This article is the fifth in our series “HTML Search Engine Optimization“. Over the next few weeks we’ll be explaining more about how to better optimize your web sites HTML code and how it can help your ranking in major search engines. In this series we will cover such topics as content, code, links, competitor research, website submission, and pay per click.
Pay Per Click
When advertising on the internet there are various models available, though pay per click (PPC) is the most dominant. Instead of paying a flat fee over a period of time, the PPC method requires that you only pay the host of your ad a fee for every time it has been clicked. Search engines like Google use a Cost per click (CPC) keyword bidding system that helps guarantee your target market, while content sites commonly charge a fixed price. Today we will discuss PPC advertising and how to select keywords for your campaign. Utilizing a dynamic PPC methods such as Google Adwords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter you are able to ensure that the website your advertisement is being listed on will be relevant to your content. This is beneficial because you can accurately track (impressions vs clicks) for analytics and because you are reaching out to your target audience.
[quote]Among 473 companies surveyed in the DMA’s 2010 Response Rate Trend Report, paid search had an average cost per click of $3.79, with a 3.81 percent conversion rate. – DMA[/quote]
Keywords & Phrases
When you are ready to research potential keywords and phrases you can narrow down your selection for the best results in your PPC campaign. Using your current web analytics or content within your website, gather a “laundry list” of potential keywords that you can funnel down into a smaller, more precise group. This research process is very straight-forward and will help gain insight on your business. Planning this step correctly will help ensure future planning is as effective as possible. Now you ask yourself, what determines a strong keyword?
Narrow Keyword List
Taking your original “laundry list” of 75-100 keywords and narrowing them down to the words with most potential to generate increased traffic and goal conversations. We will review our keywords for relevance by reducing the list to items that relate most directly to products and services. Once complete we can then review the traffic potential by looking at how many searches are completed on a monthly basis. To narrow our list even mor,e we will then review the keyword competition and market value of each remaining keyword. After all of this we are left with strong keywords.
Keyword Laundry List
The best way to compile a filterable “laundry list” is to create a spreadsheet and add in as many relevant terms and phrases you can think of for your company and target market. If you have 75 or more keywords, you are off to a good start. Look at your competition, your own website, and use keyword suggestion tools. Once the list is built, it can easily be organized alphabetically or by category, depending on your preference. Organization will help you get a grasp on the amount of data you are working with before you determine the relevance of your keywords
As you may recall from our article on website submission, search engines rank content based on several key factors including relevance, trust and popularity. Keeping this information in-mind you can narrow down your keyword list to items that you know people use to specifically find your product or service. You can combine popular keywords into a relevant combination and narrow your funnel.
For example using the phrase “orange county web development” is more precise than “web development”. By taking a service and narrowing the geographic location, you have targeted specific people within your area verses competing with the rest of the world. This is the first and most important step in narrowing down your “laundry list”
The potential (or popularity) your keywords have to bring in traffic is gathered by looking at the number of monthly searches. You can look at this information using Google’s Keyword Research Tool. If the number is near 10,000 (or higher) and is relevant to your content, you’ll want to keep it on your list. If the number is so low it’s not available then dump it. If you optimize your website content with keywords and phrases as discussed in our article but the search volume is low, then it bring no benefit. After looking at relevance and potential you’ll want to review how strong your competition is.
Knowing how many website are competing for the same keyword and how much popularity they have will help narrow your list even further. You’ll want to aim low if you are just starting out and avoid clashing with Titans like Amazon, Yahoo and many others. You would be misusing efforts that would be better spent overtaking mid-level websites. Knowing this will give you a clear understanding of how difficult it will be to compete for your keywords. An ideal keyword would have a high search volume and mid to low level of competition.
We can see in the image above that “orange county web design” has more potential than”orange county web development” to increase traffic. This could be that more consumers don’t think about the unseen development portion and only focus on contracting the design as a package. Using targeting phrases over general terms will help you dig into your niche and keep relevant to your business
Analyzing the market value of your remaining keywords can often cut your list down the most significantly. By measuring the average cost per click (CPC) you will be spending on the keyword, you will be able to determine if and how long your budget will last. Spending $10 per visitor (click) can add up significantly faster than $2 to drain your budget. By selecting a high volume keyword with a lower CPC you are able to get more visitors for your money. The difference can mean hundreds of users.
As you may remember from earlier “orange county web design” ($7.44) looks less appealing than “professional web development” ($5.05) when faced with the sheer price difference shown above. This step focuses on maintaining realistic and sustainable budgets for the strong keywords you have narrowed your list to
Keyword Strength Summary
After you have passed your potential keywords and phrases through the steps above, you are left with an increased chance of the best results for your PPC campaign. This process should have not only helped you narrow down your keywords to a few dozen but helped you gain insight on you business potential and web competition. While some words may have made it all the way to the end without any red flags, in the last step you should have knocked off the stragglers. In the end, you can be confident that the list you are left with will be relevant, popular and without extreme competition. Does your company need a better Search Engine ranking and increased traffic?
For a customized Search Engine Optimization program, contact Taylor Digital today.