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How To Do Hyperlocal SEO Keyword Research

Even with keyword research tools in hand, doing Hyperlocal Keyword Research is a challenging venture.

Simply put, there’s not enough data available in most keyword research tools to provide definitive results for small businesses in humble locations.

Before we dive into this article, let’s first explain what we mean by “keyword research”.

Keyword research is the process of discovering what search queries people are typing into Search Engines like Google to find the types of products, services, or information you promote on your website. By bringing the content and words used on your website in line with what people are actually searching for you are optimizing your website.

There are plenty of keyword research tools available to determine how many times a specific phrase is searched, how many other websites mention the keyword, and how competitive the keyword is. These tools are great, but even the best keyword research tools lack data when it comes to very specific local areas – what we refer to as hyperlocal keyword research.

In a recent Whiteboard Friday, Rand Fishkin presents 3 Tactics for Hyperlocal Keywords for Local SEO in data-deprived locations.

In this article, I’ve outlined Fishkin’s three suggestions and then added three of my own ideas for SEOs working in the often-frustrating digital space of small centres.

1) Use Numbers from Nearby Regional Data

Rand suggests using data for larger centres in close proximity to your focus area as a stepping stone for ideas. He argues that searches in more populated areas could provide results that would likely be just as applicable to the geographically similar but more modest location.

2) Rely on Google Autosuggest

Presuming that Google presents autosuggested results in order of usage popularity, they can certainly provide a foundation for close examination. And, as suggested, they aren’t unique to Google, which means the information you glean from other search engines may be just as useful when comprehensively investigating keywords.

3) Explore Lexical Vs. SERP Suggestions

Lexical searching involves using semantically-related search terms. Presumably one would crack their Thesaurus open for this method, and hunker down for a few hours exploring all the possible variations of the keywords being explored. Often, this can bring up volumes of very unique and surprising results and in this way do what is called long tail keyword research.

SERP suggestions can be a lucrative source of related keywords used to search for the same item. Sometimes, very slight changes in phrasing or presentation from the suggestions can win you SERP placements you might not otherwise have thought possible. All variations are worth exploring.

4) Consider Regionalisms Vs. Common Terms

This is one area of keyword research that I don’t believe receives enough attention. Examining language variations by region (East Coast) provides a whole new set of search terms from those commonly used on the other side of the country (West Coast).

I’ll give you some examples which show researching regionally specific word variations before you begin serious local keyword investigation can be more fruitful than one might imagine.

Let’s say you are an SEO client that sells small boats which sailors tow behind or often store on their vessels. These tiny boats are used for emergency purposes as well as for shuttling food, water, fuel, and other necessities between the shore and the sailing vessel. You want better global representation for the watercraft you produce.

What name would you use for the vessel? And how would you do keyword research for the vessel name? Examining your regionalisms is where you need to start.

Below are some regional and global specific names for the same vessel:

Cockleshell (UK)
Sampan (Asian)
Skiff (UK)
Tender (AUS)
Wherry (UK)

Have any idea what I’m talking about?

Here’s a hint. Where I live (Canada), it might be called a Dinghy. Did you have an aha moment? I sure did! I could suddenly picture the vessel in my mind. Your customers will only be able to do that if you use Regional terms with which they are familiar.

5) Expand Your Keyword Horizons

Local keyword research doesn’t just mean trying search terms you might use yourself if searching for a specific item or service in the area in which you live. It depends a great deal on the regional phrases used in the area being promoted. Products and services are called different names in different locales. People who live in those locations are going to use search terms with which they are familiar. Make sure your SEO firm is aware of any regionalisms used to describe your products or services. Otherwise, you may be circumventing the local market entirely.

Regionalisms are evident across the US for many things, particularly food. Although several years old, a good follow up article after you finish reading this one is Selecting Keyword Variations Based on Gender, Age, and Region. It will give you an excellent starting point to determine how products or services might be researched in varying location-specific searches across North America.

6) Drop the Industry Jargon

This suggestion isn’t specific to just hyperlocal markets but it is still very important to think about when doing your keyword research. Stop researching industry jargon phrases and terms that only people within your trade would use.

