Sometimes I feel like a broken record. Keywords for SEO, keywords for social media, keywords make the world go round. I’ve talked about the importance of the best keywords in your domain name. In my latest book, I talk about the ten steps that you can do for your own SEO. But each one of those steps is based on the best keywords. Small bit of trivia, the word keyword only gets 22,200 queries a month in google.
So now it is time to talk about keywords in detail, and focus on some tools that every website owner needs to have, because if you know what keywords you are being indexed for, in the search engines, and you know which keywords you want to be indexed for, then you know where to focus your SEO efforts.
Before we start, I want to take a brief side path. I have spent a lot of time working with #hashtags over the last few months to increase our followers on twitter. The one thing that I have learned about twitter is: the keywords I choose for my website are not the same as the keywords that are successful for twitter #hashtag marketing. Updated article on this coming soon to a theatre, or website near you.
Why are keywords so important? Because, they are the base of SEO. Suppose someone goes to Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. The whole purpose of being there is to find relevant information that fits our needs. It doesn’t matter if we are looking for images, articles, online stores, etc. We only want the information that fits our specific need. That is the keyword. If your website has been indexed under a specific keyword on Google or the other search engines, then your website is given relevance as to its placement within the search results.
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The SEO GameNow the game begins. How do we know what keywords that consumers are looking for? Since I sell a specific product, is it helpful to put in my product’s name? This has to be the biggest mistake my customers make when trying to do their own SEO. A great example is an incredible lady who runs a women’s clothing store that sells nothing but modest clothing, modest wedding attire, etc. She had a great website that was easy to manage, with basic SEO tools attached. So she started putting in all of her own SEO with the keyword modest clothing. OK problem. At the time that, I did this evaluation there were 22,200 queries every month on Google for that term. Where did she go wrong? Thinking that only women who want modest clothing are going to go looking for it. But, what happens when another woman who traditionally wears sleeveless dresses, and short skirts finds this drop dead beautiful dress, that she is so attracted to, she doesn’t notice it has a sleeve and is maybe 2 inches longer than she would have normally purchased. Under the limited keyword, this woman would never have seen this specific dress on sell.
When we step back and notice that dresses have 6,120,000 queries a month, now we are in the line of sight for six million women, who may or may not think about the length of her dress, or the length of a sleeve.
There are many tips and tools available to help you with your total SEO experience. Or you can hire a professional (like myself) to do this for you, or a third option, for those “do it yourself” kind of people, is to collect all of the free tools together and start your own SEO plan. I always suggest that these kind of people sit back and get their hands as dirty as possible by using the old fashion tools. It gives a sense of all the work that goes on behind the scenes. Now, when you are ready for help, you see value it the process, and you understand why it cost more than $50 a month to do SEO. As a bonus, you understand the power of having total control over your SEO. When you get punished for black hat SEO tactics, you understand why. Not all SEO companies are created equal, and getting to the top of Google quickly is possible, it doesn’t take long after that, to get banned from Google for your behavior.
Let’s start with the basic tool for this process. Your Google keyword planner is actually buried inside of your Google adwords account. You don’t have to run Google ads in order to use this tool, but having an account is vital. One of the best parts of this tool, is the suggested words and phrases section. I don’t always know what the best keywords are, so knowing what the current traffic is, and the seasonal traffic, it is vital that I know similar words that are being queried every month. Keep in mind that this tool tells the story from Google’s point of view. It is the traffic that is searched from Google and affiliates. But if you can master Google, Yahoo, Bing and the rest will follow.
Tool number two that is essential to your SEO game is your Google analytics account. These day’s analytics is complicated and growing at an incredible rate. There just isn’t enough room in one article to talk about analytics. It always helps to know if you are actually getting more traffic, and where the traffic is coming from. Obviously, you are using all of your marketing tools to drive traffic to your website, so to expect that all new traffic is coming from Google is a bit silly, but it helps to know what portions are coming from where. I usually use my analytics in pieces, website traffic, social media traffic, mass email traffic, etc. You get the idea. I can determine which pieces of my efforts come from where, then I know where to place my advertising dollars.
You probably think we are going to stop here, but there is one more Google tool that is vital to our SEO success. Don’t forget to create your FREE webmaster account with Google. Although there are multiple tools here that I use, most of them I would not suggest to the beginner, so I will mention the relevant ones. Because you are getting your keywords set up here, you need to know if those words are being supported by the content within your website.
Google counts how many times you use a word in your website, and then gives it an index value based upon your relevance. So on businessmarketingmag.com, the keyword “business” is used in the URL, giving it more relevant Google Points. It is used on my website over 500 times, adding more relevant Google points to my SEO. From my adwords keyword planner, I know that this term gets over 500,000 queries a month. So making it the number one content word on my website gives me a boost in ranking. That is white hat SEO tactics. A few other things to look at here are the number of links coming in from outside sources with the keyword business in it, and then the number of internal links that contain the same keyword. This concept is complicated because, these links can either be powerful white hat tactics, or “get you banned from Google” for black hat tactics. Not knowing how to use these may be the difference, and it isn’t easy begging Google for forgiveness.
There are multiple tools you can purchase to help you with your SEO, but once again I suggest you do your research as they can be based on either old technology, which is never good, or black hat tactics. Once your purchase to the tool, do you think the company that sold it to you will be concerned about whether or not you have been banned.
Now that we know what our keywords are, and some of the tools we need to track them, we need to learn a bit about actual SEO. I won’t go into that in this article since you can find it in my “Top 10 SEO tools” but you can now put these words and phrases to work in both your website and your social media.
Keywords are also vital to #hashtag marketing, but not necessarily the best keywords for your website will work in all forms of social media. Twitter used hashtags, differently than Instagram, or Facebook and the keywords for each should be relevant to the source. If you are using hashtag marketing, do your research on how and where this works.
My hope of this article, if nothing else, is that you can take away the power of the keyword, the mistakes that can be made to get you in trouble, and the fun alternate ways that these words can be used. If SEO and marketing just isn’t your thing, go ahead and give me a call, I will get you your first 5 keywords for FREE, and we can discuss a marketing, SEO, social media plan that will build your business, but not break your marketing budget. Feel free to contact me at www.darktwin-marketing.com or give me a call at 435.554.8352.
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