In order to achieve the greatest online success possible, it is necessary to know what kind of keywords your potential customers are choosing or will choose when searching for the products or services you offer.
Do your customers search for iPod, iPad or iPhone more often? They may search for all of these things, but does one search have a predominance? If you are promoting your graphic design services, do customers search for “graphic design services” or “freelance graphic design” more often?
Ask your friends, family, and associates what type of words or phrases they would type into a search engine to find your type of product or service. If you work for a larger firm, get input from management, employees, vendors and customers. After all, the real issue is not what terms you think people would use to search for what you have to offer, but what terms they actually do use. These two things can be very different!
Of course, higher-value keywords will have more competition, but you can get around the competition by choosing more narrowly-targeted keywords and phrases, which may have a smaller number of overall searches, but also have less competition, thereby increasing your chances of landing on the all-important first page of Google.
There are various applications forthe Mac and PC to aid you in finding effective keywords. Market Samurai is a sophisticated program that offers a free trial and is supported by some great training videos.
Keyword research can be as complex as anything related to computers and the Internet, but it doesn’t have to be. Although there are extremely sophisticated tools for finding high-value keywords, the basics of keyword research comes down to just two steps:
1. Use a keyword tool such as the Google Keyword Tool External to find keywords or phrases relating to what people are searching for, and
2. Type the most promising search terms into Google itself and see how many competing sites come up.
Tweaking and honing your list of keywords over time is also important. You will probably want to remove keywords that are too specific or are not targeted enough. Also, when composing your copy, remember that keyword placement is also important, since the keywords in the opening paragraphs and especially in the title count the most.
Of course, your keywords should appear throughout your text, but avoid overusing your keywords. This is a mistake that many Internet marketers make. The top article directories will not allow submissions that contain too-frequent use of the same word or phrase. Search engines may also be able to detect this.
More importantly, overuse of the same word or phrase over and over again can annoy your visitors and make your writing come across as dull and repetitive. Keyword placement will happen naturally to a large degree if your article is consistent and on topic to the keyword phrase it is targeting.
The bottom line is: never sacrifice writing quality for keyword placement. If you make the mistake of showing that you care more about the search engines than you do about your human visitors, they will tend to be equally uninterested in what you have to offer.
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