Find Your Niche Keyword Phrase

Knowing what the topics of your website will be is the first step in defining the niche keyword phrases that your target audience would use to find you. However, you now need to be more specific about your keyword phrases.

Choose an obscure keyword and you can achieve high keyword rankings – but you may only generate a small amount of traffic. A high keyword listing is useless if no one thinks to use that keyword to search for your website. On the other hand, you can pick too generic of a keyword phrase and you will either never be listed high enough to generate results or you will receive a lot of irrelevant traffic with no results.

Therefore, it is important not only to have a high keyword listing, but to also have a high listing with relevant and popular keywords specific to your website. It is best to be listed in the top 10 of 500 websites than the top 50 of 5 billion websites.

Beware of the dangers of SEO companies! Don’t ever use a search engine optimization company that tells you they can list you high for a keyword such as “inn” without changing your website. As illustrated above, you don’t want to be listed high for “inn” let alone pay for it.

You will also have to have your website optimized for the keyword phrase before you can being search engine marketing. Many of these companies use tricks and techniques that may work temporarily but will stop working quickly or even  get your website banned by search engines. Just say no when they call with too-good-to-be-true promises.

Also, keep in mind that live visitors are becoming much more savvy with searches and you do not want to damage your brand with trickory and deceitful tactics. After all, the ultimate target audience for SEO and SEM is a live customer. 

Choose Targeted Keyword Phrases

Some keywords are going to be much more competitive than others. For example, ranking well on the single word "hotels" will be much more difficult than ranking in the top 10 for "Hudson Valley hotels." Remember that single keywords usually return the least targeted leads. If someone is searching on just plain old "travel" are they:

  • Helping their child with a paper on some aspect of "travel"?
  • Looking for the "travel channel"?
  • Looking to plan a vacation cruise?
  • Daydreaming about time travel?
  • Looking for driving directions for their trip across the country?
  • Looking for a travel club such as AAA?
  • Looking for the perfect backpack or hiking supplies for a travel expedition?

If you own a travel agency that specializes in vacation cruises and you optimize your website for the single keyword "travel", only a limited number of the people identified in the example above would be qualified prospects. You'd find a great number of search engine referrals to your site if you attained a good ranking on the keyword, but many of them would click the "back" button in their browsers because you were not specifically what they wanted.

If your website traffic analytics show that the majority of your visitors leave within 3 seconds then you have this problem. That's not the outcome you are looking for. When you target longer niche keyword phrases, there is a much higher likelihood that you have focused in on exactly the right prospects. It's the difference between attracting actual buyers versus window shoppers.

Therefore, it is best to target niche keyword phrases that give you the highest quality leads. Ideally, you will want to target keyword phrases that are queried with some frequency, that are specific to your website, but are less competitive. If you are a bed & breakfast would you rather have 300 visitors a day with one booking a week or 100 visits a week with 50 bookings?

 Consider Using Brands

You may want to include more specific brand names in your keyword phrases if you sell specific products or services. Unless you are a well-known company or firm such as Marriot or Frank Lloyd Wright, it's generally less important to emphasize your name as a keyword phrase. Do not put your company name in every keyword phrase or page title you use. It is important, however, to have an "About My Company / Organization" page that is optimized for your name so that someone searching for your brand will find that page.

Regional and Local Listings

Most people visit a search engine when they are looking for a product or service of some sort and conduct a search on a broad topic. They quickly learn they may need to narrow their search. Someone looking to vacation at a resort in a particular town might type the keyword, "resorts" into the search engine. When they are returned a list of websites showing all kinds of information on resorts, on more than 200 million websites, they quickly see the value of narrowing their query.

The next search they conduct will be something like, "Hudson Valley resorts." This will give them a more manageable list of results. A business promoting any service or product of regional significance should “regionalize” their keyword phrases where appropriate.

Start Making a Keyword Phrase List

Now that you have a better understanding of keyword basics you will need to make a list of niche keyword phrases that you wish to optimize your website for. Start by making a list of the topics your website will cover, as I previously discussed.

These topics will be your web pages and your niche keyword phrases. Next, make a list of the niche keyword phrases your target audience is likely to search. This requires you to separate yourself from your product, service or website and think like the average person who might want to find you, but knows nothing about you or your website. There are several good techniques you can apply to determine what your target audience might be searching for:

  • Write down the topics that your business and current marketing materials cover.
  • Put yourself in your target audiences' shoes and brainstorm. Write down everything that comes to mind when you think about your above topics.
  • If you already have a website, look at your web log reports to see which keywords people currently are using to find your website. Are they the keyword phrases you want to be listed high for?
  • See which keywords your competitors are targeting to spur new ideas.
  • Ask friends to do a search for websites similar to your own and pay attention to the keywords and keyword phrases they use.
  • Finally, organize and focus your keywords into short phrases. The more specific the niche keyword phrase, the better your results will be in the search engine.

Narrow Down Your Keyword Phrases

You can't be listed high for every possible keyword phrase combination. You will have to narrow down your list to relevant and effective keyword phrases. When you come up with a good list of niche keyword phrases, you will then want to test and see how many people actually use those keyword phrases and how many websites are listed for those keyword phrases.

It is best to work on one topic (one page) of your website at a time, which will mean one keyword phrase at a time. It will be much more manageable this way and will help you keep track of results. You will also want to see if there are other keyword phrases related to what you chose that may be better choices. This is the point where you will decide if you want to use the following tools to choose the best keyword phrases yourself, have Sarno Photography & Graphic Design choose the words for you, or both.

Having a list of niche keywords complete with your web page topics, brands, popular terms and regional locations will help you to choose the right keywords for your business. Next we will be putting all your keyword phrases together and seeing which ones will deliver you the best results. Remember, start with one web page, one topic and one keyword phrase at a time and begin to order your keyword phrase list.