Simply put, keywords are the words and phrases that people type into their browser search bar to find information on the Web. Keywords are how the search engines know what you’re all about and who they should send to your website. There really is a science (algorithm) behind what comes up when users search. Understanding keywords and how they impact search results can greatly increase your website visibility and visibility means traffic!
Do you know what keywords your website is currently ranking for online?
Keywords are very important for every business website as they drive targeted web traffic to your business for free (organic). When done well, using the right keywords can increase your success online. Having a really cool website is not enough, you need to consider taking time and researching the keywords for your business.
So, why spend time researching keywords? If my website content is about my business, won’t they be there already?
Yes, some keywords will be included, but maybe not exactly the way people search. For instance, when I need my air conditioner worked on, I may type in air conditioner service, someone else may type in ac repair or my ac is not cooling. These are all different keywords for the same type of search. You need to include these keywords in order for the search engines to find them. Your website content needs to be readable and make sense to your viewers, but it also needs to include the different types of keywords for your business.
Finding keywords can be time-consuming. My suggestion is to never stop looking. It takes time to develop a good keyword strategy and be able to make changes with the market. Knowing your target market will help you know how they search. There may be a difference between highly educated person and their search results vs. a skilled tradesman. Or maybe, a young person vs. an older person. Their knowledge and skill level is different and thinking through what they might search for can help build a strong Internet presence for your business.
Some keywords get hundreds of thousands of unique searches a day while others get a couple of hundred. This can make the online market very competitive. The more competitive the market is for your keywords, the more research and time it may take to get referrals and traffic from users when they search for those keywords. Research is simple. Go to a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Type in words and phrases and document what comes up. Keep trying different words and phrases and you might be surprised how different the results are. You will see ads, map listings, and organic search results. These are all listed by keywords. You can also find good free tools online that will help with keyword searches like Google Keyword Research Tool, SERPS and Wordtracker. Another keyword tool is the stats you have from your hosting provider. They usually have some type of web stats for your website that should include keywords used to find your site. Overwhelmed yet?
Ok, so I have my keywords, now what?
Once you have researched keywords for your business, you can develop a plan of action for implementing those keywords on your site. If your business is a fruit market, you would definitely have basic keywords for the fruit you sell, but maybe your keyword research also showed you should tag words like organic and health benefits.
Your keyword list might include the following keywords to target:
- Organic fruit
- Home-grown fruit
- Health benefits of organic fruit
It would then make sense to create pages on your website targeting those keywords by providing relevant content to online searchers about what they are looking for. You can also use these keywords to build ad campaigns on Google or Facebook.
If your market is highly competitive, keyword phrases can help narrow search results and drive traffic to your business. This is putting together keywords that users might search. It can be complex like “air conditioner service and repair”, or simple like “my ac isn’t working”. The keywords would be air, conditioner, service, repair, ac, working. It can be tricky, but if you take time to plan and research it will pay off in business traffic.
Can I use my keywords in my domain name?
Keywords can also be used when choosing a domain name. It should be inline with your brand identity, but can add some extra ranking power when in a competitive market. Avoid excessive use of hyphens in your domain name such as travel-to-branson-missouri-for-free.com. It makes your business appear unprofessional and might even make users avoid your website when it is listed online. Some business owners have several websites for the same business to generate more leads. It can be done successfully if done well with a plan and well-thought-out strategy, but for most of us, using too many domain names pointing to the same website or web information can hurt your ranking and confuse your viewers.
Can I just fill up my page with my keywords? More is better right?
Not exactly. You do want your web content to be focused on your keywords, but overusing them will be obvious to both your viewers and the search engines. It’s called “keyword spamming” and no one likes spam! Instead, do your homework and write content with your keywords that is relevant to your viewers and you’ll be set for success.
Keywords are a necessary part of any successful online business. It does take time and effort to make it have an impact on your business traffic. Just like growing your business takes a plan, so will your online presence and keywords. Take the next step in helping your business grow and plan a strategy to include keyword research and marketing. Your online traffic will increase over time and the results will be long lasting.