When initially building your keyword list, you want to start with what the search engines are providing in terms of feedback for your specific products. You see the keyword strategy is important because the better you understand the words that people are using to find your products in your market.
The more you can use those same words in other forms of marketing. You see this is the best form of Market Intelligence because you can get into the mind of the searcher. And when you understand how they are searching for specific things, you can use those same words in your Ad Buys, in your Press Releases, in your social media, you can track the success in Analytics, you can use these things in pay-per-click.
Keywords are the foundational building block of any online marketing strategy and they also provide market intelligence and information to even help you with your off-line marketing. There is no other resource available that allows us to get into the mind of the consumer like keywords. The first thing to do is go to your website and the website we are going to be using in this course as an example is explorecalifornia.org. As you can see, it’s a website about vacations in California.
So, what we are going to do is first, look at our high-level list of the products that are offered. So, backpacks tours, spas, hot springs vacations. Cycle California. Camping from the desert to the sea. Nature watches. Snowboarding. And then finally a taste of California. From a high level these are our products. This is what we want to sell and get exposure for in the search engines. When you go to the search engines, start at a high level.
So we’re going to look at California vacations. When you type that in, what you’re going to see is going to be a sense at the top-level, your competition for the main idea. Our main idea is California Vacations. You can see the competition that shows up. What we’re going to look at a little more in-depth, is the type of competition that’s there, and why it shows up the way that it does. So immediately, what should jump out to you is the exact keyword match of the phrase that was typed into the search engine.
We typed in California Vacations. And we can see that the term that we typed in is bolded. Every search engine does this. It helps our brain process more quickly the information in the results. People tend to look more closely at the results that have more bolded terms. Because that automatically tells our brain its more specific to what we typed in and so we can see that even the search engine provides both singular and plural. There’s a lot of matches in there in multiple places throughout the page. So we can look and see how our competition is utilizing the exact phrases that we may want to position ourselves for.
When we go a little bit more in depth in detailed in our key word phrase. So let’s look at California Backpacking Vacation. Let’s look at the context of words that surround that result. We immediately see that there might be an issue here in going after the word backpacking. Because what the search engine is showing is hiking. The number one organic result, that’s the first one after the shaded box of ads. It says top ten hiking getaways in northern California.
And so immediately that should be a big red flag in our key word strategy that we typed in Backpacking, but we’re seeing hiking showing up in the organic results. That’s the first step to understanding the types of competition, as well as, words that other sites are favoring. And may be words that the search engines are automatically putting together in terms of synonyms that are alike. This may be beneficial, this may be a hindrance if there is a specific difference in some industries.
We can also get a sense of the order that people use in the search term and the order that is reflected in the results. If the search term is hiking in California, we can see the first two organic results mirror that specifically. The next few results may interchange California and hiking. Or they may have some words in between. The last result should be very interesting to you, because only the word hikes is used. And when we see that competition its National Geographic.
It’s a well-known. High relevancy, very important website. And only by using one term were they able to rank into the top ten results. This should allow you an insight into the competition that’s available. So the first step. Just take a high level view of the types of products you have on your site. Go to the search engine and start typing in some very general terms to very specific terms to get a sense of what the competition is doing.
But also how the search engines are interpreting and developing context around those phrases.