The Quest For The Perfect Keyword

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emmadavis | Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Filed under: Basic, Basic, PPC Tips & Advice, SEO Tips & Advice

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As summer winds down and the back-to-school fall shopping season is upon us, It’s more obvious than ever that a strong online brand presence has become a crucial step towards success. The core strength of any internet marketing campaign lies in the “findability” of a product. The question is, to what extent, as a company, are you able to influence how easily potential customers can find your product? The answer, of course, is another question: How hard are you willing to work to find the perfect keyword?

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Content Is King
This is said so often these days it’s become an internet cliche, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still completely true. The internet has evolved as a “finding” tool where users expect to come across better search results, faster. The competition is fierce between the search networks but the real strength of services like Google, Yahoo and Bing is in the richness of content they can deliver. So the first question to ask yourself is: when was the last time you really read the content on your website? Is it compelling? Do you find yourself naturally reading it all thanks to clear and concise writing as well as slick and navigable web design? No? Then content is where you need to focus your efforts. If you’re not a good writer, find someone who is and give them enough incentive to craft winning content for your site.

The “Buzz” Words
Great content only carries a site so far; the key to ranking highly in search results and building your site towards better search engine optimization is knowing the right keywords for your business. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as listing your product names or common industry terms. Every business has unique qualities and in an ever-growing landscape of online competition, it’s not enough to sell a good product. You must identify which search phrases carry the right buyers to the product pages on your site. This requires the utmost familiarity with your products but also with the venues in which you already have success. If your brick-and-mortar business has come to be known by a slogan, a mascot or a memorable logo, see what keywords you can generate from those starting points.

Finding The Balance
Anyone can put credit card information into Google AdWords and come out the other side with a functioning active pay-per-click search campaign. True PPC success comes from finding the balance between a blockbuster keyword that generates a high level of traffic and a search phrase that is still cost-effective for your budget. The secret is remembering that your ideal keyword needs to garner traffic for your product, not your industry or your competitors. This is one reason why it can be dangerous to focus too heavily on researching competitor’s keyword strategies and mimicking them. This PPC strategy can work for new keyword discovery but won’t often lead to the true balance of spend and payoff. I’ve worked on pay-per-click accounts where the best performing search phrase keyword was least competitive when it came to cost-per-click.

Knowing The Ins And Outs Of Your Customer
Depending on what product you’re selling, chances are there is more than one way that your potential customers are connecting with your brand. Different emotional reactions, market segments and geographical regions can all drastically affect the way someone searches for a product. Getting familiar with the many branches of possibility when it comes to outlining a strategy to attract customers is an important step towards finding the right keywords both for SEO efforts and for a successful PPC campaign. A good example of this is a retail client whose account included gifts for children. It quickly became obvious that “children” and “kids” are two very different keywords, and as such they showed startlingly different levels of performance success. It all comes down to matching the right customer with the right product, no matter how many different types of products or different target customer groups you might have.

Sticking With It
Once you’ve found the keywords that work at the cost that works for you, stick with them. Build PPC campaigns around the best keywords and their variations. Make sure your SEO team incorporates the right search terms in the right places (and isn’t neglecting your H1 and meta tags). When you discover a keyword that performs well for you, keep moving in that direction rather than redirecting your efforts down different paths. The goal is to craft the perfect multifaceted strategy for your brand that encompasses SEO, pay-per-click and maybe even social media marketing with the keywords that work, again, for your brand. Forget about the competition and follow keywords that work for you all the way to that coveted top search ranking spot!

Have you ever found yourself surprised when a certain keyword outperformed expectations? Share your experiences in the comment section and get in touch to learn more about incorporating better SEO search engine optimization, PPC pay-per-click advertising and SMM social media marketing into your existing online strategy.

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