Tag Archives: Competitive

Mastering Keyword and Keyword Phrases for SEO

Keyword strategies to increase SEO (See J is for Jargon to decipher) is a topic I talk to almost every client about. This post will get you up to speed on what keywords are and how they should form the very basis of every online communication you make.

I have been looking forward to writing this post for a few weeks, as K was a letter in the “A-Z of Marketing” that I could easily define, meaning I didn’t suffer the usual deliberating. I hope my enthusiasm for this topic gets you motivated too.

What is a Keyword?

We can all define a keyword in its traditional sense:

“A word or concept of great importance”

Thankfully the use of the word in the world of internet marketing is extremely similar:

“A word used by a search engine in its search for relevant Web pages” (Source)

So you see Keywords in this sense, are words with great importance to you, your target consumer and your overall online success.

When your target consumer performs a search, they enter a word or series of words into their chosen search engine, then that engine searches for matches. If your web page is deemed rich in those words, you will be returned as an answer to the search question.  These words are what are labelled keywords and keyword phrases.

Now it’s important to note here, it is unlikely you will be the only website rich on those keywords, so there are more complex processes at work to decide who ranks where – more on that in an upcoming post.

Defining your Keywords

Choosing the right Keywords for your business is more difficult than it may seem.

Firstly, you need to put on your target consumer hat. Start thinking about all the ways your target consumer would label your product or service. Think about the solutions you provide, then as your target consumer,
imagine you are searching for that solution. You may be aware of it by name, or you may just search on your need.  Brainstorming for different keyword and keyword phrase ideas is a good exercise to undertake (See I for Ideas)

SEO Google AdWords KeywordFor example, if you sell Sharpie Markers, your keywords to focus on may be Pen, Marker, Purple or Sharpie. Your keyword phrases may be “permanent marker”, “freezer proof marker”, “pen to write on plastic”, “pen for labelling DVD” and so on.

Testing Your Keywords

When I work on Keywords for clients the first thing I do is open up the Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Firstly plug in your website and the tool will show you keyword suggestions based on your website content. If the keywords are aligned with what you do, fantastic – this means your website is already sending out the right message and may just need a tune up. If you the keyword suggestions seem largely irrelevant, you have a big hint as to why your traffic probably isn’t what it needs to be and you’ve got some work to do.

Then I pop in a few thoughts in the very top box for keywords and keyword phrases. The search results show your words grouped together and then show you lots of suggestions based on your words.

Look for keywords that return a strong volume of searches and medium to low competition, this is a mass marketing approach. Also look for keyword phrases that have low volumes of search and low competition. If 5,000 people search that keyword phrase a month and there is very low competition, you have  an opportunity to maximise your ranking against that keyword.

How to use Keywords for SEO

After you have defined and tested your keyword and keyword phrases, establish a top 3-5 list of keyword or keyword phrases you will focus  on. This list will form an important part of your SEO strategy.

On your Website

Ensure your website Title Tag, Meta Data and Meta Keywords (ask us about these if you’re new to this), are written within “the rules” of  length and use as many of your keyword and keyword phrases as possible.

On your homepage ensure you have at least one text box of information (text boxes are easily read by search engines, words in a picture are not). When you write this text use as many of your keyword and keyword
phrases as possible while still reflecting your brand’s tone and image (B is for Branding).

Using Google AdWords

If you decide to use a Google AdWords campaign make sure the keywords you target are linked back to the ads you write and are the same keyword and keyword phrases you have selected on your top 3-5 list.

On your Blog

Research keyword and keyword phrases relevant to every blog post you write and make sure you use them appropriately. This article http://www.propagandahouse.com.au/blog/seo-2/how-to-blog-for-seo-beginners-guide/ by Propaganda House helped me immensely and I am using Dan’s Blog Plan template as I type this.

So I can’t stress to you all how important keyword and keyword phrases are for SEO and for the success of your online presence. We are currently running a Wise Up to Search package to help small business with their keyword strategy and to trial Google AdWords (who are currently offering a $75 credit for new accounts). Please get in touch if you want to know more information about the package or about this post. I would also love to hear your Top 3 Keyword or Keyword Phrases.

Until next week K is for Keywords and also Key Lime Tart http://www.joyofbaking.com/KeyLimePie.html (why not?)

