What Keywords Should I Use?

keywords-picLots of small business owners don’t really know what keywords to target with their websites or even how to find out which ones to target. Let’s take a look at some simple things you can do to decide on your target keywords.

“This is a local shop for local people…”

One of the things we can do is decide if our target market is local or wide area. If you have a beauty salon in Richmond then you are unlikely to attract customers from outside your area for your beauty treatments so you would likely be best served by trying to get listed for more localised searches.There is another reason for doing this apart from getting the target market right and that is that specific searches are much easier to get ranked for than generic ones. Better still, with localised searches there is also the opportunity to get listed in the local map section as well as the normal results section.

Be Specific

Carrying on with the thought that specific phrases are easier to rank for, we can target some specific phrases relevant to our website and rank for them more easily than competing with the big well established brand names that have cornered the market for generic searches. This is sometimes known as targeting the ‘long tail’. It is not only easier to rank for long tail keywords but searchers using long tail keywords are actually more likely to be ready to buy!

Think about it for a minute, is the person searching using a keyword like “plasma tv” as likely to buy as the person searching for “samsung high definition PS50B450” ? Most like the first search is from someone who is thinking about maybe buying a tv in the future whereas the second search is from someone who has already made their mind up on which model to get and is now looking for one. Having pages optimised for specific searches means you will receive fewer visitors but those visitors will be much more likely to convert to sales.

So back to the case of our beauty therapist in Richmond, wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier to get ranked for “laser hair removal Richmond” than trying to take on the world and get ranked for “beauty treatment”? Even if we did get ranked for the generic keyword how many of those website visitors are going to become customers?

Use a Keyword Research Tool

Yup, there are several free tools out there to help with keyword selection and one of the better ones comes from Google. Just go to https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and type a generic word into the box and you will get a list of related keywords and additional keywords to consider. Again be wary of picking on the searches that have high volumes, they are hard to get ranked for and less likely to become customers.

Remember Everything’s Relative

The more specific the product or service the easier it is likely to be to get to the top of the search engines as the numbers of websites competing for the same keyword is less. With competitive keywords it can take a well optimised page and lots of links from other websites to see success. With less competitive keywords you can often rise to the top with just a well optimised page and few if any incoming links.