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Finding Keywords: Six Tips for Choosing the Right Keywords to Use

By Stacie Leonard

While most online marketers are ready to accept the fact that search engines can bring a large volume of low cost traffic to a website, the surprising reality is that many have little or no clue as to how they should go about doing so. Several different aspects make up search engine marketing; including submission of websites, creating search engine optimized content, interlinking websites and arguably the most important part- choosing keywords.

Keywords or keyword phrases are those terms that a potential customer uses on a search engine to look for a product or service that a website provides. So, for a jewelry manufacturer the word ‘jewelry’ would be a major keyword. Unfortunately, choosing keywords is not quite as easy as simply naming a product or category. There are many factors that should influence your decision as to what defines the right keyword(s).

It is important to remember that while choosing the right keywords is vital to the success of a marketing campaign, choosing keywords that are inappropriate will target the wrong people making the process of converting eyeballs to sales a nightmare. Here are some tips on choosing keywords that will give you great leads, which can easily be converted into sales.

1. Check out the competition.

Research your competitors and view their Meta tags to see which keywords they are using. This is a great way to quickly list down the most commonly used keywords for your type of business.

2. Make your own list.

Once you have the competitor keywords list, add to it any keywords you feel are important. Include your company name and city as well. Also add plurals and variations of the keywords. Make sure you spell important keywords in American as well as British English. So, in referencing the example used earlier, a jeweler would want to include ‘jewelry’ and ‘jewellery’ in his or her list.

3. Ask outsiders for help.

Rarely can you see your own business from an outsider’s perspective. To get a layman’s opinion, ask customers to send in keywords they relate to your company. You could also ask friends and family to make suggestions. You may be surprised at the keyword suggestions they come up with.

4. Evaluate your keywords using software.

Once you have a list, the process of choosing keywords is ready to move into the next stage of evaluation. Since you cannot possibly optimize your website for all of the keywords on your list, it is best to narrow that list down. Use software like WordTracker to decipher the popularity of each of your keywords and keyword phrases. Retain the most popular or frequently searched terms and discard those that are rarely searched. Google Adwords, Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool and Alta Vista’s Prisma are also good tools to use when choosing keywords.

5. Be specific.

Rather than saying ‘jewelry manufacturing’ try saying ‘men’s jewelry manufacturing’. While the former may be a more popular search term and could possibly garner more eyeballs, the latter is likely to lead to more sales. People who search for ‘jewelry manufacturing’ could be looking for bridal jewelry, wedding jewelry or any other kind of jewelry available. If men’s jewelry is your area of business, getting a bride to browse your website is a waste of marketing resources. It would be more effective to have 5 users interested in men’s jewelry browse you site, rather than 25 that are interested in bridal jewelry.

6. Be flexible.

Always look to update your keywords based on the feedback received from visitors to your site, customers and website logs. Website logs can give exact information on which keywords are successful and which are not and is a great place to find reaffirmation for your keyword selection process.

Choosing keywords is a process that can dramatically affect the performance of your search engine marketing efforts and hence it is one that requires due attention. An important thing to keep in mind is that while getting a high ranking in search engines is important, it is more important to get a high ranking for a relevant keyword.

The main purpose of your efforts is to have customers that are looking for a specific product find YOUR specific product and with the right keywords, you can reach that goal.

Click to learn about Volusion’s Marketing Services.

Stacie completed the Texas Creative program, receiving a degree in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, and is now happily employed with Volusion, Inc,

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