SEO Basics – Part 3: Selecting Your Keywords

social-network-marketingThis is the third in a series of articles created to assist with the basic information required to start a search engine marketing campaign. In Part 1 of this series: Brainstorm you have investigated who your audience is, its demographics and how to reach them. You’re working on finding the correct search phrases or keywords. In Part 2 of this series : Determining Competition you have looked at what the competition is for that phrase or keyword to determine if it’s already saturated. Now is the time to select the keywords and phrases which will best benefit your search engine optimization campaign.

Selecting Your Keywords

By now, you should have an expanded list of search phrases to target, taken from either WordTracker, WordStream and/or Google Adwords. In addition, you should also have a good idea as to the competition for each of these keywords, whether you used the tools supplied by them or even using the basic Google method. Now is the time to start selecting the search phrases which will form the basis for a successful SEO campaign. Ok, deep breath, we’re almost there.

When selecting the keywords to target, there are many components you must take into account. You will no doubt have your own unique considerations, but you must also take into account the following:

1. Is the search phrase relevant to your website and the page that you’re optimizing?

2. Is there a page within your website that would be particularly ideal for targeting the selected search phrase?

3. How many other websites/web pages would you be competing against?

4. Do you offer competitive pricing for the product or service that relates to the keyword?

5. Will top search engine ranking for the search phrase generate enough revenue for your company?

Arranging Keywords into Themes

Once you have asked yourself the above questions, it will become easy to restrict your list to the main search phrases that you wish to target. When doing so, remember that you should not try and target every selected search term on your index page. Your index page is the most important page of your website and likely to have the best positioning on the search engines, therefore choose 5-10 search phrases to focus on here and ensure that they are all closely related. Attempting to target “desktop computers” and “dvd players” on your index page will get you top rankings for neither. Instead, identify the pages within your website that target those particular keywords and use those instead. The key to choosing keywords to target for each page is to think of “themes”. Each page should ideally target just one theme. This will help you in making sure the targeted page is relevant to the selected search phrase. In turn, this will not only increase your odds of obtaining top rankings, but also improve your customer sales conversions by bringing the visitor to the most relevant page.

This is a three part series. Look for the other 2 parts to this series: Part 1: Brainstorm and Part 3: Selecting Your Keywords

In summary

When researching search phrases and targeting keywords for your SEO campaign, it is important to follow the steps above. Research your industry, consult your potential customers and take advantage of the themes within your website. In addition, consider these final tips:

Determine the intent of the visitor. Thoroughly research all search terms to make sure that the searcher meant to find your product or service. E.g. reconsider targeting the keyword “DVD” if you store only sells blank DVD discs, the probabilities are the searcher meant to find DVD movies instead of blank media.

Know your industry. You must know your industry and account for any seasonal or other trends. E.g. the search phrase “red roses” will be more popular for Valentines than at Christmas.

Look for opportunities. Identify the search phrases that have been untapped by your competitors. Some search terms may have slightly fewer searches, but may have dramatically fewer competitors.

Target the right pages. This cannot be stressed enough. Do not try and target every keyword on every page. Identify themes within your website and set relevant search phrases into the wording on those pages. You will notice much better results.



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Jimmie Schwinn

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Jimmie Schwinn

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