One of the first steps you’ll take when you start into the world of internet marketing is keyword research. Any good online marketing company will tell you how important keyword research is. Good keyword research is the difference between success and failure when it comes to internet marketing. But why is that? If you target the right keywords, you’ll get in front of people that are interested in your product or service.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are the words or phrases your customers are using to search for your products or services. When you search for “Pizza” you’re using a keyword phrase, even if it’s only one word. When you type that phrase in, your search engine will look at all the websites in their index related to Pizza, and then put them in order of what they think will be most useful to you. When you search for “Pizza in Los Angeles” you’re using a long-tailed keyword phrase. These are more specific searches, and it gives Google a better idea of what you’re looking for.
The Pros and Cons of Long Tailed Keyword Phrases
When you’re developing your internet marketing, you don’t want to just get in front of as many people as possible. You want to get in front of the right people who might buy your product or service. If you’re a pizza shop, you might not need to focus on ranking for just the word “pizza” because you won’t stand out among the millions of other sites that mention pizza.
What good is getting in front of people searching for pizza across the country? That’s where long-tailed keyword phrases come in. These phrases are more specific than a general keyword search. That means fewer people are searching these phrases, but those searches are more focused. Someone searching “pizza” might be outside of your service area, or they might be looking for pizza recipes. When someone searches “Pizza in Los Angeles”, there’s a much greater chance that they want to buy pizza from you.
Long-tailed keywords don’t just apply to local businesses. Say you sell crystals online. You’re going to want to rank for a generic term like “crystals”, but you want to target a keyword like “crystals for sale” as well.
So How do I Choose the Right Keywords?
There are myriad tutorials and how-tos on the subject of performing keyword research, and every researcher does things a little different. However, you’ll want to know some general things when you start your research.
- Do your research early in your website design and development process. You should bake your search engine optimization into the very essence of your website. If you don’t start out with keyword research, you’re putting the cart before the horse. If you write your content before you’ve done your research, you’ll either have non-optimized content, or you’ll have to go back and repeat work you’ve already done.
- Start Broad. When you make a scratch list of keywords to start out your research, be as broad as you can. Include as many keywords and keyword phrases as you can think of. As you go through your process, you’ll narrow down that list until you reach the final list.
- Use as many tools as you can. There are a lot of tools out there built for keyword research, some of which are very helpful for it. Google provides a couple of these tools. Your Google Analytics account can show you what the people who already visit your site were searching for when they found you. There’s also the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. This tool can give you suggestions related to the keywords you’re researching, and it can give you rough traffic estimates as well.
Don’t Forget to Come Back to Your Research
It’s easy to finish your keyword research and think that it’s done forever. However, as you collect more information about your customers you can look at the keywords that are doing the best, and find some new variations of those high-performing keywords. There is a lot of upkeep that goes into your internet marketing, and ongoing keyword research is an important one.
If you’re looking for an online marketing company to help bring business in, Nimbus Marketing is the company for you. Our SEO technicians are experienced and dedicated to bringing new phone calls and customers to you. Call (310) 486-1154, email email@example.com, or fill out our contact form to see what Nimbus Marketing can do for you.
Everyone with a business knows that the internet is important. No matter what kind of business you’re in, potential customers are searching for you online. If they can’t find you, they can’t buy what you’re selling. That’s why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important. Simply having a website is no longer enough. There’s too much competition to simply set up your website and forget it. You need professional help to boost your visibility online. That’s why help from an SEO agency is a must for a modern business. But how do you know how to hire an SEO agency ? It’s hard to ask questions about a process that seems pretty mysterious to most outsiders. We’ve assembled a list of 5 fast ways to tell if an SEO company is right for you.
They Value Transparency
Transparency is the first thing you should look for when you’re evaluating a potential SEO agency. There are a lot of ways to boost a website online. A lot of them aren’t ethical, and could lead to big trouble for you down the road. A good SEO agency only uses White Hat SEO techniques to boost your website. What’s White Hat SEO?
In the online world, techniques for moving your website up the search engine rankings are divided into White Hat and Black Hat. In old western movies, the directors wanted to signal to the audience who was a bad guy, and who was a good guy. They put black hats on the bad guys, white hats on the good guys, and the description stuck. You want an SEO company that wears a white hat.
A reputable SEO agency will have no problem explaining exactly how they plan to optimize and boost your website. It’s hard work, and it has a lot of moving parts, but there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to explain exactly what they’re up to, and how it will help you. White Hat means transparency. Demand it from your SEO company.
