Do you know what your target audience wants and how they are looking online? As an Internet Marketing Consultant I am often surprised that many website owners don't know who their market is, and how to target them with web copy and SEO.
Keywords are the words that web surfers enter in search engines to find websites about their search terms. If you want to get in front of your potential audience, it's important your website has good search engine rankings for your keywords that are related to the theme of your website.
Knowing what your target audience wants and how they are looking online is crucial to your online success. Optimizing your web pages for keywords that nobody uses in the search engines is useless. In addition, in order to get targeted visitors, the keywords must not be too broad or too general. Your copy and metatags should also support the keyword phrases your market uses and entice them with copy that meets their needs and compels them to action.
The First Step to Internet Marketing - The Right Keywords for Your Website
The first step in successful SEO copywriting is choosing the right keywords to make them very specific to your market. You can survey your target market for their keyword usage or use more thorough keyword research tools. When conducting the keyword research and analysis:
1) use keyword phrases containing two to four words
2) be specific - geographically, topically, or by product
3) only use the keywords that are important to your web business
4) avoid very competitive keywords or general keyword phrases
Use focused and targeted keyword phrases that are common enough so the web searcher will use them, but selective enough that they don't return millions of matches. Most web surfers use a two to four word phrase when they search online, so phrasing is very important. For example, if you are offering a service like dog training or Internet Marketing, you wouldn't target the key phrase "dog training" or "SEO", but something more specific like "Chicago dog trainer" or "Vancouver Search Engine Optimization". Very specific keywords generate highly qualified, targeted traffic that increases your sales opportunities.
The Wrong Keywords for Your Website
Single words cannot promote ranking or sell effectively, for example you wouldn't want to target "dog" as a dog trainer in Chicago. Avoid the most popular keyword phrases or general keyword phrases because you'll be competing with millions of other web pages for a search engine ranking.
It's unrealistic to think that a new web site could rank number one on a popular phrase like "Marketing". You are better to target "Internet marketing strategies" or even better, "Internet Marketing Strategies Vancouver". More established companies who have been on the Internet for several years will have the advantage of link popularity and a high Pagerank and therefore better rankings in the search results for these broader or general keyword phrases.
Search Engine Optimization - Feeding the Search Engine Machines
Another critical factor to help drive the targeted traffic to your site is optimizing the site using metatags. Metatags, often overlooked and misunderstood, are elements of HTML coding on a website. Search engines use these metatags to help them determine what the site is about and assist with indexing a website. Most metatags are included within the 'header' code of a website. The most important tags are the title tag, description tag and the keywords tag. Different search engines have different rules about how these tags are used and how many characters they should contain. Of importance to the process is if you know how the big three - Google, Yahoo and MSN - review the tags, then you'll be targeting 90% of potential web surfers.
To make good use of your metatags use your targeted keywords that you found during your keyword research and analysis in the site copy and the metatags.
By reviewing or crawling your website content and metatags, search engines will find out what your web site is about. As soon as search engines consider your web site relevant to the topic or search, the easier it is to get high rankings for your keywords and key phrases.