When choosing search engine
keywords, consider how they will work

Although this column affects companies who are paying monthly for pay-per-Click ad campaigns, it will also help those relying on 'organic' search engine results to maximize their hit-to-sale ratio.

However your site gets hits, it is essential that you identify what you think your visitors will search for, and then make sure that you are in the search results they see.

For people aiming for unpaid, organic search engine results, as our WebUpdate sites get, you have much more latitude in your keyword selection than when you are paying for each search term separately.  In this case, there are no limits to the keywords you can achieve, but you should still target realistically to keep a high visitor conversion rate.

1. Think Globally. So many people think of their web sites as an extension of their local business, and that their online advertising is almost the same as their local newspaper or TV ads. Thinking locally, they often try to aim for extremely simple search terms. A car dealership might select 'Car Dealers,' thinking that this will generate a lot of site visitors. Of course, it will; the site could get a million hits a day, but if the company is paying 50 cents as each person clicks,  it is extremely unlikely that generated income will be anywhere near the outgoing amount.

Why? Because simple search terms have nothing to narrow companies down geographically, so a high percentage of the visitors who click will find the site irrelevant.  If you are a small car dealership in Chesapeake, you will not appeal to visitors clicking from Alaska, Japan or Europe.

If you bear the global elements in mind when selecting keywords, you can not only save a lot of money, but make sure that the visitors you do get are at least pre-qualified by location.

Ideally you should always add the localities you service, or can deliver to, for example, 'Car Dealers in Chesapeake.'

2. Research your Customers. This is mostly for pay-per-click users, as you don't want to waste your money on words only a few people may ever enter.  When selecting keywords, it helps if you know what other people are searching for.  There are sites on the Internet that will show you what search terms people are typing in, and the results might surprise you.

A client of ours, Hubbard Plastic Surgery, was paying thousands of dollars a year for the single search term 'Plastic Surgeons in Virginia.'

While this seems perfectly logical, when they moved over to our WebUpdate system, which has in-depth visitor statistics, they found that only 0.1% of their visitors were actually typing that phrase in.

Now that they could track their visitors, they saw that people were typing in phrases much more related to their particular cases or conditions, like  'process rhinoplasty' and 'marriage abdominoplasty.'

Being aware of, and being able to track this kind of information, is invaluable if you want to maximize your advertising ROI, especially online, where you are literally doing business in a global marketplace.

If you are ready to grow your business, now is the time to consider new web technologies such as our WebUpdate systems, which employ advanced promotion and tracking features designed to give businesses the best competitive edge online.

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