Website optimisation: finding the right keywords for your business

Website optimisation: finding the right keywords for your business

Small Business Internet Marketing (SBIM) offers some pointers on driving more visitors to your website through targeted and effective keywords.

- By SBIM owner, Gary Weis

If I asked you what your customers are typing into the search engines in order to find your business, would you know the answer? You probably have a good idea about the keywords you want your website to show up for, but often, in the harsh light of reality, what you want and what you actually have are two vastly different stories.

Before we look at how to perform for your chosen keywords, let's take a step back. We need to work out if you've actually chosen the right keywords. By researching your market's keyword demand, you can not only learn which terms and phrases to target, but also learn more about your customers as a whole.

"It's not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors."

Let's look at an example:

Say you're a dog trainer on the Sunshine Coast. You might think you need to get to #1 in the search engines for ‘dog training’ in order to get customers. But in reality, you can't help people outside of the Sunshine Coast; you can't help people who want to learn to train their dog by themselves; and you can't help people who want to sign up for a course on dog training.

The broad term ‘dog training’ would have the most competition (and therefore, need the most amount of work to achieve that #1 spot) and yet you'd get minimal benefit from it because of the many and varied reasons people would search for ‘dog training’. Better to use a long tail keyword - that is, a more specific phrase than just ‘dog training’.

Think about the intent of the search term. Do you think someone searching for ‘dog training videos’ is more or less likely to become a customer than someone searching for ‘dog trainers near me’?

Another example:

What about these four searches:

  • dog training sunshine coast
  • dog trainer sunshine coast
  • sunshine coast dog training
  • sunshine coast dog trainer

Which of the above options would you think your customers would use in order to find a local dog trainer? One of those terms gets on average 170 searches per month, which is 4x more than the other three terms combined! There's no right or wrong answer, because here's the weird thing - if you swap the term ‘sunshine coast’ for ‘brisbane’, you see a whole different trend.

Obviously, you need to know which of those terms your customers are searching for, because if you optimised your website for the wrong term, you're missing out on a LOT of potential new customers.

One more:

I recently worked with a company in Perth that hires out those inflatable castles that kids jump around on. I call them ‘jumping castles’ but the customer calls them ‘bouncy castles’. Again, there's no right or wrong answer, but before we began optimising his website, we needed to know which term had the most searches.

Well, that was a can of worms, wasn't it? Because not only are both of those terms technically correct, these things also go by a number of other names: ‘inflatable castles’, ‘closed inflatable trampolines’, ‘CITs’, ‘bounce houses’, ‘bouncy houses’, ‘moon bounces’, ‘moonwalks’, ‘spacewalks’, ‘jumpers’, ‘bouncies’, ‘boingalow’, ‘astrojumps’ and ‘jolly jumps’.

The lesson here is obvious - instead of making assumptions, always research your market to find out what potential customers are searching for.

How to research your market

So, how do you research your market? These are some of the resources we use:

Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool

Google Trends

Moz Keyword Explorer

Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence

Wordtracker’s Free Basic Keyword Demand

Before making any changes to your website, discover what it is your potential customers are searching for, then figure out which of those search terms shows immediacy and intent. Once you've learned these lessons, you're ready to start optimising your website.

Find out more

Brendale-based SBIM offers all-round website, app and digital marketing services to not only get your business online, but take it to the next level by following through with tailored, digital marketing strategies.

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