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Search Engine Users are Search Savvy:
Does your Website have the right keywords to attract the right people?

How customers find your website is something you should take the time to get to know. Why? Because the words and phrases that people are using to search for your products or services are of vital importance to your online marketing campaign.

Does your Website have the right keywords to attract the right people? - Image by Viktor

Research has shown that internet users are becoming more intelligent about the way they use the search engines and that they are thinking more clearly about what they type into the search box.

Dr Jakob Nielsen of BBC World Service programme Go Digital conducted research into various aspects of internet use over a period of ten years. His latest statistics on how many words people use when looking for something via the search engines shows that on average 2.2 words are now used, compared to only 1.3 in 1994.

With search engine users becoming more sophisticated in their use of search terms, it is more important than ever to get your website content right in order to meet their needs and pull the right people onto your website.

When using a search engine, have you ever looked at the top right hand of the screen at the number of results returned on your search term? Try it on Google or Yahoo for a product or service you would like to learn about. Keep the term overly general and you will notice that the results top several million. How do you think you will find the specific service you want amongst so many results? Narrow that search however to a specific geographical area and a specialism of the service you are looking for, and the results returned will drop considerably.

Consider this exercise in terms of your potential customers searching for your products or services. Let's use an example: you are looking for cleaning services for your small office block. You are based in Bristol and you are looking for services that are environmentally friendly. You choose Google to conduct your online search.

You enter 'cleaning services' in the search box and 12 million results are returned. How do you feel about searching through all of those to find services that meet your specific criteria?

So to narrow it down, try using the phrase 'cleaning services Bristol'. Now you have reduced your results to just over 400,000. Still rather too many to sift through?

Try 'small office cleaning services Bristol' and you cut the results in half to just over 200,000. Next try adding 'environmentally friendly' into your phrase and you will see that now there are just over 16,000 results! We have gone from 12 million results to just 16,000 by simply being specific about what it is we are looking for.

From this example it is easy to see that when you are planning the keywords and content for your own website you need to think about the specific terms that you think your customers would use to find your products or services. What is it that you are offering that is unique or specific? Take some time to consider why your existing customers chose your company - was it because you specialise in dealing with small businesses? Because you are green? Because you are based in a certain area or only deal with certain industry sectors? If so then use those specifics as your search terms, or your 'keyword meta tags'.

Research is vital, as is expert assistance from your website designer. Designers that are hot on search engine optimisation will discuss your keywords with you at length so that they can build them into your website. They will help you come up with an intelligent list of words and phrases that will prove successful for your specific offering.

The next job is to weave these keywords into the content of your website. The trick is to get the balance right; overdo it and not only will your wording sound ridiculous to your visitors, it will also work against you as far as the search engines are concerned.

Recommendations for keyword percentages are plentiful on the web, but generally if you work on an average of between 5% and 8% for your main keyword then you shouldn't be far from the optimum level. There are a number of free tools available on the internet that you can use to work out your keyword density but there is no substitute for professionally written copy from a specialist website content copy writer, coupled with expert advice on keyword selection from your website designer.

Getting your keywords and website content right is vital if you are going to attract a steady flow of quality traffic to your website; the sort of traffic that will be profitable for your business because these visitors are specifically looking for the very thing you are selling.

Core Media Design's search engine optimisation experts are dedicated to working with you on advanced keyword selection and can provide professional website content copy writing services on request.

 

Published on: Tuesday, 9th December 2008

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