Chapter 3: Defining Keywords
It all begins with words typed into a search box. Keywords are words or short phrases that you target in order to get web traffic from Google or other online sources. If your site is not showing up in search engines, people won’t know you are there.
With a clearly defined market, Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the web marketing field. But keywords are not just about SEO. They at the heart of a company’s marketing campaign at its most granular level. You’ll use the keyword list primarily for blogging, social media and your main marketing site. Essentially, you want to build a list of words or phrases that are highly relevant to your brand. Ask yourself this: What would someone type into Google to find your startup’s website?
How do keywords work? | Understanding the Nature of People
People are looking for solutions to their everyday wants and needs and thus interact with the search engines in the same manner. Products are the prime target for keywords, keyword strings and services, though they do target keyword strings and keywords, they do allot better by addressing the problem with a solution they offer in the form of a question.
How to pick right keyword list?
Choosing the best keywords for your website is an art, blended with a bit of science. Making the right keyword selection is a balance between the number of people searching for a particular keyword and the competition for that keyword. The best strategy to understand this balance is utilizing keyword selector tools that help you discover how people are actually searching the Internet.
Step 1 – Breaking down your product and service offerings
Make a list of words or short phrases as many as possible that are relevant to your industry without worrying about anything else. You can use the following tools to search to generate words.
AdWords keyword tool
If you’re a local business, use geo-qualifiers, which are terms that describe where your business is located.
Step 2 – Research who your top 10 competitors keywords are
It’s always a good idea to find out who your direct competitors are and see if they’re targeting any additional keywords that you didn’t think of. You can usually tell what they’re targeting on a given page by looking at the page title, any article headings, and scan the text to see if certain terms are repeated. Also, their PageRank for each keyword can give you a pretty good idea. If these would be relevant to your site, add them to your list.
Mix keywords from step 1 and step 2 and Concatenate new variations in Excel
Step 3 – Using a keyword tool to get your Start with some relative traffic data on your key phrases
Although I don’t rely on actual numbers that AdWords returns, but they are probably fine for giving you a relative idea of where different keywords fall along the spectrum. Put your list into the AdWords traffic estimator to get a relative ordering of traffic and importance. Set aside any keyword variations that have little or no traffic (they could be useful for optimizing long-tail content further down the road, so don’t delete them!)
Step 4 choosing the right keyword
One of the most difficult and most important parts of the process is understanding the relative competitiveness of different keywords and choosing appropriately. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step – choose keywords that are too competitive and you will never get any traction. Understanding competition is a science where experience gives you a major leg up, balancing competition against expectations within your organization for traffic and time/effort to actually rank is an art. I’ve listed a few metrics/resources at the bottom of this answer to help you get started.
When you’re first optimizing your site, and especially if you don’t have a ton of money or manpower, it’s better to initially pursue low competition keywords, just because 1
1) You’ll rank for them more quickly and start to get momentum going, and
2) you have to assume that there are other websites that have been employing optimization techniques on the high competition keywords for years, which means they will typically take quite some time to rank for.
Look for Long-Tail Keywords.
Long-tail keywords are really phrases of 3 to 5 words and sometimes more. They don’t get as much traffic, but typically convert much higher because people searching for longer key phrases are usually closer to the purchase stage in the buying cycle. And because long-tail keywords usually aren’t as competitive as shorter keywords, they can be much easier to rank for, meaning they are more likely to send you some traffic.
Don’t Fall for Single-word keywords as they are are usually a poor choice for optimizing. That’s because they’re too broad, and they’re too competitive. A thousand random surfers aren’t worth as much as one qualified lead
Avoid terms that are too specific
Avoid terms that are unpopular
Avoid highly competitive terms
Organize and optimize your keywords throughout your entire website.
Strategically place the right keywords in the right place to increase your visibility.
Use Latent Semantic Indexing.
Latent Semantic Indexing also Known as LSI, this secret to finding the best keywords involves using related terms in addition to your main key phrases.
LSI works because search engines are getting smarter. If a page talks about cars, for example, search engines expect to see related terms like makes, models, and car parts. The more semantic words they find, the more relevant and authoritative they assume you are. So you rank better for more keywords.
Your core keyword list should be based on your value proposition. What is it that you’re offering customers? This is a list of three to five keywords that completely summarize what your startup does.
Now you’ll want to expand your core keyword list to include secondary keywords. Secondary keywords are more specific. Take “content marketing”, the core keyword from earlier, for example. Secondary keywords might include: corporate blogging, blogging best practices, email marketing how to, etc.
After all It’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors.
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