Planned Keyword Content Wins the Search Game
Focus on winning the keyword phrases that your prospects might actually use to find a business like yours and build your pages around them.
One the web the mantra is "content is king." While this true, a more accurate rally cry might be "keyword rich content is king."
Keyword content means content organized around the precise search terms that your target market is using to find websites and business like yours.
There are many Internet-based research tools that can provide insight into the most frequently searched terms along with other data such as the competitive nature of the terms. These tools can help you determine the highly searched terms as well as search terms for which you might stand a fair chance achieving a ranking.
Remember, if your web site doesn't show up on page 1 or 2 in the search results for a phrase, you don't really exist.
In short, the more generic the term, the less likely you will be able to rank well. The competition is just too stiff. From a true prospect's point of view, the more specific the search term, the more qualified the prospect.
A person searching for a car might use any one of these terms:
Used Saab convertible
Wholesale used Saab convertible
Wholesale red used Saab convertible
The more specific the search, the more likely it is that surfers will find web pages that offer what they are truly seeking.
Keyword research tools
The following online tools are very useful to help you create and refine your keywords for your website.
Good Keywords - http://www.goodkeywords.com - free software
WordTracker - http://www.wordtracker.com - subscription-based and very powerful keyword tool
Yahoo! Search Term Suggestion Tool - http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion -free tool that shows search terms from the Yahoo search advertising system
Google AdWords Keyword Tool - https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordSandbox -Google's search suggestion tool based on Google's search data
If you use the Firefox browser there are also some handy extensions that allow you to find out a great deal about the websites you may be competing with on the terms you want to win. Search on the specific terms you covet and dig into what makes the top 10 or tick. Finding out how those pages are created can give you some clues as to how your might find your way to the first page.
By thoroughly researching the important keywords and phrases for your market before you ever design your website, you may gain some real clarity in the most effective way to lay out your entire site to more effectively generate higher search engine rankings.
It's important that you take a realistic approach to your keyword research. You simply can't compete for most highly competitive search phrases or generic industry terms, so aim for a larger list of less obvious terms. If you can collect top 10 search placement for a handful of lesser searched, but more specific terms, you may actually be better off in terms of the quality of the traffic you can generate.
Once you develop a list of keyword phrases you intend to build your content around, you can create entire pages with the goal of ranking highly for specific search terms. This type of high-quality, search engine-friendly content is one of the most effective search engine optimization practices available.
And, don't forget to add local keyword phrases:
Kansas City wholesale used saab dealer
In the logs
Another often overlooked place to find good keywords is in the data that your website is already collecting in something called server logs. Most web hosting companies can provide you with your site's visitor statistics, including the search terms visitors most often use to find your site. Your keyword strategy may involve making some minor changes that can improve your ranking for those terms.
Google is currently offering a very powerful tool that allows you to learn a great deal about the traffic coming to your site. The tool is called Google Analytics : http://www.google.com/analytics/sign_up.html
What to do with your keywords
Now that you have a list of keyword phrases that you want to use to build traffic to your website, you can work on creating search engine-friendly pages built on those phrases.
The following elements on each web page should include your keyword phrase in some variation that makes verbal sense.
Title - Use your phrase in the title <title>Small Business Marketing Ideas and Strategies</title>
Headlines - Add the phrase in an H1 or H2 tag
Anchor Text - Include it in the highlighted link text (Don't say "click here"!)
Body Text - Use some variation of your term in the beginning and again at the end of your body text.
Bold, italic and lists - Special-emphasis characters get more weight, so bold, italicize and bullet your keyword phrase.
You can optimize each page on your site using the elements above around a specific keyword phrase.
Human eyes are going to be reading these pages too, so it's important that while your keyword phrase appears in each element, your content must still read well. It's a bit of an art. Work the phrases in and then edit for clarity.
More is not more, though. Use your keyword phrases as described above, but don't think that simply filling a page up with your keyword phrase will produce better results.
John Jantsch is a veteran marketing coach, award winning blogger and author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide published by Thomas Nelson - due out in the fall of 2006
He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small business marketing system. You can find more information by visiting http://www.ducttapemarketing.com