Keyword Research: Foundation of Internet Marketing

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One of the first steps to take when you create a website for your business, before the first word is even written, is to figure out what your focus keywords are going to be. The phrases that are sprinkled within your content can help your website rank better for your industry, and can drive people to your site to potentially become customers. But figuring out your focus keywords is a daunting task for someone starting out. What are people searching for? How many other websites are trying to get rankings for that phrase? How many times does it need to appear in the content?

A challenge many internet marketing companies in Detroit have is explaining the importance of keywords to their clients – why certain phrases are chosen to focus on and why others, even if they seem the most obvious, will be left behind.

Finding the Right Tools

There are a number of tools available for researching keywords. One of the best ones is free, and belongs to the number one search engine in the world: the Google Keyword Planner. You only need a Google account to use it (like a gmail.com address) and it provides a wealth of information about keywords, like their search volume, competition, how much a click may cost if you use any of them in an AdWords campaign, and one of the best parts, it offers up relevant suggestions based on your inquiry.

Where Are Your Customers

Now it’s time to start thinking of the nuts and bolts of your keyword phrases. Understanding geo-targets is crucial, as it will change the nature of your keywords. Do you have a brick and mortar shop for people to visit? Do you only do business in certain areas? Are you a national e-commerce business? Detroit Internet Marketing manages campaigns for small and large businesses around the country, with both local and national reach. A local business that doesn’t geo-target properly will have a much harder time ranking well in their area than a business that focuses its efforts on the specific geographic locations. If you have a Detroit roofing company, you need to find out what the search volume and competition is for target keywords in Detroit, not across the country.

Figuring out What Customers are Searching For

One of the greatest obstacles to finding the right target keywords for you is knowing what everyone is searching for. What are the phrases being typed into Google? Putting yourself in your customer’s mind is crucial, so it’s best to ask yourself what you would search for if you were them. They may not know certain verbiage you would use, so it’s important to think like someone who is new to your industry.

Google Keyword Planner is the best tool to use to see what people are searching for. You can see the average monthly searches for keyword phrases, and also offer up alternatives. You may rank on page 1 of Google for a keyword phrase that doesn’t have any search volume. Although it’s great to be at the top, it won’t bring you any website traffic or customers. On the other hand, it isn’t always the best practice to target the keyword phrases that have the highest search volume because they usually also have the highest competition. Which brings us to…

How to Tell if it’s the Right Keyword Phrase for You

The competition of any keyword phrase will determine the length of time it will take of solid SEO effort to rank for that phrase. When there are 5 million other web pages that contain that particular phrase, it may take a long time to gain any traction on it. Here’s how you can tell in Google Keyword Planner. Let’s look at some keywords for florists in Detroit:

Keyword Ideas

“Detroit florist” gets, on average, 110 searched per month. “Flower shop in Detroit” gets 40. Google suggested a few variations as well:

Keyword Suggestions

You can type each of these terms into Google to see how many results there are. This will help you determine the competition.

Keyword Competition

Detroit florist, which gets just over 100 searches per month, has 841,000 web pages as a result. Although that may seem like a high number, this is a good ratio of volume to competition. “Flower shop in Detroit” however, gets about 40 searches per month, but a quick search turns up almost 1.5 million web pages. This phrase would not be an effective target.

Keyword research doesn’t have to be scary or difficult. Finding the right terms to target is important for your internet marketing campaign, and is an integral step to writing good website content that helps drive traffic to your website, and through your door. Detroit Internet Marketing can help lay the foundation for a successful online presence in the future.

 

Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.

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