SEO and content marketing go hand in hand. You want to write great content that is both valuable and useful to your target audience. Both the content and your website need to be search engine optimized to ensure your content will show up when someone searches for your topic or niche. That is where keywords come into the picture.
Once you know who your target audience is and have a clear concept of your ideal buyer, you should make a list of keywords you may need for the content. For those marketers having trouble with ideas for the list, Luna Metrics published an article revealing how easy it can be to use keyword generation tools.
Keyword Generation Tools
The Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool is one of the most widely used tools. It allows you to search keywords, historical statistics, and even see how a keyword list might do. The drawback of AdWords is that sometimes it sends back results that are less than optimal. Some of the words may not be relevant and the long-tail keywords with less than ten queries per month have been deleted.
Luna Metrics offers a few tips on how to use keyword generation tools. With AdWords, it is recommended to use your own landing page or another business’ URL to get a list of keywords.
When viewing the Keyword Ideas tab, do not neglect to take a look at the Ad Group Ideas tab. You may find some gems there. If you are struggling to create more keywords, then look at the Keywords to include feature. This feature will allow you to enter two or more words into the search box. The result will be keyword ideas that originated from you.
Keyword Suggestion Tools that are autocomplete-based can make this searching for new keywords a breeze. If you need a long-tail keyword, you can search for a head keyword and watch the dropdown box lower with many alternatives for that keyword and alternative topics that others have used to search for something online. Although the Keyword Suggestion Tool is no longer fully functional, some of its features are still active.
Google Autocomplete will allow you to enter search keywords, even ones that would appear in the middle. For example, you can type in “SEO_marketing” and the Autocomplete will fill in that blank in the dropdown box. You can also generate questions with this tool that your prospects may be asking. With the popularity of smartphones, more people are asking questions when they perform a search. Now you can find the question really bothering your prospect and offer a solution.
Another tool you can use to discover what questions to ask is Keywordtool.io. This tool is free and easy. Luna Metrics recommends it as it scours the search engines. It pulls results from Google, Bing, YouTube, and the Apple App Store. The questions should be relevant to your keyword and give you plenty of ideas for articles or blog posts.
UberSuggest has been recommended by various Internet marketers as a great keyword generator. You can use the ideas generated to refresh your content or create something new. The keywords are SEO and can really help to grab your prospects’ attention on the search engine results page.
With all these tools at your disposal, you should be able to put together an SEO content-rich article or blog post. Of course, you can use keywords with any form of content including videos and podcasts. The most important thing to remember is that you have to build a relationship with your audience or keywords won’t really make a difference.
Incorporating keywords into your blog posts is a great way to ensure that your posts will get good search engine results. You definitely have to be careful in your use of keywords, because it is easy to overdo it and cause more harm than good. Readers will not be happy if your content is littered with keyword-filled sentences that are difficult to read.
Lightly and Naturally Incorporating the Use of Keywords
When keywords are used effectively, you should hardly be able to tell that they are there. The search engines will still be able to find them even if you cannot notice them. The posts should flow naturally, and the keywords shouldn’t inhibit the readability of the text. Some keyword phrases are extremely awkward and simply cannot fit into the flow of a natural English sentence. Try to avoid keywords like these at all costs.
Keywords should also be used sparingly. When you overuse keywords in your writing, search engine algorithms will actually penalize your article and give it a lower ranking, and your readers certainly will not like it either. Aim for a low keyword density and stick to the most important keywords on the topic.
Don’t Annoy Your Readers and Visitors
You definitely do not want to use keywords to mislead your readers. They will not appreciate being led on. If you use keywords to falsely generate traffic to your site, don’t expect those readers to stick around for very long.
Readers of your site will also be extremely annoyed if you overstuff your text with keywords. They will no longer enjoy reading your content, and will lose any incentive to return to your site.
Focus on Relevant Keywords with Less Competition
Some keywords have a lot of competition, meaning there are many other sites with an optimized use of that keyword. If your blog is small, you won’t be able to compete with much larger websites for a popular keyword. Their site will rank much higher in other aspects of the search engine ranking algorithms, so you won’t really have much of a chance.
