Search Engine Optimization: If you have a website you’re sure to have SEO on your radar, but have you really gotten into why it’s so important? Let’s start with some key facts brought to you by

• More than 8 out of 10 Internet users look on search engines to find

information and the products or services they want to buy.

• Pay-per-click (PPC) costs are rising (over 37% higher from last year

to this year Q1).

• 63% of the top natural (organic) listings get click throughs.

• Natural (organic) search results convert 30% higher than PPC.

• 11.8% of Google traffic will click on a site in the second page of


While Google currently has about 200 factors in their algorithms that determine what placement your site will show up in within search results, in this post I want to start with keywords and the components you need to think about when writing content to improve your website’s search engine rankings.

Let’s start with RESEARCH. Always research the keywords that are related to your business. You should try to do this from 2 points of view: 1. Your customers and 2. Your competitors. Regarding your customers point of view, it’s important to put yourself in the mindset of what your customers want. Remember your product or service is the SOLUTION to their problem, so you should think about what sorts of things they will be searching for so they can find the solution they need.

There are many tools you can use to figure out what consumers want – one I use the most is the Google Keyword Tool in AdWords. The way it works: Type in your keywords or phrases. You’ll get hundreds of similar keywords and phrases with their “global monthly searches” – this is telling you how many times people are searching for these keywords.

Tip: Organize your keywords in a “Keyword Glossary” which keeps track of all the keywords relative to your business. Then record the “global monthly searches” to help you organize what keywords you may want to use in your content.

Now I want to touch on the different types of keywords you should pay attention to.

There are 2 types:

  1. Broad – (short tail) These are shorter phrases & single words which are generic to your industry; these would have high global monthly searches, but lower conversions
  2. Narrow – (long tail) These are longer more targeted phrases. The traffic numbers will be smaller, but the conversions will be higher as people are further along in the buying process

The more detail someone types into a search, the more likely they know exactly what they want and really further along in the buying process and therefore more likely to convert. One suggestion – compile a long list of “long tail” keywords in your “Keyword Glossary” and use them frequently within your content strategy, as they are more relevant to consumers who are in “buying” mode.

When researching your competitors, make sure to do Google searches yourself and see what keywords they’re using and paying for in the Google AdWords program. If your competitors are showing up in organic placements 1-3, look to see what they are doing. Their organic placement will give you a good indication that what they are doing is right – which is most likely to be more than just good keyword research.

If you keep the consumer “intent” in mind, try to use many keywords from each type above (broad & narrow). Though this is just one small piece of Search Engine Optimization, keywords are a good place to start and it’s also important that if you are updating content on your website or within your marketing efforts to have a good keyword strategy in place.

More SEO tips to come and if you have any questions or would like to learn more about Search Engine Optimization please visit VEM Global’s SEO web page or call us at 1.866.757.8229!

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