Importance of Keyword Selection

Keywords are important to search engine success.Using the right language to target your various audience groups is critical to your success within the search engines. Keywords help you to accomplish a number of important business tasks online, including:

  • Attracting buyers interested in the products and services, or information and programs, you offer
  • Establishing your online authority among users and the search engines for the content related to what you offer
  • Helping to keep your online content focused and highly targeted
  • Managing the effectiveness of your pay per click campaigns
  • Building your online audiences on your social media sites
  • Attracting media to your news stories
  • Enhancing the effectiveness of your online directory listings such as Google Places and any industrial directories you list with
  • Disseminating information related to the new products and services, or information and programs, you are promoting
  • and more.

Conducting research to uncover the best keywords and phrases for your purposes is not an easy task. The first thing you need to do is establish whom you are targeting and how they think of what you offer. This may sound simple but I am always surprised at the steps that are often overlooked. Many businesses incorrectly assume they know the language used by their existing and potential customers to refer to what they offer and they use only these assumptions. For example, your firm may have a particular way of referring to your product or service that is not yet shared by those who would benefit from it. You may refer to your product by its brand name such as the ‘MachDuster;’ however, your targeted buyers may search for it by the result it achieves for them such as: remove dust from cnc machine. (Hopefully I have just made this up and am not infringing on anyone’s copyrighted brand!)

The point is you can use your assumptions as a starting point but your list should also include such things as:

  • All possible applications
  • Industries served
  • Similar products/services it may be mistaken for
  • Competing brand names
  • Geo-targeted locations

If you’re building a keyword list for use in a pay per click campaign you will also want to include words that could negatively affect your results and your budget. Make a separate list of ‘negative’ keywords that includes such things as:

  • Terms that are too broad such as ‘waterproof’ (could include waterproof mattress as well as waterproof foundation)
  • Acronyms like DAS (which could mean Distributed Antenna System, Dependable Auto Shippers, and even Departmento Administrativo de Seguridad – you get the picture!)
  • Locales not relevant to your business such as ‘sandblasting pa’ if you only serve Connecticut
  • Products/services that are spelled similarly to yours but are not relevant

The point is to be aware of keywords that can adversely affect your lead or sales generating results while eating away at your campaign’s budget. Pay per click campaigns can get expensive very quickly if the keyword list is not managed properly. For more information about keyword building for search engine marketing campaigns read Julie Batten’s ClickZ article.

Rule of thumb for building your keyword lists: start with your assumptions but do the required research that uncovers the full range of keyword and phrase possibilities that accurately and effectively identify what you are offering and whom you are targeting. Know where and how you are going to use these lists – your website, ad copy for your search engine marketing pay per click campaigns, alt text for your images, anchor text for your hyperlinks, title tags, content you create for use off-site on social media, news sites, and relevant third-party websites, etc. – then use them to strategically develop your content for maximum results.

Social Media Strategy and Branding

I would like to point you to a great little post by Michael Della Penna for ClickZ that gives some very sound ideas for How to Get Twitter Working for Your Brand. Della Penna stated that “Twitter is also increasingly a critical communication channel for brands to win customers, drive sales, find/solve problems, and manage customer service. In fact, hundreds of brands across every vertical market industry – including automotive, travel, sports, entertainment, finance, technology, food and beverage, and retail – are now actively building a Twitter strategy and integrating this powerful communication channel into the marketing mix.” I would venture to say that this is true for social media is general. Company and/or product pages in Facebook, staff and company profiles in LinkedIn, blogs, profiles on directory and review sites, conversations on specialty forums – this is all social media and industrial businesses are waking up to the effectiveness of using them strategically.

Our industrial clients at Industrial Web Solutions are starting to approach us, instead of the other way around, about ways to build their brand and hopefully generate leads using social media. The first place we begin with clients is to uncover and define their goals, both long term and short term, objectives, and metrics for success. Understanding why you are doing something helps you to effectively design the ways in which you are going to achieve your objectives and exactly what metrics reveal your progress. Sounds simple but it is a step that is often avoided because clients get stuck on the bigger picture – make sales. Of course we all want to make sales but there are so many goals that have to be achieved that affect our sales success. And a well-thought out strategy makes sure all of the goals are accounted and planned for.

In addition to all the ideas offered by Della Penna, I would add a reminder to be consistent. Remember, you are concurrently trying to build your perceived authority for the products and/or services represented by your web content. Referred to in search engine optimization as your ‘authority score,’ which is in addition to your ‘link authority’ (hyperlinks that identify your content as relevant to and an authority of the products and/or services represented), your brand name or company representative is associated by the search engines with the content discussed in the Twitter post, for example. Pick your areas of expertise and stick to them and you will build your authority score, which affects indexing and rankings in the search engines. After a comprehensive research and development to identify the keywords used by your target audience groups to refer to what you offer, use those keywords strategically in the posts and other web content you present on the various social media channels you have decided to focus on. Create strong and compelling content that accurately reflects the interests of your readers. The more your content is referenced the stronger your authority score will be and the more likely it is that your content will rise to the top in the search engine results.

An oxymoron perhaps, but social media means business. Use it with intelligence and planning and it can be an effective way for you to build your brand and increase your lead acquisition online.

Contact Industrial Web Solutions with your questions 1-800-399-9859.

Social Media and SEO

The use of social media among industrial professionals is an ever-growing phenomenon. More and more individuals are frequenting sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, for example, to post and share information about companies, industries, products, technologies, services, news, and a variety of other business-related topics. As a result, it is important now for companies to seriously consider adding social media to their search marketing mix.

Given the changes to Google’s indexing system and the introduction of the ‘authority score,’ which seeks to determine the level of authority of a content source for the keywords and phrases relevant to the content by evaluating the number of links and references to the content from off-site sources, industrial businesses could potentially increase their web ranking results by creating highly focused, search engine optimized content and placing it on social media sites where they have uncovered their target audiences are spending time.

Crispin Sheridan made a recent Clickz post about SEO and Integration with Social Media that offers some great ideas. I would add that social media is now part of the search engine optimization process. Not only is it beneficial for branding and expanding your audience, but frequently and regularly creating and posting off-site content according to a set schedule is essential if you plan on establishing or maintaining your competitive edge in the search engines for the keywords and phrases relevant to your content.

Audience engagement is key so try to be topical. You want your content to be read, commented on, and to be shared. Be sure to follow a cross-linking strategy so you get the most mileage possible from your content. Include links to your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter, for example. And submit blog posts to Digg and Reddit. Also, be sure to include links on your website to your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn accounts, and any other social networking sites where you post content.

If you need help developing your social media strategy or content, give Industrial Web Solutions a call at (800) 399-9859.