How to Come Up with Better Keywords for SEO – @therichbrooks

AOCP-Pinterest-Rich-Brooks-SEOBrainstorming Your Keywords

One of the first things I do when sitting down with a client for SEO, is to ask them two questions:

  • What do you think are some of the phrases that your ideal customer would search for to find a product, service, or company like yours?
  • What do you want to rank well for?

These questions might start a brainstorming session, but really they’re not enough. Too many of us have spent too much time in our own industry. We’re not thinking about the questions that a brand new customer–someone not familiar with our industry–might ask.

One of the exercises I recommend is to try and brainstorm keywords using five perspectives.

Products & Services

This is how we think of ourselves, and how we hope our clients think of us. It’s the products or services we bring to market. It’s the most obvious search term for most businesses, so we tend to focus on it.

Some examples might include:

  • Maine web designer, portland web design, WordPress web developer
  • Dog trainer, puppy trainer, canine behavior classes
  • Sales trainer, sales training techniques, corporate sales training
  • Florist, flowers, wedding florist, mother’s day gifts
  • Bicycle tours, self-guided bike tours, bicycle trips in Tuscany

All businesses want to rank well for the results in this perspective, and with good reason. When people are searching for these terms, they’re often looking for a result that will lead to a purchase.

Problems

Now it’s time to put yourself in your prospect’s shoes.

What are the problems that you have helped your best customers solve or overcome? Many people search based on what they’re suffering from. By reflecting their words back on them, you can capture some of that search traffic.

Some examples might include:

  • Hair loss, receding hairline, Alopecia, bald spot
  • Tantrum, screaming child, terrible twos
  • Crabgrass, grub infestation, dead grass
  • Bad back, back ache, lower back pain
  • Sleeplessness, insomnia, waking up in the middle of the night

You may have many products or services, so try and come up with the problems that each solve.

Benefits

This is just about flipping the previous perspective on its head. Some people search for problems, others for solutions. You want to generate a list of keywords that best describe the real or perceived benefits that people get after working with you.

Some examples might include:

  • Healthy yard, green lawn, increased curbside value
  • More leads, more customers, more clients
  • Stress-free workplace, happy employees, lower turnover
  • Well-behaved children, respectful kids, European boarding school
  • Peace of mind, feeling of calm, sense of peace.

Again, some of these benefits may be tangible, some not. Some benefits may be perceived. If you can get to where your customer wants to be, you can meet them there.

Features

If you’ve ever taken a sales course, you know that you never sell on features, you always sell on benefits. Well, on the web that’s not always true. Often, your customers have done so much research they know more than you or your salespeople before the conversation even begins!

Some of these perspectives will be more relevant than others, depending on your business, especially this one. If you can’t come up with many (or any) relevant features, don’t sweat it. Just do the best you can.

Some examples might include:

  • 10 megapixels, 5 frames per second continuous shooting, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
  • Windproof, one-hand open, 15 color choices
  • On demand video content, lifetime access, private Facebook group for networking
  • 100+ machines, spinning classes, 24/7 gym access
  • Security cameras, round-the-clock doorman, safest neighborhood in Houston

The other thing to consider is that when someone is searching on features, it often means they’ve already done a lot of their research and they’re looking to buy. They’ve got a mouse in one hand and their wallet in the other. Those are the kind of people we want to be around.

Competition

Now, when I talk about competition, I don’t mean that if you run a burger joint you should be brainstorming “McDonald’s,” or if you are a psychologist you should be writing down the names of the other doctors in your building.

Every business brings something to market. Imagine you own a gym. Why do people come? There’s probably a few reasons: improve their health, become more attractive to the opposite sex, lose weight. Let’s consider the lose weight option.

Is a gym membership the only way to lose weight? Of course not. They could get on a fad diet, or take diet pills, or buy a Thigh Master. In that case, those things are my competition. At some point, I may write a blog post like:

  • Why the South Beach Diet Won’t Get You Into That Swimsuit by Summer
  • Why Diet Pills Don’t Keep the Weight Off (But a Gym Membership Will!), or
  • How the Thigh Master Makes Your Butt Look Big

I’m using SEO judo…using my competition to attract attention to my own, better solution.

