Simply put, keywords are the words and/or phrases that people enter into their search engines to find specific information. For example, a homeowner returns from a night out to find his basement pipes gushing water. The first thing he does is jump on his computer, pull up a search engine and type in “plumber.” He gets too many results from all over the country, so he changes it to “Boston plumber.” There, that’s better. He clicks the first link and hires the plumber right off the bat. Homeowner is happy, plumber is very happy. His keyword strategy, whatever it was, worked for him today.
Choosing the right keyword is critical to your business gaining traction on the web. If your competitors are on top of their keyword game and you’re still on the sidelines, their business is going to get the clicks instead of yours.
The first step is brainstorming popular keywords that will get you found by the search engine itself. Once you are on the radar of search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing or Altavista (if you’re still living in 1999), you will start getting found by consumers looking for services like yours.
Your ideal keywords will need to be competitive and data-driven. Take a look at the keywords or phrases that your competitors are using and try to improve on them. Try different combination of terms and phrases together. The more combinations you have, the more likely a customer is to find you.
Use the resources you have readily available to identify current and emerging keywords. Track social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to find out what customers and competitors are saying about your company on the web. Monitor online discussion forums about your industry and try to be ahead of the curve on trending topics and issues. Place Google Alerts on your company name, the products or services you offer, names of key executives and competing companies. Every shred of information could hold value.
Another great way to discover what keywords potential customers might be using is to interface with your current client base. Interview them, survey them; you might be surprised how much you will learn.
These are all great starts in identifying what search engine keywords or phrases will work best for you and your company. Now you know what these keywords look like, why you need them and where to find them. But, these are only the first shots fired in the long battle for online supremacy over your competitors. Watch this space for more updates on how search engine keywords can give your company the winning edge.
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