Keywords are ground zero. They are essential to your online success. You must get your keywords right or it's game over before you even get started. Mainly because keywords are the most important element of your online marketíng.
It can't be emphasized enough, especially to beginning online webmasters or marketers, choosing the right profitable keywords will largely determine whether or not you succeed with your online endeavors. You simply must get this element right or your marketing will be in big trouble.
What are Keywords?
Lets start at the very beginning, keywords are the exact words someone types into a search engine to find what they're looking for on the web. Some keywords are valuable / profitable, while others are virtually worthless.
Profitable keywords are the ones that convert into a sale, a lead or potential client/customer for your company or product. These are the words someone is searching in order to buy a product or hire a service. Someone searching for "honeymoon vacatíon packages" is probably in the market to book a honeymoon vacatíon and could turn out to be very profitable for the right website or business.
Profitable keywords are the ones where the searcher is in the right "mind-set" or frame of mind to buy what they're searching for on the web. Tailor your marketing online to target these profitable keywords and it can spell success.
So what's the whole process for finding or choosing profitable keywords to use in your marketing? Lets look at some ways to proceed...
Number of Keyword Searches?
You need to find out how many searches are made for your chosen keywords each month. Simply use WordTracker or a site like SEOBook. These will give you a preliminary number of searches made each month for your keyword. Highly popular, well-searched keywords with hundreds of thousands of searches each month will be extremely hard to rank for because you will have stiff competition from major companies with limitless resources.
I like to pick less popular keywords that get only a couple of hundred of searches each day because my chances of getting on the first page greatly increases. But don't get fixated on the number of searches, some keyword phrases that only get four or five searches daily, can still be very profitable.
For serious keyword research in a particular niche market I like to use Brad Callen's Keyword Elite which is professionally designed software that makes all your keyword research so much easier. But there are plenty of free keyword tools you can use. One handy keyword tool is Google Adwords external suggestion tool which will help you find valuable keywords.
Commercial Intent of Keywords?
But how do you know if a keyword is profitable? Well, one convenient tool is from MSN which helps you with "Detecting Online Commercial Intention" of keywords. Just type in a keyword and it will give you a percentage or probability your keyword query has commercial benefit or intent.
Conversion Rate of Keywords?
Once you have your chosen keywords in place, next you want to have a landing page that converts those keywords or traffic from those keywords into buyers or leads for your online business. This is another crucial element of your online marketíng - you must have a landing page or content/site that converts into a sale or you obviously won't make any revenue.
Keep in mind, if you're into affiliate marketing, you main goal is not to sell but to "pre-sell" your products or services. One effective way I have found to do this is to give potential customers/clients valuable information they can use in making their final purchasing choice. Comparison sites do well, as do review sites, top ten sites... potential customers use the Internet and keywords to not only find products but more so, to find information on those products. Your goal should be to provide this valuable information to make their task a little bit easier for them and they will reward you with a sale.
Long-Tail keywords are simply that: long three or four word phrases that searchers use to find what they're looking for on the web. Because they are highly specific, long-tail keywords have proven to have better conversion rates than general keywords. This is also just common sense, someone searching for a "2005 ford mustang convertible" may just be in the right mind-set to buy such a vehicle; as compared to someone searching for a more general keyword phrase such as "sports cars."
Study your website traffic logs religiously to find long-tail keywords that turn into a sale. Target these long-tail keywords in your marketing. Even buy PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising in the three major search engines - Google Adwords, Yahoo! Marketing and MicroSoft AdCenter - for these valuable/profitable keywords.
And build higher rankings in organic search for these long-tail keyword phrases. It's really not that difficult for long phrases, especially if they're related to your site; many times you can reach the top spot in a matter of days, especially in Google.
How to Rank High for Your Chosen Profitable Keywords?
Of course, the million dollar question is: HOW do you rank in the top spot for your chosen keywords? I believe the key to ranking high in the search engines (especially Google) is to be persistent in building your rankings for your keywords. Take a long-term view or approach, sometimes it may take months, even years, to rank in the top Five for your highly competitive keywords.
The best strategy is to "stick to it" and keep building relevant links to your keyword landing page. Create related blogs with valuable content linking back to your keywords. Write keyword related articles and distribute them all over the web. Create Google Alerts for your keywords and then place comments/links in the newly formed pages on the web that Google is indexing.
Be pro-active, download the SEOQuake toolbar and find your main keyword competitors. Check out their links and then go out and get the same links. Write better, higher quality content than your main competitors because Google always rewards great content. Plus, use the free Addthis.com button and let your visitors bookmark your great content in all the social bookmark sites and build your keyword links for you.
Do keyworded Press Releases with your embedded links and spread them all over the web. Get these Press Releases into Google news and other important places on the web. PRWeb.com is really a great place for your press releases since you can embed your keywords in your links.
If you can try to get your most important keywords in your domain name. Many SEO experts argue the merits of this but from my own experience and marketing - it is much easier to rank high for your keywords if you have them in the domain name. Again, it is just common sense, if you have your main keyword in the domain, this keyword is obviously telling the search engines this is what your site is all about. I have even bought domains and created sites specifically around certain keywords just to rank high.
Always remember, you have to be persistent, I have been fighting some keyword battles for over four or five years! For really profitable keywords, it can be a constant struggle to remain on the first page, but the trick is not to give up, just keep fighting away at your competitors. Persistence usually pays off in the end and those profitable keywords will have your links in the top spot. Make ranking high for those profitable keywords your number one marketing strategy. Concentrate all your marketing efforts towards getting plenty of quality traffic for those keywords and you will succeed online.
By Titus Hoskins (c) 2009