What you call one product or service may be much different than what your actual consumers think they are looking for.

As you do your keyword research, stop and think about all the phone calls and in person experiences you’ve had with customers. What words do they use to describe the product, service or solution they are looking for?

That’s where your keyword research should start.

Moving Hyperlocal Keyword Research Forward

Once you’ve determined the regional variations you can then begin dialing-in some specific Google searches and going through points 1 – 3 above. You’ll most definitely discover a wider range of search terms through which you can pursue hyperlocal SEO aspirations.

If you’d like more information on Local SEO keyword research strategies or to inquire about how our professional keyword research strategies could benefit your company, contact 1st on the List today at 1-888-262-6687!

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Is Paying For SEO Worth It?

paying for seoToday we will tackle a few big questions that have probably crossed your mind many times:

“Is it really worth paying for SEO services?”

“Why hire an SEO?”

To help you answer the question for yourself and your company estimate what your time is worth. As a plumber, real estate agent or jewelry designer how much could you earn per hour? As a business owner you should spend your time doing what makes you the most money. This is where you excel. Is it really worth giving up your time selling homes or repairing leaky sinks to figure out the “SEO Thing” and get it to work for your website?

Unfortunately many people underestimate the complexity behind SEO and think that it doesn’t take a lot of effort or expertise to make a website excel. In today’s article we’ll discuss many reasons to hire an SEO and pay for SEO work on your website.

Paying for SEO Optimization Because
Your Personal Time Is Better Spent Elsewhere

Search Engines are constantly changing to meet the demands of what and how people are searching. In the last few years Google, the major search engine on the internet, has made several changes that have had a significant effect on the rankings of many websites. Think about this:

  • Is it worth your time each week to read all the top SEO blogs and follow SEO thought leaders?
  • Is it worth your time to figure out how to develop and implement a sound SEO strategy?
  • Is it worth your time to monitor and track your results, and adjust your strategy as needed?

This is where the knowledge and expertise of a reputable SEO firm becomes vital. SEO Experts are constantly studying the changes in the search engine formulas; how internet applications interact with the search protocol and what is needed to get a site ranking well.

Why Hire an SEO? It’s More Complicated than Just Keywords and Links

Many people come to us thinking that SEO is all about keywords and backlinks and that as long as they get the right phrases in the right places and find a few websites to link to their own website they are set.

This is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The majority of SEO work is below the surface. For example, do you know:

  • Which server and host is best for your website?
  • How to properly brand your business in the Search Engines?
  • How to protect your content against duplication?
  • How to ensure proper HTTP checks and HTML validation?
  • How to deal with mandatory cookie checks and session ID’s?
  • How to ensure proper “link juice” flow between all your website pages?

These are just a very small sampling of all the items we address in a full SEO Campaign that you may not even realize affect your SEO. In fact, there are 200 – 300 different factors that Google looks at when determining how your website will rank. Do you have the time and knowledge to optimize each of these factors?

Hiring an SEO Expert Makes YOU the Customer

Recently I read an interesting opinion why hiring an SEO firm is beneficial for you. By hiring an SEO you become the customer, putting SEO in the position to always be working for you, meeting your needs and exceeding your expectations. Rather than doing SEO yourself or having someone in house help out with SEO wouldn’t you rather have an SEO company working to impress you?

Does Paying for SEO Work?

As with all things in life, you get what you pay for. Are you buying SEO based on lowest price? Are you searching for an SEO company with a lot of experience? Paying for SEO work on your website will work when you choose an experienced SEO company you trust. In order for their SEO to work well it must be based on their ability to customize SEO solutions to your specific campaign within the Best Practices that exist in Search Engine algorithms.

Does paying for links SEO work? (Don’t fall into this trap!)

There are hundreds of SEO companies that sell backlinks as SEO. Did you know that Google has banned many websites because of the spammy and unnatural links they have bought? Today, more than ever, relevant linking is vital to keeping your websites in good standings with the Search Engines. This means that NO, paying for SEO backlinks does not work and risks negatively impacting your website in a big way.

