Choosing the best keywords

Online marketing is a necessary part of any business promotion strategy.  The most important aspect of online marketing is getting your message in front of your target market.  In order to do this you need to have your website show up for the search terms your potential customers use.  This is why you need to have a good understanding of how to do proper keyword research.  This post will give you a good idea of the kinds of keywords you should be targeting with your marketing efforts.

Broad vs. Specific

Many people who start out with online marketing make the mistake of marketing to their most general audience.  For example, if they are selling a specific brand of golf clubs they will target keywords such as ‘golfing’ or even ‘golf clubs’.  These broad search terms are not profitable to target for these reasons:

  • They are used by people doing research, not looking to actually buy a product
  • Similarly, people searching for broad terms don’t necessarily know what they want to buy so they are less likely to convert to sales on your website
  • There is often a lot of competition for these broad terms so they are expensive and hard to rank for

The keywords that you need to consider should be much more specific.  These are generally search terms that contain three or more words.  For example, instead of ‘golf club’ you want to use a term like ‘Lee Miller signature series – satin wedge’.  These ‘long tail’ keywords allow you to:

  • Have a more focused marketing campaign that is more relevant to the searcher
  • Attract people late in the buying stage
  • Target people that are more likely to make a purchase and hence make your advertising dollar go farther
  • Rank for keywords that have less competition

Features vs. Benefits

When customers are looking for a product they are more interested in what benefits a product has to offer them than what features it has.  This is an important point to keep in mind both when writing your web copy as well as in what keywords you choose.  People looking for a product are looking for something that will solve a problem they have.  Unless you are targeting a highly technical market focus on benefits in all aspects of your marketing efforts.

By keeping in mind these concepts when choosing keywords for your marketing campaign you can greatly increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts as well as your marketing budget.  There is more to learn about choosing and using keywords and I have more posts in the pipeline to address these issues.  In the meantime, if you want an excellent resource for not only learning how to find and use keywords but also gain access to several excellent keyword tools I recommend checking out Wealthy Affiliate.  They are by far the best resource I have found to date for performing keyword research.

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