Category Archives: Keywords

PPC Keyword Tips: Convert Clicks to Sales

Pay per click (PPC) is a common online marketing tool. Online advertisers bid for the keywords they want and their PPC ad appears next to the top searches that correspond to their keywords. Advertisers are charged depending on how many users click the ad.

The good, the bad
The great thing about PPC is that it charges according to the number of people who clicked your ad and were consequently directed to your website. This online advertising tool could be cost effective if it is able to attract the right customers—those who are genuinely interested in what you have to say and offer.

On the other hand, bad keyword choices and poor copywriting for your PPC ads are disastrous for your overall campaign and could eat through your marketing budget. Imagine paying for all the clicks made by people who are interested only in freebies and bargains—worse, people who click ads just for fun.

The best way to make PPC ads work for you is to make sure you own the correct keyword associations, so that you can limit clicks to those who are genuinely interested and who make good candidates as clients. Below are 4 tips that deal with keyword choices so that you can maximize your marketing budget and assure ROI.

For the following keyword tips, let’s pretend that you’re selling eco-friendly, athletic shoes for women.

1.    Know the generic keywords and avoid bidding for them
Generic keywords are what people use to search for a category without knowing what information they need exactly. Based on our sample product, a generic keyword could be shoes or women’s shoes and its variations like shoes for women.

To the PPC neophyte, generic keywords might seem to be the way to go. However, consider how many people who search for women’s shoes would really be interested in your type of product.

Avoid generic keywords to avoid paying for random clicks by a generic market. Niche is the key.

2.    Add modifiers, track and adjust
Modifiers are words you add to the generic keyword that your product belongs to. Going back to our example, if your generic keyword is women’s shoes, the modifier could be athletic. So, your set of PPC keywords become women’s athletic shoes and its variations, including athletic shoes for women.

Adding modifiers to your keyword set automatically narrows down searches where your ad will appear next to, thereby cutting down the number of random clicks.

3.    Use long tail keywords
As the name suggests, going “long tail” adds more market-specific words that only your niche market will bother searching for. Adding eco friendly to athletic shoes for women limits the appearance of your PPC ad to a very specific search.

This kind of focus significantly lessens site visits from random clicks. You spend less as you increase your ROI by attracting only your niche market who are interested enough to end up making purchases.

4.    Say no to negative keywords
Words like “free”, “bargain” and “discount” may look attractive, but you don’t want them in your PPC ad copy. These words will effectively encourage clicks, but you’ll be inviting freebie and bargain hunters, neither of whom will give you profit.

Remember that you want quality clicks that will come from niche customers who are interested in what you have to say and offer.

How to Pick Successful AdWords

Successfully rolling out your AdWords campaign requires more than the number of placements that you can own. In fact, having your AdWords appear frequently but randomly can do you more harm than good. Pay-per-click ads charge per click—it doesn’t matter whether the click you’ve paid for translates to sales or not.

Knowing the business model of AdWords, it is important to be careful about where your ad appears and who gets to see it. Below are 5 tips that can help your AdWords appear with searches that are relevant to your niche market.

1.    Know your niche
Although AdWords are simple and affordable to execute, mistakes will surprisingly cost you dearly. This is why it is important to look into conducting market researches.

Investing on knowledge about your target market doesn’t only allow you to improve your products and services. A well-planned qualitative market research gives you a better understanding of your niche—who they are and how they think. This gives you a good idea on how they use words and how they talk about your brand and your competition. Knowing these things can help you craft better AdWords copy and bid for the best, most relevant niche keywords.

2.    Misspell
Good web content relies on relevant topics, good writing style, grammar, and spelling. However, AdWords heavily rely on niche keywords that are dictated by the users. You have to take into consideration the different possible word combinations and ways of spelling. For example, the word football can also be spelled as futbol (taking European and Latin American fans into consideration) or even as footbal (studies show that this is how people misspell the word most often).

It is also important to figure out which words are most often misspelled and how people usually spell it wrongly. For your AdWords ads, it’s okay to optimize for misspelled words, as long as the content in your landing page is relevant and of good quality.