Get More Brains for Brainstorming

While you can certainly come up with this list of words by yourself, sometimes you’re too removed, or too embedded in your own industry for this to be completely effective.

If you’re part of a bigger team, bring in your sales reps. Ask them for the questions prospects are asking them during the sales process. Talk to your customer service reps, and ask them what questions or problems customer are having.

If you have customers, call up some of your ideal customers (and maybe one or two that you secretly can’t stand) and ask them how they would describe what you do, the features and benefits of your products and services, and who or what they might turn to if you suddenly disappeared.

Very often you’ll discover that people use your company for reasons you couldn’t have imagined, or describe what you do differently than you would have thought.

Checking Out the Competition

Very often, some of your competitors will have already gone through a SEO project, so you might as well benefit from their investment!

Let’s say your run a day spa, offering services like massage, reflexology, facials, and so on. You probably have a pretty good idea of who is your competition. Visit their site and make note of some important elements of their home page:

What is the title tag of the page? This appears outside the page in the tab on your browser. If you can’t read the whole thing you can hover over it with your mouse and often the full name will appear. Pay close attention to the first few words in the title.

Are there any headers? These are usually bigger and possibly bolder than the regular copy. Are there any good keywords here? Ignore headers like “Welcome to Enrique’s Day Spa” but pay attention if it reads, “Phoenix Day Spa and Massage.”

What do the first few sentences look like? Are they keyword-rich, too? What words are they using here.

What pages are they linking to in the body copy? If they’re linking to the page on reflexology and the links don’t say “Read More” or “Click Here,” or something similarly helpful but generic, those words were probably chosen for a reason.

What do the meta-tags contain? This gets a little tricky, but I know you can do it! Meta-tags don’t appear on the website, but they do appear in the source code. Every browser has a way of displaying the source code. Often you can right-click and one of the options will be View Source. Sometimes you’ll see the option in the View menu (Chrome) or the Develop menu (Safari).

Once you’re looking at the code, don’t panic! Just do a find (CTRL-F on a Windows machine, Command-F on a Mac), for “meta.” Often there will be two results, “meta-description” and “meta-keywords.”

Meta-description is what search engines use for the black descriptive text below the big blue links. Although these have little to no search value (depending on who you speak to), they can persuade a searcher to click on your result, so they’re important. Pay attention to any keywords that may be hanging out here.

Meta-keywords were very important to SEO…in 1997. Now they’re completely ignored. However, some people still use them. Pointless for them, good for you. They basically are a list of the keywords that they want to rank well for, giving you more ideas.

After checking out your known competition, you may want Google some good descriptors for your business: day spa, massage, swedish massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, etc. Find the top few results for each of these search terms and run through the same exercise.

If you have no nearby competition, do the identical search in a bigger market. In fact, checking out similar businesses in a very competitive market–LA, NYC, Chicago, etc.–can give you even more insights, as these companies may have had to hire very expensive SEO firms to put them at the top of Google for their given area.

What Is Your Competition Bidding On?

If your competition is spending precious budget by bidding on keywords for Google Adwords, chances are they feel strongly about those particular keywords. If only there was some way to discover what those keywords were!

Here comes SpyFu to the rescue. SpyFu is a paid service that can provide you reams of information on your competition and how they’re spending their Google Adwords dollars. (And, of course, reveal your ad spend to your competition!)

If you put in your own URL into SpyFu, it will return who it believes to be your nearest competition based on overlapping keyword usage. Alternatively, you can put in your competitors’ domains to see what they are targeting and how much they’re willing to spend to get in front of that audience.

Market research indeed!

Organizing Your Keywords

By now you should have a healthy list of keywords to use. The next step is to organize them by the type of services you offer.

For example, you might offer home inspections for new home buyers, environmental audits for current homeowners, and mold removal for commercial buildings. You’ll need to take your list of keywords and organize them into those categories, whether they represent Products & Services, Problems, Solutions, Features, or Competition.

Once that’s done you can start to test which of these keywords–or even ones you haven’t considered yet–are going to be the seeds from which you grow your most effective copy.