They Track Results
Once you’re satisfied that an SEO company is trustworthy, the next thing you want to look for is the ability to track and show results. It takes time to achieve SEO goals, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to track your progress. Ask your prospective SEO service what kind of analytics and ranking reports they will provide, and how often they will provide them. SEO work is an art and a science, but it can be measured. Make sure it’s going to be measured for you.
They Work To Understand Your Business
So far, you’ve been asking all the questions. That’s important, of course, but if you don’t receive a lot of questions about your business in return, it’s unlikely that an SEO agency will be able to help you. Why? Because one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to the business world.
A successful online marketing campaign requires a lot of information about your business to succeed. If the company doesn’t try to understand your business, and your customers, they won’t have any idea how to properly attract the kind of customers your business needs.
They Work With You
You think you’re hiring someone to help you with your website. That’s only half the work. SEO companies do important technical work that makes your website more attractive to search engines, and that’s very important. However, a really good SEO firm will work symbiotically with you to boost your business, not just your online presence.
Don’t settle for SEO companies that only know about SEO work. To them, the website is the product. Ask a prospective SEO agency what kind of experience they have in boosting a business, not just a website. If they can’t answer, they can’t help you.
They Cover All the Bases
It’s easy to think that SEO agencies can be ranked as either good or bad, and try to choose a “good” one. That might be too simplistic. It’s probably more useful to look for an agency that provides a good fit for you and your business. Improvements in online visibility don’t happen overnight, so you’re going to be dealing with your SEO company for a long while. That makes it doubly important that you feel comfortable with their approach. If an agency brings some good qualities to the table, but is lacking in others, you’ll find that your campaign will stall after a short while. Choose an SEO agency that combines transparency, accountability, business acumen, easy communication, and a holistic approach.
If you’d like to learn more about how SEO marketing can help your business, contact Nimbus Marketing today for a free, low-pressure consultation. You’ll be glad you did!
Providing SEO marketing services is a skilled profession. Optimizing a website to rank highly for particular internet searches has only been a definable process for a few years, however. Search engine optimization techniques change rapidly. That makes it even harder to evaluate the competing claims of SEO providers. Despite this churn, the industry is mature enough to draw some conclusions about the basic skills necessary to be a competent SEO company. There’s a problem. Very few SEO companies have these skills.
Almost anyone can (and does) hang out a website shingle that claims they can crowdsolve your resource-leveling convergence and synergistically reintermediate your paradigms. They’re all passionate, whatever that means. Unfortunately, no amount of buzzwords and passion is going to make your cash register ring. Here’s a list of the only skills that matter when you’re shopping for an SEO company:
They Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is
You’re probably going to find a potential SEO company by using internet searches. If your SEO company doesn’t show up in searches for an SEO company, they’re probably not very good at their job. If they do rank highly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be able to help your business. When you’re selling widgets in Los Angeles, the ability of a company to show up in searches for Los Angeles search engine optimization won’t help you.
Your SEO expert should be able to set up and optimize a profitable website about anything, not just the service they offer. If the only tool in the toolbox is an SEO hammer, everyone’s website looks begins to look like an SEO nail. SEO techniques are the process, not the product. Make sure a prospective SEO business has a proven track record at making other businesses more profitable.
They Understand Technical and Non-Technical Issues
Filling a website with optimized content and then making it prominent in search engines is a technical problem. A soup-to-nuts small business marketing firm must understand a large number of highly technical things in order to deliver consistent results. Producing content that engages customers is as much an art as a science. That art will be wasted if the website loads slowly, has a confusing site structure, or displays strangely on different devices. Make sure your SEO marketing team can bridge the gap between the technical demands of a website and the marketing challenges of getting your message out.
They Understand Customer Conversion
Many SEO companies become fascinated with your website. Unless you’re strictly an Ecommerce business, that can be lethal to your bottom line. For most businesses, the purpose of a website is to attract pre-qualified traffic in order to convert them into customers. It’s that last bit that escapes amateurs in the world of SEO.
Attracting people to your website is a cost. This cost must be more than offset by converting visitors into paying customers. Many SEO firms fixate on the website. They’ve forgotten that the website is only a reflection of the business, not the business itself.
They Are Project Managers First
What exactly is SEO marketing? If you’re a business that wants to compete for eyeballs on the Internet, you’re undertaking a definable project. Projects require project management.