So Is Paying for SEO Worth It? You Be the Judge

As we’ve discussed above, Search Engine Optimization is an evolving science. You must decide if it is worth it to divert time spent on your business making money to time spent learning SEO Best Practices and implementing SEO strategies on your website. SEO is a complicated combination of computer science, marketing, website development and consumer behavior. It is the study of what gets rankings, what motivates buyers and how to optimize what you are posting to attract the types of visitors who have the most potential to become customers.

SEO is the study and implementation of the latest coding and content that works to index your site work on the search engines. SEO is the study of what is working for your website and how to always get a better ROI on your marketing spending.

If you want to learn more about how our SEO services could free up your time  to focus on your core business give us a call at 1-888-262-6687 or email our experts at contact@1stonthelist.ca. We’d be glad to share our story of how we launched our business a year before Google came to be and how our trained SEO experts can help your website.

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Using Effective Optimized Press Releases To Boost E-Commerce Sales and Visibility

As an e-commerce website owner, you’ll find that optimized press releases are an effective way to impact your e-commerce sales and Internet visibility.

Optimized online press releases can be very useful as part of a successful Internet marketing strategy. In fact, a well-presented optimized press release with good online distribution can typically be read by over 40,000 people in one week. Read more

Search Phrase Types Define A Searcher’s Purpose

The two main things that people use the major search engines for are research (finding information) and making purchases. The two concepts are driven by two distinctively different types of search phrases and mindsets.

The Keyword Search Phrase Process

The Internet is a tool that can be used to learn however, in this same concept you need to understand that there is a learning process visitors go through before making purchases online as well.

Below is an example of the learning process your average visitor will go through before making the final search to buy a product or service.

In this example we will look at websites and keyword phrases for “mailboxes”. We will put ourselves into the mind frame of the actual searcher to understand the types of keyword phrases used and what each type means.

Phase 1: The Initial Search Phrase – “Mailboxes”

Can Be Way Too General

This initial “single” word search is usually done to see what types of websites are online that provide information about mailboxes as well as potential websites that may sell mailboxes.

This search does not predict any motivation or education to make a purchase and usually returns websites that the search engines deem to be “authority” sites or leaders in this industry.

As we visit the sites available on the 1st, 2nd (and sometimes 3rd) pages of the search engine listing results we begin viewing types of mailboxes and learning the industry “jargon”, the types of terms used by the industry  leaders that describes the type of mailboxes available.

We may discover that there are key terms we should consider for us to move forward and find mailboxes that would be viable for a purchase such as “residential mailboxes” or “commercial mailboxes”.  Once we see there is a distinct difference in mailbox types, we are now ready to make a more informed search.

Avoid Targeting “Single” Word Phrases During SEO

If you are a website owner involved in a search engine optimization campaign and you sell mailboxes, your site should have the words “mailbox” and “mailboxes” naturally throughout the content already. There is no benefit in targeting these “single” word phrases in your campaign since the search engines tend to “throw out” one word phrases when reviewing keyword phrases within your content for potential rankings.

The search engines reserve these types of single word phrases for the industry leaders (the authority websites). Although you may feel you want to target these single word phrases, they will not necessarily increase your traffic or sales.

Attaining top rankings on single word phrases takes years of aggressive marketing including (but not limited to) targeted/topical inbound linking, continual topically related content creation, online networking in industry related open discussion sites, etc. The bottom line is that targeting these types of single word phrases in your organic search engine optimization campaign can be an exercise in futility.

Phase 2: “Two Word” Terms Such As “Residential Mailboxes”

Still May Not Be Specific Enough

The use of a “two word’ keyword phrase in a search indicates that the searcher is more informed and understands that there is more than one type of mailbox available.

In this case, we, as the searcher, have determined that the “commercial mailboxes” are not something that will meet our needs. What we really want are “residential mailboxes”.

For now, even this two word phrase “residential mailboxes” is still a research type of phrase (a generic information gathering phrase) that we will use to find and view the “types” of residential mailboxes available.

