Search Engine Marketing – Picking the Right Keywords

This is a repost from my January 2008 eNewsletter:

“Picking the right keywords for your website does not necessarily mean what best describes your company and products/services or even what necessarily brings you the most traffic. Picking the right keywords means optimizing your website for the keywords and keyword phrases that will bring you the most customers to your site – customers that are ready and willing to spend money with you.

The first key is being specific. If you sell televisions, for example, using “television” or “tv” as a keyword will not likely do much for you. Instead, gather as much information on your televisions as possible to create more specific keywords. Do you only sell flat-screen televisions? How about plasma or LCD? Do you sell HD-ready televisions? Wide-screen? Used televisions? Once you have gathered all this data, you may find that a good keyword for your website is “used plasma hdtv” or “refurbished flat-screen tv”.

The keyword phrase of “used plasma hdtv” will be an easier keyword to optimize your website for than “television” and will bring customers who are specifically searching for what you are offering. Studies show that when someone is searching on a more specific keyword or keyword phrase they are closer to a buying decision than if they just use a general keyword term. Having ten visitors to your site that are ready to buy beats 100 visitors that are just looking around.

After you have picked your keywords, make sure your site is optimized for these keywords. Don’t try to optimize your entire site or home page for all your keywords. You might have 10 pages on your site, but only one geared towards used plasma HD televisions – optimize this page for that keyword. Yes, this means having separate keywords for different pages on your site as opposed to a blanket list of keywords for your site as a whole. It’s a bit more work, but the results will be worth it.

After your site is live, review what keywords are working and which are not. View the traffic stats provided by your hosting company to see which keyword terms visitors are typing into search engines to get to your site. If certain product or service pages are not getting much traffic, make improvements to the keyword optimization or brainstorm on new keywords that you are not using yet. Find out your rankings for your keywords and track their movement on a monthly basis. If you have a top ranking for a keyword, but little to no traffic to your site for that keyword, then it is pretty safe to determine that a different keyword or keywords are needed to capture the attention of potential customers.

By constantly analyzing your keywords performance you will be able to make the needed changes to maximize potential customers to your website.”

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