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SEO Tip of the Week: Keyword Research

     -     Jan 3rd, 2014   -     Accounting Websites, Search Engine Optimization   -     0 Comments

Get a new SEO tip every week from Flashpoint Marketing. We’re looking forward to getting your SEO efforts on the right track in the coming year!

This week’s tip: Researching Keywords

Search engine marketing experts often talk about keywords and the importance of including them in your content, title tags, and meta descriptions. It’s true that keywords are an essential component of any SEO campaign. However, including keywords can be a fruitless effort if you haven’t properly researched what words you should be targeting.

The key to most search engine marketing is to properly highlight your firms services and offerings using keywords and phrases that propects are likely to be searching. But often marketers are left wondering, ‘What are the right keywords for my firm?”

Below are a few strategies for understanding the best way to identify the right keyword(s) for your firm;

Assess the Value

A keyword on your website is nothing if it has no value to a conversion. Consider what searchers find when they are looking on your site using these keywords – Is there content that matches this keyword? Is this content valuable? Will the traffic result in a conversion or aid in meeting other goals for the firm?

Try running a test search of the keyword or phrase you are implementing – what kind of results does it currently yield? Is there a lot of demand for this keyword? Are there lots of paid-ads for this keyword?

Understand the Search Demand

Single, popular search terms might see 6,000 searches a day – but this isn’t the majority of what searches look like. Typically users engage in what is known as long-tail searches. These types of searches/search terms have been shown to have better conversion rates because it recognizes that the more complex search identifies that visitor as being more specific in what they are looking for. “Accountant” versus the long tail searches “Cincinnati Ohio nonprofit CPA”. Recognize that while the search term ‘accountant’ may be more popular, the person using the long-tail search term is critically close to making a decision.

Know the probability for success (keyword difficulty)
It’s critical to understand the amount of work required to achieve a certain rank for a keyword. To understand this, you must not only consider the previous point; demand, but also recognize the competition for the keyword in consideration. If top 50 firms have the top 10 results for the keyword you are considering and you are new to search engine marketing – realize that you may be looking at an uphill battle for rank with years of effort.

Use Research Tools

Consider Google’s AdWords keyword tool, it’s a good starting point for marketers new to SEO(and there’s no cost associated with it). The software suggests keywords and provides estimated search volume. To effectively use this tool for research, be sure to set your Match Type to [Exact] and look under Local Monthly Searches.
In the end researching keywords is critical, but its important to realize that SEO is an ongoing and active process that involves constant testing, experimentation and improvement. Even though SEO is usually one of the highest return marketing investments, measuring your results is critical to the process.

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