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Friday, July 27, 2007

The Array Keys to your Keyword Research

Since the internet is the information super highway of the 21st century than it stands the reason that road signs are needed to take internet users where they want to go. If you are doing business online, you want those signs to guide people straight to your website. Enter keyword.

If content is king (and it is) then keywords are the queen. Choose the right keywords, then step back and watch search engines bring you more web site traffic. On the flip side picking the wrong ones or at least words that are too general in nature can relegate your website to internet obscurity. That is why it is very important to get you keyword marketing off to a good start by researching compiling and analyzing your keyword list.

You can use any keyword tool available to do your research. The big enchilada is of course Overture. Just type in your word or phrase and then check out the results. Is there a potential target market available? Higher search results mean more competition. There is nothing wrong with that, it just means you will have to work a little bit harder. Compile all words and phrases that fit your niche into a list.

Next comes the analyzing stage. The goal here is to edit your list down to those keywords that will get you the highest number of visitors who would most likely be interested in your product or content. How do you do this? By evaluating 3 elements of the keywords you choose.

a)How Popular is your Keyword?
This is pretty easy to measure. Just go to Overture and find out how many people are searching using that specific word.

b) How specific is your keyword?
Let's say you are building a website on Paris Hilton (I know but it's just an example). There are over 1.6 million searches using just her name. That would be a lot of competition. However the keyword phrase Hilton Paris scandal yields 2,144 search results. That means less competition, higher ranking in the search engines and a greater chance of people finding your website.

c) What's the incentive?
This is where you want to do a little role play with your target audience. The goal is to find people who are motivated to take action now no matter if it's buying your product, reading your content or clicking on a link. There are various tools and software to measure consumer trends in relation to site traffic.

As you have probably figured by now all of this involves a lot of trial and error. There is more to keywords than just search results. You have got to know what words and phrases are triggering action. For this reason you need first and foremost to study your target market thoroughly.

To make your keyword marketing a success requires constant evaluation. The good part is once you put your system of research, compiling and evaluation into place, the process will flow more quickly and smoothly right toward your online success.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Start your Business Right With Low-cost, Online Research

Just imagine that you’re planning to open a coffee shop in Seattle. If there’s one thing the city has, besides rain, it’s a lot of places serving up caffeine. Which means the competition could kill you, unless you find a great location and the best way to serve up your brew. Understanding everything you can about coffee consumption will help make your business a success. For example, you’ll need to know who drinks coffee, favorite haunts and beverages, types of competition, available locations, do they drive or walk, etc.

When looking for information about your industry, starting with Google might seem like a good idea, but in our example, a search for “coffee shops” turned up over two million hits. Trying “coffee shop customers” narrowed it down to a little over two thousand – still a lot of data to wade through.

A better way to start searching for information about your industry is through related trade publications and organizations. They’re already focused on your market, and usually offer low and no cost information you can download. Here’s how to get started:

1) It’s easy to get lost and distracted in cyberspace. Make a list of what you’re looking for, like sales figures, trends, pricing, competition, etc. Think about customer characteristics too, like demographics, psychographics, behaviors and geography.

2) Create a list of phrases common to your industry, such as “coffee retail”, “coffee shop customers”, “coffee drinkers”, “Seattle coffee shops”, etc.

3) Compile your list of publications and organizations by going to: You can also try “Coffee shop customers” resulted in a long list of articles with author and publisher. Lastly, try “coffee trade publications” in a search engine. This turned up Tea & Coffee Asia, Gourmet Retailer and several trade organizations. If you’re looking within a particular geography, remember to include local magazines, newspapers, radio and television stations (for example, Seattle Magazine, The Seattle Times, KIRO, and NWCN).

4) At the sites, look for reports, white papers, news, articles and statistics. At the media sites, look under Advertising or Media Kits too, which typically offer information about their audience that you can use in your own research. To save time sifting through unrelated information, prioritize the websites most targeted to your market. To get more marketing research tips, go to :

No matter what product or service you plan to offer, the marketing of that product must be based on a good understanding of the industry, your customer and the competition – and the Internet is a good place to start if you know how to look.