In this article I'm going to talk about specific issues about optimizing your website, making it more clear to Google and other search engines exactly what your website is about. As I've discussed in previous articles this is very important for people when they are searching. We're going to talk first about keyword phrases and how they fit into search engine optimization. You are going to be using keyword phrases in a number of different ways. First you have to figure out what your keyword phrases are to going to be. There are a number of different tools you can use to do this.
I am going to talk in the next article about how you can use Google's keyword tool, which is a great help in finding out what people are searching for on Google and for finding out how many people search for different keyword terms each month. There is a lot of interesting information you can find here that will help you. If you are a local business and your customer base is only from a certain geographical area, if you are not trying to sell all over the country or around the world, if you're based in a small market area like this, then what you want to do is localize your terms for a local search. What you will do is use the name of your city or town in your searches. For example if I own an Italian Restaurant in Bangkok, I might want to use phrases like, "Italian Restaurant Bangkok," or "Italian Food Bangkok."
I want to tag it with the word "Bangkok" because I'm not really interested in people who want to find a restaurant 500 miles away from here. That wouldn't help me. I want to really focus in on just the people who are likely to come into my business. Localization is one way to do that. You might want to be very specific in terms of the type of product you have. We are going to show you how to do this in another segment as well, using what are called Long Tail Keywords. These are keyword phrases that not a lot of people search for in terms of relative numbers. But the people that do search for them are very specific about what they want. If your business has a particular product or service they want, then you have a good chance of them getting in contact with you or coming into your business.
There is a balance that you are trying to create. This balance is the same as in traditional advertising. You might advertise in a small local magazine which is seen by your target group. And you may want to also use big newspaper that is more broad-based and hits a mass-market. In this situation, you might want to advertise with a mix between the two of those.
It is the same way with internet search. If you were an Italian restaurant you could use keywords that just say Italian Restaurants. There are a lot of people looking for the term, "Italian Restaurant." Ask yourself, "How easy would it be to get on the first page of Google?" and "How helpful would it be to you?" The answer may be no to both of those questions. Using these terms might not be helpful, because you really want to get on the first page, and for a general term like this it would be very difficult to get on the first page of Google search results.
Statistics show that 87% of people never look past the first page of search results, according to Google research.
If I use a broad term like "Italian Restaurant Bangkok" there are probably still many people searching for that, but if this term is localized enough and there is a small group of people for that specific term then I might get on the first page of search results.
Maybe there are tens of thousands of people who aren't looking for that term every month. Then I have a chance to get their business. But if there are many people looking for this, then my chances of getting business from them and being on the first page is smaller. You want to create a balance between these two different approaches.
What we are going to do when we create these keyword phrases is use them in a number of different ways. We are going to use these keywords both in our website and within other content we create such as blogs, writing articles, videos, podcasts, and anything else we are using to promote our website. We will talk more about this in other articles about SEM search engine marketing, which are things that we do outside of our website.
Tom Aikins is an SEO consultant and online marketing expert based in Bangkok who presents seminars on these subjects and also offers a complete online marketing training course on his website, http://www.seonorthamerica.com. You can ask questions of him by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
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