How To Get The Most Out of Your Keyword Research

Posted: October 25, 2012

Keyword Research. Search Marketing. SEO.

These buzz words seem to be all the rage in the marketing world lately. But what do they really mean? And why should you care? Good question.

As a quick overview, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In short, that means making your website easy to find online (specifically for search engines like Google or Bing).

When you search for ice cream in Raleigh – whatever shows up on top didn’t happen on accident. In fact, it was carefully calculated by several factors, particularly in relation to the words you typed into your search. These are considered keywords.

Keywords are the primary words that describe what you do or offer on your website. These words should be found in the URL, the description, the body copy, the headings and other places. It can describe what you do, where you are, what you think or what you want people to know.

Take us for instance. The name of our company is VisionPoint Marketing. If you hadn’t yet heard of us you might already be able to pick up on the fact that we work in the marketing industry. That’s good, because we do. But do you automatically know that we design and develop websites? Or that we create strategic plans? Or that we work closely with higher education on the East Coast? Or that we are located in Raleigh?

Probably not, because if you did know all of that from our business name alone, that would be a pretty long business name: VisionPoint–Design and Development with Strategic Plans for Higher Education (and other organizations) on the East Coast–Marketing in Raleigh Whew. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

But we do all of those things! And more! So, in order for people searching online to find us, we have keywords. Keywords can be a number of words and can be organized in a variety of ways. If we wanted the online world to know that we focus on higher education, we might have higher education marketing or higher education website design and development throughout the site.

We could use different variations too, such as, “marketing for higher ed” and “marketing for universities.” Then we could explore other services we offer like branding and collateral, too. We would use these keywords as a guide to create our headings, page titles and content. By looking through the content on our site, both you, the reader, and the search engines should be able to identify our key areas of concentration.

I bet you could create a list of keywords you’d use to describe your business, organization or institution or your website. Brainstorm–what are you known for? What do you want to be known for? What terms are people searching for that relate to you? What words are your competitors using to describe themselves? This is a big part of what goes into keyword research before also using various tools.

Regardless of the tools you use later, you have to be able to build the foundation. Compile a list of these things, and you have a good start on your keywords. Now, the trick is knowing how to use them.