Effective Web Marketing: Common Sense SEO Developing an Effective Keyword Strategy

Website Development

This article is about how to choose key words and phrases in your web copy to target more effectively visitors to your site who are likely to buy your product.

In our last SEO article, Effective Web Marketing: Common Sense SEO Choose Your Battles and Your Terrain, we made the point that a micro-targeting strategy, using the long tail principle would reward you with more visitors, and more qualified visitors to your site.  In essence, the strategy is to choose very specific key words to describe the product you are offering on any given page, and concentrate on marketing only that item on that page.  We used the example of ‘electric swizzle sticks’ instead of ‘appliances’ to capture a surer position in the search engine for those who were searching for ‘household bar appliances’.

An obvious objection might be, ‘But swizzle sticks are only a small portion of what I sell, and their profit margin is very small!’  While that’s true, there is no real limit on the number of pages you can have.  If you’re in the appliance business, you can have a separate page for blenders, another for ice machines, another for bar fridges, etc.  And each of these pages will be dedicated to the specific appliance you want to target.

You don’t need to sell everything on your home page – in fact nobody really tries to do this anymore.  In fact – every one of your pages on your site is an opportunity to sell a different product or service.  And to neglect this strategy is to condemn your site to be far down the list in search engine offerings for any product!  Now that you have adopted the long tail strategy of positioning your web pages, it’s time to get down to the fine tuning of each page that is important in getting you the results you want.
Returning to our ‘electric swizzle stick’ example, it’s obvious that not everyone who is looking for such an item will refer to it by the same name.  Some are looking for an ‘electric bar stirrer’, some a ‘drink mixer’, still others a ‘hand drink mixed’, and perhaps a dozen other terms, taking into account regional language and terminology differences.

So your job is to brainstorm with other members of your organization, and come up with a list of a dozen or so synonymous terms which you feel that the searching public might enter in the Google search box and expect to see your product.   Sit around, and try to imagine that many ways the public might end up looking for your product.  Often, this is NOT the way you refer to your product.  For instance, if your marketing folks come up with a process which uses ultrasound to hostile the molecules in a drink to make a more thoroughly mixed drink experience, it is not necessarily true that the public will be searching for that ‘ultrasound drink experience’, even though that might be the phrase that the marketers hope to make famous.

Once you have compiled your list (actually, there may be multiple lists because you may have multiple products to be found by different searches), now you have to validate and quantify your brainstorming choices.  The will require you to employ the use of one or several tools and techniques to assist you.  For organic searches (those that are NOT paid), you want to choose terms that are relatively infrequently found in web pages, and relatively frequently searched for.  So if you quantified the number of pages containing each phrase, and divided THAT number into the number of times that term had been searched for over a period of time, al other things being equal, you would select the terms having the higher quotients as your ‘favorite’ key words to optimize for.

Here are a few of those tools available on the web:

Google AdWords Keyword Tool: Enter a search term or terms, to display other keywords related to that term.

Google Trends:Insights into broad search patterns.

Google Insights for Search: Compares search volume patterns.

Wordtracker Free Keyword Suggestion Tool
: Returns related terms rated by popularity. Data is collected from the Dogpile and Metacrawler meta search engines.

Trellian Free Search Term Suggestion Tool: Ranking similar to WordTracker

SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool: a wrapper for the Yahoo! keywords tool

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