Keyword Research: It’s A Critical Step, Any Way You Slice It

Ah, keyword research: the foundation of every successful website out there. Wow, that’s a strong statement, isn’t it? Well, it’s true. For those of you who put little to no thought into, OR who don’t understand the high significance of keywords, the keyword research you do before getting one single web page up will have a tremendous impact on how well you market to your target audience. No pressure. So, why is this keyword research so darned important, you ask? Let’s say you and I are standing behind a curtain. You are probably the most revered speaker in your area of expertise. I pull back the curtain and motion for you to go up to the podium and speak in front of an audience of about 200. No problem. You pull some notes out of your pocket, confidently place your hands on the mic and speak ever so compellingly for about 35 minutes. After you are finished, the crowd claps nicely…almost out of obligation. You don’t understand. It was actually one of your best presentations yet! You were compelling, but not too sales-y.

You presented the problems, outlined the solutions available, and then unveiled your perfect product to fit the bill. So, what happened? This audience wasn’t waiting for you…they were actually waiting on someone else who was going to talk about a totally different subject. They don’t even know what you were talking about. So…..this wasn’t YOUR audience. This was not your target market. You had everything prepared…you had everything all perfectly laid out to be a “slippery slope” that led right to the obvious solution…your product. But….you were talking to the wrong people. How does this relate to keyword research? The visitors you get to your site are a direct relation to what keywords your site is known for. If you are telling the search engines that your site is known for “niche widget solution” or using other keywords such as your name, the name of your business…..that’s not the stuff your market is out looking for. The keyword research you need to do is to determine what phrases people are searching for that have the problem for your solution. They are searching for “perfect posture” or “correct golf swing” not “Xtreme Putter.” They don’t even know your Xtreme Putter even exists! And, unless you do effective keyword research, they never will. So, how do you do the right kind of keyword research? Put yourself in their shoes. If you were someone out there with the problem your product solves, what would you be searching for? “How to train my dog” “Popular 30 something hangouts in L.A.” “Seattle modern art” “Ping golf clubs” These are the things prospective buyers are searching for….

you just need to have the right keywords as bait to catch them before they go surfing by. So, take a little time, spend a day being a customer searching for a solution. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to dokeyword researchwhen you come at it from this angle. And you’ll be much more effective this way as well!

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