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Search Engine Optimization

Maybe you already know your website’s top keywords – the ones that are going to get you to number #1 on Google when your customers search online. Or maybe you’re researching keywords right now. Either way, keywords are the backbone of any SEO campaign. There are obviously many other factors at play, but keywords are part of the foundation of how search engines understand your website.

What are keywords?

Keywords are the words and phrases that Internet users’ type into a search engine to find products and/or services. Well-chosen keywords and phrases will ensure that your website and pay-per-click ads are found by the right people, looking for a business just like yours.

Your goal with your website is to provide pages that Google wants to serve as relevant search results, and keyword mapping is the process of doing this.

Food For Thought

Here are a few things to take into consideration when choosing keywords for your business.

1. Understand what makes a good keyword or phrase

Keywords and phrases should be highly specific to your business. It’s not just about paying to get to the top of the list - your keywords should tie in directly with your ad copy and website. Your keywords and phrases should also be closely linked to the wording in your advert and that in turn should match exactly the words and phrases used on your website and landing page. Remember, in the modern World of the Internet that quality Content Is King.

2. Think like your customers

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you were searching for a product or service (like yours), which words and phrases would you type into Google?

3. Be specific and targeted

Avoid using terms or words that are too general. Don’t be tempted to add keywords that are not related to your ad but that generate lots of traffic — many of the people you attract won’t be interested in your product or service anyway. Single keywords are often too generic whereas two or three-word phrases are usually more targeted. For instance, ‘organic vegetable box delivery’ is a specific phrase that will attract anyone that wants to buy their organic veg direct and have it delivered to their door. Using these keywords separately or in other combinations may be far less successful.

4. Remove “negative” keywords

Removing “negative” keywords is a useful way to stop irrelevant searches triggering your ad. If you add a minus sign before a keyword, it will be specifically excluded. For example, if you were a garden designer using the keyword phrase ‘garden design’ you could add ‘–book’ to ensure searches for gardening books don’t bring up your ad.

Topics: Keyword Density, SEO, SEO Recommendations, Search Engine Optimization

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN, Milwaukee, WI and SouthWest Florida.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.

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