Choose Your Keywords Strategically

As we begin production on a variety of new websites for clients, the topic of strategically choosing keywords for your website meta tags and copy has been a recurring discussion last week.  But as we start to talk about the importance of identifying keywords to focus online copy around, our clients begin to stare at the ceiling and check their cell phones for messages.  Granted, it’s not the most glamorous or interesting of marketing topics, but it certainly is one of the most important to help establish a brand foundation online (and off).  I thought this brief overview might help get you started on selecting strategically smart keywords and keyword phrases for your online marketing.

As nearly everyone is aware, search engine spiders depend on keywords to find your site; as well as search engine users.  It’s logical then to understand that if you have not targeted specific and precise keywords for your website, then you will not be easily found.   And what’s the point of having a website that nobody can find or use?

Targeted Keywords = Targeted Traffic

Let’s say you sell used science textbooks,  but have inserted a less descriptive keyword “book” into your Meta tags and site copy.  The bad news is that you’ll likely not show up in the first 10 pages of search results – and just as importantly, you’ll likely attract a wide variety of potential customers NOT looking for used science textbooks at all.  Do you go back to sites that don’t offer what you’re looking for?  Neither do I.

How DO you choose strategically smart key words?  You can start with using a variety of free keyword tools.

Keyword Tools

Here’s a few great resources that will help you determine keywords that are competitively right for your particular brand:

  • Free Keyword Suggestion Tool: Displays how many times a certain keyword was searched for in a given month. Shows all related searches for the entered keyword.
  • Google Keyword Tool: Google puts it best –  “The Keyword Tool generates potential keywords for your ad campaigns and reports their Google statistics, including search performance and seasonal trends.”  This is invaluable.

Each of these keyword tools can help you understand what people are currently searching for online today – and identify trends that can help you position your product or service online.  By using these words in your tags and copy, you’ll begin to attract more people to your site that are looking specifically for what you offer.  In the end, it’s all about providing the user a great experience, and if they can’t easily find your site to begin in their process, you’ll lose them before you even have a chance to engage them.

Including Keywords

So you’ve done your research, and you have a list of keywords you think are just right for your audience.  Now where to put them so they’ll perform for you?

  • Title Tag: The title tag is perhaps the primary place for your keywords and keyword phrases. The title tag is what search engines grab for the title display in their search results; and obviously, it’s an important part of your search engine optimization strategy.
  • Headline: Most people only spend a few seconds scanning a page before they read the details of its content – remember, they’re searching for something to suit their specific needs. This is why headlines are so important; they enable your reader a chance to find what they need as quickly as possible with a minimum amount of effort.
  • Content: It’s critical that you incorporate your keywords and  keyword phrases into your site content. This can be a bit tricky and challenging to incorporate these terms into the tone of your copy.  Maintaining a “natural voice” while incorporating these important words or phrases can often require a good copywriter – which in the end can save you both time and money, while producing superior response online.

Smart Keywords Will Increase Your Website Traffic

There’s no doubt, placing well-researched keywords and keyword phrases into your site content and overall structure will attract more targeted, interested prospects to your brand’s website.  On top of that result, you’ll also provide a better user experience to your visitors simply because they will be able to find what they are looking for easily and quickly. Beyond the importance of high rankings, increased traffic, (etc.) your top goal should be to provide the best user experience for every single person that comes to your site, and making sure your keyword phrases serve their needs is a certainly a very important part of that marketing effort.

How have you determined your strategic keywords and keyword phrases?  What experiences have you had in this process that might help others?

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