Brainstorming Keywords for Internet Marketing
Keywords are the foundation of Internet Marketing
A few weeks ago we wrote a post on how keywords drive internet marketing and so many people found that topic helpful that we wanted to add another post to help give even more details about choosing the right keywords for your website marketing. Doing good key word research is crucial to effective search engine optimization (SEO) and overall internet marketing. Keywords are the “glue” between you and the people searching for you and, like glue, if you use the wrong kind it will not work. If you focus too much on too few key words it can be like spreading the glue on too thickly. Striking the right balance means covering a maximum area with the right amount of glue to provide the strongest bond. For keywords, this means getting as many relevant phrases as possible ranked as high as possible in as many search engines as possible. A mistake that many people make is thinking that once they have picked their site’s keywords, that they are done forever. Effective keywords change over time, from market to market and even between demographic groups. Just think how teenagers talk compared to baby boomers and you can imagine how different the keywords they might use are. If nothing else, internet marketing keeps innovating because we live in a changing world. Trying to constantly deliver more effective search results, means that the search engine operators such as Google and Bing are always tinkering with how the engines work and how the assign importance (relevancy) to the ever growing number of web sites on the internet. Every innovation creates new challenges and new opportunities. This means that your SEO strategy will vary over time and that your keywords may too. Also, your selection of keywords will vary depending on who you are and who you are targeting as customers. A large enterprise has a different set of strengths and weaknesses than a owner operated local business website. When you start thinking about your keyword research for internet marketing keep the following points in mind:
- Where your site is now: what works? What doesn’t?
- Where you want to be and how long you expect it will take to get there: are you playing the long game or looking for short term bang?
- What resources you have available to go from where you are to where you want to be (budget, brand, team, consultants, social relations, public relations, etc.)
- Who are your main competitors and what are they doing? Can you fight them head on? Are they being successful online? Why?
- What differentiates you in your market? What strengths do you have? What weaknesses?
Getting Started with keyword research for internet marketing: What tools should you use? Having the right tools is an important part of getting the right keywords. The keyword suggestion tool that you use will help you brainstorm the right keywords, while giving you detailed information on the keywords’ traffic and competition levels so you have a good idea if they’re achievable for your company. Just because a keyword sounds good, doesn’t mean it is necessarily the right one to help you rank well. A keyword that has a lot of traffic and high competition will be more difficult to rank for than one with lower monthly searchers. The following tools are good places to start with your keyword research:
- Google Adwords Keyword Tool. This is a free tool provided by Google as part of their Adwords pay-per-click application. This can be a good place to start because it is feature-rich but not too complicated for beginners.
- Keyword Spy. This tool has a free version, and while it doesn’t have as many features as the paid version of the tool it can still be a good reference point.
- Free keywords suggestion tool from WordTracker. This is a good tool for similar reasons to Google Adwords, it is free and feature-rich but it is also relatively uncomplicated for new users.
- SEO Book keyword suggestion tool. This is another free tool that is powered by WordTracker with similar functionality and features.
What are some keyword best practices for optimized website marketing? Choosing your keywords isn’t as easy and plugging a few into a keyword tool and picking your favorite words. In fact, there are actually quite a few factors you need to take into account when determining your final key phrases to target.
- Invest time to do it right. Don’t jump the gun! We know that you’re probably eager to get started with your SEO, but choosing the wrong keywords in a rush is one of the worst things you can do because it won’t get you the results that you’re looking for.
- Pick your keywords based on: relevance, traffic volume and achievability. These three characteristics are essential for successful keywords because if the keyword you choose is missing just one of these key ingredients then they most likely aren’t the right keyword for your business.
- Target keywords in the proper places (focus on local search). Local-related keywords are good choices for your website because they will help you rank well for local search. For example, if you’re website is for your hotel in Nanaimo, BC, then examples of good keywords could be: Hotel Nanaimo or Nanaimo hotel.
- Don’t forget about longtail keywords! The theory behind longtail keywords is that while your main page may feature some keywords with a lot of traffic, they may be hard to rank for due to their competition levels. To battle this situation you can try to rank for less popular or niche keywords. These keywords will be easier to rank for because they get less traffic and in the long run, ranking well for many keywords with less traffic will get you more business than ranking at a mediocre level for big keywords with lots of traffic.
What do you do with your keywords once you’ve determined them? There is no perfect “how-to” on where you should put your keywords in the content on your website, having said that, there are some well-recognized methods that seem to be more successful than others. While there is no ideal process, most experts would agree that on a per page basis, the following would serve as a good start in terms of where and when to use your selected keywords.
- At least once in the Title Tag
- Once in the H1 Header
- At least three times in the body copy. More as long as it does not affect readability. Remember: you’re writing for you human customers as well as search engine spiders!
- At least once in BOLD somewhere on the page
- In the page URL if possible
- In the Meta Tag Description
- In the attribute of an Image if you have one on your page. Images are important for SEO as well as written content.
What to do once you’ve implemented your keyword strategy. Just like any other area of your website marketing, your keyword strategy is not a “set-it-and-forget-it” tactic. To keep improving your website’s rankings you need to be watching and measuring their success and then optimizing. This is the only way to ensure that you get a solid return on investment (ROI) for your keyword research efforts. Below are some of the ways you can help to ensure your keywords’ success:
- Continuous improvement. Don’t stop just because what you’re doing is working! Optimization is a continual process that requires ongoing improvement. Keyword traffic and search engine algorithms are constantly changing and you need to make sure you stay on top of recent developments.
- Tracking and Analyzing your keywords. Using tools like Google Analytics to monitor and track the success of your keywords is essential for a strong SEO strategy. If you’re not measuring the success of your efforts, then how can you determine if what you’re doing is working? Make sure that you check back at least once a month to ensure that your keywords are still effective.