Surveys from Merchant Circle have shown that the search engine optimization is the single most desirable marketing medium for small and midsize businesses. These business owners understand the benefits that organic search traffic provides, but don’t always get the results they hoped. One of their biggest mistakes is failing to identify the best keywords to optimize their site for.
Identifying the right keywords to target is an essential step for every SEO campaign. Here are some mistakes that small business owners make:
Many businesses have very effective onsite and offsite optimization campaigns, but they don’t benefit from them because they chose the wrong keywords. You need to conduct a thorough keyword research plan first.
There are a number of ways that you can choose keywords to optimize for. Here are some keyword research basics that you will want to be aware of.
Google provides data on almost every keyword that people search for. You can find this information through the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Here are some steps that you should use with the keyword tool.
Identify Potential Keywords
You may have difficulty coming up with some keywords off the top of your head. Fortunately, the Keyword Tool has a couple of options to help:
You will see a page with data on related keywords. You can click on any of the phrases under the column “Ad group ideas” to see additional keywords worth optimizing for.
Filter for Ideal Keywords
The Keyword Tool also has a number of filters that can help you narrow your search. You can use the “average monthly searches” filter to restrict your search to keywords that have a minimum search volume (such as 100 searches a month). You can also filter searches based on the suggested bid for Google Adwords ads. Some businesses use this bid to target ads that seem to be less competitive. While this isn’t the best way to filter overly competitive ads, it is a filter worth exploring.
Vet for Future Conversions
Targeting high traffic keywords isn’t enough. It is equally important that you make sure those keywords are relevant to your users. The purpose of optimizing your site for Google traffic is to make sure that your keywords convert into sales.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any software programs that can tell you which keywords will convert. You will need to rely on your own judgment, but here are some guidelines that can help:
You will need to get in the mindset of your customers to decide which keywords are relevant. Try to be as objective as possible.
At this point, you should have vetted a number of keywords that may be worth targeting. You will want to go through the list and decide which ones to prioritize. Here are some things that you will want to do:
Your SEO campaign will be much more successful if you target the right keywords upfront. Take the time to do your keyword research properly.