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.
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