If you target the wrong key phrases you might as well give up and go home now……
Keywords are the first thing you need to consider when approaching the subject of internet marketing and search engine optimisation and if not properly selected will loose you copious amounts of targeted traffic.
I would hazard a guess that probably 99% of websites are not targeting the keywords that would be most profitable for them and so are losing thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pounds by ignoring this important part of Search Engine Optimisation.
Most businesses when asked “So how did you decide on the keywords you wanted to target” will say one of the following two:
1.”They are the keywords my competitors use so I used them”.
2.”Well it obvious they are the keywords I should use isn’t it”.
Do these comments sound familiar to you? To 99% of you they will and if that’s the case then you need to read on.
Keyword selection is an easy process but many people overlook it and target keywords that they would expect to be profitable and find out to their peril that they were not.
First of let me clear one thing up that not a lot of people seem to realise and that is that a keyword is individual, So for arguments sake the key phrase “great keyword” is different to the key phrase “keywords that are great”. This sounds strange I know but if you are optimising for a specific key phrase you need to keep your eye on that key phrase (this is important to remember).
There are now many tools that make the process of keyword selection very easy. One example of this is Yahoo marketing’s (formally known as overture) keyword tool that’s free to use and will quickly tell you all the different variations of the keywords you are targeting and exactly how popular they are.
I always recommend the following when deciding the best keywords for a campaign:
1. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes (what would you search for if you were looking for your product or service?).
2. Research your competition and see what they are doing but don’t just do what they are doing because they are.
3. Write down all of your suggestions and ideas for keywords (you will need them next)
4. Go to the Yahoo marketing web page and use their free keyword checking tool and in turn type in your key phrase suggestions.
5. Take note of all of the different combinations that are suggested to you and the amount of searches done on them this is where you normally find out that the key phrase you thought was profitable are not the most profitable on the list.
6. This is where you now decide to reselect your keywords unless you are in the 1%.
Only once you know what specific key phrases you are targeting can you start the job of search engine optimisation safe in the knowledge that you are not chasing a white elephant.