By choosing less popular keywords, you will be able to rank higher on pages for those terms. There will not be as many people searching less common and less competitive search terms, but the tradeoff in ranking can be worth it. Just whatever you do, do not choose to use keywords that are not related to your posts just to increase your ranking.
Keyword research isn’t the most interesting part of developing a blog, but using keywords effectively is essential if you want a blog that gets plenty of web traffic from search engine results.
After five years in the writing industry, I’ve seen thousands of keywords come across my email. Some of them are a single word, while others are four or more words. However, there are a few issues that I’ve seen in the selection of many of those keywords. Here are a few issues that I’ve seen with the keywords selected by previous clients:
I once had a client with an online store send me the keyword “online shopping” to use for his content. The problem with this keyword is that it’s way too broad and when people go online to buy something, they don’t search “online shopping.” They search what they’re looking for and they search as specifically as they can.
At the same time, you also have to consider that a person searching a broad term is probably just doing research and will later narrow their search term down to something more specific. If someone starts out with the term “ladies purses,” they are likely just looking for information on purses or the latest hot brands and will later search for a specific purse or line of purses, such as “Coach purses.” The more specific you are in your search terms, the better chance you’ll have of converting a visitor into a buyer. Broad search times aren’t going to do that for you.
It’s fine to have several keywords that you want to rank for, but you should always focus on quality and not quantity. You can generate more online revenue from a set of low volume, long tail keywords than you can from hundreds of different keywords. One reason for this is that you can create a handful of high-profit conversions each month than you can hundreds of keywords that are spread out everywhere on your site.
In addition, as a writer, it’s overwhelming (as well as unrealistic) when a list of 100 or more keywords is sent to be used in a batch of 10 articles. Although you may want to rank for all of these keywords, it’s not feasible. It’s more feasible to select a couple of keywords and focus your efforts on ranking for those. If you have a list of 100 you want to rank for, it will take longer to see any results, it will take you longer to get a return on your investment and overall you will be decreasing your web visibility.
Stop Words are Okay!
The final issue I run into is that clients select keywords that will require the use of stop words in order for them to read grammatically correct in an article or piece of content. I’m always surprised to see how many clients don’t realize that stop words are okay to use and that they don’t have an effect on your ranking. If you’re a landscaping company in Dallas, the use of “landscaping company Dallas” isn’t going to make much sense in your content. Stop words are words ignored by the search engines, so it’s okay to use the as needed to make your keywords grammatically correct.
Proper keyword research and usage is vital to your SEO campaign. After all, you want to rank for these keywords and content creation is not cheap. Do it right the first time and do the necessary keyword research needed to make the most of your SEO campaign.
If one thing has remained a consistent challenge in SEO since the beginning of Words You Want, it has been meeting the keyword density requirements of various clients. In addition to this being one of the overwhelming concerns, there has always been the question of what that keyword density should be. Some clients believed 1 percent was enough while others wanted 3 or even 5 percent. Still others have had no idea and asked us for our advice. The bottom line being that it all depends on whose SEO strategy your employing, as well as personal preference.
As a writer, you simply abide by the requests of the client in many cases, even though you know that a 3-word long tail keyword at 5 percent in a 500-word article is going to make up 45 words of the article. That’s a lot of words that are simply keywords used to attract the search engines to that particular page on that particular topic.
However, the SEO world has been in a bit of shift since that day in February when Google surprised us all with a change known as the Panda update that would affect many websites and how webmasters and business owners pursue search engine optimization. Many sites lost 80% of their traffic within days. With these changes, marketers have found themselves asking a lot of questions and researching the various new ways they can avoid search engine penalties as well as continue to crawl up rankings. One of those questions is whether or not keyword density is really a factor in how your pages will rank?