We can see that the websites we find in our search for “residential mailboxes” are more in line with what we need and we begin to notice the distinct differences in the types of residential mailboxes that are available.
We discover that there are many types of residential mailboxes including “recessed”, “mail slots”, “horizontal”, “wall mounted”, “curbside” and more!

We are now in a better position to refine our search and select the actual type of mailbox that fits our specific needs in order to make a purchase.

Generic “Two Word” Phrases Are Not the Best Choices for SEO

If you are a website owner involved in a search engine optimization campaign and you sell residential mailboxes, this “two word” keyword phrase may still be too general to target in your search engine optimization campaign (although it is a much better choice than a “single” word phrase).

You should however, ensure that you have this two word keyword phrase on all your pages that are actually about residential mailboxes. The search engines will increase your rankings for this phrase if your site is indeed about residential mailboxes and as they see how it is related to the other content/ pages and products that are offered on your website.  Variations of this phrase should also commonly occur throughout your website naturally.

Phase 3:  “Multiple” Word Phrases That Are Specific

Such As “Wall Mounted Residential Mailbox”

This “multiple word” keyword phrase is far more specific yet even it can have quite a few variations.
The more educated a searcher becomes in their search efforts the more adept the searcher becomes at finding the specific item that  they are looking for, which in turn brings them that much closer to making a purchasing decision.

These types of searchers are considered to be highly qualified and highly motivated traffic; the very type of visitors that website owners want to attract to their website since these types of visitors are more likely to make a purchasing decision.

The following are the types of “multiple word” keyword phrases that these types of searchers use to find what they are looking for (and the best types of keyword phrases that a website owner may want to target in their search engine optimization campaign):

  • residential wall mounted mailbox
  • wall mount mailbox
  • residential wall mount mail box
  • wall mounted mail boxes
  • wall mounted mailboxes for home use
  • private mailbox wall mount
  • private wall mount mailbox
  • wall-mounted mailbox for private residence

There are probably 10 to 20 other variations that a searcher could potentially use but the key points to remember here are:

  1. This visitor is much more informed and much closer to making a purchase now
  2. You may want to ensure that these phrases and variations of these phrases are in your content but if its sales you are going after then you’ll want to concentrate your efforts further down the search cycle.

Specific “Multiple Word” Phrases Are Good Choices for SEO

If you are a website owner involved in a search engine optimization campaign and you sell residential mailboxes, these types of “multiple word” keyword phrases should be included in your SEO campaign.
These types of keyword phrases are definitely related (and remain a key component of) residential mailboxes.

Your content/ pages and products that offer wall mounted mailboxes should be labeled as such.
Whether they are informational pages or actual product pages, the more web pages that you on this specific type of residential mailbox the better your chances that the search engines will determine how well your web pages will rank for this particular phrase.

Phase 4:  Very Specific Keyword Phrases Such As “Aluminum Residential Wall Mount Mailbox”

When a searcher is armed with the knowledge that they need a residential mailbox for their home that can be wall mounted (as opposed to a mailbox with a post or a mail slot – drop slot) and one that fits with the style of their home, their neighborhood and preferences; the searcher is are now ready to the final purchase decision about what type of residential wall mount mailbox they actually want.

They will refine their search to visit the top sites that meet their specific criteria such as:

1.    Colors-white, black, multicolored, decorative
2.    Materials-aluminum, stainless steel, brass
3.    Types-standard, horizontal, vertical
4.    Brands/Model Numbers
5.    Style-contemporary, ranch, modern, traditional
6.    Accessories-locks, newspaper holders, package holder, top drop slot, water resistant

At this point, the research portion of the search is now over. It is now all about the searcher preference and own individual style, likes and dislikes.

For website owners that sell residential mailboxes and are involved in a search engine optimization campaign, these specific keyword phrases that incorporate specific criteria used by the searcher are the types of terms you want to target with your SEO.

