I can’t tell you how surprised I am that so many people who are new to promoting their product or service online, that don’t know the importance of keyword marketing. Believe me, your keywords are one the most important aspects of your website, even more so than content, and I’ll explain why in a minute. If you came to do an interview with me, a renowned dog expert, about dog shows but I never mentioned dogs ONCE in our conversation, would you think I was an expert at all? Would you tell ANYONE I was an expert after that experience? So, if someone you knew asked you if you knew anyone they could talk to about dogs….would you refer them to me? Probably not. That’s how search engines work. Let me ask you something. Go take a look at the keywords (just after the tag in your home page’s source HTML. Let me guess what they say. They have in it the name of your web site, the name of your product, and a few, very broad keywords such as “golf” or “pets.” Right? So, when someone you meet on the street asks you what your website is about, what do you tell them? Let’s go with the golf example. You tell them, “Oh, our site is all about golf. We have a whole section on Ping and other brands of golf clubs, a section on the best golf courses in the US, golf clothing, and great novelty golf items!: Now, go check out your keyword marketing phrases: golf, golf clubs, clothing, Great American Golf Source. Well, those few words are what the search engines are looking for when they come to check out your site. They come and find your keywords. You’re telling them your site is all about things like golf, clothing, American, Source, Great, clubs……So, these engines are going to start giving your site the reputation for those words. A reputation? How does something like a web page get a reputation? This sounds like I’m back in high school! Yep. The search engines take note of what you are saying are the most important words that describe your web page. Then, they categorize you so that when someone is searching for those same words; your page will get served up with any others that have those same keyword marketing phrases too. So, here I get online, and I’m looking for a golf gift for Father’s Day. I go to Google and do a search for “golf gifts.” Do you think Google serves up your page to me at all? You told the guy on the street you have great novelty golf gifts, but did you tell the search engines? No. You told them your site is about Source, golf, clothing….. So the chances of me ever finding your site is pretty close to zero. Here, let’s do a Google search for the phrase “golf” right now. Go ahead, pull up another browser and let’s do this exercise together. Right as I write this article, there are a total of 689,000,000 pages that have “golf” as one of their keywords. Yikes. That’s a lot of pages to compete with! And yours is just a little site. So, now, remember what you told that guy? “Novelty golf gifts.” Let’s do a quick search for that. Oh wow, only 9,000,000 pages have that more specific keyword phrase in their . What are the chances that I will be able to find your page if you are competing with 9 million pages versus 689 million pages? Um, sorry to say… both are millions and millions of pages to compete against! So, what do you do? If you are new to your niche market online, the best keyword marketing strategy is this: 1. Pick about 8 keyword phrases that describe what your site offers, but don’t have a bazillion competing pages. Just do a search in Google and see how many pages you would be competing with. 2. Go to overture.com and do a search for the phrases you have chosen, and make sure they have enough people actually searching for those phrases! If you have a great keyword phrase that doesn’t have a lot of competing pages, but only 2 people per month search for that phrase, you aren’t going to get many visitors to your site! A good amount to shoot for is phrases that get about 2,000 searches per month at overture.com. A general rule of thumb is that you can double the overture search counts (which are by month) and that is about how many searches there are per month in Google (Google doesn’t have a way for you to find out how many people are searching for exact keyword phrases each month). That’s why a phrase like “Great American Golf Source” is a terrible keyword to have in your list. Unless you are a household name like McDonalds or Q-tips…putting your business name or product as a keyword marketing phrase is not as valuable to you as using a more descriptive word such as “novelty golf gifts” 3. Next, once you have put your keyword phrases, it is imperative that you actually use those words in the content of that page! If you are telling the search engines that you want to be known for “novelty golf gifts” but never mention that phrase EVER in that page….will you get a reputation for being an expert in the area of novelty golf gifts? Chances are slim to none. So, search engines look for what you say your site is expert on, and then looks through your content to see that you really ARE an expert in that field because your page talks all about things relating to your keywords. They take note, and the next time someone does a search for your keywords, your site makes it into the list of pages that are served up to them. There’s a lot more you need to do now that you have your keyword marketing list set up correctly. In my next article, we’ll talk about some optimizing you should do to your pages to ensure that when you are served up in that list, that you make it up high enough (like in pages 1-3…of 9,000,000) so that people will actually find your link, click on it, and go visit your page!

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