An important but often overlooked aspect to any marketing approach is having a keyword strategy in place. Setting this up and detailing it all beforehand allows your marketing actions to be done in a very deliberate fashion, which influences your search rankings.
Whether you are setting up a marketing strategy for the first time, changing the direction of your blog, or redesigning your website, a thoughtful keyword strategy can be extremely helpful in the long run with search engine optimization.
Not only does it dictate some of your marketing actions, but it helps secure your position with sites like Google and Bing. These sites hold the supreme power online and can decide whether your found or not found. In many instances, this can be the difference between a small business thriving or completely sinking.
Believe it or not, the rationale for setting up a keyword strategy for your business is not all that important at first.
If you have marketing in mind, it is a good idea to go through some basic exercises so you know where your organization stands in the minds (and keyboards) of consumers.
Identifying the most common keywords consumers use to find your business, as well as competitors and other industry players, is absolutely essential. Like many others, your business likely needs to have a strong presence on the web, so knowing the phrases people use to find information about a company like yours is paramount.
Google’s Keyword Tool lets you see how many searches are carried out each month for specific words or phrases. It also shows how much competition there is for becoming relavent with those same terms. This allows you to see if you face an uphill battle, or if simple changes to your online marketing can make a huge impact.
Either way, write down or start creating a spreadsheet that has the keywords Google says are most commonly used in searches. This allows your to start your strategy and keep track of it’s growth and progress as you add more to it. But keep in mind that these are the phrases you personally think are being used to find your business or industry.
We suggest creating a list of all the words and phrases you believe people use to find your business or business category. Write them all down, even the uncommon ones that you think have a chance of being used on a rare occasion. Now if possible, survey a number of your customers about what they have used in the past or would use to search for you online.
The results may be similar, but on many occasions they are drastically different. As a small business owner or manager, our ideas of what defines our business in the little box of a search engine, can vary greatly from what consumers think. That’s why it is important to get their input on the subject, since ultimately they will be the one trying to find you.
Hopefully this gets you started thinking about why something as mundane as a keyword strategy can really help when developing your web presence. We’ll go into more detail in future posts about how this applies to some different marketing actions, like redesigning your website to be optimized.