As a writer, it’s good to see the changes that are being made. By penalizing websites that have scraped, spun and twisted single pieces of content into a mass of uneducational and worthless keyword crap, Google has put the focus back on what should always be your focus when creating a website – quality content. This means that writers get to actually write with quality, research and information in mind, not how many times you can squeeze a phrase into a 400 word article or blog. When you’re not concerned with a million different technicalities and what keyword density you’re supposed to be using, you can actually focus on the fun part of writing, which involves learning and writing something interesting and educational.
And, guess what? When you’re able to write naturally, those keywords that you want used actually work themselves into the content and you create naturally optimized content that actually drives a lot more traffic than the content created around a specific percentage.
Understanding the Nonsense of Keyword Density
This is not just something that I’ve noticed on my own as a writer, but something that other SEO professionals are catching onto as well. In fact, in their Beginner’s Guide to SEO, SEOmoz.org states that keyword density is really just a myth and a tragic one at that. There used to be a time when search engines were purely focused on keyword density and how many times a word showed up on a website. Remember the days back in the 90s when you’d come across a website that had a paragraph of hundreds of keyword variations posted at the bottom of the page? And, remember when the search engines began frowning on that and so webmasters simply changed the color of the words so that they were hidden from the view of the reader? Well, the search engines have come along way since then. Now, they penalize you for employing such underhanded practices and focusing on a specific keyword density today can actually work against you and provide you with worse results. Search engines have come along ways from simply gathering links to websites and showing them based on terms. Today’s search engines gather information based on people’s preferences, social media usage, videos usage, image usage, and so much more.
In their guide, SEOmoz.org links to Dr. Edel Garcia’s research on keyword density, which is appropriately titled “The Keyword Density of Non-Sense.” I won’t even try to explain the math and calculations used to prove that keyword density is non-sense (I’m a writer and by no means a mathematician after all), but if you read the first section on linearization, it becomes obvious that attempting to maintain a keyword density based on all of the elements that create a website is a futile attempt. In the example graphic, you see the basic framework of the website and it’s main headings. There’s no additional content in the framework, but if you imagine what would be there, such as text blurbs for each little box and perhaps a paragraph or two of a welcoming message, and then you read the content in the “after linearization” box, it’s easy to see how obtaining and maintaining a specific keyword density is next to impossible.
When you combine all of the elements that make up a website from the various headings, advertisements, blurbs, product descriptions, etc. and then add in perhaps an onsite article or blog, it’s clear that all of these elements are jumbled together when the search engine crawls the page. Now, let’s say you wrote an article with a 3% keyword density that you placed on a page of your website. Since your website page is going to contain all of the standard elements of your design from page to page, you’re essentially adding the article to a page of various other words and phrases. Therefore, you’re keyword density of 3% is immediately lost amongst all of your standard content. Although we see these pages and are able to focus only on the content that is intended to be read, the search engines don’t read the same way we do. They jumble your headings, your article content and anything else that is on the page into one long paragraph of nonsense and eliminate any type of keyword density and keyword placement you thought you had achieved and thus destroying your precious keyword density.
Unfortunately, far too many people are still influenced by keyword density. There are more tools for determining keyword density than a person can count and the majority of SEO professionals still base the majority of their optimization techniques on keyword density. What is even more confusing for the average marketer is that the article directories also place a large emphasis on keyword density and impose limits. However, these limits can actually work to your advantage. By limiting the use of specific keyword phrases, you’re taking off the shackles and actually writing in a more natural manner instead of trying to force a specific set of words into an article a specific number of times. The result is content that actually provides information to the reader rather than being redundant and useless.
Proper Keyword Placement
Saying that, keywords definitely still have a place in your content and they should be researched and used wisely. After all, the only way a potential reader or buyer can find your website is through a keyword search on a search engine. This means that utilizing the proper keywords on your pages and in the proper manner is important.
As a writer, I have to agree with the “best practices” set forth by SEOmoz. These include recommendations such as using the keyword in your title tag, H1 header, three times in the body, in your URL, and meta description. They also suggest using your keyword at least once in bold and in the alt attribute of any images you may have on your page. The use of keywords in this manner is natural and unobtrusive. Plus, you’re not stressing out over how many times you’ve actually repeated a term, which makes the writing process a whole lot easier and creative in a good way (because you have to be pretty creative to stuff keywords and that’s creativity a writer would rather not tap into).