Never listen to any SEO expert who says that one simple trick will put your website at the top of the rankings. Getting noticed on web searches requires deep analysis of your business, astute copy writing, and innovative engagement with prospective customers. You’ll need real expertise in blogs, email marketing, Pay-Per-Click advertising, social media, and linking. Google and other search engines are always on the lookout for one simple trick SEO techniques, and penalize businesses that use them.
Ask a prospective SEO company questions about how they’ll handle the process of analyzing your business and your customers. Find out how they’ll communicate with you. Ask them where they will go, how they will get there, how long it will take, and what it will cost. That’s what project management is, and they should be able to handle it.
They Can Spell
When you receive an email filled with misspelled words and weird word substitutions, you immediately suspect that you’re reading spam. That’s because poor grammar and spelling destroys the three most important signals your web copy can provide. Google ranks websites using their assessment of the expertise, authoritativeness the website deserves. If the content on your site is unprofessional, you’ll have a hard time convincing customers to trust you with their money.
More words are not a substitute for better writing, either. Websites should engage and convert visitors into customers. If the content on your pages is long-winded and wordy, people will click away. Your SEO company should use clear, direct language to deliver your message to visitors. That’s the only sure way to deliver customers to your cash register.
If you’re in the market for SEO services in the Los Angeles area, contact Nimbus Marketing. We’re proud of our proven results for businesses just like yours.
If you’re a parent, sooner or later you’re required to have THE TALK with your children. You know, the one about the birds and the bees. Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s a lot easier than explaining to your children what you do for a living if you’re an SEO consultant.
New Industries Require New Definitions
SEO link building and website SEO have only become a regular occupation in the last few years. Before that, search engine optimization was handled by the person who was writing copy for the website, if it was given any attention at all. As the Internet gained importance as the primary place for commerce, the need to hire an SEO consultant to boost a company’s visibility grew quickly.
Search engines are extremely sophisticated in the methods they use to rank sites. They perform a multi-factor assessment of the content displayed on every website, and then modify it by the amount of attention the website attracts from other websites, news outlets, and social media accounts. If you don’t know how to write to make search engines happy, you won’t get found.
An SEO Expert Knows a Particular Kind of Writing
SEO writing is a form of technical writing. There have always been writers who specialize in producing text that isn’t destined for a book or a newspaper article. One form of technical writing, advertising copy, is a lot older than the Internet, as you can see if you watch an episode of Mad Men.
The definition of a technical writer is a person who conveys specialized information to the public in the clearest and most effective way possible. Because the information that needs to be communicated is often complex, it’s important for a technical writer to be able to understand the topic fully and then present it in plain language that is easy for the average person to read and understand.
That’s an excellent summation of what an SEO consultant does for their clients. The best SEO company is one that understands the customer’s business, and then uses that knowledge to deliver well-crafted content that attracts and engages the right consumers.
Technical writing is an important job that is generally overlooked by the public, at least until they are forced to assemble a bicycle on Christmas Eve with nothing but a crescent wrench and five pages of instructions. Well-written assembly instructions are just one more example of good technical writing. An SEO consultant will make sure you’re able to find a bicycle in the first place when you search for it online.
Found By Machines, Read by Humans
SEO writing is trickier than more traditional technical writing techniques. Before the Internet, a technical writer’s output was always geared towards being read by humans. An SEO expert understands that there is now an intermediate step between the content and the customer: Search engines.
Search engines are machines. It takes a very particular set of skills to be able to produce text, photos, and video for a website in exactly the right format for a web crawler to read. It also takes a lot of hard work and skill to make sure that attention is drawn to the content, which attracts incoming links that will boost the website in the search rankings.
Optimizing a website to be highly ranked by machines while still being useful for readers is a difficult job. That’s why a SEO consultant is so essential to commerce in the Internet age. If your website has interesting content, but search engines don’t understand it, no one will ever find you. If your website has content that’s unreadable because of unsuccessful attempts to optimize it for SEO, the readers will quickly click when they arrive.
Helping People Find Things Is a Noble Profession
Most people say they hate advertising. That’s only partially true. What people actually hate is being bombarded with advertising for products and services they have no interest in. An SEO firm helps companies target interested consumers without resorting to a barrage of advertising on everyone. It’s not only counterproductive to show advertising to consumers that don’t need your product or service. It’s expensive, too. Spending a modest amount of money on SEO services pays bigger dividends by attracting only the people who are hungry to hear your message.
