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Search Engine Keywords

Search
Engine Keywords Selection

(C) Michael Rasmussen
All Rights Reserved

Search engines are the vehicles that drive potential customers to
your websites. But in order for visitors to reach their destination
– your website – you need to provide them with specific and
effective signs that will direct them right to your site. You do
this by creating carefully chosen keywords.

Think of the right keywords as the Open Sesame! of the Internet.
Find the exactly right words or phrases, and presto! hoards of
traffic will be pulling up to your front door. But if your keywords
are too general or too over-used, the possibility of visitors
actually making it all the way to your site – or of seeing any real
profits from the visitors that do arrive – decreases dramatically.

Your keywords serve as the foundation of your marketing strategy. If
they are not chosen with great precision, no matter how aggressive
your marketing campaign may be, the right people may never get the
chance to find out about it. So your first step in plotting your
strategy is to gather and evaluate keywords and phrases.

You probably think you already know EXACTLY the right words for your
search phrases. Unfortunately, if you haven’t followed certain
specific steps, you are probably WRONG. It’s hard to be objective
when you are right in the center of your business network, which is
the reason that you may not be able to choose the most efficient
keywords from the inside. You need to be able to think like your
customers. And since you are a business owner and not the consumer,
your best bet is to go directly to the source.

Instead of plunging in and scribbling down a list of potential
search words and phrases yourself, ask for words from as many
potential customers as you can. You will most likely find out that
your understanding of your business and your customers’
understanding is significantly different.

The consumer is an invaluable resource. You will find the words you
accumulate from them are words and phrases you probably never would
have considered from deep inside the trenches of your business.

Only after you have gathered as many words and phrases from outside
resources should you add your own keyword to the list. Once you have
this list in hand, you are ready for the next step: evaluation.

The aim of evaluation is to narrow down your list to a small number
of words and phrases that will direct the highest number of quality
visitors to your website. By "quality visitors" I mean those
consumers who are most likely to make a purchase rather than just
cruise around your site and take off for greener pastures. In
evaluating the effectiveness of keywords, bear in mind three
elements: popularity, specificity, and motivation.

Popularity is the easiest to evaluate because it is an objective
quality. The more popular your keyword is, the more likely the
chances are that it will be typed into a search engine which will
then bring up your URL.

You can now purchase software that will rate the popularity of
keywords and phrases by giving words a number rating based on real
search engine activity. Software such as WordTracker will even
suggest variations of your words and phrases. The higher the number
this software assigns to a given keyword, the more traffic you can
logically expect to be directed to your site. The only fallacy with
this concept is the more popular the keyword is, the greater the
search engine position you will need to obtain. If you are down at
the bottom of the search results, the consumer will probably never
scroll down to find you.

Popularity isn’t enough to declare a keyword a good choice. You must
move on to the next criteria, which is specificity. The more
specific your keyword is, the greater the likelihood that the
consumer who is ready to purchase your goods or services will find
you.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example. Imagine that you have obtained
popularity rankings for the keyword "automobile companies." However,
you company specializes in bodywork only. The keyword "automobile
body shops" would rank lower on the popularity scale than
"automobile companies," but it would nevertheless serve you much
better. Instead of getting a slew of people interested in everything
from buying a car to changing their oil filters, you will get only
those consumers with trashed front ends or crumpled fenders being
directed to your site. In other words, consumers ready to buy your
services are the ones who will immediately find you. Not only that,
but the greater the specificity of your keyword is, the less
competition you will face.

The third factor is consumer motivation. Once again, this requires
putting yourself inside the mind of the customer rather than the
seller to figure out what motivation prompts a person looking for a
service or product to type in a particular word or phrase. Let’s
look at another example, such as a consumer who is searching for a
job as an IT manager in a new city. If you have to choose between
"Seattle job listings" and "Seattle IT recruiters" which do you
think will benefit the consumer more? If you were looking for this
type of specific job, which keyword would you type in? The second
one, of course! Using the second keyword targets people who have
decided on their career, have the necessary experience, and are
ready to enlist you as their recruiter, rather than someone just out
of school who is casually trying to figure out what to do with his
or her life in between beer parties. You want to find people who are
ready to act or make a purchase, and this requires subtle tinkering
of your keywords until your find the most specific and directly
targeted phrases to bring the most motivated traffic to you site.

Once you have chosen your keywords, your work is not done. You must
continually evaluate performance across a variety of search engines,
bearing in mind that times and trends change, as does popular lingo.
You cannot rely on your log traffic analysis alone because it will
not tell you how many of your visitors actually made a purchase.

Luckily, some new tools have been invented to help you judge the
effectiveness of your keywords in individual search engines. There
is now software available that analyzes consumer behavior in
relation to consumer traffic. This allows you to discern which
keywords are bringing you the most valuable customers.

This is an essential concept: numbers alone do not make a good
keyword; profits per visitor do. You need to find keywords that
direct consumers to your site who actually buy your product, fill
out your forms, or download your product. This is the most important
factor in evaluating the efficacy of a keyword or phrase, and should
be the sword you wield when discarding and replacing ineffective or
inefficient keywords with keywords that bring in better profits.

Ongoing analysis of tested keywords is the formula for search engine
success. This may sound like a lot of work – and it is! But the
amount of informed effort you put into your keyword campaign is what
will ultimately generate your business’ rewards.

Michael Rasmussen is a successful Internet Marketing Consultant and
author of many top-selling eBooks. Michael has been marketing online
since the early days and he knows what it takes to make money and
succeed online. Stop by his Web site and subscribe to his Free
monthly newsletter full strategies and techniques for successful web
site promotions that can help YOU!

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