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Little Known Ways to Choose the Right Keywords

Showing up in searches is a common goal for small businesses. Making your content search engine worthy is the way to get there. Read part one of this two-part blog series in optimizing your content for search engines!

Jeremy Harrison


Every business wants to show up in search engines like Google.  If your small business can get into those coveted top spots in search, you’ll have customers knocking down your door.

But ranking in Google isn’t easy. Over these next two blog posts, I’ll talk about what you can do to improve your rankings.  In this first post, I’ll start with the most important factor for search engine success. Choosing the right keywords. In the second post, I’ll show you how to infuse those keywords into your content.

Keywords are the most important ingredient because this is how search engines, such as Google, find your content in a search. It’s imperative you choose the right words.

Imagine doing all the work to get your website to show up in search engines, only to find out that you rank for words that your customers don’t use! This happens all the time.  Showing up #1 in Google isn’t worth a thing if it’s for the wrong words.

As you select keywords to target, remember to avoid these four costly mistakes people make with keywords:

Mistake #1: Choosing keywords that are too generic

Optimization for searchWe get it, these common keywords get a lot of searches. How do you know that these searches are carried out by customers? Using specific keywords that still relate to your business can help sort out the “gray” when it comes to these searches. What I mean by that is using specific keywords, as opposed to generic ones will have a higher conversion rate.

As search volume decreases, Cost-per-Click or CPC increases. If you do web design, which of these keywords would you most like to target?

SEO requires specifics for this reason. Web is general. Are we talking about the internet or spider webs? Website design zooms in slightly more. However, it could still mean a website design career or a DIY for website design. The real results customers want are found when they search for a “website designer firm” compared to “web.”

Mistake #2: Using industry words instead of the words your customers use

You are an expert in your field. You have words that you use when talking to other experts.  You might even cringe when customers call it the wrong thing. But those words your customers use are exactly what you want to target!

This is where you really have to get into the mindset of your customer. Here are a few examples to show you exactly how to get your optimized web content just right:

Industry word: pre-owned car

Customer-friendly keyword: used car

Another example could consist of someone looking for a new laptop:

Industry word: notebook computer

Customer-friendly keyword: laptop computer

Common terms are more casual and a lot of people may not know the “industry” term to search for. When these people aren’t entering it into searches, your content becomes invalid.

Remember the more specific the keyword, the more interested your customer is.

Mistake #3: Targeting only “solution” keywords

Your customers come to you because they have a problem. As a result, they’ll search for this problem.

In fact, people tend to search for their PROBLEMS more than SOLUTIONS.  While you and your competitors are scrapping it out to rank for your products and services, keep this in mind.  You might be surprised to find that keywords about the problem get more traffic and less competition.

When you have a headache, you’ll search for “headache”, not “aspirin”. This all comes down to knowing your target audience and their search habits.

Mistake #4: Guessing your keywords

Having some insight on your keywords before your content goes live helps a lot. Don’t guess on which keywords are best. A little research and testing goes a long way. Know the typical search patterns your customers.

Now that you have an idea of which keywords to target, it’s time to optimize them on your website.  Next time we’ll talk about how to use these words on your website!

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