Why Keywords Matter

Search Engines use algorithms to “categorize” and “rank” websites. As such they look to certain elements in a website. One of those elements is keywords. Keywords help the search engine connect your website to the search criteria that is entered by potential customers.

Do you know what your prospects are actually searching for when they go to Google?  If you don’t know your keywords and optimize your site for them, it will be very hard for your prospects to find you.

What Keywords Should I Use?

Tip #1. Make sure you have a target market that is looking for your service, products or solution. This group of people should be willing to invest money to get what they need. If there is very little demand for your service, or people are not willing to pay for the solution, it will be hard to attract clients.

Tip #2. Use your customers’ lingo in choosing your keywords. This means you need to clearly identify your ideal customer and know what search terms they may be using to look for your business. Think: What search terms would the average customer enter as search criteria.

?       What types of questions will my customers ask?

?       What goals are they trying to accomplish?

?       What problems do they want to solve?

Tip #3. Select a combination of two to four keyword phrases instead of one-word keywords. One-word keywords tend to be more general (coaching versus executive coaching). In my research on keywords some analysts suggest using plurals and synonyms as the search engine matches the keyword phrase letter-by-letter. Other analysts seem to think that the search engines “know” accommodate plurals in the results. Our suggestion is to choose plurals. Also consider if adding -ing to the end of a keyword.

?       Start a coaching business

?       Start coach business

Tip #4.  Use Google Keyword Tool to determine interest in your keyword phrases. Other keyword tools are available such as KeywordDiscovery, WordTracker, and Yahoo’s Keyword Tool.

Let’s say I’m contemplating using the keyword phrase–Start Coaching Business. It seems logical since that is the service I offer. However when I look at the Local Monthly Search column, there are not enough searches per month in the United States to warrant using that search term.

Instead I should consider using How to Start a Life Coaching Business, Life Coach Business, Starting a Life Coaching Business, Life Coaching Business and Coaching Business. They have higher stats are still relevant to my business. If I click on each of those keyword phrases, Google shows me who is ranked on the first page.

?       Is my company similar to the ones ranked on the first page? If not, you may not have the right keyword phrase.

?       These companies should be my competition.

Placing Keywords

Keywords should be placed in your Meta tags, the page name and content. If at all possible use a domain name containing your keyword.

If you have an existing website, your developer may have already listed your keywords in the Meta tag section of your website. To find out, go to your website. Right click on the page and select View Source. Look at the top of the page code. Here’s what the code looks like:

Page Title: <title>Life Coaching Business: Marketing & Mentoring</title>

Description: <META Name=”Description” Content=”Build a Life Coaching Business with Mentoring and Marketing Support”> Keywords: <META Name=”Keywords” Content=”How to Start a Life Coaching Business, Life Coach Business, Starting a Life Coaching Business, Life Coaching Business, Coaching Business, Coaching Business Coaching. “>

If you don’t have keywords listed here, you probably don’t have them anywhere else on your site. Ask your developer to insert your keyword phrases in the code of your page title, meta description, meta keywords. Read your web page content to see if your keywords are being used. If not, rewrite your content to include them.

It sounds complicated but it’s really not. Think of the concept in terms of the Dewey Decimal System that libraries use. Your keywords help the search engines to categorize who you are. The exception being that keywords are scattered throughout your webpage instead of in one nice, tidy place.

Don’t have time to redo your keywords? We’ll do the work for you. Contact Marcie Thomas at marcie@coachingshift.com for more details. We offer consultation, coaching, development and implementation of marketing initiatives. Let us know how we can help you.

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