There is little merit in designing and producing an informative, well-structured website if no-one can find it. Unfortunately, far too many businesses fail to fully research the most effective keywords for their website, and it quickly ends up in the lower-reaches of the search engine results pages. Of course, researching keywords which are germane to the central products and services being offered is always a good strategy, but how can people be sure that they are the best for a particular business? Only by following three simple steps can business-owners be certain that their products and services will reach as many potential customers as possible.
Ascertain the Purpose of a Website
Ascertaining the purpose of a website relies on first knowing what the purpose of the business is. That may sound rather simplistic, but many new businesses start out with a very broad idea of what services or products they will offer, and that can lead to a vague or complex message for the customer. Business-owners must be completely clear about the type of people who will be potential customers, and they should be able to identify pertinent keywords which those customers are likely to use. For instance, a company that is specializing in selling a wide range of discount coupons will want a website that offers customers the chance to download, print or view discount coupons.
Defining the specific function of a website will usually identify keywords that customers are likely to use; in this case, ‘print discount coupons’ and ‘download discount coupons’ would be excellent keywords. However, SEO campaigns are rarely that generic, so it may be necessary to narrow the criteria further. Perhaps the same website is offering discount coupons for restaurants; in which case, the most relevant keyword may be ‘download discount restaurant coupons.’ Successful SEO campaigns rely on identifying specific messages and the customers who are likely to respond to them.
Steer Clear of Broad Keywords
There may be times when a keyword is completely pertinent to a product or service, yet it will be so broad it risks giving the customer far too many options. Internet-based consumers are extremely savvy in their searches, and they are growing increasingly efficient in their searches for specific products. For instance, a business-owner may have ascertained that the purpose of a website is to sell used garden furniture in California. Although ‘garden furniture’ may be a pertinent keyword, the competition on a phrase like this will be huge. The website will likely be lost in the lower reaches of search engine results pages. However, using ‘used garden furniture California’ as a keyword will narrow the results, and it will bring only the customers who are interested in that specific product to the website. Narrowing the appeal of the keyword will usually provide a better chance of ranking in a suitably high position.
Use Google’s Keyword Tool Regularly
Google’s keyword tool is an essential component of any successful SEO campaign. Simply by entering a general keyword idea, the user will be presented with hundreds of possible combinations. The user will also be able to check the competition on that particular keyword. Business-owners should be aware, however, that the most used search terms on the internet are not always the most desirable. Popular search terms and keywords will attract the most competition, and that may leave a new website languishing at the bottom of the search engine results pages.
Be Wary of the Changing Algorithms Used by Search Engines
Businesses must be prepared to change their SEO strategies in line with the constantly changing nature of the internet. The algorithms of leading search engines are constantly changing, and the keyword that worked a few months ago may be the reason a particular website is now languishing way down the rankings. Google recently updated its own algorithms in order to enhance keyword targeting. Many of these updates are constantly changing, so it is vital that regular tests on Google’s keyword tool are performed to ensure that particular keywords are still relevant and performing well. An effective SEO campaign is one that is never finished; it should be modified and adapted to the ever-changing internet.
Don’t Forget the Handheld Revolution
The rising popularity of handheld devices should not be underestimated. Search terms and keywords vary greatly on smart phones and tablets, as they generally contain more misspellings and shorter keywords. Some of the most effective keywords may actually be misspellings, as smaller keyboards on handheld devices make typing errors far more likely. It is possible to isolate keyword data by individual operating systems, so ascertaining the most popular search terms and keywords on Android and Apple devices will allow a more focused approach to an SEO campaign.
The whole point of launching a website is for it to attract visitors, yet there are some excellent websites on the internet that constantly languish at the bottom of search engine results pages. This is usually because the effective use of keywords was ignored from the outset or the website administrator failed to keep up with the changing face of the world wide web. Effective SEO Services rely on three basic principles: the research of keywords, constructing effective content and the constant measuring of success. The very best campaigns will repeat these three principles ad infinitum.
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Charles Dearing has extensive experience in the SEO industry. He is an SEO consultant and is always looking at ways to improve website best practices. Visit SEO Works for more information.