With each new client I offer a short introduction to the significant, placement and selection of keywords or Keywords 101, if you will. While learning keyword research is akin to learning the tax code…at least in my non-techie mind…a basic understanding can be attained by most any brave business person. Because of the importance of keywords and the time and money we devote to them in creating an effective online presence, I believe business people need a basic understanding of keywords.
Keywords Help Google Find Your Website
Web designers select and place keywords on your site and that is how Google and other search engines match your site to searchers requests. The more accurately your keywords match what people are searching for, the greater likelihood your site will come up on the first page of search. That makes the selection and placement of keywords–key (no pun intended)–to most any web project.
Pick Keywords that Are Relevant to your Business and Website; and don’t even try to fool Google
Google is a computer and is looking at things it can “see” to measure the value of your website. What Google can “see” includes words, keywords in titles, agreement of words, file names, metatags, Google descriptions and more. Google is looking for agreement between the keyword phrases you use in your page titles and all the other words. So work with your web person to pick keywords that are highly relevant to your business.
Sometimes business people choose popular keywords just for their own sake, but Google can “see” that and docks people for using irrelevant terms. However, if you can find a way to draw a connection between your business and a popular person, TV show or news story…that is legitimate and go right ahead.
Select Longer Keyword Phrases
Shorter terms are just too popular and too widely use to help draw traffic to your site. That’s why its important to use longer phrases…the best way to do this is write a list of 20-100 keyword phrases that are relevant to your business. Collect phrases of 3-5 words for this list.
Here some that might work for our business:
Berkeley web design
SEO web design
web designers in Berkeley
small business internet marketing
This example is to show you how by making your keywords more qualified, more focused on specifics you have a better chance of drawing traffic to your site.
Don’t Guess At Your Keywords
In the process we use with our clients the first step is a brainstorm with you the person who knows your business the best! We come up with a list of keyword phrases. Then our keyword expert does research. We are looking for words that are popular, that people are actually searching on but not too popular. We also need to eliminate the words that are total duds.
I tell you it’s easy for an educated, intelligent person to pick a dud keyword. For example, one of our clients wanted to use the word “integrative medicine” to draw traffic to his site. Six years ago regular people were not using the word “integrative medicine”…they were all using “alternative medicine.” So whether you like the term or not, you can’t argue with the fact that was the popularly used term at the time.
What we are looking for are terms that are popular but not the most popular. Say you were a bank and wanted to use the word “money” to draw traffic to your site, or a therapist who wanted to use the word “sex” or “dating.” You could write and write non-stop for a year and not succeed at drawing traffic to your site. Don’t try to prove me wrong. Those are the most popular words on the Internet and everyone is using them and has been since the dawn of the Internet. So the goal of keyword research is to uncover words that are specific to your business and would draw traffic to you and less relevant to others.
Next week–Keywords are the Way to the Heart and Soul of Google (Part 2)