3.    Know your competition
It is important to keep yourself updated with your competition’s web content. Based on what’s available to the public, you’ll be able to tell which words they’re optimizing for. Their keyword list could be similar to or very different from yours.

Optimizing for different keywords shouldn’t make you panic. Always go back to your consumer research. Ultimately, it is the consumer who searches for you and it is for them that you optimize your content and AdWords.

4.    Write great AdWords content

AdWords give you some space to give a short headline and a description of your offer. Writing copy for AdWords could actually be more difficult than writing for your web content because the number of words you can use is very limited.

Be concise. Find a benefit that is unique to your brand and own it. That’s what you write about.

5.    Write great web page content

Each click that you pay for should lead to great landing pages. Your AdWords deal with the awareness, your web pages do the selling. This doesn’t mean that you should write sales pitches—in fact, do not write sales pitches. Your web page content should be of value to your niche so that they have a reason to stay and find themselves browsing your online catalogue.

How to Own the Right Keywords

1.    Do qualitative market researches
Qualitative market researches do a better job of engaging the respondents. As opposed to quantitative researches, the qualitative method does not present respondents with a predetermined set of answers to choose from. This allows respondents to express themselves comfortably, often sharing more than the answers you need. This gives marketers a deeper understanding of “yes” and “no” and helps them know their market beyond product usage.

Qualitative researches are gold mines for consumer insights. Marketers can use this information to make better products and to optimize communication strategies. Online marketing relies heavily on owning the right niche keywords. Qualitative answers straight from your consumers will tell you which words are relevant to their searches.

2.    Socialize with you niche online
Your need to come up with an online marketing strategy already tells you that your niche is technologically savvy. You can bet that these people also go to other websites and spend their time socializing online. Social networks and social bookmarking networks like MySpace, Facebook and Stumbleupon host numerous registered members. Create a personal account and an account in behalf of your brand.

As your network grows, you’ll be able to identify which of these people belong to your niche. Engage them in meaningful yet entertaining discussions. Find out whose blogs they read and which forums they frequent. Actively participate in the discussions by offering relevant information. Pay attention to how these people post their opinions, and take note of the potential niche keywords.

3.    Check out your competition’s web content

The fact that you still have competition simply means that they’re not doing everything wrong. It won’t hurt to visit their web pages regularly to see what kind of content they offer. Note that this is not a suggestion to replicate their content. The objective of going through competitive content is to make sure that you aren’t behind with your niche keywords.

See how your competitors organize and write their articles. Pay attention to terms and phrases set in bold. These are the words that they’re optimizing for. Compare your keyword list with theirs and think about the differences. Don’t be scared to stick with your list if you’re confident about the research that you’ve done.

4.    Pay attention to customer feedback
This is where the comments function in your web pages comes in handy. Allowing the public to leave comments about your online content gives you an opening to engage people. If they give you praises and thank you for “the very informative article,” then you know you’re on the right track.

There will be times when readers will share their opinions and leave comments that might be slightly negative. Thank them for their thoughts and say that you’ll take them into serious consideration—and do it. Constructive criticism helps you stay on top of your game. This ensures that your content stays relevant and that the words you use always add value to your overall optimization efforts.

5.    Update your customer knowledge

Niche keywords change as soon as shifts happen to your niche, and change comes often. Periodic researches assure you that your knowledge of consumer insight is updated. Regularly logging on to forums and reading up on your competition helps you update your niche keyword list.

How to Establish an Online Presence for Your Local Business

Most local businesses like yours start with a definite target market of people within the area. As business gets better and positive word of mouth reaches farther, people from different cities and states start to make their way to your neck of the woods, just so they can try your product or service.

Now that business has started to pick up, you begin to think of actual plans for advertising and marketing. Traditional advertising—TV, radio, and print—is always an option. However, the cost to hire an agency and to produce such ads can go very high. Plus, there is no guarantee that your desired market gets to see your ad. You could end up spending too much without measurable returns.

On the other hand, Internet marketing offers to keep your marketing budget in check with solutions that make your campaigns as targeted as possible. This minimizes advertising wastage and you’re sure that you only talk to the people who matter to your bottom line: prospects and already-existing clients.

As you shop around for an online solution, here are points that you should aim for with your Internet marketing campaign.

