Keywords: they’re that important

Keyword research. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, keyword research is one of the most important things to do in your online marketing. If you know what you want to be found for, you can create web pages, emails, PPC ad campaigns and more with those searched-for words or phrases (“keywords”) in mind. If you haven’t formulated a list, you haven’t got a focus, and you won’t be using the keywords at every opportunity like you should. And it matters, because the chances are at least one of your competitors knows exactly what they’re doing on this front.

“But Chris”, I hear you say, “we only make red widgets, so I know what my primary keyword is: red widgets!”

Big mistake. Think about the supersets containing your products (which in this case would be “widgets” in general); and think of the subsets (for example, you may sell “small red widgets” and “large red widgets”). Now it might be that people rarely search for “red widgets”, even if that’s what they want, but tend to search for “widgets” in general. Maybe you need to be competing in that wider space, even if your product offering is only part of it. Or it might be that plenty of people search right down to a specific level, such as “small red widgets”, and you only have a couple of competitors there, so why would you waste time optimising your marketing for broader terms?

Perhaps customers don’t search for “widgets” at all, because they don’t know that widgets would make their lives easier. Perhaps widgets save people money by reducing the need to replace gadgets frequently, so perhaps you need to be concentrating on the design of products which use gadgets – and a whole new set of keywords.

Whatever the case, you need to do three things. Firstly, brainstorming sessions to come up with ideas as to where your primary keywords might lie (e.g supersets or subsets of your main product classes, or application areas). Secondly, keyword tools to give you related words and phrases, such as the Google Keyword Tool, the SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool, Keywordfinder and others. Finally, you’ll need to look at the number of searches taking place for these keywords, and the potential competition; the Google Keyword Tool will help here.

We ensure subscribers to our Insider Programme start work on their keyword lists in the second and third weeks of the schedule. It’s that important.

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