In my experience writing for various websites, I’ve also found that it’s best to develop your content around a single keyword or topic. In doing so, you’re able to ensure that your content is targeted to the topic at hand, which will in turn provide you with naturally optimized content utilizing keywords and long tail keywords when needed. I also suggest utilizing subheadings in longer articles as much as possible. You might have a lot of information on the topic, but chances are your reader doesn’t have time to read it all and will want to skip ahead to the information they need. Subheadings will help them to locate that information quickly.
There Is No Complete Formula
Try as many may to optimize their content to no end utilizing a variety of keyword placement strategies and keyword density strategies, the bottom line is that there is no complete formula. It’s really all about providing excellent content and in doing so other websites, as well as the search engines, will reward you. If you create something that is worth reading and that others find interesting and useful, chances are others will link to your site and that specific piece of content will gain in popularity. The more popular and relevant the content, the better your chances are of ranking in the top 10 of the search engines.
If you need help in creating the type of content that your readers will learn from and enjoy, then consider Words You Want for your SEO writing needs. We have been writing search engine optimized articles, blogs and web content for several years and will provide you with well-written and original content. We write content that is researched and informational and don’t employ any shady tactics such as spinning or scraping content. We want your website to succeed and to provide readers with the information they seek.
If you are new to web marketing then you have probably figured out the basics thus far—new customers can only find your business if they search for your business by “keyword.” (Otherwise, you’ll have to spend big bucks and advertise on the likes of popular sites like Google, Face Book, Yahoo, etc.) The good news is that keyword marketing is usually much cheaper than running expensive banner ads. More importantly, it’s “targeted advertising.”
Targeted advertising means that you are sending your message to web users that have already expressed interest in buying the types of products and services you sell. They have actually gone out of their way to look for a specific type of product and you are (ideally) in the right place at the right time. The odds are in your favor that the customer will buy from you.
Of course, that’s assuming that you have a great company presentation, a quality product, an excellent marketing plan, and last but not least, effective keyword optimization. Keyword optimization involves your entire SEO strategy, from your HTML meta tag information to keyword research and keyword repetition. If you can optimize your content for search engines you will move up higher in the “rankings”, that is, the list of returned websites, based on a particular keyword search.
The Importance of Keywords
Choosing the right keywords is half this battle. You must determine which keywords are the most profitable for you. In essence, you are trying to guess what keywords your prospective customers are typing in when looking for your product. Naturally, the most popular one word or two word phrases are very attractive to multimillion dollar corporations, and so it will be difficult to earn a high ranking with these keywords because of the intense competition.
This is why you should focus on targeting longer string keywords (an entire phrase or even a short sentence), and perhaps even local keywords. Once you find several keyword phrases that you like using you simply insert the keywords into your text and work them into the article logically and coherently. Search engines will now associate your company with your chosen keywords. If you can consistently produce content with keyword phrases interjected throughout the article, you win earn higher rankings for your selected keywords. In addition, your audience will read your content and see the keyword in your text, instantly realizing that your company is precisely what they’re looking for.
Resisting the Urge to “Stuff”
However, determining the right number of keywords to use is not always an easy process. What’s your first instinct? If you really want to attract attention then you should “stuff” your content with keywords using dozens of keyword strings per paragraph, right? Maybe that worked back in the 1990s, but for the last 10 years or so keyword stuffing doesn’t work.
It is actually considered a “black hat” technique, meaning it’s considered cheating and thus perceived as an illegal tactic. Why is it considered cheating? Well, no one wants to read a slew of keyword phrases instead of reading coherently written paragraphs of thought. Humans certainly don’t like reading garble. Can you imagine reading an article in the New York Times that uses the word “new garden products” ten times in one paragraph? No one would buy the magazine! So the principle is true with web writing. Web writing is “real writing” and your websites should always be associated with quality content.
