Attracting traffic to your website is all about the quality of your keywords. Targeting keywords that attract the most qualified traffic is arguably the most important part of Search Engine Optimization. At the foundation of every successful SEO marketing program is its keyword selection strategy.

So, how do you choose keywords that are most apt to attract motivated buyers of your products and services? A few simple strategies can make the keyword selection process work for your site.

DEFINE YOUR MESSAGE

Determine what message you want to deliver to your customers and prospects. Focus on the message that has created

search engine optimization

customers for you in the past. Then, use a keyword-planning tool like Wordtracker to generate a list of targeted keywords that people have entered into search engines when seeking similar products and services. Wordtracker and other keyword analysis tools will give you a good idea of how likely your site will be able to compete for a keyword phrase.

Target less competitive terms to achieve a higher search engine ranking. Your most valuable keywords are not necessarily those most actively searched, but those that deliver the greatest activity from customers and prospects.

CREATE LONG KEYWORD PHRASES

Few users will search with a single keyword. A recent study by Google and Millward Brown Digital reports B2B researchers on average conduct 12 searches prior to engaging on s specific brand’s site. Potential customers use unique keyword phrases when seeking websites that satisfy explicit needs and solutions. Based on data from Google, “About 71 percent start on a generic query, so they’re looking for product first, not for you.”

Multiple keyword phrases are more productive because they narrow a user’s search from general to more specific. This will result in a higher rate of users being led to your website.

Plus, matching a keyword phrase word-for-word carries greater search engine ranking value. For example, matching the phrase “commercial building contractor” is more powerful than the words “commercial,” “building” and “contractor” used separately.

CHECK OUT YOUR COMPETITION

Looking at your competitors’ keywords is an easy strategy for choosing keyword phrases. Do a search for the top sites in your industry or sector and view the source code of their sites to look for keywords. Tools like Web CEO can help you compare keyword rankings of top competitors, however, do not hesitate to seek advice from experienced and SEO marketing experts.

KEEP IT IN THE KEYWORD FAMILYsearch engine optimization

Attracting search engines to your website is important, but your ultimate goal is to attract actual customers or prospects to your site. Be sure that your keyword strategy includes all the ways in which those potential buyers might search for the products and services that you offer. This means broadening your list of keywords to include all related terms. For example, if the term “coins” is critical to the content of your site, you should also include related terms and phrases such as “coin collecting,” “commemorative coins,” and “rare coins” among other keyword possibilities including grammatical, plural and singular forms.

Relevancy still remains a priority, regardless of the length of your final keyword list. Do not ‘stuff’ your site with keywords just to attract search engine spiders. Remember, lots of traffic does not necessarily mean lots of sales.

TRACK AND ANALYZE YOUR SEO MARKETING RESULTS

Selecting the right keywords isn’t a one-time project; it’s an ongoing process that requires vigilance and often repeated modifications. Track keyword phrases over time for both competitiveness and search rates to identify patterns and success factors. Google’s keyword tool can help you to analyze existing web content by listing the effectiveness of your keyword phrases. Evaluate the results your website is achieving over time to make sure your website continues to appear in the top 10 to 20 pages for relevant keyword search results.

You don’t want to waste your optimization efforts on keywords that won’t deliver the most qualified traffic, so it’s critical to establish a keyword selection strategy before beginning the copywriting and SEO process. A well-researched keyword selection strategy will result in better quality traffic.

Attract even more traffic by avoiding these 10 SEO mistakes below.