1.    Own keywords relevant to your locale

Having your business in the same area you live in makes it convenient to know your patrons. As you chat at the counter or have parties together, you’ll know how they talk and what particular words they associate with different things.

This knowledge is important as you build your keyword list. Keywords are what people use to make searches online. You want your keywords to be exactly what your clients use, so that you have the best chance of coming up on top of similar search results.

2.    Create helpful content for both locals and tourists
Now that your business is known by people beyond your area, it is important that your website content doesn’t alienate people.

You have had loyal, local website visitors, so keep up the good job. It means that the content you publish has always been relevant to them. However, you should also start coming up with content for people who live away.

An organized way to carry both types of content is to have a separate page for locals and another page for “visiting friends.” You need to invest some time to get to know your foreign/visiting market as much as you know your local market, to provide the same level of optimization for both contents.

Remember to keep your content optimized, and don’t mix up local keywords with the “away” keywords.

3.    Be generous with information
Aside from informative and entertaining articles that you’ve optimized for, it is also important to provide additional information like downloadable and printable maps, directions, and contact information on your website.

If you have a number of products or services, you can also provide a printer-friendly menu of sorts, so that people can immediately see what you have to offer.

Offering this information in appropriate website pages not only helps clients and prospects. You also make it easier for your site to be searched as there is more text content for search engine spiders to crawl over.

Do You Use Keywords Properly in Your Website?

1. Know your market’s language
At this point, you might already have a list of keywords that you want to optimize for. These keywords could be general terms commonly used to describe your product or your category. You might be thinking that the more general the terms are, the more ground you’ll cover and the more traffic you’ll get.

It could be true that you’re getting high traffic because of generic keywords. However, have you checked how many of these translate to sales? Do they even belong to your target market?

The better you know your market’s language, the better keywords you’ll come up with. Generic keywords attract a generic audience. On the other hand, niche keywords attract your niche market. These people are the ones who will contribute to your bottom line, if you do everything else right.

Find out how your niche talks about your product and others that belong to your category. Visit related blogs, forums, and social bookmarking websites. Participate as much as you can to get more detailed information on how people use and react to certain words.

2. Optimize for words and phrases
After coming up with the list of niche keywords, you can begin to optimize your online content. You can combine the keywords in your list to form niche keyword phrases that more advanced searches use.

For example, an individual interested in owning a dog will initially search for dog for sale. The more information he finds online, the more specific his searches will become. Eventually, his search bar input could become pedigree Yorkshire Terriers with papers. Hence, you need to optimize for both words and phrases.

Although you won’t be able to read people’s minds, being prepared will require very little adjustments in the long run, as opposed to a keyword overhaul every time the market shifts.

3. Strategically place your keywords
Having a niche keyword list also helps you naturally integrate the keywords into your content. It is important that in every article you post, you maintain a conversational tone. Your market does not want to read page after page of sales pitches. They want something informative and relevant. If you can make it naturally entertaining, even better.

It is integral that your keywords appear on your title or headline, the first and the last sentences of your content. Within the body, it would help search engine spiders if you put keywords in bold or italics.

4. Check your keyword density
Keyword density measures the frequency of your keywords relative to the number of non-keywords in your content. The acceptable percentage is 3% to 8% and anything beyond that will be considered spamming by most search engines.

There are free tools online that you can use to compute for your content’s keyword density before publication.

5. Update your keywords
No matter how specific your market is, changes will still occur. The only way for your content to be consistently relevant is if you stay on top of the changes that happen to your niche market.

Regularly come up with a qualitative market research that can give you valuable consumer insight. Keep in mind tip number 1, so that your keywords will always be specific to your niche.

5 Best Uses for Your Keywords

When you’ve decided on the list of keywords that you want to optimize your website for, it’s time to decide how to apply these keywords so that you can maximize the power of SEO and get on the search engine spiders’ good side.

Here is a list of the 5 best uses for your keywords.

1. Your website’s content
Your content is the most important part of your website. This is the reason people will give you their time of day. It’s easy to naturally sprinkle your keywords all over your content as long as you make good sense.

