Choosing Your Keywords

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new pair of hearing aids.  You’re online and you Google “Hearing Aids”, 5,460,000,000 results pop up.  Clearly you can’t look at that many options, so you begin to refine the results.  “hearing aids Hoboken NJ” or “audiologist san francisco CA”.  These words and phrases are known as keywords.

Why are keywords so important?  The search engines will deliver a list of web pages (as a side note your website is nothing more than web pages linked together) containing the keywords.

When you build a website, you want to make sure that when customers search for keywords related to your business, your website appears as early as possible in the list of results.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science, some would say art of making sure that happens.

So what keywords should you choose?

Begin the process by thinking like your customer.  Terminology specific to your industry is probably not the way a customer will find you.  It’s also a good idea to keep your target demographic in mind.  A 40 year old male will not use the same keywords as a 20 year old female even if they are searching for the same product.

Product names are often used as keywords.  That’s great when your plan is to capture a customer searching specifically for a particular product.  But you also want to make sure you don’t miss out on customers searching for a product within that category.

For example if your keyword strategy is to focus on Jimmy Choo shoes because that’s all you sell then that’s a great plan.  However if you sell 10 other expensive brands, you don’t want to miss out on customers searching for “expensive shoes” or “designer shoes”.

Keyword selection can be tricky especially once you become an expert in your own particular niche because you tend to forgot how to behave like your customer.

Remember these 5 tips for choosing keywords:

  1. Research Your Market
  2. Analyze Your Market
  3. Make Your Keywords Specific
  4. Target Your Local Area
  5. Don’t Try to Optimize for Highly Competitive Words

Will choosing the best possible keywords for your website automatically bump it to page 1?  It’s not the only factor.  But choosing the wrong keywords can be a recipe for disaster.