The online visibility of a business can often be a large factor in whether it flourishes or flounders. After all, users should be able to find you online and interact with your site, especially if you’re an ecommerce business. Online visibility means a source of new traffic and new customers, thereby elevating it from a pure “word-of-mouth” business.
One of the most important steps in attaining online visibility is selecting the right keywords to target. A proper list of keywords will consist of the following:
- Geared towards your target customer demographic
- Medium to high search volume associated with it
- Reasonably competitive to rank for
Now, let’s go through those bullet points one by one.
Focus On Your Target Customers
The surest way to reach no one is by trying to reach everyone. Remember that you’re not only trying to get visitors to your site. More importantly, you’re trying to get the right kind of visitors to your site.
If you have a site that sells lipstick and nail polish, you wouldn’t be served well by trying to rank for “beauty products” or “make-up”. After all, those searchers could be looking for virtually any beauty product on the market, including those that you don’t even sell.
The amount of time you put into ranking for those keywords won’t be proportionate to the conversions that you make off of them. By being more specific with the keywords that you use, like incorporating the brand of the make-up and color, you’re more likely to attract visitors that’ll actually be interested in what you have to offer. Additionally, those users will tend to stay on the site longer and browse through more pages, which could indirectly help improve your site’s standing in Google’s eyes.
Medium to High Volume Keywords
This one is pretty much a no-brainer, but you need to be sure people are actually searching for the keywords you’re targeting. There are plenty of tools to use to see the volume of your intended keywords. Two tools that you should check out are the Keyword Tool of Google AdWords and Wordtracker.
When using these tools, don’t be fooled by keywords that have thousands of searches per day. Those keywords are likely to be incredibly broad and not at all focused. Instead, take the list you’ve created and run it against the tools to make sure none of them return thousands of searches per day or none at all. In the case of the former they’re likely too broad, and probably too narrow in the latter.
Can You Reasonably Rank For Them?
Lastly, when selecting an optimal keyword list, make sure that you can actually achieve your desired rankings. If you select keywords that are ultra-competitive, you’ll be spending more time and resources on getting that keyword to the desired rank than the benefit you’re getting out of it.
Also, don’t think that you’re set once you achieve a desired ranking. Search engine optimization is a continual battle. Just because you stop your efforts to rank for a term doesn’t mean your competition will. Eventually you’ll be overtaken and drop right off the first page.
Try to focus on keywords that are highly relevant to your site with minimal to moderate competition. Again, the Google Adwords Keyword Tool is great for looking at relative competitiveness, but another one that can help is the Keyword Difficulty tool provided by Moz.
Remember, choosing the right kind of keywords is crucial to the online viability of a business. You’re looking for traffic, but even more than that you’re aiming for conversions. Good luck!