Find the Best Keywords
The internet works brilliantly because keywords drive everything. They’re the basis for every search engine that helps researchers and buyers find exactly what they’re looking for. These tips are for you if you’re an internet business owner, marketer, blogger, or ANYONE who wants to attract and engage a specific audience.
If you don’t start by strategizing, researching and then using the right keywords in the right places, you may end up with a beautiful and well-written site, but no traffic and/or no sales.
Remember, you’re looking for those special words that capture individuals’ attention – information and products that:
- Solve peoples’ pains and problems, and
- Promise to meet their needs and desires.
Keyword research is critical to your success. The exercises described here will also orient you to important marketing insights and competitive advantages. Work smart by paying close attention to this. And have fun with it!
In order to find excellent keywords, pretend that you are your ideal customer, and that you are sitting at Google’s search bar. What words will you use in your search?
More Specific Keywords – “The Long Tail”
Go ahead and actually use the Google search bar for this first step. It’s important to narrow down your search to very specific keywords. For example, if you want to investigate how to offer your services as a fly fishing guide, a Google search for the term ‘fishing’ is way too broad. That Google search will return a very broad mix – like Wal-Mart’s aisles – full of irrelevant things such as fishing rods, camping tents and oars.
Your search terms need to be more specific. Try ‘Fly Fishing Guide’ in the Google search bar – and then narrow your search more: “Fly Fishing Guide for Tennessee Streams”. This specific, long phrase is called a ‘long-tail’ keyword (phrase) and it’s more likely to deliver the results you desire; sites that are closer to your specific need or audience.
Your Keywords List
Since keywords are everything in this business, be sure to use the very best keyword search techniques possible. Make a list of possibilities, then Google them one at a time.
If you find that you’re getting a lot of irrelevant results, even after you try more specific, long tail keywords, try these tips for Google searches (other search engines may have different tips and rules):
- EXACT WORD: Enter ‘+’ before your keyword, such as ‘+toys’ (note: no space after the +), to return only listings that include the +keyword.
- EXACT PHRASE: Enter your keywords in quotes, such as “safe toys for toddlers” to get return listings that use the phrase exactly as entered.
- SIMILAR WORDS: Enter your keywords with ‘~’, such as ‘~ safe toys’ to get your word and all its synonyms.
- MULTIPLE WORDS: Enter your keywords with ‘OR’ in between, such as ‘safe toys OR toys for toddlers’, to get return listings that have either term.
- EXCLUDED WORDS: Enter your keywords with ‘-’ between, such as ‘safe toys – adult toys’, to exclude any listings with the second term.
Strike a balance between specific enough, but not obscure
You’ll know when you’ve found a great long tail keyword because the search results are more relevant, and you’ll see that the companies listed on the results pages could be your competitors. Click around and take note of what they sell, how they market, and how they engage their audience.
Use Google AdWords’ Keyword Tool to get the inside scoop on how many times your keywords are searched, globally and locally.
Go to: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and type in your narrowed keywords, one at a time. Google explains, “You can search for keyword ideas by entering a keyword related to your business or service or a URL (domain/website name) to a page containing content related to your business or service.”
The results will provide the number of monthly searches conducted on this term, as well as suggestions for alternate wording and their search numbers. You’re looking for keywords with at least 5,000 searches. Keywords that are searched more than a million times are not specific enough, because your chances of achieving first page results on Google are very low – there’s too much competition!
What keyword research tips work best for you?
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ABOUT Lisa M. Chapman:
Ms. Chapman’s new book, How to Make Money Online With Social Media: A Step-by-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs will be available in bookstores and online November 24, 2010. With offices in Nashville Tennessee, but working virtually with international clients, Lisa M. Chapman serves her clients as a business and marketing coach, business planning consultant and social media consultant. As a Founder of iBrand Masters, a social media consulting firm, Lisa Chapman helps clients to establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa @ LisaChapman.com