Keyword research is arguably the most important first step in planning a small business website.
But is also the one that many people are completely unaware of.
Keyword research is the critical step whereby you determine what keyword or keywords the people in your market are typing into the search engines when they are online looking for information, products or services. A Keyword is like an instruction which we give the Search Engines to go and find the information we are looking for. Search Engines (like Google), use a program called a ‘Spider’ to achieve this (so named because it crawls all over the Web, just like a spider) – this program is also sometimes called ‘Webcrawler’ or ‘Bot’.
When you type a keyword into the search field, the search engines send their “spiders” all over the Web, looking for the specific keyword you have typed in. This process is a constant one, with Spiders working around the clock to crawl content as it is posted.
The search engine then “indexes” the information the spiders retrieve (a little like a big card file in a giant library), according to a number of factors such as the keyword density, content, links, quality of links and activity on your pages.
So just like in a library, the information is indexed in such a way that it makes what you are looking for easier to find.
Before you make a start on a small business website, it is absolutely vital that you complete your keyword research so that your website is likely to be found by potential clients and customers.
You can do this most quickly and effectively by using the Google Free Keyword Tool to get a feel for what keyword or keywords the people in your market are using to search.
Once you have done your keyword research, you can then use this information to optimize your business website for the relevant keywords. This way, you know your website is likely to be found when a searcher types a specific keyword into the search field. And as a business owner, it pays for you to understand that depending on what keyword a searcher is typing into Google, you can get a clearer understanding of where they are in a buying cycle, and how you can take advantage of that knowledge to write ads, and build a website to appeal to them.
Having built and optimized a small business website for the keyword or keywords which are most likely to be most profitable, you can take this keyword research a step further and use it to plan a Google Adwords campaign to drive qualified traffic to your website.
Master marketers understand the use of the keyword & smooth, seamless transitions from a thought in the prospect’s mind to an ad, then to a landing page, and finally to entering their credit card details.
Success in building a small business website and matching it with a profitable Google Adwords campaign requires the ability to define your business and/or its benefits clearly in a very small space with a very concise and simple statement.
What does this process “look like” in an Adwords campaign for example? Like this …
• Person thinks to himself … “I want X” (“X” is the keyword you have chosen to use)
• Person then goes to Google and types in that keyword … “I want X” or “X”.
• Person sees an Ad that you’ve written and (in a nutshell) your ad says … “You want X? (the keyword)Good, we’re going to give you X” (the keyword).
• Person clicks through and your website landing page says, “You want X? We are here to give you X. Now, let me tell you exactly what steps you will need to take in order to get X. Fill in the form at the bottom and that will be step number one in you getting X. (In every case, your “X” will be your keyword).
Broadly speaking, it’s really that simple. If your prospect wants ‘X’, you echo that right back to them. Your keyword ‘X’ might be anything from “red shoes” to “back pain relief” , to “how to train your dog”, to “I want to improve my golf swing” to “online marketing education”, to “lose weight”, to “legal services” etc.
Now, a smooth transition process will also include a landing page that repeats what the Google ad said in a very prominant position on the page, ideally in the headline itself, or as a sub-headline, at the very least, ‘above the fold’ on the page. The keyword that the searcher has used should feature very prominently. In fact, it should be pretty much the first thing the searcher sees when they get to the landing page. That’s what we call a “keyword chain”.
Here’s how this whole process might “play out” …
• Thought in person’s mind: “improve my golf swing”
• The keyword they type in to Google: “how to improve golf swing”
• Your keyword: “how to improve golf swing”
Hey presto: The keyword they type into Google matches the keyword you nominated in your campaign.
This magical “match-up” triggers your ad.
That’s great, but, here’s where a lot of people get it wrong. Because your Google ad should also contain the keyword “how to improve your golf swing”.
Why? Because that’s what the prospect is looking for. That’s exactly what is on their mind. Give it to them in your ad so they can see it in front of them.
They will be way more likely to click on your ad. So let’s continue with process … • Person sees “how to improve your golf swing” in your ad. • Person clicks on your ad and is sent to your landing page.
Now, here again is where a lot of people get it wrong. The thing is, your landing page should also contain the keyword “how to improve your golf swing”.
Why? Because that’s what the searcher is searching for, and because that’s what you promised in your ad.
So give it to them on your landing page. It will be more congruent for them. It is what they are expecting to see. It is an answer to their problem/query.
Also Google will be more likely to give you a better quality score and ad rank because it will rate your page as “relevant” because it contains the exact keyword the searcher is looking for … “how to improve golf swing”.
Not sure how to do the keyword research for your website?
Relax, many business people don’t, or they don’t the time. That’s where a marketing audit can help you to figure out your best markets before you build your website, or how you can better optimize your existing website to get better quality traffic.
You can contact Tanya at email@example.com to arrange your marketing audit, and discover how to use keyword research to position your business ahead of your competition.