The terrain of online marketing is always changing, so evolving and adapting your strategies is critical. There are many factors that determine the success of your website, social media pages, and other online endeavors, and catering to each of them is essential if you want to grow your audience and increase your ROI.
The words that you use in your narratives, descriptions, meta tags, H1 tags, and the rest of your content directly affect your search engine ranking, which is directly related to your site’s traffic, so never underestimate their importance. This guide should help you to understand how to use the right keywords effectively to optimize your website so that it can reach its full potential. Once you understand the nuances of keywords, you can even incorporate them into your offline marketing and branding strategies.
Use Key Phrases Too
Before we get started, it is important to note that key phrases can be much more effective than just one or two words. For example, “best Brooklyn pizza” is going to be a much more advantageous option over simply “Brooklyn” or “pizza.” Unless you are a major corporation with the kind of brand recognition to be able to use “pizza” as a primary keyword, you are going to be much better off finding your specific niche and working within those walls. The key phrases you use should help people to narrow down their options – not add to them.
Choosing the Right Keywords
Before you try to incorporate keywords into your online marketing strategy, you need to be able to figure out which keywords are ideal for your needs. There are many online analytical tools that can help you to figure out what people are searching for (Google’s Keyword Planner for example), but you may be able to generate more organic traffic by asking yourself some basic questions about your goals, your audience, and your overall approach.
1. What problem is my audience trying to solve?
When someone searches for something online, they are usually trying to resolve a problem. Maybe they are trying to find information, or they might be trying to buy a specific item. It is up to you to put yourself in your potential prospects’ shoes and guess what they would type in the search engine to get to their ideal result. For example, if someone is in the mood for some Mexican food in San Diego, an ideal keyword (or key phrase) might be “best Mexican food San Diego.”
2. Will my visitors be happy when they arrive at my website?
As you choose your keywords, you need to be sure that visitors are going to want to stay on your website once they get there. Naturally, the best way to accomplish this is by keeping your keywords focused and relevant. When it comes to web traffic, it’s not just about the numbers. You want visitors who are going to purchase the product or service that you are offering. Or, if your website generates revenue through ads, you want repeat visitors who are likely to click on the ads.
3. What separates my website from the competition?
One of the easiest and most effective ways to gain valuable insight about keywords is to simply search for them. If you notice that there are many search ads above the organic results, then that keyword or key phrase is probably a lucrative option. On the other hand, those high-value keywords and phrases are usually used by larger businesses so the competition can be fierce.
When your competition includes major household name brands, you may find that using a less common but still relevant word or phrase is a better option. You may not be the biggest fish in the ocean, but you can be the largest in the pond. Don’t let your organization become buried in Google searches because you refused to compromise vanity keywords.
If you are not careful, keywords and phrases can do more harm than good. The days of cramming a keyword into a body of text as many times as possible are over, but there are still plenty of effective SEO techniques that involve the use of keywords. First and foremost, use the phrase naturally throughout your content and in your title tags and meta descriptions. You can also use variations and synonyms to diversify the keyword usage while still remaining focused. For example, a vintage clothing store in LA could use keywords like “vintage clothing Los Angeles” and “used apparel LA.”
Don’t Forget Your Social Media Accounts
Many website owners concentrate on optimizing the website, forgetting about how valuable social media can be. If you use the same keywords and phrases often, people will begin to associate your organization with them. Of course, it is essential that you only use these phrases naturally when it flows – never force it. Your Facebook, Instagram, and other social media pages should contain keywords and phrases in the description sections, and you should also use them when you update statuses or post content.
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When In Doubt, Hire a Professional
If you do not feel confident in your SEO abilities, hire a reputable agency to do it for you. Not only will poor SEO techniques decrease your ranking, but they may also lead to Google penalties. Google’s algorithms are extremely complex these days, and even well-intentioned black-hat SEO is dealt with swiftly and harshly. A professionally optimized website is an extremely powerful tool in the world of marketing, so take it seriously.
Keep It Real
When it comes down to it, the best way to increase search engine rankings is to provide relevant, high-quality content, and do it often. While keywords can definitely help you increase your chances of being seen, there is no substitution for hard work. If you are not up to the task of writing brand new content on a consistent basis, contact a reputable online marketing company. The right keywords or key phrases can make or break your website, but they are only one part of a much larger picture.