? Think of your own search behavior. Many searchers use 3-8 words in the query bar to find what that are looking for today. Many of the larger players have been doing SEO for many years making it very difficult for a newer SEO player to win a page one position for the top 5 Broad keywords in your niche. The Long Tail targets commonly used phrases that offer lower traffic but a better opportunity to see some qualified traffic to a website sooner. Long tail phrases also deliver a more qualified customer to your website. A strong Backlinking campaign focuses on the long tail phrases firsts and eventually begins to drop the descriptive words and geographiacal terms (long Tail) and focuses more on the primary phrase or “Fat Head” words.