5 Things To Consider Before Conducting Keyword Research

SEM - Search Engine Marketing

Even if you have a beautifully designed website it won’t generate any sales or leads if you don’t market it. One of the most effective methods for driving traffic to your site is search engine marketing. You can use either paid advertising or search engine optimization. Both require you to generate a list of keywords.

What is pay per click advertising?

This refers to the list of ads displayed in the right side of the search engine results pages (SERPS) where advertisers pay each time someone clicks on their ad. If many advertisers are competing for the same keywords you’ll pay more than the less competitive keywords.

What is search engine optimization?

This refers to the results listed on the left side of the search engine results pages. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing use keywords embedded in your website to find and rank your web pages. Multiple factors determine how high your site will rank ie keywords, quality and quantity of backlinks, domain age, social media signals, etc.

Both methods above first begin with keyword research to determine how many search counts a keyword or keyword phrase receives each month.

Here are 5 things to consider before conducting keyword research

1. Not all keyword research tools are created equal

Each keyword tool gets it’s data from different sources. For example the Google AdWords Tool gets all its data from Google and not any other search engine so this means its results are skewed towards Google. It also includes automated searches generated from automated software programs.

On the other hand WordTracker is more accurate than the Google Tool because it filters out automated searches and gathers its data from all multiple search engines (metacrawlers) such as Dogpile.com and Metacrawler.com. It also doesn’t include duplicate results and filters out adult-oriented keywords.

2. Results only contain a representative sample of total database results

It’s impossible to obtain a totally accurate count from any keyword tool because it doesn’t show the results from its entire database. For instance WordTracker’s results are only a 2% sample of its database.

How does this affect you?

Even though you may only see a few searches displayed inside WordTracker for a specific keyword, your sites stats may show a much higher number because it’s receiving traffic from all over the Net. The keyword tool only provides a representative sample from its database.

3. Keyword research doesn’t guarantee conversions

Even if you’ve created an effective keyword list, optimized all your web pages for the search engines and got hundreds of links pointing to your website it won’t guarantee your visitors will convert into sales or leads. One of the main factors affecting conversion rates is web copy. Well written web copy will generate higher conversion rates than poorly written content. Other factors include web design, load times and usability.

Video: 5 Things To Consider Before Conducting Keyword Research

4. High competition

Selecting keywords that are highly competitive will only waste your precious time. For instance if you select a keyword phrase that receives 5000 searches per month (according to the Google Keyword Tool) and the top 10 websites have 1000s of backlinks pointing back to them plus their domains are over 10 years old, your chances of outranking them will be very slim, especially if you’ve built a new website (with a newly registered domain).

5. Avoid using single keywords

Single keywords will generate thousands of more searches than long tail keywords (keyword phrases containing 2 or more keywords) because they are so general. Even though the search counts will be less it will be easier to gain high rankings for them because there is less competition.

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Top 10 Keyword Research Mistakes To Avoid

keyword research

The beauty of keyword research is that you can easily find keywords or keyword phrases people enter into the search engines by using a keyword research tool such as the Google AdWords Tool, WordTracker or Market Samurai. If a particular keyword receives thousands of searches per month it has the potential to generate lots of traffic to your website if it gains high rankings in the search engines.

The problem is many marketers continue to make obvious mistakes when it comes to keyword research resulting in much frustration and ineffective results. By avoiding the 10 keyword research mistakes below you’ll get faster and more accurate results.

Top 10 Keyword Research Mistakes To Avoid

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Keyword Research 101 – Where to Begin?

Why is Keyword Research so important?
How do you find the right keywords?
Which keyword research tool is best?

Without understanding the importance of keyword research your online business will not be successful. For instance when I started marketing my web design business by writing articles and submitting them to online publications I wondered why I wasn’t receiving much traffic. Only when I began weaving keywords into my content that people were searching on did my traffic increase.

Understanding the importance of keywords

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How can I get my website recognized by the search engines for free

magnifying glass

So you’ve got your website built but it doesn’t appear in the search engines even for your company name. Why not? Many new website owners think that once they upload their site to the net it will instantly be recognized by the search engines. This is not true. The search engines find your site through links. For example if CNN links to an article on your web page you’ll instantly receive thousands of visitors because they get redirected through the link on their site.

Should you submit your website to 1000s of search engines and directories?

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How to Plan a Website – 7 Frequently Asked Questions

The success of your website depends a lot on how much planning you do beforehand. It can be compared to having a road map to reach your destination. If the map is unclear you may not reach your destination or it may take a long time to get there.

plan a web site

Frequently asked questions to plan a website

1. What is your site’s purpose?

You may say you just want to make money however think a little deeper. What will you use the money for e.g. buy a house, spend more time with your family, overseas travel, etc? Once you’ve defined your purpose you need to select a niche you feel passionate about. The more passionate you feel about the subject matter of your site the easier it will be to add content and maintain it.

