Search Engine Keywords Selection

Search engines are the vehicles that drive potential customers to websites. In order for visitors to reach their destination – your website – you will need to provide them with specific and effective signs that will direct them right to the front door to your web site. You do this by finding and then creating carefully chosen keywords. Think of the right keywords as the magic key that opens the gate to traffic from the Internet. Find precise words or phrases, and presto! Tons of traffic will be pulling up to your front door. But if your keywords are too general or too over-used, the possibility of visitors actually making it to your site – or of seeing any real profits from the visitors that do arrive – reduce dramatically. Your keywords are the foundation of your marketing strategy. If they are not chosen with precision, no matter how aggressive your marketing campaign may be, the right people may never get the chance to find out about it. Therefore the first step in plotting your strategy is to gather and evaluate keywords and phrases. Bet you think you already know exactly the right words for your search phrases. But, unfortunately, if you haven’t followed certain specific steps, you are probably going to get it wrong. To be objective is hard, especially when you are deeply immersed in your business, which is one of the reasons that you may not be able to collate the most efficient keywords from within. You need to be able to think like your customers. Since you are a business owner and not the consumer, your best bet would be to go directly to the source. Instead of plunging in and scribbling down a list of potential search words and phrases that you think would be useful, try asking for words from as many potential customers as you can, see what they can come up with. You will most likely find out that your understanding of your business and your customers’ understanding are two totally different things. The consumer is a much underused resource. You will find the words you get from them are words and phrases you probably would never have considered. Only after gathering as many words and phrases from outside resources should you add your own keywords to the list. Once you have this list to prepared, you are then ready for the next step: evaluation. The aim of evaluation is to narrow down your list to a smaller number of words and phrases that will direct the highest number of quality visitors to your website. By “quality visitors” I mean those customers, who are most likely to make a purchase rather than just land on your site, look around and then take off for greener pastures. In evaluating the effectiveness of keywords, you have to bear in mind these three elements: popularity, specificity, and motivation. Popularity being the easiest to evaluate because it has an objective quality. The more popular your keyword or keywords are, the more likely the chances are that it will be typed into a search engine which will then bring up the web pages relevant to the specific keyword or phrase. You can purchase software that will rate the popularity of keywords and phrases by giving words a number rating based on real search engine activity. Software such as Word Tracker will even suggest variations of your words and phrases. The higher the number Word Tracker assigns to a given keyword, the more traffic you can expect to be targeted to your site this service however doesn’t come cheap. Another very effective software package, with a more palatable price tag is Keyword Elite by Brad Callen, this is the software that I have started to use myself and it has helped me to achieve a Google page rank of 2 with one of my sites in a very short period of time. I can highly recommend this package, go ahead and check it out yourself http://tinyurl.com/3cl4mm The only drawback with all of this is the more popular the keyword is, the greater the search engine position you will need to obtain. If you are down at the bottom of the search results, potential customers will probably never find you. Popularity isn’t enough to declare a keyword a good choice. You must move on to the next criteria, which is specificity. The more specific your keyword is, the greater the chances are that the customer who is ready to purchase your goods or services will find you. Let’s look at a hypothetical example. Imagine that you have obtained popularity rankings for the keyword “automobile companies.” However, you company specializes in bodywork only. The keyword “automobile body shops” would rank lower on the popularity scale than “automobile companies,” but it would nevertheless serve you much better. Instead of getting a slew of people interested in everything from buying a car to changing their oil filters, you will get only those consumers with damaged front ends or crumpled fenders being directed to your site. In other words, consumers ready to buy your services or product are the ones who will immediately find you. Not only that, but the greater the specificity of your keyword is, the less competition you will face. The third factor is consumer motivation. Once again, this requires putting yourself inside the mind of the customer rather than the seller to sort out what motivation prompts a person looking for a service or product to type in a particular word or phrase. Let’s look at another example, such as a person who is searching for a job as an sales manager in a new city. If you have to choose between “Seattle job listings” and “Seattle sales manager recruiters” which do you think will benefit the consumer more? If you were looking for this type of specific job, which keyword would you type in? The second one, of course! Using the second keyword targets people who have decided on their career, have the necessary qualifications, and are ready to enlist you as their recruiter, rather than someone just out of school who is casually trying to figure out what to do with his or her life in between parties. You need to find people who are ready to act or make a purchase, and this requires subtle tinkering with your keywords until your find the most specific and directly targeted words or phrases to bring the most motivated traffic to you site. Once you have chosen your keywords, your work is not done. You must continually evaluate performance across all of the search engines, bearing in mind that times and trends change, as does popular lingo. You cannot rely on your log traffic analysis alone because it will not tell you how many of your visitors actually made a purchase. Luckily, some new tools have been invented to help you judge the effectiveness of your keywords in individual search engines. There is now software available that analyzes consumer behaviour in relation to consumer traffic. This allows you to discern which keywords are bringing you the most valuable customers. This is an essential concept: numbers alone do not make a good keyword; profits per visitor do. You need to find keywords that direct consumers to your site who actually buy your product, fill out your forms, or download your product. This is the most important factor in evaluating the efficiency of a keyword or phrase, and should be the sword you wield when discarding and replacing ineffective or inefficient keywords with keywords or phrases that bring in better profits. Ongoing analysis of tested keywords is the formula for search engine success. This may sound like a lot of work – and it is! But the amount of informed effort you put into your keyword campaign is what will ultimately generate your business’ rewards.