by Kenneth Rudich
Okay, so you’ve established a website for your business. Good job!
Now, do you have a keywords list for it?
Are you familiar with the concept of keywords, how it pertains to your business website, and why it is so critical to your marketing initiative?
If not, you will shortly.
keywords and seo
Keywords are used for search engine optimization or SEO. If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, take a moment to read an earlier post titled “Small Business Website Marketing for Beginners-What is SEO.” The possession of that knowledge will help you to better understand the context of this post.
Keywords are the words or phrases prospective customers typically use in their internet search about a product or service.
For instance, let’s say you want to learn more about the types of widgets that Bob carries at his widget store. You might turn to Google or Bing and type “Bob’s Widget Store” in the search field to access his business website. What you’ve just typed into the search field is a keyword phrase.
Someone else may want to investigate a specific brand of widget, the Y-widget. That individual may type “Y-Widget” into the search field. If Bob has that brand of widget in his inventory and it’s been incorporated as a keyword on his business website, then Bob’s Widget Store may well be among the top results to show up in the search engine findings.
You’ll notice there are two different points of origin for the search, but they both lead to same end result for Bob. In theory, there could be as many different points of origin as there are potential keywords or phrases people might use when starting a search. It could be 20, 50, 100 different words or phrases, maybe even more. If you have a strong keywords list, each separate point of origin for a search could get funneled to your business website.
The bottom line is this: keywords and phrases can have a direct impact on the placement or ranking your business website receives in the search engine results. Said another way, it’s how SEO drives prospective customers to your website, as opposed to someone else’s.
the keywords list
The keywords list is a collection of all the conceivable words and phrases that might be associated with your business or service. Depending on how many pages you have on your website, and how the content has been distributed across them, there may be a separate keywords list for each page.
Once the keywords and phrases have been identified, they are then incorporated into the design of your website. Some of them may be visible to the people who visit it, such as in product descriptions or the promotional copy. Others may be hidden from the view of visitors. In this case, they are embedded into the software code that brings your website to life on the internet.
Search engines send out bots or robots to mine internet websites. The bots probe for keywords and phrases to determine how they’re going to rank your website in their search results, as compared to others like it (read: as compared to your competitors’ websites). They can read the words that are visible to the site’s visitors, and they can also read the ones embedded in the software code. That’s why it’s important to have keywords and phrases in both areas.
There’s also the notion of managing a keywords list, in which it is grown or pruned over time as you become better acquainted with the words and phrases that give you a competitive advantage with respect to SEO.
tips for business marketing website beginners
If this information is new to you, there’s a good chance you have outsourced, or plan to outsource, the design, development and maintenance of your website, preferably to a provider with relevant experience and skills.
If that’s the case, ask them about the keywords list for your website. If they look at you funny or with a quizzical expression, outsource the work to someone else.
If they’re good, they’ll probably mention it before you do. In fact, they’ll want your input for developing a good list.
At the same time, I recommend that you push the matter a bit. Ask them to show you the keywords list(s), explain how they intend to use it and manage it over time, how frequently it will be updated, whether they’ll provide you with a new copy after each update.
Once your website has been up and running for a short while, periodically ask them which keywords or phrases seem to be exerting the greatest influence. This will help to keep them on their toes, and it may provide you with useful marketing intelligence.
Along the same lines, periodically review the list yourself. Look for words or phrases you don’t want used – or more importantly – keywords or phrases that may have been inadvertently omitted.
keep learning how to optimize the marketing function of your website
Remember, your business website is a uniquely important marketing tool.
Even if you outsource the technical side of it, keep asking questions about the broader concepts of how to continually improve its marketing effectiveness. You won’t necessarily want to implement every idea, but it’s better to know that information than to be in the dark about it.