2. What is your niche?

Create a list of topics you’re interested in. Keep going until you’ve exhausted all the topics then prioritize them. Give priority to the ones you are most passionate about.

3. What and how many keywords are being searched?

Use the free wordtracker tool or the google keyword tool to create a list of keywords people are using to find your topic on the search engines. This list will help you develop content that can be added to your web site. A site containing lots of content has a better chance of doing well in the search engines.

The number of searches each keyword has will help determine the profitability of your future website. Look for keywords that contain many searches but don’t have many competing websites.

4. What type of website do you want or need?

Will it be an informational or e-commerce website? An informational one will consist of pages of information but won’t be selling anything whereas an e-commerce one will be selling products. An ecommerce site will need a merchant account, payment gateway, shopping cart and an SSL certificate plus you’ll need to calculate the tax and delivery fees of all your products.

5. What software will you use?

If your site has 10-20 pages you can use html software to build the web pages. Google ‘free html software” if you don’t want to purchase software. Dreamweaver is the software of choice for professional web designers. You can view the web site as you build it, creates clean code and manage the web site within Dreamweaver.

If your website contains 100s of pages that need constant updating consider using a content management system (CMS) such as Joomla, WordPress or Drupal.

6. How to select a good web designer?

If you’re not a do-it-yourself person, don’t have time or prefer a professional to design your website search for a web designer in your local area. This gives you the freedom to meet and discuss your ideas. Look at the designers portfolio and read the testimonials from satisfied customers before making your selection. Call or email them to check the response times, how friendly and knowledgeable they are. Ask for a preliminary proposal and quote before making your final decision.

7. Do you have a marketing plan?

Even if you have a beautifully designed website it won’t be successful without creating a marketing plan to attract visitors to it. There are 100s of ways to market a website however some of the best methods include, search engine optimization, article marketing, pay per click advertising, social media marketing, video marketing or a combination of these. Learn one of these methods thoroughly before learning other strategies. Don’t rely on one method of marketing in case one strategy becomes ineffective. If you promote your website constantly and consistently you’ll build a steady stream of traffic that will generate sales.

Related articles
How to Choose a Web Site Designer
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If you need help planning, designing and marketing your website visit:
Affordable Web Site Design

Google AdWords Tips – How to Find Laser Targeted Keywords To Increase Conversions

The success of an AdWords campaign primarily depends on the keywords you are targeting. If you use general keywords you may get lots of impressions but very few clicks. If you get lots of clicks you may not receive any conversions. Your keywords must be tightly woven into your ads and landing pages.

7 tips to find laser targeted keywords

1. Find keywords that get lots of searches

A keyword that gets 1000 searches a month means 33 searches per day. Out of those 33 searches many will click on the web sites in the organic listings (listed on the left side of the page) plus you may have competing ads listed above or below yours that also include some of those searches. Therefore only use keywords in your AdWords campaign that receive lots of searches per month.

2. Use the exact match option

When using the Google AdWords tool for researching your keywords, use the exact match option. If you use the broad match option it will generate a higher number of searches(clicks) because the searches are not specific. For example if your keyword is “red shoes” you also receive clicks for “long red shoes”, red shoes for dancing” etc.

By using the exact match option the Google tool will only return monthly searches for that exact phrase. The numbers may not be as high as broad match but they will be more targeted.

3. Include misspelled words

Many people don’t enter the correct spelling of your keyword when searching the Net. You can capitalize on this by incorporating them in your campaign. For example “pitbull” may also be spelled “pit bull”, “pitt bull.” If you enter those terms in the search engines you’ll still find many listings. Make sure you check how many searches the misspellings your keyword receives. If it gets a good number of searches include it in your campaign.

4. Include negative keywords

If you just use broad match keywords in your campaigns, try to include negative keywords to weed out irrelevant searches that will only cost you clicks. For example by including the negative keyword “free” you eliminate people searching on free products.

5. Write laser targeted ads

Google rewards you for ads that are very specific therefore try to include the main keyword in the first line of your ad and if possible the other lines also. Tell your visitor exactly what to expect when they click on your ad ie type of ebook or product, etc. Your landing page should expand upon what was promised in the ad.

6. Use multiple research tools

Instead of just using the Google AdWords keyword research tool (which) everyone else uses), use other research tools such as WordTracker, Keyword Discovery and Search It. You’ll discover keywords that others are not using. These undiscovered keywords will cost less per click and have less advertisers (competing ads).

7. Focus on keywords with a high click through rate (CTR).

After running your campaign for several days you’ll notice the keywords that receive the most clicks and impressions. Remove or pause the keywords that receive a few or no clicks and concentrate on the high performers. You may even create a new ad group that just focuses on one high performing keyword. It will improve your CTR and quality score.

By finding and implementing these laser targeted keywords, you have a greater potential to create profitable AdWords campaigns.

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