It is important to keep your niche market in mind as you write. Your keywords will be made more visible to search engine spiders if the tone of your writing suits your market and the information you provide is relevant. Remember to check your keyword density. You want to stay between 3% and 8%.

2. Your pages’ titles
Page titles appear on the topmost bar of the window. Your page titles are considered text content and search engine spiders also crawl over them.

However, make sure you don’t just put a garble of keywords on this part. Google is very strict on content relevance and it will know if your title doesn’t have anything to do with your website. You could be labeled as spam and be booted out of Google’s index.

3. Your blog entries
Maintaining your own blog that is linked to your website is a brilliant idea. This gives you more room to talk about a variety of things related to your product or service.

Less formal writing with appropriate humor is highly encouraged. Using the right keywords in your blogs also follows the keyword density rule. Having the right blog posts will get you noticed on the blog sphere and the social bookmarking websites. Keep it up and your blog will achieve good rankings, pulling your website up as well.

4. Your video description and photo captions
Videos and pictures help you get your point across and help visitors make sense of your content. However, search engine spiders only crawl over text content.

Maximize both keywords and your visual aids. Put descriptions to accompany your videos and put captions on your photos. Make sure that your photo captions are placed as separate objects. Don’t Photoshop the caption into the photo—this would make it an object file that spiders can’t crawl over.

The great thing about this is that even if your site or blog ranks lower, your video or your photo could rank first if it becomes really popular. This will pull everything up!

5. Comments and answers you leave in other blogs and forums
This is the way to spread your keywords beyond your website and blog. Commenting on other people’s blogs and sharing relevant information on forums brings attention to your expertise and people will start wanting to check you out.

If you craft your responses and posts really well, you can naturally integrate some of your keywords and search engines would be able to pull up specific posts that contain your keywords.

5 Tips for Your Blogging Success

The most successful blogs have remained on top for so long due to strong foundations. They knew what they wanted to achieve and they never got distracted. Most of these blogs never invested that much time and effort with aesthetics. They just nailed the basics and never looked back.

Here are 5 of the most important things you need to get right. The more you do these, the better you will become and the easier it will be to maintain a top spot.

1. Have a blog marketing plan
A marketing plan serves as a fantastic guide for online businesses. It gives your team something tangible to refer to when decisions need to be made.

Good marketing plans aren’t one-sided. They seek to protect both your business and your consumer—who should be the center of your focus anyway. Your marketing plan will definitely make things easier as the Internet landscape changes time and again. You’ll have data to look at, which tell you when changes need to be made.

2. Know what you want to focus on
You blog should be a vehicle to establish you as an expert in your field or category. Maximize your blog to play up on your strengths and knowledge. Credibility is the currency of the blog sphere, and the tangible manifestation of good standing is a thriving community housed in your blog.

The fast route to good credibility is to earn the approval of fellow bloggers who are at the top of their game. Check them out to learn best practices. Leave relevant comments, useful information, and thank them if they reply to your questions. When you’ve established a relationship with them, you can ask them to check out your blog, and hopefully, they’ll link you up on their blogs.

3. Research on your readers
Having a good grasp of who your readers really are will help with content generation. You start and end each post with your readers in mind. Although the message comes from you, the way you deliver your message will rely heavily on the personality and behavior of your market.

Invest in research, and make sure you conduct one periodically. Web 2.0 is composed of a fluctuating market—the only way to be effective is to keep up.

4. Optimize for the right keywords
How searchable your content will be depends on how well you choose your keywords. Your niche keyword list depends on your market research data: the insights that you’ve gathered and actual responses.

Go the extra mile and scour blogs in your category and check out how readers post their comments. Be sensitive to the words that they use, including the words they commonly misspell.

5. Track and measure
Make sure that your host can generate periodic reports. Tracking and measuring are important because these will tell you how well you’re doing. If you make changes, shifts will occur to tell you if it’s worth pursuing or not.

5 Steps to Conquer Google AdWords

1. Conduct qualitative market research
Every marketing campaign, regardless of scale, should always be based on the target market. As a marketer, you come up with strategies to bridge the gap between your consumers and your brand. Communication should always be two-way.

Market research tells you what your niche considers important, relevant, and valuable. Find out what they think is worthy of their time and money.