Show Notes:

  • Hurry up & grab your highly sought after tickets to the upcoming Agents Of Change Digital Marketing Conference now! (Can’t make it in person? There are both Live and Virtual tickets available.)
  • Be one of the lucky few to get one-on-one (or two-on-one) with Rich and Sue B. at their pre-con workshop the day before the conference. You won’t want to miss out on this 4-hour, very informative, intimate learning opportunity with two of the top minds discussing social media platforms and how to develop a digital marketing strategy to help you grow your business.AOCP-FB-Rich-Brooks-SEOAOCP-FB-Sue-B-Zimmerman-2016

AOCP-FB-Massimo-Chieruzzi

AOCP-FB-Linda-Hollander

AOCP-FB-Kate-Ahl

AOCP-FB-Nicki-Hicks

AOCP-FB-Amy-PorterfieldAOCP-FB-Amy-Porterfield

AOCP-FB-Lou-Mongello

AOCP-FB-Lisa-Raehsler

AOCP-FB-Chris-Dayley

AOCP-FB-Brian-Mikes

AOCP-FB-Robert-Rose

AOCP-FB-Pamela-Vaughan

Periscope, SnapChat, and Instagram, Oh My! – @suebzimmerman

AOCP-Pinterest-Sue-B-Zimmerman-2016With so many social platforms to choose from, how do you know which ones work best for your business? And once you find those two or three that let you really engage with your audience, what kind of content do you need to put out there to keep them interested and engaged?

The key is to find your audience where they hang out, get them to trust you and find value in what you have to offer, and then keep them entertained so they’ll come back time and time again. Knowing early on that different platforms afford us different opportunities to amplify your brand, your voice and your content is what will translate to business success in the long run.

Sue B. Zimmerman has a true passion for Instagram, and through her success there, has created proven tactics and strategies for business growth on other social channels as well.

 

(more…)

How to Get More Bang from Your Facebook Ads – @MassimoCw

AOCP-Pinterest-Massimo-ChieruzziWith so many advertising platforms out there, why should you choose Facebook, and what benefits does it offer over the other options? One of the biggest differences with Facebook compared to Google – for example – is that where Google helps you find new customers, Facebook helps new customers find you.

Facebook boasts a huge worldwide audience of 1.55 billion active monthly users, and has unrivaled audience enormity. That reach alone makes Facebook appealing. But when you add in the ability to enhance audience targeting, increase reach for your content, awesome tracking of performance and ROI, and only spend as little as you like and still get results, Facebook advertising is a no brainer, especially for small businesses looking to make a big impact.

Massimo Chieruzzi loves to talk about using Facebook advertising for small businesses. His business, Ad Espresso, is a leading Facebook Ads optimization platform. Massimo loves helping small businesses get the most from their Facebook advertising while keeping it both simple and affordable.

(more…)

How to Get Sponsors for Your Blog, Podcast, or Event – @wealthybaglady

AOCP-Pinterest-Linda-HollanderDo you think sponsorships are only for nonprofits or big names and huge companies with a massive following and years of experience in their industry? Then think again. Even if you’re just starting out and looking to hold an event, if you have an interested audience then you can find sponsors to help you defray the expenses involved with such an undertaking.

Squash the myths that are holding you back. You can go after the big companies, you can land the big bucks, and you can keep them coming back year after year. By building a relationship with them that blends cohesively with your intended audience and giving them the incentive to support you financially, you can be successful at landing big sponsorships whether it’s your first time at it or not.

Linda Hollander knows how to attract big sponsors both for herself and her clients. Her thoughtful and compelling strategies for landing big names and big dollars are sure to help skyrocket your next business venture.

 

(more…)

How to Pin Like a Pro – @simplepinmedia

AOCP-Pinterest-Kate-AhlWe all know by now that Pinterest has proven itself as more than a wedding planning and DIY platform. More and more businesses are seeing the power of using Pinterest to market and grow.

By following a few basic “rules”, you can effectively locate and market to your audience using Pinterest. Making sure you know your audience, create visually appealing content – both original and curated – make sure your boards really show who you are and you are categorizing them well, pin with some amount of frequency/regularity, and most importantly look to other pinners for inspiration. These are the “commandments”, if you will, to successful Pinterest marketing that will help you grow your small business in a steady way.

