SEO. These three little letters have become online marketing gold: everyone wants it and you can never get enough. Optimizing your website for search engines is one of the first steps to attracting wandering web users to your page. Ideally, once they’ve stumbled upon your link they will continue to your website, proclaim your services/products the best thing since sliced bread, pull out their wallets and immediately contact all their friends and relatives.
Search Engine Optimization is the rainbow that will lead the public to the figurative pot o’ gold that is your fantastic website. Unfortunately, there are no leprechauns in the story; the metaphor simply doesn’t go that far…
Using effective keywords is an important part of search engine optimization. In Seomoz’s “Beginners Guide to SEO” they describe the web as a giant subway station. Your website is just one of an infinite number of stops.
Keywords are the blazing neon sign (complete with blinking arrow) that say to the search engine or searcher, “Come here! This is what we offer!”
Selecting the right keywords means using terms that are most pertinent to your business, industry, or questions that your customer will inevitably ask. If you sell novelty leprechaun trinkets, some potential words may be “leprechaun novelty items, shamrock snow globes, little Irish men socks.”
The First Step: Brainstorming
Use the following tips provided by Seomoz to create a list of at least a hundred potential keywords. Later you will trim it down to include the most effective phrases and terms.
- List all of the most important words and phrases currently on your site
- Record important/valuable words and phrases on your competitors’ sites
- Put yourself in the mindset of your customers, vendors, and your industry professionals; what would they search for to find the content you provide?
- Use a thesaurus to research synonyms for your core keywords
The next segment of this blog will discuss how to use various research to spin your brainstorm into ideal keywords.