SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING: Keywords can attract more visitors

Social media columnist
Social media columnist

There are many aspects to website design and particularly to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO itself is the process of getting traffic from the ‘free’, ‘organic’, ‘editorial’ or ‘natural’ search results on search engines.

All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users.

Keywords and keyword phrases are an essential aspect of website success. They boost search engines, enhance navigation, attract eyeballs and motivate conversions. Keyword research and development is important to your success. You need to choose keywords wisely and research them carefully. You then need to position them strategically throughout your copy and website images. Also don’t forget to use them in your social media tweets and posts.

There are two different types of keywords: broad keywords and long-tail keywords. Broad keywords are short words or phrases that, while they may apply to your own industry and company, they might also apply to every company in your industry or even to those in other industries, for example ‘marketing’. Long-tail keywords are usually longer words or phrases that are more specific to your company or industry, eg, ‘social media marketing Bury St Edmunds’.

This example illustrates why you should definitely start by targeting long-tail keywords, because these are easier to rank for and they also bring in the most relevant and qualified traffic.

Keyword research can be a complex area, however, there are some great tools available for you to use to research and develop your keywords and keyword phrases, such as Google AdWords: Keyword Planner – many have free options. Alternatively, you can use an agency to help you if you’re unsure of what you need to do or don’t have time to do this yourself. It is one of the services I offer through Morr Marketing.

Your audience and prospects are looking for your information. You need to determine what keywords they’re using to look for you. Ideally, you want keywords that are in high demand, which makes them interesting keywords to go for, but they also need to be low supply, which means there is less competition for the keyword so that it is easier to rank well in the search engines. Once you’ve uncovered the low supply, high demand keywords, you can position them strategically in your content and on your website.

Finding low supply, high demand keywords is just the beginning. You also want to know what keywords your competition is using to target prospects as you can then use this information to further develop your keyword strategy.

As a starting point, here are just a few options to consider to research keywords and keyword phrases:

-- Test and track activity on your website

-- Use keyword research tools

-- Research what your competition is using

-- Ask your audience, customers and/or website visitors

-- Follow your intuition

-- Look at trends

-- Pay attention to popular terms on social networking sites.

Having worked out your keyword strategy, you then need to implement the keywords on your website. You should have a different either broad or long-tailed keyword for each individual page on your website. This will help search engines, visitors and potential customers understand the purpose of your page. When reading the content of the page, a visitor will often scan for the keywords they searched for.

A word of warning, don’t use a keyword too many times on a page as this is classified as ‘keyword stuffing’ and the search engines will penalise you and mark your website down. Here are some places to consider positioning your keywords on each web page:

-- Above your logo

-- In your URL

-- In your subheadings

-- In your headlines

-- Within your content

-- In anchor text

-- In your image/alt tags

Once you have completed your keyword research, it’s important to create a plan and a system to keep it organised. You should also review your plan on a regular basis and update it as keywords change and customers evolve.

Keyword development isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ tactic. You’ll want to continue researching and planning on a regular basis. For example, on a quarterly basis, review your existing keywords by reviewing your analytics and looking for new and trending keywords. Make keywords an important part of your traffic generation strategy and create a plan to research and develop them on a consistent basis.

Implement a keyword development strategy, you’re on your way to a website that will attract the target audience your business wants.

BREAKING NEWS

Facebook Mobile App Opens to Google Search: Facebook is “allowing Google to crawl and index its mobile app,” which means mobile search results from Google “will display some content from Facebook’s app, including public profile information.” The results “appear as ‘deep links’ that will take users to the relevant part of the Facebook app.”

Facebook Introduces New Tools for Nonprofits: Facebook is “testing fundraisers — a new tool — and improving [the] Donate button, to allow people to donate to charities without leaving Facebook.”

Google Rolls Out a New Google+: Google introduced “a fully redesigned Google+ that puts Communities and Collections front and center.”

Instagram Limits Access From Third-Party Apps: Instagram announced “several platform changes to improve people’s control over their content and set up a more sustainable environment built around authentic experiences on the platform”.

Pinterest Introduces Visual Search Tool: Pinterest’s new visual search tool “lets you find all those things you don’t have the words to describe.”