These types of searches are done by the searcher who knows exactly what they want; a mailbox for a residential area that can be wall mounted and preferably made out of steel (or bronze, brass etc.). The key here is that this type of visitor has educated himself (or herself) based on searches, gathering information from the sites they have visited and preparing to make a more knowledgeable, more informed final search.
Selecting keywords throughout the entire buying cycle would ensure that you receive visitors who are researching for a future purchase as well as those who are ready to purchase now.

Your keyword selection should not be based solely on the total number of visitors who search for that term but based on where that term is located within the buying cycle.

Creating a Successful PPC Advertising Campaign

A pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign must have the following:

Budget, Keywords, Ads, Sales Copy and Products.

The most common misconception is that having all of these will create a successful PPC advertising campaign or that the work, money and time needed to have these things can be done by the site owner alone, without the need of a professional PPC Advertising Account Manager.

What Makes A PPC Advertising Campaign Successful

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising SuccessOnce a pay per click marketing campaign is started, data is collected through analytic software and PPC reports provided by the PPC ad management agency. It is the analysis and executions made based on this information that can make a PPC advertising campaign successful.

Analyzing PPC Advertising Data & Executing Actions

A successfully managed pay per click advertising campaign uses report and analytic data to identify the following:

  1. Poorly performing keywords
  2. Keyword and industry related bidding wars
  3. Poor performance of ads
  4. Ad positioning and conversion or sales related to ad positioning
  5. Keywords that convert into sales and keywords that do not convert into sales (tracking ROI)
  6. Landing page performance, conversion and ROI
  7. Identify where in the sales process that sales and leads are being lost
  8. Site/server specific problems that are taking away from the site’s usability; costing the company sales
  9. Ad copy that converts into sales and poorly performing ads

It is this information that allows the PPC Advertising Account Manager to make informed decisions and execute educated actions that will effectively make the PPC campaign a success.

Changes That Make the Campaign a Success

Based on this information the PPC Advertising Account Manager can do the following:

a) Create and test new keyword phrases based on the high performing keywords and related phrases
b) Create, edit and adjust ad copy to increase click through rates
c) Edit and adjust landing pages to increase sales and conversions
d) Remove poorly performing keyword phrases, saving the client money and increasing their ROI
e) Make recommendations to site changes that will increase the users experience
f) Tap into new industry trends and make recommendations to the client allowing them to get ahead of their competitors
g) Modify ad positioning to get the best click through rate (CTR) that provides an increase of sales

These types of changes can reduce the cost of the PPC advertising campaign, increase PPC sales and leads; and create a valuable asset to the client’s overall online and offline marketing portfolio.

If you found this article useful and would like help creating a successful PPC advertising campaign please contact us or call Toll-Free at 1-888-262-6687.

Top Keyword Phrases – Will They Bring Traffic or Sales?

What most people consider to be the “top keyword phrases” (related to any given industry) are those phrases that make up over 80% of all the online searches related to that industry.

These “top keyword phrases” are generally the most sought after because they generate a lot of traffic, but does more traffic equate to more conversions or an increase in sales? Not necessarily.

The Value of a Top Keyword Phrase

These top keyword phrases that generate 80% of the traffic tend to be the generic forms of products such as gardening tools or car parts. Although they are topical and related to that particular industry, they are not specific; at least not specific enough to attract highly qualified, highly motivated visitors who will purchase your products or services.

The term “car parts” for instance, is an all-encompassing term (with over 38 million competing pages – as of this writing) and while it may attract much more traffic the likelihood of making a conversion or sale is a lot less than with a specific term like “Nissan sentra parts” (which only has 242 thousand competing pages as of this writing).

The term “Nissan sentra parts” falls into that other category of terms; “specific” keyword phrases that tend to generate only about 20% of online traffic but (and this is a big “BUT”) that traffic is usually a lot more targeted, qualified and motivated, which means a higher likelihood of a conversion or sale..

The Quest for More Traffic

With Google Adwords Click-thru information, WordTracker’s search estimations and Yahoo! Search’s Monthly Search data readily available, it’s easy to see the more generic types of top keyword phrases can and do drive massive amounts of traffic to a website; especially if that website is on the first page of the search engine listings for these more generic top keyword phrases.

