Columnists Brad Simon Internet Marketing Strategies - Keywords the key to Internet success

Internet Marketing Strategies - Keywords the key to Internet success

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Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into a search engine in order to find a website offering the information they are looking for. The search engine uses the keywords to decide which webpages to deliver in their results pages. That's why Keywords are crucial to your online marketing. Choose the right ones and use them in your website correctly, and you can rank well on Google, Yahoo, MSN or any other search engine. Ignore them and your pages will rarely be found.

Picking Keywords that match the services and products you offer is the FIRST thing you should do before creating or overhauling a website. This is the one area that most people (including web designers) overlook and it is the most important thing you can do if you want to be found by search engines.

Clearly, Keywords are big business. You need to put a great deal of effort in choosing Keywords that apply to your products and services. There's much to be gained by getting them right. If you don't, it is unlikely your site will be found by someone searching for your product or service.

Go slowly! Select carefully! The Keywords and Keyword Phrases you select will, more than any one single item, determine your success or failure on the Internet. While the effort required can be great, the rewards for mastering this aspect of online marketing are substantial. Keywords may very well be the ‘KEY' to the greatest financial opportunities of our time.

Keyword Selection

Start by making a list of every possible Keyword, you can think of that your potential customers might use when searching for what you're selling. Start simple. Your starting point does not need to be clever or creative. All you need is a common word or phrase relevant to your business. The bigger your website the more keywords you should come up with. Ideally you want a different Keyword phrase for each page on your website. The following guidelines will help make this process as productive as possible.

General Keywords

When selecting your Keywords, you want to avoid words that are too general, such as diamonds. There are several reasons for this.

  • First, you will face very stiff competition. Other sites have already spent enormous amounts of time and money to get top listings for such general Keywords. Trying to beat out companies that have been optimizing their websites for years for these Keywords can be extremely difficult and even unproductive from a sales perspective.
  • Second, people searching for general terms are usually looking for information, not buying. Driving tons of traffic to your website will do you no good, if those people are not looking to buy the jewelry you sell and/or need the services you provide. Specific highly targeted Keywords may bring less people to your website. However, the people they bring will be those seeking to purchase the products and services you sell.
  • Third, general Keywords are so broad that they could apply to all kinds of products and services. For example, a search for diamond will result in websites that relate to Neil Diamond, Diamond Brand Computer Parts, Baseball Diamond, 5 Diamond Resorts, and thousands of businesses with the word Diamond in it. None of which has anything to do with jewelry. Using a general Keyword like that gives you incredible competition fighting for the top ten results. Plus, a majority of that competition isn't even from other jewelers!

Yes, you should use the word diamond (and other general keywords) in your webpages, but they should not be one of your main Keywords that you'll want to focus on. There are better Keywords to use. However, your potential customers will expect to read about those words on your pages, and you will begin building toward the future by laying a foundation for the long term. Slowly but surely you'll become an established website that everyone else is trying to beat out.

A couple of exceptions to this are Jewelry and Jeweler. All searches for these terms are related to our Industry. In fact one of the BEST Keyword phrases you can use for your home page is Jewelry Store followed by the city you are located in.

Products & Services

Any term used to describe your products and services can be good Keywords for you to target on your website. These could be general product descriptions like Platinum Diamond Engagement Rings, or a specific brand, such as David Yurman Jewelry and Seiko Watches.

Make a list of all your top selling products and services. Add these terms to your keyword list and begin planning to add a page to your website for each one. You may even want to create a separate website for each of your most popular ones.

Local Search Terms

Local Search terms are Keywords that local retail stores MUST focus on.

In May 2007 Google introduced a new product called Universal Search. This has exploded local searches on the Internet. For the remainder of 2007, 17% of all Internet searches had local qualifiers in them. During the first half of 2008 over 30% of all searches have used local terms in them. People doing searches on the Internet have caught on to this new method of finding stores at which to shop. However, very few local retail stores have optimized their website with local search terms. Including them in your Keyword list will put you far ahead of your competition.

To be effective in drawing new customers into your store you MUST include local search terms in your Keyword list. These local search terms include:

  • Your Zip Code
  • Your City
  • Common Abbreviations of your City (such as NYC for New York City)
  • Any Larger City you are Near (especially if you are in a suburb)
  • Your State (spelled out and the 2 letter abbreviation)
  • Your Area Code
  • Any Geographical Nick Name or Area Name (such as Philly or Big Apple)
  • The 3 Letter Code for Nearby Airport
  • Any Cities or Towns you Regularly Draw Customers From

Combining a Local search term with any Keyword makes it more specific and makes it easier for you to dominate the market in those searches. This includes the general words we discussed above. For example, you may never get your website to show up on a search for Diamond, but it wouldn't be to difficult to get on the first page for a search for Diamond Atlanta or what ever your city name happens to be.

For more information on marketing your store on the Internet, getting higher search engine rankings, or using the Internet to keep in touch with your existing customers go to www.Internet4Jewelers.com.

 
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