The Role of Keywords

In most cases your potential clients are two-thirds of the way through their buying process before they decide to contact you. After identifying their problem/need, they are on-line searching for information and evaluating alternatives.

To be involved in their buying process, you have to take steps to be discovered during their search and research period and guide them to your web site.

Keywords set the foundation for your on-line investment in your web properties – prospects use keywords to find your web site, your blog, your on-line ads and your social media.

Keywords create pathways to your website and contribute in these ways:

  • Influence the titles and content of your web site pages,
  • Help you choose topics for your blog posts,
  • Define the categories and tags for the blog posts,
  • Improve the profitability of your Adwords campaigns
  • Promote your skills profile on Linked In and
  • Use as hashtags on Twitter.

Step One: Think like your target customer

Let’s assume you have already identified your target market (decision maker and industry) and you have the answer to their business problem (examples: procurement process, marketing automation, strategic planning).
What are the key words and phrases your target client would use to find a service like yours?

A common mistake is to begin with your solutions vocabulary (your selling process). The words you use to communicate your service may be different from the words your prospect is using in research (their buying process).

You want to identify those key words and phrases that are the common language that connects potential clients “searching for answers” and your Value Proposition.

Step Two: Make a list of words they use

Make a list of 10 phrases that describe the problem you solve, then go off to Google Adwords Keyword Planner or other research tool (or contract out to an SEO specialist) to generate the vocabulary related to your market.

Depending on what tool you use, you’ll see daily search traffic for each of the search terms, the level of competition for the terms, plus alternative language.

Be aware that the Googles and Bings invest heavily in their search algorithms and recognize context, synonyms and other word relationships. This frees you to focus on creating human-friendly content that still incorporates your keywords but doesn’t put you in the position of using the same phrase over and over to get your point across.

Once you have your keyword list, you’re now ready to start strategically applying them to your Internet properties.

For the next post in this series: Five Features of Successful Websites