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Keyword strategies to increase SEO (See J is for Jargon to decipher) is a topic I talk to almost every client about. This post will get you up to speed on what keywords are and how they should form the very basis of every online communication you make.
I have been looking forward to writing this post for a few weeks, as K was a letter in the “A-Z of Marketing” that I could easily define, meaning I didn’t suffer the usual deliberating. I hope my enthusiasm for this topic gets you motivated too.
What is a Keyword?
We can all define a keyword in its traditional sense:
“A word or concept of great importance”
Thankfully the use of the word in the world of internet marketing is extremely similar:
“A word used by a search engine in its search for relevant Web pages” (Source)
So you see Keywords in this sense, are words with great importance to you, your target consumer and your overall online success.
When your target consumer performs a search, they enter a word or series of words into their chosen search engine, then that engine searches for matches. If your web page is deemed rich in those words, you will be returned as an answer to the search question. These words are what are labelled keywords and keyword phrases.
Now it’s important to note here, it is unlikely you will be the only website rich on those keywords, so there are more complex processes at work to decide who ranks where – more on that in an upcoming post.
Defining your Keywords
Choosing the right Keywords for your business is more difficult than it may seem.
Firstly, you need to put on your target consumer hat. Start thinking about all the ways your target consumer would label your product or service. Think about the solutions you provide, then as your target consumer,
imagine you are searching for that solution. You may be aware of it by name, or you may just search on your need. Brainstorming for different keyword and keyword phrase ideas is a good exercise to undertake (See I for Ideas)
For example, if you sell Sharpie Markers, your keywords to focus on may be Pen, Marker, Purple or Sharpie. Your keyword phrases may be “permanent marker”, “freezer proof marker”, “pen to write on plastic”, “pen for labelling DVD” and so on.
Testing Your Keywords
When I work on Keywords for clients the first thing I do is open up the Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Firstly plug in your website and the tool will show you keyword suggestions based on your website content. If the keywords are aligned with what you do, fantastic – this means your website is already sending out the right message and may just need a tune up. If you the keyword suggestions seem largely irrelevant, you have a big hint as to why your traffic probably isn’t what it needs to be and you’ve got some work to do.
Then I pop in a few thoughts in the very top box for keywords and keyword phrases. The search results show your words grouped together and then show you lots of suggestions based on your words.
Look for keywords that return a strong volume of searches and medium to low competition, this is a mass marketing approach. Also look for keyword phrases that have low volumes of search and low competition. If 5,000 people search that keyword phrase a month and there is very low competition, you have an opportunity to maximise your ranking against that keyword.
How to use Keywords for SEO
After you have defined and tested your keyword and keyword phrases, establish a top 3-5 list of keyword or keyword phrases you will focus on. This list will form an important part of your SEO strategy.
On your Website
Ensure your website Title Tag, Meta Data and Meta Keywords (ask us about these if you’re new to this), are written within “the rules” of length and use as many of your keyword and keyword phrases as possible.
On your homepage ensure you have at least one text box of information (text boxes are easily read by search engines, words in a picture are not). When you write this text use as many of your keyword and keyword
phrases as possible while still reflecting your brand’s tone and image (B is for Branding).
Using Google AdWords
If you decide to use a Google AdWords campaign make sure the keywords you target are linked back to the ads you write and are the same keyword and keyword phrases you have selected on your top 3-5 list.
On your Blog
Research keyword and keyword phrases relevant to every blog post you write and make sure you use them appropriately. This article http://www.steampunksd.com.au/blog/?p=644 by Propaganda House helped me immensely and I am using Dan’s Blog Plan template as I type this.
So I can’t stress to you all how important keyword and keyword phrases are for SEO and for the success of your online presence. We are currently running a Wise Up to Search package to help small business with their keyword strategy and to trial Google AdWords (who are currently offering a $75 credit for new accounts). Please get in touch if you want to know more information about the package or about this post. I would also love to hear your Top 3 Keyword or Keyword Phrases.
Until next week K is for Keywords and also Key Lime Tart http://www.joyofbaking.com/KeyLimePie.html (why not?)
P.s. A quick word on keyword stuffing before you go. Like all loop holes and quick fixes, some SEO companies a few years back recommended that people repeat their keyword and keyword phrases in large blocks at the bottom of every page on their website to “maximise SEO”. Unfortunately most search engines wised up to this and as result they wrote an algorithm that detects keyword stuffing (as it’s known) and will negatively rank sites that go down this path.