Internet Marketing Best Practices: Smart Keyword Marketing

Keyword Marketing represents a key element in almost any Internet marketing strategy. Keywords are how people who don’t know you exist learn about you online. They represent the “bait” that draws prospects into your marketing/sales pipeline.

The goal of keyword marketing is to get your business in the top of the Search Engine and Social Network pages for keyword phrases you target. Draw the wrong people or not enough of the right ones and you lose. It’s critical that your keywords represent smart choices for your business.

A critical success factor for effective keyword marketing campaigns: smart keyword choices. It’s harder than it seems… and many give up. Opportunity knocks for those who do the tough upfront work here.

If you can pull off successful keyword marketing with the right keyword phrases, you will deliver significant value for your business.

The thing is… there are so many ways that this can go wrong. It’s a good use of your time to learn how to avoid the pitfalls.

What are the most common errors in developing a smart list of key phrases for keyword marketing? The most egregious errors begin at the front end of the process. For instance, any of the following upfront choices can seriously undermine your success:

  • Keyword Marketing that attract anemic search volume
  • Keyword Marketing that drive overly generic, non-targeted traffic
  • Keyword Marketing working with too high a degree of difficulty
  • Keyword Marketing that uses non-converting keyword phrases

Anemic Search Volume

Words that companies think people will use to reach their website are often not what real-life searches will input to a Search Engine. People (such as you) who are experts in their field know the precise words to use; your prospects and customers frequently do not.

Furthermore, searchers are kind of lazy and casual about what they put into Search Engines. And, they’re pretty self-centered, too – so they put in terms that matter to them. Terms like “how to…” “tips for…” and variations on those that get the Cliff’s Notes version of the information they want.

And, by the way, don’t forget to think about why they are searching – usually it is driven by a need or a want. Tapping into that and learning the keyword phrases that capture their needs and wants is a smart move.

Frequently, companies assume that the keywords they build their website and web presence around have strong search volumes. And frequently, I find that the first piece of news we need to break to a new client is that they have great ranking on Google for their primary key phrases, unfortunately, no one cares enough to search for them.

Make sure the keywords you are focusing on have sufficient search volume to make all of your efforts pay off.

Overly Generic Keywords

Searchers have evolved since the beginning of the Internet. In early days, most searchers used 1 – 2 word key phrases to search. And, they learned that the information they got did not provide them with the answers they needed. So, they learned to add keywords that enabled them to refine their search and the information they wanted.

Yes, there is a lot of search activity on 1 – 2 word key phrases. However, many of those people are  in early stages of gathering information or they are about to go back and refine that search with more modifiers. You will find that if you gain a high ranking on 1 – 2 word key phrases, you’ll have expended a lot of effort driving people to you who are not your market.

Don’t do it. Accept the fact that it is better to have fewer searchers  in your target market; your conversion rate will go up and you will spend far less money and resources gaining results that matter.

Degree of Difficulty Too High

You have found some really great 2, 3 and 4 word key phrases that get reasonable search activity and now you’re ready to seize the day. Now you need to determine whether with a reasonable effort on your part, you can expect to gain visibility on the Internet.

You may find that the degree-of-difficulty factor is far too high for you to outrun the competitors for high ranking. Your online competition may have too much of a lead on you for you to rank well “with reasonable effort.”  They may have too many resources (monetary and intellectual) devoted to maintaining their visibility on those terms for you to compete effectively.

It pays to know where to begin, and putting yourself into the middle of a competitive battlefield when you are building your online presence is not a wise use of your time, money and resources. Besides, if you can’t go in the front door, there is usually a side or back door that you can exploit.

Non-converting Keyword Phrases

This is the most insidious problem of them all. Many, many keyword phrases will do absolutely NOTHING for you in your situation. You have to find out if the keywords that have made it this far will attract visitors to your website who will convert to the actions and goals you want.

Unfortunately, if you rely of getting into a high enough ranking position in the organic section of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) to find this out, you’re cooked. Because by then you’ll have expended an incredible amount of time and energy to achieve  ranking position only to learn that it really never mattered.

So how do you solve this dilemma? Test. More specifically, expend money to test; this the one thing most business people are loathe to do but the surest way to success. The quickest and easiest way to do this is via Pay Per Click advertising, like Google AdWords. It is the fastest, least expensive way I know to get the job done. Once you know which keyword phrases convert – then work on optimizing your site  using them.

To get Keyword Marketing to do what you want, you need to identify a rock-solid list of keyword phrases where you can achieve high ranking that matters in the Search Engines and Social Networks. Internet Marketing Best Practices for Smart Keyword Marketing should put you on the right path.