Search engines, which are operated by robots as well as human editors, reject keyword stuffed content and the websites that publish them. In fact, if you do this too often your I.P. address could be “blacklisted” and permanently left off major search engine sites like Google. Do not attempt to stuff your contents, or work your way “around” this technicality through other means. (Like keyword stuffing in black fonts on a black background) The search engines can spot cheaters and will punish you accordingly!
Key Issues of Keywording
That brings us to a pertinent question: if keyword stuffing is a no-no, how then can you get noticed? Is there a set number of times you’re supposed to use a specific keyword? Or should you only use your selected keyword once per article? Some websites do only use one keyword per article, but if this is your strategy then you have to really make sure it is a unique keyword term. This is known as a “long tail search” strategy.
You type in a longer keyword phrase, one that few (if any) websites will be using. For example, you might type in something like “forks spoons knives in White Settlement, Texas.” Obviously, such a long tail keyword would not yield that many results. If you are convinced that your audience is typing in these very specific terms (they may even add quotation marks around the phrase, so that EXACT matching is returned) then this strategy can work.
However, the majority of our clients are more interested in doing a broader keyword phrase campaign. They want to attract a larger part of the market, and so decide to focus their efforts on popular or moderately popular keyword phrases. In order to rise above the intense competition, these websites must use the selected keyword more than once or twice. They aim to use the keyword phrase as often as possible without censure from the search engine company. They also want to make sure that the keyword phrases they use does not seem forced or awkward, because this risks not only a lower search engine ranking, but also the disinterest of a prospect.
Once customers sense that an article is written for search engines and not for human beings, they tend to lose interest. Hey, how can you blame them? Robots and humans don’t like each other!
Search engines are not only presided over by human editors but also have very complex systems in place that help the search engine company determine which articles truly have the most sophisticated content. If you use too many keywords then the search engine will penalize you for using a black hat SEO technique. If you use too few words then you will be accidentally penalized, because the search engine won’t quite understand what your content is advertising.
Understanding Keyword Density
This is why it’s important that you become familiar with a term called “keyword density.” This refers to a percentage value that calculates how many times the keyword appears in an article, compared to the total number of words in the article. Take the number of keyword phrases you put in an article and then divide the figure by the total number of words. Now multiply the new number by 100. The 100 will give you a fractional number, which then converts into a percentage. Thus five selected keywords in a 100 word article (per page) would be .05 or a 5% keyword density. Using only two keywords for a 100 word article would be a 2% keyword density.
This is the standard formula, and the majority of search engine guidelines and article directories suggest that you stay within a 5% keyword density. Anything over this amount will probably be disqualified from search engine listings. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only use 5% keyword density. In fact, some clients don’t like using 5% keyword density too often because it carries a slight risk. Why?
The search engines may decide to rank another site, one that uses a 2% keyword density effectively, above you. This scenario doesn’t always happen but it is very possible. Thus, many web publishers experiment with 2%, 3%, 4% and 5% densities and track their results. Most importantly, try to use keyword phrases that seem natural with the flow of the article. Double check your word count and your keyword density using a word processor like Microsoft Word. (You can use the “find/replace” option to check for keyword occurrences)
Are you worried that the search engines are too dumb to figure out what your articles are “about” without consistent 5% keyword? No need to be so paranoid! In fact, search engines are already using new technology (“latent semantic indexing”, for one) that automatically determines what an article is about, based on style. Rest assured, the search engines (the billion dollar Google Company) are one step ahead of you when it comes to finding keywords and patterns. The best policy is to just publish good work with a variation of 2-5% keyword density.
Cluster Phrases, Standards and Tags
In addition to strict keyword phrase usage (searches with quotation marks), you also have to consider cluster phrases. As you might have already learned through your own searching requests, search engines seem to return website results that have multiple occurrences of all keyword phrases, not necessarily the precise keyword phrase you were looking for.
Case in point: when you search for garden supplies some sites will come up featuring both the words “garden” and “supplies”, in different contexts. If the searcher wants to ensure that only the precise keyword phrase “garden supplies” is returned in the search, he or she must type the phrase in quotation marks.