Mary-Anne

www.wiseupmarketing.com.au

P.s. A quick word on keyword stuffing before you go. Like all loop holes and quick fixes, some SEO companies a few years back recommended that people repeat their keyword and keyword phrases in large blocks at the bottom of every page on their website to “maximise SEO”. Unfortunately most search engines wised up to this and as result they wrote an algorithm that detects keyword stuffing (as it’s known) and will negatively rank sites that go down this path.


Get Competitive with your Competitors

Competitors are the concern of all businesses, no matter their size. Too often we wait until sales have dropped unexpectedly or enquires are down until we look at what the competition are doing. In this post we will discuss how to get competitive with your competitors, to ensure you stay at the front of the pack and connect with your target market.

How to Identify your Competitors

When we ask our clients who they see as their competitors, they always have a list of 3 or 4 businesses offering the same or similar product or service. When we do our competitive analysis as part of our Mini Marketing plan, we generally find quite a few more.

Why the difference? As a business owner, when you look for competitors you tend to think as a business owner. “My business is selling flowers online. What other major online florists are there?” When we identify competitors for a client, we
think like a consumer “My mum’s birthday is coming up, what could I get delivered to her?” All of a sudden we find fruit baskets, chocolate hampers and gift vouchers as competitors for our online florist.

We see most businesses as having two types of competition:

Direct Competitors

These are the companies offering the same or similar product or service. These are our most obvious competitors, but not always our biggest. E.g. Gilette vs Schick Razor, Cornflakes vs Weet Bix, Channel 7 vs Channel 10 etc

Indirect Competitors

These are the substitutes for our type of product or service. These are not always as obvious and are where we need to think like our consumer and understand the options available to them. E.g. Razors vs Wax Strips, Cereal vs Toast, TV vs
watching a DVD etc

So to identify your competitors, consider the substitute categories too and you will have a more complete idea of who your competitors are.

Update your Market Analysis

Many businesses start off with a Business Plan or a Marketing Plan or some points in a notebook on how they could turn their hobby into an income stream. As part of this planning process, formally or not, we tend to do a Market Analysis.

We ask ourselves:

  • Where does my offer sit in the market?
  • Is there demand for it?
  • Are there competitors? Are they doing a good job?
  • Is the market saturated with offers or is it fairly open for a new entrant?
  • Is that market a good size or is it small and niche?
  • What are consumers willing to pay?
  • What is my competitive advantage?

We do a fairly thorough job in attempting to answer those questions. We launch our business and we rarely reassess. When we ask our clients who they see as their competition, they stop and think, they even do
some fresh research and overwhelmingly we hear “Wow! Now that I’m looking I’ve noticed a few more have popped up”.

We recommend a scheduled maintenance program (just like servicing your car)

Competitor Analysis Schedule

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

Just like when you launched and took share from other players, new businesses are launching all the time and a few are after your piece of the pie, these competitors want to take your consumers and make them their own.

If you follow our scheduled maintenance program above, we are sure your top 5 list of competitors will be constantly changing and we are sure you will find new entrants that look and sound surprisingly (and frustratingly)
like they are trying to be you!

It’s a compliment really; they are competing with you because you are on their top 5 list. Your business is being perceived as successful, credible and desirable and so you are a threat.

The best way to get even is to be even better at what you do. With our scheduled maintenance program, every month you are going to review your top 5 competitors and as part of that you should look at:

  • What part/s of their offer is stronger than yours?
  • What part/s of their offer is weaker than yours?
  • How are they promoting?
  • How many touch point’s they have? E.g. Website, Storefront, Blog, Twitter, Facebook Page, Newsletter
  • How you can stay up to date with their touch points E.g. Subscribe, Like, Follow, Visit

Then take that information and learn from it. Learn how to put your own spin on what you see as working well for the competition. For example, if you are an online florist and a competitor has just put up a section on what flower for what occasion, think how you could implement a similar page, but in a way that it reflects your brand and its communication style.

Competing with your competitors requires you to invest time in monitoring the competition regularly. At a minimum, aim to do the annual review – you’ll be glad you did! We offer a thorough competitive review a part of our Mini Marketing Plan package and sometimes it really works to have an outsider look in with a fresh perspective. Get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Until next week C is for Competition and also for creativity.


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