Equipped with this information, each year hundreds of millions of dollars are poured into targeting the top 10 to 30 highly competitive, industry related (but not specific) keyword phrases through:

Pay Per Click Top Keywords

The quickest way to be found for these more generic top keyword terms is by setting up a pay per click campaign or another form of online ad purchase, but it can be pricey.

With PPC advertising, it doesn’t take very long for a new/inexperienced PPC advertiser to realize that a pay per click account targeting these generic top keyword phrases can quickly burn a hole in your advertising budget, sometimes within just a few hours and still not generate many sales.

If this has ever happened to you, you knew that you had to do something, and quick!

Some PPC advertisers will put a limit on their daily budget. Some will simply exhaust their budgets on 20 keyword phrases until they realize their sales are not showing a profit. Others will find alternative ways to control their budget by using brackets, quotes and related phrases. Then there are those who insist that they simply must have these “top keyword phrases” but realize that PPC may not be the best method to achieve this.

With PPC advertising, targeting specific keyword phrases may produce more sales but these “specific” keyword phrases can be quite competitive and quite costly and exhaust your budget that much faster.

Many PPC advertisers eventually turn to an SEO consultant or an organic search engine optimization company in order to pursue their goal of attaining page one listings for these genric top keyword phrases.

Top Keyword Phrases & Search Engine Optimization

While pay per click advertising may be a quicker way of attaining first page listings, a more economical way to get to these top generic keyword phrases would be through search engine optimization.

In fact, it’s possible to accomplish top listings on the major search engines within 15 minutes with an Adwords PPC account, whereas an organic search engine optimization approach may take months (or a year or more) requiring the creation of dozens (if not hundreds) of content rich pages that must meet a baseline set by your top competitors.

So What’s the Difference Between PPC and SEO?

PPC can add up quickly and be quite costly, and once you stop paying the bid amount, your top listings disappear instantly.

With organic search engine optimization, the process may take a lot longer and achieving the top listing results for those top phrases may require a lot of work, however, the cost can be a lot less and the effects can be quite long lasting, especially if your SEO strategies adhere to search engine guidelines and are more relevant to a searchers request.

Additionally, good quality inbound links will be necessary to improve your link popularity and page rank. They take time and would need to be obtained in comparison to what your competitors have achieved; the only issue is that your competitors may have built up these quality links over an extended period of time (sometimes years) so your effort may have to be great in order to match or better your competitors link popularity.

While this may seem discouraging, don’t let it be. In the end, with good professional search engine optimization and quality inbound links in place, your web pages will be improved and will be far more user friendly and search engine friendly and as mentioned, the benefits can be quite long lasting.

Use a Balance of
Generic and Long Tailed Keyword Phrases

Targeting only generic top keyword phrases may not be the best strategy however.

As mentioned, they can bring in a lot of traffic but may not necessarily convert well or increase your sales.

We recommend targeting a mix of keyword phrases, since specific keyword terms tend to have higher conversions even if they don’t attract as much traffic as a generic keyword term.

Eventually, if done properly, your optimized website can be an industry leader but it doesn’t happen overnight. Depending on how well your pages are currently, and the amount of effort it will take to make them more search engine friendly (and more user friendly), it may take years to accomplish.

In the end, the path you take with your website all boils down to the same thing.

Do you want traffic or sales?

Targeting Web Pages for What the Searcher Needs

There are two things that people use the major search engines for;

  1. Research (finding information)
  2. And making purchases (finding products or services)

These two concepts are driven by two distinctively different types of search phrases and mindsets.

The internet is a tool that can be used to learn. In this same concept, in your search engine optimization efforts, you need to understand that there is a learning process visitors go through before making purchases for your products or services.

Pleasing Searchers Will Make Your Pages More Relevant

Let’s say you own a mechanics shop and you sell car parts. You open an online shop and have uploaded all of your parts, pricing and information into a shopping cart and you’re ready to start selling online.
If making money on the internet through search engine optimization is your goal, you need to “target what the searcher wants”.

