Define Your Target Keywords
A common mistake is to target the wrong keywords, or worse, no particular keywords at all. When you optimize your website, you are optimizing for target keywords. This means creating a list of specific words and/or phrases which you know people are searching for, and making sure that when these keywords are searched for your site will be in the result pages.
Ask yourself these questions:
- First of all, will people actually search for the things you have at your website? If not, you're wasting your time.
- If so, exactly which words will they be searching for? You need a specific list of words and phrases—these will become your target keywords.
- How competitive are your target keywords, i.e. how many other websites are targeting the same keywords? Be realistic about targeting highly competitive keywords—you may be better off targeting less popular ones.
The easiest way to find keywords is to use one of the online tools available. These provide a list of popular keywords associated with a particular topic. Search for keyword generator for a list of websites to try.
Your Business Name
A very common mistake is to assume that the keyword you need to target is your own business name. For example, a business called "Nigel McGrath Furniture Supplies" might spend all their effort making sure their website is the #1 result when their name is searched for. Once this is achieved they think the job is done.
The problem is that, while this will be helpful for those customers who already know about you, it will not attract any new customers. If a searcher has never heard of your store (or can't remember your name), they will not search for "Nigel McGrath Furniture Supplies". They are going to search for more general terms such as "furniture", perhaps with the name of their city or the particular type of furniture they are looking for.
Think like a potential customer who doesn't know you. Instead of targeting the keywords you would use to find your own website, find the keywords your potential customer will search for.
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