One of the most common mistakes businesses make when establishing a web presence is picking the wrong keywords. This task may seem simple, but countless businesses are targeting the wrong keywords, trying to rank for too many keywords, or using their keywords improperly. Using keywords improperly can cripple your ability to get found by prospects.
Keywords come in two flavors: branded and non-branded.
Branded keywords are the keywords associated with your business name, your personal name and any unique products or brands that are specific to your company.
Non-branded keywords are all keywords that describe what your product or services are without mentioning you by name. These are the keywords that prospects use to find your business, as well as the focus of this article.
When searching, people use either long-tail or single keywords. A long-tail keyword is a phrase like “Mercedes auto repair” or “dog walking service.”
Here are four things you need to know about establishing the right non-branded keywords for your web presence:
Finding the right keywords: You may call your service or product one thing, but what really matters is what your prospect calls your service or product. The great news is that Google has a tool to help you in the process of finding the right keywords. Go to Goolge’s Keyword Tool and type in what you think a prospect might type into Google when searching for your product or service. Google will display both the average number of searches for that keyword and a list of suggestions that are similar to that phrase or single word.
Understanding number of searches: More searches are not always better than fewer searches. In the case of “Mercedes auto repair,” the business will get fewer searches than just the phrase “auto repair.” If your business only provides services for Mercedes, you will want to focus on the more specific keyword phrase, even though it may get fewer searches. Unless you are a global company, focus on the number of searches in the local monthly search column.
How many keywords to focus on: The best practice is to focus on three to five keywords or phrases. This helps you create a focused effort of getting ranked on these keywords. Too many phrases and your efforts will be diluted.
Where to use your keywords: There is a phrase in the online community called “keyword stuffing.” Basically, this is when a business crams as many keywords as often as they can into their website or online presence. Keywords should make up less than 4 percent of your overall copy. This helps content sound more natural and makes it easier to read. Be sure to include your location (city and state) with your keyword phrase. Top places to put keywords include: title bar, blog post, home page, articles and any online descriptions of your business.
Jabez LeBret is the author of the Amazon No. 1 bestselling law office marketing book How to Turn Clicks Into Clients. As a partner at Get Noticed Get Found, a legal marketing agency, over the last nine years he has delivered over 800 keynote addresses in six countries. His main area of expertise is managing Gen Y in the workplace, advanced Facebook strategies, LinkedIn strategies, Google+, SEO, local directory optimization, and online marketing.