Pleasing Searchers – Targeting what the searcher actually needs is paramount to online success and can significantly increase your profits (more so than targeting what you think is important).

Pleasing the Search Engines – The search engines will find your web pages more relevant and rank them higher if your web page content targets what the searcher is looking for.

Stages of Internet Searching

There are two separate stages of the Internet search cycle.

  1. Information and research gathering
  2. Comparison shopping and buying

Stage 1 – Information & Research Gathering Using Topical Keyword Phrases

This searcher is quite simply trying to gather information on a topic. This could be a college student writing a term paper or someone who has a thought about buying something and just needs to understand the options available to him or her.

The keyword phrases used by searchers in the information and research gathering stage are usually generic in nature and specific to a topic. Some examples are:

  • Car parts
  • Real Estate Investment
  • Online Shoe Store

As you can see, though the terms are related to a topic and you can understand what type of information the searcher is looking for, you can’t really narrow it down to anything specific.

This is the beginning of the search cycle; and not a place to target organically if you want to get the most out of your search engine optimization campaign.

If these types of searchers are actually interested in making a purchase, they will generally move into stage two of their Internet search efforts…the comparison and buying stage.

Stage 2 – Comparison & Buying Using More Specific Keyword Phrases

Searchers who enter stage two of their Internet search efforts often visit a few other related sites and narrow down some additional, more specific phrases that will provide them with more relevant results.

It may take 3 or 4 search efforts and comparing the information on various sites before making a keyword specific search that would actually produce a sale. The comparison shopper has educated themselves through previous research and is actually prepared to make searches that may result in a purchase.

The keyword phrases used by searchers in the comparison and buying stage are usually more specific in nature. Some examples are:

  • 2007 Nissan Murano brake pads
  • Book on flipping houses as an investment
  • Women’s Red snake skin high heels

The key here is that if you are going to target keyword phrases where someone is looking for information, you have to provide the information.

If you try to target phrases that are not sales related and send them to a sales related page, your web pages simply will not rank.

Google’s algorithm looks at the search queries intent. Google can tell if the searcher is looking for information or a product (or service).

If the search is for information, Google removes the sales related sites to ensure they deliver information related web pages to the searcher.

With this algorithm it doesn’t matter what type of search engine optimization campaign you may have in place, you simply cannot reach these visitors without providing the information they are looking for.

The bottom line is that targeting these phrases within your campaign will be in vain; resulting in missed opportunities.

Driving Traffic to Your Website

A lot of search engine traffic can be driven to your website by broad phrases and topic phrases.

If you sell car parts and you simply want a lot of traffic, set up a PPC account and buy the words like; car parts, auto parts, new car parts, Nissan car parts, ford car parts, etc.

PPC advertising can be quite expensive but you can attract more traffic than you may have thought possible.
If you want traffic from these broad phrases, you will need to ensure that your site is seen as a topical, industry related authority site. This is not accomplished overnight. It may take some time, planning, content creation, site restructuring, inbound link campaigns, etc.

Attracting Traffic to Drive Your Sales

If making sales in the most cost effective way is your goal then you must think about your visitor and what it is that they want.

Again, if you sell car parts and you want to attract natural, organic search engine traffic, then your search engine optimization efforts must target specific phrases such as makes, models, part numbers and part names.

These keyword phrases would be more specific such as:

  • 2007 Nissan Murano break pads
  • 2007 Ford Mustang ball joints
  • 2007 Chrysler Pacifica white touch-up paint

In the end it all boils down to knowing the type of searcher your want to attract;

do you want more traffic or more sales?

Is your site more suited to the information and research gatherer or for someone who wants to compare products or services and make a purchase?

You can then target your search engine optimization efforts to target what the searcher is looking for in order to give the searcher exactly what he wants, thus improving how relevant your pages are to a searcher’s request.

Value Of A Keyword For Website Promotion & Search Engine Opitimization

A ‘keyword’ or ‘keyword phrase’ is a word or combination of words that people type into search engines to find what they are looking for. The search engine then uses that keyword to search the Internet (What Search Engines See) for webpages containing that particular keyword. It then sorts through, compiles a list in order of relevance, and returns the results to the customer.