Therefore, you should be careful about using too many individual keywords apart from your entire keyword phrase. If you are using the word “garden supplies” at a 5% keyword density, then using multiple instances of the term “garden” (without “supplies”) could make you exceed the 5% standard. Try to substitute overused keywords once you reach the proper density.
Last but not least, you must also consider “tags” (along with titles and page descriptions) which refer to HTML code on your web pages that detail which keywords you want to highlight to search engines. If you are creating your own website using a word processor or a graphical editing program, then you must insert the code yourself. If you are using a Web 2.0 publishing tool then you can just enter the text into the “tag” box for easy inclusion.
Let Words You Want Help Your SEO Campaign!
Whenever clients ask Words You Want for advice on keyword density, first we analyze their selected keywords and then provide personalized advice based on their research. If we believe that a client is conducting a very high-density SEO campaign that could backfire, we will inform him/her of the risk of search engine disqualification. We recommend staying at a 2% keyword density in most cases, unless our clients have a specific reason for requesting a higher density.
Yes, we have seen some successful campaigns that have used a 5% density, but it’s not something we encourage. In fact, since we do a lot of our work with important websites like Ezine Articles, we can safely say that using anything above 2% density will not fly with major directories. Ezine Articles actually states that it will not accept articles with a density over 2%.
Most importantly, we try to write articles for people—not for machines. We know firsthand that human customers respond to human articles. So yes, repetition does have its place in professional writing. However, true repetition is built on the principles of journalism—not on search engine tricks!
Let us help you reach your professional goal this year with search engine optimized, top-tier quality content!
Words You Want works with a variety of clients on a day-to-day basis. Some of our clients we meet from sites like Elance.com. Other client’s find us and some clients respond to our advertising efforts. When clients come to us from an auction site they usually have a solid campaign strategy already created. The only thing left to do is to write high quality articles. Some clients, however, are new to SEO and article marketing and thus expect some campaign guidance.
We are always ready to offer campaign advice! We not only offer our services as an SEO writing company but also as an SEO consultant. We have worked with many clients who were unsure about what direction to take. Here is what we tell our new clients about the SEO industry, in so many words.
Starting an Web Marketing Campaign for the First Time
It’s important to learn how web marketing works before you start seriously investing. There are seven major ways to advertise online. Let’s discuss each strategy one at a time.
Spamming: This is the worst way you can advertise online. Regardless of where you send your SPAM, or how you send it, you are wasting your time. Web readers very rarely respond to SPAM through email, website posting, or any other means of communication. Spamming is considered rude, poorly conceived and invasive. Resist the urge to just start “selling” to people as soon as you find them online. It’s the equivalent of a door to door salesman. It could work in theory, if you have one fantastic vacuum cleaner, but it’s not likely to make you money.
Banner/Text Advertising: Banner and text advertising works because unlike SPAM, these ads are placed on websites where customers expect to see commercials. Highly trafficked sites, networks, news stories, entertainment features—all of these web pages are advertiser-friendly. Customers may respond to a banner or text ad, or they may not. This is the risk you take with blatant advertising and you pay a lot for that risk.
(Targeted Banner/Text Advertising is an extension of regular banner/text advertising. Instead of merely posting ads on popular sites, you post ads on websites that have “targeted” traffic, meaning general demographics or keyword searchers.)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search Engine Optimization involves optimizing your website and publishing content that is search engine friendly. The more outstanding your content (and the more efficiently optimized your site) the higher you will go up in the rankings for popular keyword phrases. Article marketing is the newest avenue of “organic” SEO. Search engines rewards websites that are “popular” in terms of traffic and in terms of links. The more internal and external (third party websites) that link to your site, the higher your rankings will be.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC): This is the opposite of organic SEO. This method of advertising does involve using search engines, but instead of focusing on quality content, you are focusing on directing traffic to a “landing page.” PPC does not require as much time investment as SEO. Users simply type in a phrase, click the text or graphic ad based on their keyword and are sent to a landing page offering the product. PPC advertising is usually more expensive than SEO, because you are charged by the day for every click your ad receives. Often times, you are competing against major corporations for “sponsored results.” Rest assured, the big corporations want those top PPC slots and can afford to bid high dollars on each click!
