Website Promotion: Five Simple Rules
As you learned in my first post in this series, Five Simple Rules of Website Promotion, there are five simple rules for website promotion for your small business website:
- Develop a keyword strategy and target the right searchers so that your ideal customers/clients find you.
- Structure (or re-build) your website so that both users/visitors and search engines have a good experience and rate you highly.
- Create good content and do basic “on page” optimization so that your keywords do some heavy lifting with the search engines.
- Promote your site to get links from the rest of the web so that you build a network of incoming links (increases your page rank).
- Avoid technical “gotchas” so that you maintain your business website’s visibility and find-ability.
According to Dan Thies (Expert. Find his free expert knowledge at www.seofaststart.com.) — these five steps are the five SEO things you have to do right.
To develop a keyword strategy for your business, use four key steps, and don’t miss any of them if you want to target the right searchers and promote your website, products and services, using search engine optimization. These steps really are simple (and you can use free SEO tools to work through the steps):
- Discover core terms
- Expand keyword clusters
- Map your clusters to website pages (and posts).
Brainstorm Key Words and Phrases
The first step in keyword research is a “pencil and paper” exercise that comes before using a key word tool online or doing any fancy keyword analysis. Simply make a list of every word and phrase you think someone might use to search for the kind of content, products and services your website delivers. Start by listing 5-10 “major” keywords that describe your site. These should be mostly single words (like “Facebook”), with some commonly-used phrases (like “social media”) mixed in. Think of these major key words as topics or themes around which you will organize your content.
Discover Core Search Terms
Your core search terms are the two and three word keyword phrases that will attract the bulk of your search traffic. These should represent the most popular phrases. Build a list of at least 10-20 core search terms for your website. (This list continues to grow as you grow your site over time.) Keep these core terms organized under the major keywords you have listed.
A Word About Keyword Research and Analysis
There are many processes and tools available to help with the process of researching keywords, and later in this series I will review some for you to do some comparison and evaluation. For now, I suggest you use the “Adwords Keyword Tool” which will suggest related search terms for your website. Find this tool online at:
Use the Adwords Keyword Tool to begin working through your brainstormed list and start mapping out the core search terms (10-20) that will be targeted on individual web pages (and blog posts). List only relevant search terms e.g. those that have a high likelihood to bring searchers to your site who will find your site of interest to them.
Take a look at clusters, your candidate search term and its variations. If you can say yes to at least three of the variations (“Yes, that’s relevant to my searchers.”) then they become a clusters. Work at this process enough to get at least 10-15 clusters. Keep a list that includes your core terms and variations along with the search count provided in the Adwords Keyword Tool. (You can export relevant terms and counts to an Excel/CSV file.)
More Keyword Analysis: Expand Your Clusters of Key Words
First, set priorities by deciding which of your keywords or phrases show the greatest number of searches in the Adwords Keyword Tool. Decide on your 10-15 top priority core terms. Don’t worry if you feel you’re leaving some important keywords out because you will return to this step when you revisit your keyword strategy (yes, more than once).
Now, expand your clusters adding modifiers, localizing words and brand and product names. Here are some examples:
- Modifiers: free, help, tips, info and other keyword phrases that naturally combine with your core terms.
- Localizing words: geographic names like city, state, county, names used for your region.
- Brand and product names: Caterpillar modifies forklift, for example.
Visualizing Your Keyword Strategy
I love to use mind mapping software (free) to map keyword clusters for my clients (and for my own websites). Here is what a recent map looks like using Bubbl.us brainstorming software.
Find Bubble.us atÂ https://bubbl.us/.
The Final Keyword Strategy Step
Once you have a good list of clusters to target in this round of search engine optimization (SEO), you need to map them to the pages you want to position at the top of search results.
Select at least two pages (or posts) for each cluster. (These might be pages you have already developed or posts or pages you intend to write and publish.) Don’t try to optimize a single page for more than one cluster. Create new content to fully target your list of core terms and clusters.
According to Dan Thies (remember, http://seofaststart.com), “the best match is the page that most exactly fits the search term (or one you create) and the second best will be the page right above it in your site’s structure. If you have a shopping catalog, for example, the “red widget” product page might be the best match for “red widgets,” and the “colored widgets” category page might be the second best. If you have many red widgets, you may even want to create a separate “red widgets” category.”
Make the most general and popular core terms, from your top 2-3 clusters, the primary targets for your home page.
Your First Key Word Research and Analysis Action Step
If you want to guarantee results from your keyword research and analysis for your keyword strategy,Â the very first step is to learn how people search. When you know how members of your target market search and how to get your site into the top search results, you will be able to craft titles and descriptions that are relevant and enticing. You will be able to attract more customers and serve them with what they want and need. To learn more about the purpose of your keyword strategy and the “how-to”:
Get Dan Thies’ SEO Fast Start ebook (free) and read Chapter 3: Developing Keyword Strategy.
Don’t miss the next article in this series (Promote Your Website and Win New Customers) at Social Biz Local Biz: The Kick Start (kick arse) Web Site for Your Business.
Sign up for blog updates here: Social Biz Updates.
Stay focused on the basics and read more about search engine optimization here:
21 Essential SEO Tips and Techniques – Search Engine Land
55 Quick SEO Tips Even Your Mother Would Love – Search Engine Journal
10 Basic SEO Tips to Get You Started – Business Insider