So if you get stuck while trying to explain to your kids exactly what an SEO consultant does for a living, tell them that you help some people find things, and you help other people to get found. Then tell them to look up the birds and the bees on Wikipedia. The information is easy to find. It’s Search Engine Optimized.
When a business makes plans for their website SEO, they may think only of getting their phone number and street address at the top of their home page. However, there is much more that can be done in keying your webpages to your business location. And, as it happens, there are several important aspects about location information that should be part of your website’s SEO profile.
First and foremost, it is indeed very important that a business have its location information present on the home webpage. It should also be on every other page, so that no matter which page a visitor lands on, they know where to find your business. Don’t make the internet searcher have to hunt through several pages to find out how to physically get to your business.
Having your physical address clearly on your website helps your potential customer get to your doorstep. Another way of making sure how they can find you is to add directions and maps that let the seeker know the nearest major crossroads and landmarks. When someone hunts for your services and products, and they like the information they find on your website, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to come to you. That is why having the location information available on every page is important.
More Than Addresses
In preparing your website for the best SEO results, however, there are more things that can be done with your content to attract search engine attention to your location information. Because some of the search engines actually read and review the content of your website, your descriptive text needs to include descriptions that indicate your business is indeed located where the address places it. What that means is that in the description you do not simply repeat the name of the city of your business, you include references to other distinctive characteristics of the location.
Distinctive characteristics can mean referencing local landmarks, major cross streets and thoroughfares near your location. If you are situated in a notable neighborhood, the name of the neighborhood can be included. You can even describe the boundaries of the immediate district you are part of. Each additional element dotted through your webpage that gives the reader a sense of your presence in your location also is additional evidence to the search engines that your business is indeed located where you say it is.
What the Seeker Looks For
More and more these days, as people use the internet to find goods and services, they are choosing to shop locally for these products. If they are looking for car repair services, they will rarely be willing to travel all the way across town to find them. They may want to find the best and closest provider of a particular service. That is why including descriptive information of your place in your neighborhood and community can be a distinct advantage for you, above the benefits to your SEO rankings.
When it comes to planning website SEO, the website team needs to consider a lot of elements in order to make the specific page pop up at the top of search results. One of the crucial aspects is the use of keywords in the text of the page. In the years since the beginning of internet use, the handling of keywords has gotten more and more sophisticated.
Origins in General Indexing
The origins for the use of keywords comes out the indexing of academic writing. Scholars of all sorts would use certain recognizable words to assist in presenting the structure of their discussions. In addition to that, as the work of librarians included preparing ways to categorize works, certain terms became important for helping users find specific types of works. In library cataloging, there were groupings called “subject headings” which would be used to indicate the areas of knowledge a book might cover.
Subject headings for library entries might be something like “Fishing, Sport” and “Fishing, Commercial.” In the pre-digital age, the card catalog would have individual cards for every book that was about Sport Fishing gathered together, so that the user could do a quick review of whether that book would help them find the information they wanted. Likewise, if the user wanted to know about the business of commercial fishing, or the types of fish caught, or what kind of boats and ships were used, the subject heading of “Fishing, Commercial” would help them find those volumes in the library.
Bait for the Search Engines
Early meta tags for internet websites did much the same job that library subject headings did in the old card catalogs. They provided the early search engines with information concerning what a particular webpage was about. Unfortunately, as website designers realized this was a way to attract attention to their websites, they found ways to trick the site-reading robots into categorizing their site as important in a particular subject (even if the site had nothing to do with the subject).
One old trick was to plaster the page with meta tags for popular search terms in white letters underneath the material they actually were putting forward. The search spiders would read the white letters that were invisible to the human users and so include the page in searches for those words. Fortunately, the search engines have become even more sophisticated, and that trick (falling into the category of “gaming the system”) has become frowned upon. Don’t do it if you want to rank well with the search engines.
Using Keywords Now
The latest advances in the programming for search engines have made it so that the search robot can actually read page content. The text can be analyzed for grammar and intelligible sequencing. This makes the creation of coherent, intelligent and informative web content all the more important. Current search engines look for material that is not copy and pasted from some recognizable source. Instead, they look for texts that are original and unique, that address specific topics with fresh approaches.
For those concerned about improving the content of their webpages, turning to experts who have studied and kept up to date with search engine practices can help them improve their page rankings. SEO marketing experts can spot where a website’s text presentations can be cleaned up and made attractive to the search engines. Knowing how to use keywords can be crucial for a health web-presence.