Remember that your AdWords and your web content work hand in hand. AdWords arouse curiosity while web content creates relationships by showing your niche the value of your brand.

Before spending money and effort on AdWords and optimizing your website, make sure that you understand your market enough to come up with a niche keyword list. This will serve as your guide towards successful optimization.

2. Generate website content
After coming up with your niche keyword list, refer again to your market research analysis. Keep your eyes open for consumer issues, questions, and misconceptions—not just about your brand in particular, but about your category as a whole.

Use the information you get to generate content that will be relevant to your consumers. Give them a reason to read what you have to say and to come back. Make sure that they know you understand them and that you sincerely want to be of service—to keep them informed and help them any way you can.

Employ a conversational tone so that your web content doesn’t sound like an annoying sales pitch. Keep in mind that everything you write should add value to your brand. Feed the relationship that you already have with your niche.

3. Roll out AdWords ads
When you’re confident about your niche keyword list and your relevant website content, then it’s time to consider AdWords ads.

AdWords work with a bipolar business model—either you save a lot, or you waste an insane amount of money. How well you get your ROI (and profit) largely depends on which keywords you optimize for and who gets to see your ads.

This is another valuable application of your research. Carefully consider how your niche writes down their responses. Keep an eye out for commonly misspelled terms and consider optimizing for these words—misspelled.

Think about how you’re going to write your AdWords copy. You have very limited space and attention. Your AdWords copy should include at least a keyword integrated into your brand’s unique selling proposition. The idea is to make sense while being able to set yourself apart from your competition.

4. Determine landing pages
When people click on your AdWords, they expect to be led to a page with the information they’re looking for. This is your window of opportunity, so don’t blow it. Landing pages are just as important as your AdWords.

Make sure that you don’t have a generic landing page for all your AdWords. Unique AdWords ads should have different landing pages, depending on your AdWords copy.

5. Update
Constant market shifts affect the way people search for information online. Make sure that you’re able to keep up—regularly conduct market researches. Update your niche keyword list and re-optimize your web content and your AdWords ads accordingly.

3 Steps to Successful Keyword Optimization

Step 1: Determine which keywords to focus on

Optimizing your website for search engines relies heavily on the keywords you choose. There is no perfect way to choosing the right keywords because the keywords you will optimize for depends on both your target market and your brand.

Figure out how your target market searches for your category: your competitors and your brand. Find out how they talk about you to their peers, and which aspects of similar brands are most important to them. You can make use of different online forums to do research. If you can, it is recommended that you seek the help of professional market researchers so that you make fewer mistakes.

Step 2: Determine your content

Textual content is the life of your website. Of course, the content has to serve your brand, but you should focus more on what customers need to know and what interests them. Write your content around those while naturally incorporating your brand. The idea is to pay attention to them while subtly telling them that how your brand can help them with their needs.

After you determine the keywords and key phrases you want to use, make sure you integrate them naturally into your content. Search engines employ search engine spiders to crawl over web page text and pull up the pages with text corresponding to a user’s inquiry. However, these spiders can detect if your website is just a random collection of keywords without real, relevant content. Your website will be reported and most likely be banned and blacklisted.

There are tools online that can help you determine your website’s keyword density. The accepted density is between 3% and 8% for an entire content page. This allows you to deliver relevant content while naturally optimizing your website for the best search engines.

It is suggested that you maximize the titles and subheads to integrate keywords. Not only would this contribute to optimization, it also contributes to the overall readability and usefulness of your website.

Step 3: Be in the loop, know when to adjust

The goal is to always stay relevant and useful for your target market. Besides good articles that focus on answering needs, it is also recommended that you update your list of product and services.

It is a good idea to maintain sensitivity to shifts in your market. Interests and needs could change, and your website has to adapt if you want it to remain relevant. Regularly visiting forums and related blogs will tell you what’s in, what people are talking about, and more importantly, how they are talking about things that pertain to you and your industry.

Keywords are not static. They change as the market changes its vocabulary and its interests. Make use of available online tools to see which sets of keywords work best for your market and how changes affect visits. You have to make sure that your website is optimized for the correct set of keywords so that prospects and customers can always find you.