To implement a successful online marketing strategy you need to identify your target market, identify how to attract them to your products and services and how best to meet their needs. Whether you are performing search engine optimization on your website, kick starting a pay-per-click marketing campaign or trying to boost your social media presence, use of pertinent keywords in your website copy will result in more traffic, more visitor engagement and more conversions.
A variety of keyword research tools are available online to help pinpoint the ones that will work best for your business and enable you to fulfill four key aims.
1. Think as your customers do
When you are immersed in your own business you will use specific and technical jargon in the workplace on a daily basis without even realizing it. But your customers don’t necessarily use the same words to describe your products, and more importantly when searching on the internet will use their own descriptions. Their knowledge level and way of thinking will directly influence the search terms they will use.
Pop yourself on the other side of the fence and imagine you want to find a doctor not too far from home. As sure as eggs is eggs the majority of you won’t be typing ‘general practitioner’ into Google. It is far more likely that you will type ‘family doctor’ or simply ‘doctor’ as these are the words most of us use in our everyday life. This is backed up Google’s keyword tool which states there are 673,000 global searches per month for ‘family doctor’ but only 3,600 per month for ‘general practitioner’. So if you only focus on the keywords ‘general practitioner’ in your website copy, you are potentially excluding nearly 670,000 people from finding your website during their searches! And that’s far too big a number to overlook.
So apply these principles to your own business. Get into the mind of your customers and include the search terms they will use within your website.
2.Understand your customers’ preferences
Keyword research also tells you what customers are looking for. The search volume number for any given keyword will identify the most popular search terms in current use and therefore what people want. If you are setting up shop as a sports racket supplier, Google keyword research shows that 22,200 people searched for ‘sports racket’ in the last month. But 450,000 people searched more specifically for ‘tennis racket’. It goes without saying that your business is more likely to be profitable if you have a good selection of tennis rackets in your store and that you use the search term ‘tennis racket’ in your website copy as part of your search engine optimization endeavors.
3. Beware the competitive keyword
Your keyword research will indicate how competitive keywords are. They are graded high, medium or low competition which is a measure of how difficult it is to rank highly for that particular word. It is related to the popularity of the key word and often more generic keywords tend to be more competitive than focused keywords. Another consideration is which of your competitors are also using those competitive keywords. If the search engine sees them as an authority in their field, they will outrank you every time for those specific keywords – as search engines give weighting to stronger and more established websites. So including lots of highly competitive keywords in your website copy may not produce the increase in traffic you were hoping for as you just can’t get clamber up the rankings.
Sometimes it is more sensible to throw in the towel and focus on less competitive keywords in your website text. Choose more specific keywords such as ‘tennis rackets Rhode Island’ when you are hoping to attract sports fanatics in the local area. Those people that search for a tennis equipment supplier in the locality are more likely to find you straight away on their internet searches.
4. Answer the question
Check out common questions related to your business that are being typed into the search engines using your keyword research tool. Once you know the popular questions you can create content for your social media posts - with the prime objective of providing the answers your customers need. Participate in forums and blogs where the common questions are being raised and by giving the best answers you will start to be seen as an authority in your field. The more you answer the question on everyone’s lips, the more you will begin to build up your authority status which then gives you more leverage with the competitive keywords. And of course it impresses the customer who may well go on to become one of your purchasers.
Keyword research tools are essential to define the keywords that will work for your business to ultimately increase traffic to your website, more visitor interest and more sales.