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November 22, 2013

Cindy Penchina, President

The digital age has replaced the print age.  People looking for information, products and services are doing it on line – on their PC, “notebook”, “tablet”

 and “smart” phone. It is, by far, the number one source for finding products, goods and services.  While the old line “let your fingers do the walking” still applies, those fingers are not walking through the yellow pages anymore.  They are walking across the keyboard -searching on Google, Yahoo and Bing.  Type in a word, phrase, word string and hit search.  Up pops hundreds of websites that match what you are looking for.  These matching words are the keywords.  Today’s match game is no longer a TV quiz show.  But using the right keyword strategy can help you win this new match game.

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Your website is your store front, the sign in your window, your shingle, your ad, your phonebook and yellow page listing.  When people are looking for the product or service you provide, they are looking on line first and foremost.  You want them to find you, not your competitor.  The search is on every day, and words are the key.  For you to be found, the words your potential customers and clients use in their search need to match words in your website. 

What is it?  So now you are out “there” with your website, part of the world wide web.  How can you be found by potential customers and clients?  The most important way is including in your website the keywords that people use to search.  Keywords are not just single words.  They are often a phrase or several words strung together (often referred to as long tail keywords).  It is hard to know all the words or combination of words that may be used in a search.  Keyword strategy helps you find the likely words that people will use to search for the products or services that you provide.

Keyword strategy is identifying the words, phrases and word strings that customers and clients use to search for products and services and anticipating how the search engines match them to websites.  The relevant keywords are incorporated into your website in a logical, fluent and coherent manner.  It’s art and science.  Do you have to be Leonardo da Vinci…well, sort of?  The whole internet marketing world keeps getting more complicated and sophisticated.  Keyword strategy is part of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, which is an important part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM).  Keyword strategy applies a formal, logical process to determine the keywords that will get you found by the people you want as customers and clients.

Why it’s important.  Online search is, by far, the primary way people look for products and services.  But it is not enough for the search engines to find you, you have to be found by your potential customers and clients.  What’s the distinction?  Well, any given search will pull up hundreds of matches.  Your audience won’t, and simply can’t, pick through all the items found in a search.  Most likely they will look only at the listings on the first page (highest ranking).  So, to get found by your potential customers and clients you need to get your website ranked high by the search engines so you land on the first page of a search.  A sound keyword strategy is the most important way to get a high ranking.  (Caveat – while keyword strategy is the most important aspect of ranking, it is only one of several strategies and tactics used to increase your ranking.  We will talk about these in future blogs.)

So, now that you know what a keyword strategy is and why it is important, the next step is to develop your keyword strategy and find your keywords.  We will examine this process in an upcoming blog.