Search engine optimization (SEO) has become increasingly important for businesses in order for them to thrive within the digital world. A solid strategy should be developed to advance marketing efforts whether the ultimate goal may initially be for brand awareness or for lead generation. Be armed with an unstoppable strategy by using the following search engine optimization tips as a guide.
1. Target An Audience: Presumably, before launching your website you have established a clear idea as to who your target audience would be. Before jumping into keyword research, keep in mind who your target audience is. Try to identify information like what they will be looking for, their needs, interests and demographic. This will help you filter out keywords that may not be as useful to you. Someone that needs web design services will usually use different terminology than someone looking for conversion rate services.
2. Website Topic Breakdown: Once you have located your target audience you have a clearer idea as to what keywords will be better to potentially incorporate into your strategy. Try to locate specifics rather than targeting broad ideas, depending on your market. However, before selecting those keywords, I would go page by page, including the home page, and create a list of what each section will be about based off the interests and the needs of your market. Depending on the market you are in, it will help your search engine optimization strategy if topics you specialize in are related to each other in some way. For example, it might expand your market if you sell cupcakes and flowers, but it could be harder to target both these markets within your SEO strategy depending on keywords your choose and how you will execute the plan.
3. Keyword Selection: Keyword research is a major factor when it comes to search engine optimization; it can potentially make or break your SEO strategy. Selecting keywords can be tricky and confusing. Take the list of topics you set up for each section of your website and begin typing them one by one into the Google AdWords keyword tool. Make sure you change the default settings to “exact match” rather than “broad” which is the default setting. If you reside in a location other than the U.S. be sure to change that as well, and it will be below the search box, and identified above. As a basic, you want to be looking at the local monthly search results. Disregard the section titled “competition”, this will become more relevant to you if you plan on using Google AdWords PPC campaigning in the future. On a separate sheet or document, write down the top 3 or 4 keywords you think would be the best fit for your site pages. Close variations of your target keyword should also be noted because it will assist when it comes to writing content for each section, as well if you plan on keeping a blog to advance SEO efforts.
4. Analyze The Competition: Once you have your top keywords selected, you are going to have to perform a thorough analysis of your competitors to see which of your top keywords should be selected. There are many ways to do this, I would prefer a manual web search using your target keywords. View the search results and go through the list of the webpages and see where they are in Google and how often they use these keywords. Tools like Alexa and the PageRank Status tool bar (downloadable application can vary per browser) will aid your research tactics by identifying where they are on search results and what page rank they currently have.