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Keywords critical to inbound marketing success

Choosing the right keywords is essential for any successful inbound marketing strategy, but it can be tricky figuring out exactly which keywords will attract the right customers to your site.

The first step in your inbound marketing strategy is to uncover the right keywords for your business.

Just what is a keyword though? Keywords are the terms that people put into search engines like Google or Bing or even social media platforms like Facebook so they can collect more information on a certain topic. One such example could be “australian canvas art.”

Keywords can be a complicated topic to understand, so I think it helps to relate the world of online in “offline” concepts. Let’s use shopping for an example – you need to buy a present for a friend so you head to a large shopping mall, now if you were searching online Google would be the mall. As you walk up and down the mall you see various shops that have windows into the shops or feature displays representing what’s inside. Shoe shops have shoes in the windows and consumer electronic stores have televisions, and so on.

In the online world keywords (in the right place on your website) are the front window to your shop in the mall. If you have an attractive window display you’ll entice people to come into your shop, and it’s the same online. It’s vital to choose three to four keyword phrases that explain to people searching on Google exactly what your website is about, so as to encourage them to click through and visit your site.

So imagine in the offline world you had a small store that sold high end TV’s, you might not be the cheapest in town but you do offer good customer service and eduction. The last place you’d want to be is on the same floor as the big box retailers as people might not bother entering your store because they think you might be too expensive. Those price-based consumers aren’t your target market, so you need to position your store in the part of the shopping centre frequented by people who value customer service above price, maybe beside a designer clothes brand boutique. Then you can attract your ideal clients.

Let’s take this into the online world. If “televisions” is your keyword, you’ll  be playing in a very competitive market alongside the “big boys” and probably wouldn’t rank on the first page of Google using this keyword (without spending a lot of money). But by choosing a keyword phrase that’s less competitive, such as “television home installation”, you’re giving your website the best chance of attracting qualified visitors.

So how do you find your keyword phrases?

1. Start by writing down the description of what your business offers as a product or a service.
2. Write down the problems your products or services solve for people.
3. Think of the compliments people regularly give you about your business and write those phrases down.

It’s best to avoid single word keywords and choose three to five keyword phrases, also known as long-tail keyword phrases.

There are a number of different tools you can use to determine the competitiveness of a specific keyword phrase as well as suggesting new ones – one of my favourites is Google Keyword Tool. It’s vital you remember to choose words and phrases that are relevant to your business as your keywords need to directly represent what people expect to find on  your website.

Once you’ve selected your keyword phrases, you’re then ready to place them in the right places on your website – we’ll cover this in next week’s blog.

What do you think?

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Clodagh Higgins

Clodagh Higgins

Clodagh S.Higgins is an Online Marketing Specialist at Get Focused Consulting - a Digital Media Consulting that focuses on SEO & Inbound Marketing Strategies that help you grow your business & is co-founder of Digital Treasure Hunts - the fun new way to teach social media to corporate teams.

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