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Why keywords matter

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Illustration for Why keywords matter

Why do some sites get a lot of traffic and others zero? The following article helps to show why this happens.

When you design your web pages, are they doomed to failure right from the start? Will your audience even be able to find them?

We know that ranking well in the search engines is critical to your online success. It can bring you loads of free traffic, pre-qualified leads that are already looking for the products and services you offer.

So how do you make sure your site is ranking well in the search engines’ results?

Before anything else, you need to know what search engines are looking for. The search engine (usually Google or Bing) makes the best match it can between the words people use when searching and the web pages it has stored in its massive database.

These words are called keywords.

Just type any keyword into a search engine and you get back the closest matches for that phrase at the top of page 1 of the results.

The top of page 1 is the best place to be. It means more visibility, and more sales.

Number one spot

To get there, you need to make good, judicious use of your target keywords in your web page copy. Do this, and your traffic can soar! Pick the right words to focus on and your sales will soar too.

But ignore them and you’ll be losing business to your competitors every hour of every day.

As you can see, it’s astounding how often website owners get it so completely wrong when designing and writing their website. Let’s look at three examples in more detail:

First, there’s Pedantic Pete. Pete stubbornly believes that he uses the correct terminology for his products. And he couldn’t care less about the keywords his customers are actually searching on.

Pedantic Pete

As a result, there’s a huge disconnect between his content and the words his customers are using in their searches. And Pete’s site is a very lonely place indeed.

No search engine traffic

If you don’t use the words your customers use, your site won’t be found.

Next, we have Hapless Harry.

Harry more or less plays it by ear when assembling his web copy.

Hapless Harry

He conducts no research on his customers’ search patterns, and as you can see, there’s a bit of overlap between Harry’s content and the words his customers are searching on. And he gets a trickle of traffic. But, this is by chance, not design. And the results are nowhere near what they could be.

So, let’s move on to Clever Colin.

Colin’s keyword research helps him find out just what his customers are searching on.

Clever Colin

He picks a few of the more promising search terms, uses those keywords on his web pages and, with some marketing, starts to rank well in the search engines’ results ...

Colin’s traffic and sales are going through the roof. All because he pays attention to the terms that attract his audience.

Plenty of search engine traffic

Using Wordtracker’s Keywords tool it’s possible to find lots of keywords, all ranked by popularity.

For example, if I were to type in coffee I can see how that word is used in actual searches.

Coffee searches

Target popular keywords on your site and you’re well-placed to start attracting traffic.

You can also see how much competition there is for any keyword. If you’ve a new site, you may not want to target the most competitive keywords right away.

You can quickly get more specific and look for keywords that suggest the searcher is interested in buying: such as coffee delivery.

No matter what industry you’re in, no matter what products you sell, you need to know the words your customers use when searching.

You can learn more about keyword research, and how best to use the keywords you find, in Wordtracker’s 7-week video training course, Get Traffic!

The course starts on January 15th and the first 200 people to sign up can grab a fantastic $755 discount.

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About Justin Deaville

Justin Deaville is Managing Director at digital marketing agency He was CEO at Wordtracker from 2011-2012.

Justin works with a variety of clients including online gift specialists Presents for Men; call tracking firm Mediahawk; as well as online estate agency

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