- Category: May - June 2009
Search engine marketing is fundamentally tied with language, simply because there is no bypassing filling out a search form with words to get a list of various popular search strings. Or rather, to be more precise, search engine marketing has fundamentally to do with the language of the audience.
Everybody knows today that the times of writing irrelevant terms such as "Britney Spears" or "Pamela Anderson" in the keyword meta tags for guaranteeing a successful keyword campaign are irrevocably over. However, today’s errors made in keyword selections are much more subtle and therefore more difficult to avoid.
Here are some of the most important tips:
- Concentration on generic terms
Far too often, the vocabulary of a company’s terms is reduced to some general words, that describe primarily the industry, but not the specific offers or services. An error that derives most probably from the fact that quantity is taken for quality.
- Adherence to language rules
Terms used by a company don’t necessarily have to be identical with those used by their target group for the search. For instance, if on your company website you use the British word "lift" to describe your product and forget to choose the American term "elevator" as a keyword as well, you won’t be found so often via search engines, as users are surfing unknowingly around you even if you are an industry leader in your category.
- Rhetoric instead of description
If companies deliver keyword lists they contain inevitably terms like "competence" and "tailor-made solutions", which perhaps make sense in the company’s mission statement, but not in search engine marketing.
- Waiving of market research
The misconception that it is possible to define in advance with what kind of search terms a search engine presence would be worthwhile unfortunately, still exists. The truth is: you can’t. Only a detailed market research allows you to attribute to each search term its quality. And the perfect marketing tool for search words are even already in place, namely keyword advertising. So whoever optimizes his website without practicing keyword advertising is flying blindly.
The following list should support you in avoiding errors when establishing systematically your own keyword world:
- Identification of the keyword basic set.
From industry definitions on to product categories and descriptions down to combinations such as "wellness vacation Sentosa booking", with which the user has already revealed his intention - using various online tools and a certain degree of systems can map a keyword world.
- Doing market research
By using keyword advertising a keyword can be tested perfectly: Frequency and conversion rates come to the fore and other terms can be identified that have been overlooked in step one.
- Optimizing Websites efficiently
Only now does it make sense to optimize the Website to certain terms with regards to content - namely to those terms that have been proved in step 2 to be gainful. There is only one hitch: Not every word can land a top ranking efficiently via optimization.
Building up keyword worlds systematically
There are several tools on the market that can help you creating your keyword world. Although the values provided by tools of Yahoo!, Google and others are due to a variety of reasons heavily distorted or difficult to interpret, the terms that can be identified thanks to such programs are definitely much more important than the figures that can be obtained, too.
The most important tools at a glance:
Keyword Suggestion Tool of Yahoo! - formerly Overture
The utilization seems to be simple: type in your keyword and a list of keywords plus combinations will be supplied immediately, inclusive of the search frequency of the last month. But for various reasons singular and plural forms get combined here. Anyone who retrieves the search frequency for "books" gets delivered the appropriate statement to "book". Nevertheless, the tool is able to shed light on what terms are searched at all. Thanks to the listed combinations it is possible to work recursively as well and run a supported brainstorming on keyword search.
Google Keyword Tool - formerly “Keyword Sandbox"
A much more powerful tool than that of Yahoo!. Here as well you get delivered other combinations by entering a term, but also synonyms and singular and plural forms. And the best is that everything is reasonably and usefully categorized. In addition, the tool can comb through any Website and backup terms, inclusive of combinations, synonyms, and more. However, these so-called "Website-related keywords" are often full of surprises: Do keep in mind that not everything prominently mentioned on a Website has to be important,.
Probably the world's most used keyword research tool. Wordtracker offers a variety of extremely helpful information. It’s a commercial product whose functions can partially be tested out in a free trial. So, for instance, when entering a search term, a lateral and a thesaurus search will be performed that generates synonyms and related terms as well as words, which are often used on the Website on which Wordtracker discovered the original keyword. It’s a powerful and very flexible tool.
There are obviously still many other tools available. Pandia.com for instance gives a good overview but with the three tools listed above, it should be already quite easy to create your keyword world.
One problem however adheres to all such programs: The "long tail" is difficult to grasp as seldom searched terms are often falling through the cracks. Therefore handwork can’t be avoided, for example in form of a keyword matrix. It is necessary though to systematize the own offer on a keyword level, according to the degree of specification. So for instance the word "automotive" describes the industry, "sports car" a product type, "BMW" a manufacturer, and "Z4" is finally a concrete product. All these words can stand alone or be combined with one another. If user interest is added, classic "long tail" terms are rapidly developed which won’t be detectable with any online tool. Well, of course you don’t have to fret as even for this operation exist some programs on the Internet that make your work easier.
By Daniela La Marca