If your marketing strategy has an online component, you better know something about keywords or you’ll quickly be swallow up by those that do. Here are a few things to know as you begin and a few resources to assist you.
#1 Know Your Searches – Don’t guess what people are searching for. Research it. Free tools such as Google’s external keyword tool and paid services such as Wordtracker will quickly tell you how many people per day or month are searching for your chosen phrase. These tools will also show you alternate phrasing that may have the same meaning. For example, “work at home” gets about twice as many searches in a day as “home business” at roughly 3300 vs 1700.
#2 Know Your Competition – You absolutely must know how many pages you are competing with for your chosen keywords. In the example above, just because “work from home” has twice as many searches as “home business” doesn’t mean you should go after it. You have to know how many other sites you are competing against. Wordtracker has 3,090,000 sites competing for “work from home” and 3,950,000 competeing for “home business”. These are both too big to get yourself on the front page of Google or Yahoo. By comparison, the phrase “10 best home based business” has only 23,000 site competing. With this phrase you stand a solid chance of ranking on the front page and with 445 searches a day, the phrase gets plenty of use.
#3 Mix It Up – In the land of keywords “phone”, “phones”, “telephone” and “telephones” are all distinct. So too are “Portland real estate agent” and “real estate agent Portland”. The way people search isn’t always consistent with the way they speak especially when it comes to locations. There are generally more searches written as “THING LOCATION” than the other way around such as ”Shaklee Meeting New York”.