January 31, 2017 | Magnetic Leaders

It’s easy for a business owner to become wooed by the idea of coming up in search results. Google search statistics reveal that there are 40,000 search inquiries per second, translating to 3.5 billion per day.

What an enticing thought for someone who is trying to get their product or service found! But the how  in getting found is far less appealing. Some business owners try to skip the cost and dive into a DIY effort, only to discover that SEO and AdWords are indeed professions of their own. Others hire freelancers or even well known companies to manage their online presence, some paying a big price for a service that under-delivers on results and over-delivers on horrible customer service.

It is a good idea to shop for online enhancement services with some basic knowledge, and keywords is a good place to start. In fact, keywords should become a language that infiltrates the headlines on your website (H1, H2, & H3 tags), the titles of your blogs, podcasts, and webinars, and of course, your hashtags. It is also a good idea to incorporate them into your social media posts. If you want to see how this works, type a phrase into the search engine on Facebook and scroll down. You will see that Facebook not only recommends pages based on the phrase, but highlights the phrase in status updates.

For those who are wondering what tags are, here is a simple explanation. Web developers and designers work with code which is comprised of different languages. Most have heard of HTML and that is the language that uses the H1, H2, and H3 tags. You don’t need to learn code to understand how to put keywords to use, but a basic understanding of how they are applied to your website will come in handy—especially if you are using a DIY web builder like Squarespace or Wix. On Wix, for example, the ‘Site Title’ option uses the H1 tag. You should have one H1 on each page of your website, and other headings should utilize H2 and H3 tags. If you are building your own website this is critical to understand.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how keywords are used on websites and social media, let’s discuss keyword development. Having a solid list of keywords that are relevant to your business will not only help you optimize your website (SEO) and guide your social media posts, but it will allow you to step into your AdWords (PPC) campaigns prepared.
 As you sit down to work out which keywords are best for your business, tune into the mindset of your customer. You may love your ultra-creative, most unique, catchy and fabulous fountain of names and phrases that fill your brand, but the customer is shopping for fur boots, diet pills, dog beds, etc. If they are using a brand name, it is one they already know. If your goal is to grow your brand, using the language of customers is what you need to focus on. If you want to catch the eye of a customer who is searching the competition, you can use your competition’s name in your keywords—but beware of how that may contribute to your bounce back rates. For more information on using your competition in your keywords, check out What to Watch Out For When Using Competitors’ Names as Keywords in AdWords, a blog by Carlos Rodríguez.

There are many sources out there on developing keywords, and it is always a good idea to do some research, but whether you realize it or not, you already know the language of customers. Consider the things you shop for and how you search for them. Then consider those who have a need for your service or product and how they might search for it. Often these search phrases include a location, even pinned down to a neighborhood or a street. Once you’ve given good thought to this, begin developing your list and understand that this is not a perfect science. There will always be a variable and that is the human conducting the search. You won’t win them all, but a strong set of well-used keywords will take your online presence to the next level.