Social Media Marketing: This is a relatively new way to advertise and involves using popular social networking websites like Twitter, Face Book and LinkedIn. However, instead of blatantly advertising your products, you befriend the community and establish yourself as an authority on your industry field.
Public Relations Advertising: This is a “scratch my back, I scratch yours” scenario, in which you submit newsworthy stories (or content) to third party websites in exchange for a link. Writing and distributing press releases is the easiest way to try this method of advertising. Other options include negotiating with other websites for a link exchange, or doing “stories” or interviews with news/entertainment sites.
Viral Advertising: This method of advertising involves creating anticipation and word of mouth publicity by creating very unusual and highly emotive content that gives credit to your brand. It’s a difficult move to pull off, but sometimes it works.
Now here’s the point: practically all seven major advertising venues depend on the all important keyword search. Yes, some avenues use keywords more than others. However, users must first type in some sort of keyword phrase before they begin their Internet search. The very first “homepage” a web user sees is a carefully crafted page that takes into account a user’s past keyword searches and the most commonly searched keyword phrases of the day to deliver hot news stories and appropriate advertisements. Even social media sites, viral content and SPAM are largely based on the proverbial keyword search.
It’s the entire foundation of the Internet—your own personal “highway” to a world of knowledge. You start traveling the course by entering your keyword interest.
Getting Inside the Mind of Your Consumers
It’s time to do a little research on your targeted audience. Since you’re already selling a product or a service, it’s safe to assume you’ve done a little research on your market. You know who your competition is and you know what people are buying. Now the question is: what can you do to divert this information superhighway and bring millions of web visitors to your own web store?
There are a few different approaches you can take from here. You could try to experiment with keyword phrases (which basically means you put on the mind of a customer and try to figure out what they would type) and see what works. It’s a good strategy—what would you type into a search engine if you were looking for a certain product?
A more direct way to handle it would be to ask other people what they search for when looking for a specific product. You could do this by interviewing your friends, family and acquaintances. Or you could ask random Internet users to fill out a survey.
However, the most popular method of determining the “right” keyword phrase is by using an Internet research tool. Using a research tool application lets you to find the most common keyword searches over the last few months, as determined by the majority of website viewers. This is not as easy a process as you might think.
Using the application is easy enough, but majority opinion broken down by numbers doesn’t always tell you the whole story. Going after the most popular (or “broad” keyword phrases is an uphill battle and takes a great deal of time in order to see results. Going after the least popular keyword phrases is not always to your advantage either. Some keyword phrases may only receive a dozen hits over the course of six months. That’s hardly enough traffic! You must find a compromise—keyword phrases that are popular but not too obscure. Receiving a great deal of targeted traffic is the key to web marketing.
Your Next Step
Your next step involves a considerable time investment, as you must investigate the right keywords to use for your campaign. You can’t just stop at the basics. As an SEO writing consultant I would advise you to consider points like:
- Popular keyword phrases
- Specific keyword phrases
- Regionally appropriate keyword phrases
- Product specific keyword phrases
- The demographics of your audience
- What keywords your competition is using
- Who your competition is, for chosen keywords
- How the majority of people respond to chosen keywords
- Misspellings and grammatical errors
- Using article-friendly keyword phrases
- Conversion rates (turning casual interest into sales)
- Keyword search trends over a period of days, months, years
…and many other logistical considerations. I’m not saying that it’s impossible for a newcomer to figure out. However, I would venture to say that it requires some serious time commitment. Don’t underestimate the importance of “context” when going after keywords.
An SEO writing campaign is certainly not dirt cheap. You want to do extensive research before publishing your powerful content to be sure you are really going after a specific audience.
Words You Want does offer SEO consultant services and can help you plan your keyword campaign. We offer this service as an extra fee added to your SEO package. However if time is of the essence for you, outsourcing this research project may be the best move.
Contact Words You Want and talk to us about your web marketing plans!