Properly utilized keywords can provide a great Return on Investment (ROI) on website promotion and search engine optimization campaigns. It is very important to gauge the costs associated with marketing a keyword to its potential VALUE to your website. Money spent on a keyword should be proportionate to its perceived value (either monetary or knowledge based) to your company. You do not need to spend a lot of money on a keyword, but its value to you and your competitors is proportionate to its potential income. Some companies generate LARGE amounts of revenue from specific keywords.

Determining the value of a keyword ahead of time is very difficult, and its value will change as your markets and competitors change. A quick guide would be to take the average bid of the top 5-listings on Overture or the cost on Google Adwords. These are a good starting point since both are very popular and a higher percentage of businesses make money by using them. You can also use services like KeywordTool (Search Engine Conversion Rate Calculator) to get a more accurate gauge for keyword value once you have some rankings for your keywords.

You could also use the following formula to calculate keyword value: ((estimated number searches per month) X (average cost per click on Overture) X (average click potential percentage)) = (keyword value for 1-month). Unfortunately, there are a number of flaws with this calculation as the first 3-variables are estimations/ judgments. Nonetheless, it can be used to compare one keyword against another to gain a grasp of its worth.

Profits and Visitors

Increasing the number of visitors does not guarantee increased sales. Thus, getting high rankings based on GENERIC keywords may not actually be beneficial to a business. Keywords need to be specific to your business so that the RIGHT CUSTOMERS are directed to your website.

Generic keywords deliver a higher level of value to certain businesses and much less to others. A search for “community college” would result in higher keyword value for a college that has campuses all over the US or offers on-line courses than for a local college in say, Grand Rapids, Iowa or any other local college. The reason is simple, very few people living outside of the local college’s specific region will actually be looking to attend there.

In the above example, the keyword phrase “community college Grand Rapids” would hold a much greater value for the college because it is more focused and directed towards the people who are mostly likely to attend the college. This becomes apparent when you look at the actual conversion rates of visitors to the website. The rates will show that the greatest numbers of conversions were for the people who lived in and around the Grand Rapids area. As such, the college stands to reap greater PROFITS from the targeted keywords than from the generic ones. What this means is that, it is very IMPORTANT to look at the value a keyword holds for YOUR business than just the number of people searching for it.

Here’s what the previously mentioned formula shows us about the keyword value of the targeted and generic keywords in the case of the above college.

Say there were 13,956 searches for “grand rapid community colleges” on Overture with an average bid of $0.10 per-click. Its calculation would be (13,956 X $0.10 X 5% = $69.78 per-month). For “community colleges” there were 80,244 searches on Overture with an average bid of $0.85 per-click. Its calculation would be (80,244 X $0.85 X 5% = $3,410.37 per-month). Now, that value look ridiculously high!! Could it possibly be worth that much? That’s difficult to say, but it could be to the right business.

When you consider that there are hundreds of colleges in the US, it is easy to understand that the conversion rate for the keyword “community college” is going to be fairly low while its Internet marketing cost is going to be much higher. On the other hand “grand rapid community college” is very TARGETED making its conversion rate much higher and its website promotion/ marketing cost much lower. Therefore, it would COST LESS to promote the “grand rapid community college” keyword and at the same time get a BETTER conversion rate than using a generic keyword.

Keyword Relevancy Is The Key!

As the above case scenario shows promoting the right keywords is essential to attaining a good ROI on website promotion and search engine optimization campaigns. Promoting specific and relevant keywords allows businesses to promote many more keywords and make MORE PROFIT. Finding the right keywords to promote requires research and proper content to support them. We recommend using the services of a Search Engine Optimization firm (Levels of Search Engine Optimization) to assist you in this endeavor as they will be able to provide you with a well planned and executable website promotion/ Internet marketing strategy.

If you found this article useful and would like to discuss how your website can benefit from proven website promotion and search engine optimization strategies, contact 1stontheList Promotions or call 1-888-262-6687 Toll-Free.