Kate Ahl is a Pinterest pro, turning what started as a personal interest in Pinterest into a business where she helps take the mystery out of Pinterest marketing, and allows her clients to sit back and relax as she puts into place strategies to grow followers and increase page views.

 

(more…)

Taking the Mystery Out of SEO – @nickihicks

AOCP-Pinterest-Nicki-HicksWhen people think about SEO, they often think of it as a cumbersome and laborious task, but it’s actually less complex than a lot of marketers make it sound. It is, however, a mandatory marketing tactic if you want to increase visibility and take your business to the next level.

Certainly you can – and in some cases should – hire a SEO pro, but there are some fairly simple strategies and techniques – even free tools – that a novice can use to make all the difference. It all starts with content, of course, but making sure you’re choosing your keywords carefully, testing them out, and measuring their effectiveness makes all the difference. And don’t forget to check out your competition, learn from their triumphs and failures, too.

With over 8 years of experience and a true passion for web marketing, Nicki Hicks loves to help businesses reach their ideal target audience and increase their online presence with smart SEO.

(more…)

How to Use Facebook Ads to Grow Your Email List – @AmyPorterfield

  • 5
    Shares

AOCP-Pinterest-Amy-PorterfieldBy now you already know the importance of having a strong email list. It’s more than just numbers, you need to find the exact people that will engage with you, read your content, and buy your products and services. So where do you find them and how do you keep them?

Facebook ads can be an important and valuable way to find that audience, for a relatively inexpensive option. Facebook ads offer concise options for targeting – and retargeting – as well as pretty cool analytics to help you track who’s clicking your links and who isn’t.

Amy Porterfield is a social media strategy consultant who has helped countless entrepreneurs and small businesses establish strategies to boost the success of their online marketing efforts.

 

(more…)

How to Get People to Fill Out Your Online Forms – @marcusataylor

AOCP-Pinterest-Marcus-TaylorAre you having trouble getting people to fill out your online forms? Sometimes it’s as simple as offering some motivation to influence your users. No, you don’t have to offer a free Ferrari to anyone who fills out your form, but there are other – less extreme – ways.

Paying attention to your analytics can make all the difference in finding out things like at which point your potential customers may be consistently abandoning your form, or how effective your forms actual are in converting customers. With a few tweaks, hacks and tips, you can optimize your forms and turn them into powerful, lead capturing goldmines!

Marcus Taylor knows that forms separate your leads from non-leads, and he understands that they are one of the highest points of leverage that an online business has. His “Form Optimization Pyramid” framework outlines the different stages of how likely someone is to convert using a form, and can be used to help you optimize your business’s online forms.

(more…)

What You Need to Know About Google Display Network – @lisarocksSEM

AOCP-Pinterest-Lisa-RaehslerJust what the heck is Google Display Network (GDN), and how can you make it work for your business? With so many ad platforms out there, what makes this one special and how can your business best benefit from using it?

GDN allows businesses to advertise images and videos on websites of their choice, so you have the ability to get pretty niche here if you choose to. Plus, think of all ways that can help your online branding! You have the ability to find and reach customers that otherwise might have been missed through other advertising platforms.

Lisa Raehsler is about as “expert” as you can get on the topics of PPC, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Her strategy and program development for countless businesses over the last 17 years has shown quick, proven results.

(more…)

Improve Your Conversion Rates with Radical Redesign – @chrisdayley

AOCP-Pinterest-Chris-DayleySo maybe your website isn’t quite performing as well as you’d like. Maybe you’re just not seeing much conversion, or at least the conversion rates you’re hoping to reach. How do you go about figuring out where you may need to start tweaking things to improve on that?

A/B split testing is a great way to test a few different variations and see what jives better with your audience. But where do you start? For a website with a large number of pages, that can be a pretty daunting task if you start testing variations of every page. Your best bet is to first see what individual pages – and aspects of each page – are performing and converting well as is, and then start working on those that need help.

Chris Dayley is the founder of Dayley Conversion, where he uses his expertise and knowledge of using scientific, data-driven testing to help businesses improve their customer’s user experiences.

 

(more…)