No matter how much I study about keywords and their use it seems I can never know enough. I think partly this is because the basics of keyword use remain fairly stable, but how and where to use keywords changes just as quickly as the Internet changes – meaning, all the time!
A keyword is a word that describes your business. And even though we commonly talk about “a keyword” we also use the term to mean a phrase that contains one or more keywords that describe your business. For example, a keyword for The Confident Marketer might be coaching, but that is far too broad to give me any usefulness. So I would, at the very least, combine two keywords and use the term business coach. Even that is far too broad to ever give me rankings on Google, however, so I might decide to use an entire phrase – maybe something like “woman small business owner business coach.” In the Internet world this longer phrase is called a “long-tail keyword.” Technically, any keyword phrase that is between two and five words is called “long tail.”
When you're selecting keywords it's best to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers (marketing experts call these people prospects). So, instead of picking keywords that you think describe your business, try asking yourself how would someone who is looking for me find me on the Internet – what words would they type in?” This changes your perception of what the best keywords are for you.
If you're starting to think that selecting and using keywords effectively for your business sounds hard, you're half-way right! The concept of keywords isn't hard to grasp, but how to do it well so that your keywords actually help you bring more customers into the door can be daunting. But, I've got help for you and it's even free! My friend and expert copywriter and keyword expert, Karon Thackston, has published a new e-book called Demystifying Keyword Research, and you can get a copy of it from her website at my affiliate link. Just go to this link for your no-cost copy. Karen has written a very useful e-book that takes you through every step of the keyword research process, using examples found in Google's keyword tool and Wordtracker (since they are the two most popular tools).
The critical thing to remember is that the better you get at selecting and promoting keywords (short or long-tailed) for your business the better you'll get at attracting customers to your door and the easier it will get to make sales. While it's possible to hire out your keyword research, I firmly believe you need a decent understanding of what they are and how they work so that you can talk intelligently to a team member or consultant and get the most bang for your buck.
I really appreciate that Karon has seen the need and taken the time to write this special e-book as a resource to her Internet friends and customers. This is a great little resource that should sit on your desktop. Surf on over to to http://bit.ly/demystifykeywords check it out and grab your copy.