Getting CreativeAugust 7, 2008
This post is from an upcoming issue of Identity Marketing magazine
How do you determine the best keywords for your content? There are two important principles to keep in mind here. First, you need to think through what makes your product or service unique – drilling down to specific characteristics is the key. Second, you must put yourself in the mind of your audience; cast aside the presumptions you have about how to describe your business and get into the brain of your customers. They’re the ones doing the searching, after all.
When I teach search engine optimization classes here in Austin, we do a number of exercises to assist in creating keywords. By far the most successful exercise is “finding your uniqueness,” a strategy I recommend for anyone looking to craft a website, mission statement or even a simple company bio. Finding your uniqueness is simply a matter of taking the basic words that describe your product or service and building upon them.
It’s much simpler than you might think. If you’re doing embroidery, there’s your starting word. Where are you doing it? Houston, Texas. Two more words. Do you offer rush service? Of course. Two more words. It goes on and on, until you’ve developed and refined a set of keywords that accurately describe your business.
Don’t be afraid to use negative keywords as well. If you’ve got a service that’s better than something else and you frequently sell against it, that service should be part of your keywords too. That brings us to the second principal: getting into your customer’s mindset.
Often, customers will search for unexpected keywords or competing services; there’s no reason not to include those if they’ll result in better traffic for you. If you sell domestic “sustainable” t-shirts against imported “organic” ones, get all those keywords in your t-shirt page, e.g. “U.S. made sustainable cotton shirts have less impact on the environment than imported organic shirts. Sustainable is an affordable alternative to organic.”
Who knows if that’s true, but you get the point – sometimes negative keywords can be as important as the normal ones. So, make sure you include things you compete against or offer alternatives for when you start generating your keywords.