When Johannes Gutenberg, a simple goldsmith and businessman from a small mining town known as Mainz, Germany, invented his printing press, he probably had no idea about the ramifications of his invention. The printed word wasn't new. His Gutenberg Bible wasn't even the first book ever printed using moveable type. The Chinese are believed to have done it nearly 400 years earlier. So why all the hype?
The printed word is traced as far back as thousands of years before Christ. The Old Testament of the Bible, specifically the book of Job, dates back to 1,500 B.C. The written word has toppled kings, educated leaders, organized governments, made millions of sales, and won many hearts. The printed word is the most important communication tool in history -- until maybe now. In comes the internet, and words take on a completely new level of power!
- Well-crafted words can calm a nation during difficult economic times.
- Passionate words can incite a riot or bring peace to a wounded heart.
- Words of kindness can turn away anger.
- Words can mislead, sell, convince, or manipulate.
- Misspoken words can destroy political careers.
- Words have incredible power.
For Gutenberg, the written word wasn't the invention -- it was the object of his invention. Suddenly, the written word could be reproduced quickly at an affordable price, and new and old information could circumvent the globe. Radical!
Since then, inventions like the telegraph, fax machine, digital typesetting, and now text messaging, continue to provide new advantages for the printed word to change our lives. Ten years ago, who would have believed that text messaging would be so popular with teens today? Who predicted the rise of blogs? Who anticipated the money that would be made using email blasts? Who could have expected that ads would show up on our telephones? Who would have ever thought a storage device with one terabyte of memory could fit into our pockets? These are all new issues facing marketers today. What will we do with them?
The power of the internet is not its ability to reach millions of people with your message. Sure, it can do that, but the real power of the internet is its ability to reach one person with your message. Unlike many more-traditional marketing tools, the internet is incredibly precise. This precision gives marketers the astonishing capacity to niche-target their message. The key to internet precision is correctly identifying your keywords and using them strategically. Too often, our clients think they intuitively know the correct keywords, but more often than not, they are guessing incorrectly. Proper determination and use of the right keywords will dramatically increase your organic search engine ranking. The more relevant your keywords and keyword phrases are, the more buoyant your website will be in an organic search. Consequently, if your keywords are wrong, your results will be poor at best. That said, the heart and soul of internet success is keyword selection. Using the right keywords correctly is the foundation to any improvement in organic search engine results.
Here are five tips on selecting and using keywords:
Focus on 10-20 keywords first
If you try to optimize too many words, you will likely frustrate yourself and not see the success, even if it's there. You can utilize Google's free keyword program to see if your keyword ideas have any value. Go to Keywords Tool to try it out. Don't limit yourself to the obvious words. The keyword phrase business telephones may seem like a slam-dunk. But, a little research may show you that the term business telephone systems is far more powerful. Search around for similar words that have high search counts and low competition. I prefer to use Wordtracker's keyword system, but either can help you out. If you use Wordtracker, pay particular attention to the metric called IAAT (in anchor and title). This result shows you how many sites use the term in these critical programming locations.
Don't waste time with one-word keywords
Take a candy store in Frederick, Md., for instance. The keyword truffles may generate the store literally millions of interested searchers. Unfortunately, the term is so broad that those searchers could be looking for chocolates in Florida, Texas, or even China. Maybe they're looking for truffle recipes to make at home. But, if they use the keyword phrase handmade chocolate truffles Frederick, MD (assuming this keyword has value), now the store has something. Moreover, if your business has a Google Places page and your keywords are correctly loaded into your account, you will rise to the top of the local search.
Use your keywords everywhere
Use social media posts like Facebook and Twitter, blog entries, online press releases, and your website copy -- anywhere and everywhere you can online. Your selected keywords should become the worker bees of your marketing efforts. They should show up everywhere, from a book review in Amazon to every social media entry you make. When you write articles, press releases, or blogs, make sure your keywords are present and linked as anchor text.
Always use your keywords in your meta tags
Description tag and title tag -- we still believe the description tag has significance for organic search. Make sure your meta description is worded properly. Remember, the searcher only has your description tag to determine if your link is worthy of their time. See what Google says about them. Your title tag is also very important. Make sure your keywords are used throughout your website's many title tags. Use the keywords according to the specific page content and objective.
Sign-up your website for Google analytics or another analytics program
Track the success of your keywords so you can update and improve them as time goes on. SEO is a powerful force in gaining web traffic, sales, and brand awareness for your business, but it's not something you start today and see results tomorrow. Successful internet marketing, specifically SEO, is a very dynamic process that takes time and financial investment. But, when properly executed, it pays great dividends.
When you begin an internet campaign, start by carefully selecting the right keywords for your unique business. Then, execute an SEO campaign using powerful inbound marketing techniques to build an influential online presence. Results don't happen overnight; successful SEO optimization is a strategic process -- not an event. Best of luck as you pursue your success online.
Brian Flook is president of Power Marketing.
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