21 Mar Using Keywords to Open the Door to Success
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and online marketing are essential to getting traffic to your site. While SEO can be an intimidating proposition to those unfamiliar with its use of algorithms and seemingly complex processes, it’s really a methodical way to increase marketing in your business through properly selecting and using keywords to get the attention of potential customers. You can do this through content development that truly engages your target audience.
Say, for example, you need a dog groomer. What is your first step? Assuming we’ve moved beyond the Dark Age practice of thumbing through the Yellow Pages, your next move would be to utilize a search engine such as Google or Bing and type in “dog groomers.” Up comes a slew of choices, including ones that only deal with dogs in very generic terms, with nothing to do with groomers. What prompts you to make your selection? What’s on the first page? The wording of the description? The info included in the listing? Would you opt for a site that just says “dog groomers” or do you really want to go with something more specific that may give you more choices? Probably all or most of the above.
So, you go to the site you’ve chosen and are frustrated because it doesn’t offer you exactly what you’re after. You can either keep searching under the same keywords, page after page, wandering through the wasteland of useless sites, or be more specific in your search criteria, and still not see what you need. This scenario, unfortunately, is far too common but there are ways that content marketers can streamline the process to get you where you need to go.
Know Your Audience
Creating content that will attract people to your site means knowing what they want. The right words are critical here as they provide an indication of your audience requirements and allow you to then drill down to the descriptive words that will lead them to the site hits that best fit their needs. You can create great content by adhering to this practice. A good start is to research keywords for your industry and determine those that would provide great content; use these words as a basis for your topic ideas. Once you’ve done this, go back and find the phrases that fit best with the client’s requirements, and optimize that content to create a “best-fit list.”
Keywords are Key
People often think that SEO and marketing content are two different things. Nope, they aren’t. In the pre-SEO days, the practice was to just jam a site full of keywords assuming the search engine wouldn’t see through this strategy. A dog grooming business would use the word “groomer” in every other sentence, hoping that Google would place the business at the top of the list, thus improving its ranking. However, search engines have figured out this practice and will “punish” you and users will assume that you are just a spammer and they will move on. Use keywords in a way that is natural, as you would when talking about your grooming business to clients and customers. You will rank higher in the searches on all search engines.
And keep in mind the best way to utilize keyword phrases in your social media is to look at what your competitors are doing. Take a look at their sites and see what keywords they are using, and follow suit.
One ideal way to “brand” your business is to think of one word that sums up what your business offers. As a dog grooming business, obviously grooming is a choice. However, you need to incorporate more detail once you get started on developing content. Specify dog, pet, bathing, etc.
That way, when users search for a dog groomer, you will be at the top of the list, along with all kinds of other related businesses that really don’t offer what you do, all because you defined your business, thus ensuring you reach your target audience. Use this primary keyword in everything you do, online and offline. Doing this will help you brand yourself or your business based on the definition of what you do, thereby eliminating confusion. Also, you will engage visitors at a deeper level, with little expense or effort.
One ideal way to “brand” your
business is to think of one
word that sums up
what your business offers.
And don’t forget emails. You need to optimize keywords in your subject line to your customers, because emails are searchable too. Obviously, as with your website, you’ll want to ensure your email appears at the top of the results list when visitors are looking for dog groomers. This goes for any type of social media in which you engage, such as blog posts, podcasts, videos, etc. so your business receives maximum visibility during searches.
The bottom line is knowing your customers. Your keyword research should help focus on what they want and why. Done successfully, this critical step will allow you to determine how your product helps them solve their problems and achieve their goals.
Don’t Just Be There; Be Awesome
Your goal should be to create awesome content that makes your website the go-to destination for your audience. To excel at content marketing, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of your competitors, and also anticipate what your visitors want, as well as be able to answer any questions they may have.
Excellent, thorough, informative, and engaging content will make people remember you, plus it’s also good for branding. An ideal content strategy will force people to remember you. Plus, your site could potentially link to others and ultimately drive even more traffic your way. If you’ve not put much thought into SEO/content marketing, then you have really missed out on potential revenue sources.
An ideal content strategy
will force people to remember you.
Giving your content the attention it deserves and recognizing it as a priority will increase the level of engagement with your dog-owning audience. They will love your content and share it with other dog owners in search of a groomer, and they will come back to your site—and your business—over and over. Obviously, it goes without saying sales will improve as will your reputation.
While content marketing is just a small part of overall SEO, it’s a critical part. Make sure that you do it right and do it soon.