If you haven’t noticed, marketing writing these days is usually referred to as content. It’s a nod to what the majority of business writing is used for―websites. And, with websites, it’s all about keywords. Why? Because keywords are intrinsically linked to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which is how people can find your website. Well, that’s if your SEO strategy is solid.

Let’s say you own a lawnmower repair shop. You might be wondering why you wouldn’t just overload your website with the keyword lawnmower. Well, there’s a problem with doing that—it’s called keyword stuffing, and the search engine algorithms (Google Bing, Yahoo, etc.) can sniff it like a bloodhound at a meat packing plant. As a result, they won’t index you, and you’ll wonder if you’ll ever get to tear apart another lawnmower carburetor. Or, at least, one that came from a website lead.

Let’s say you’ve just written a blog about what to look for in the event you’ve fruitlessly pulled on the lawnmower’s starter rope until your hands bled. Think about the various ways people might enter how to find information about a broken lawnmower in a Google search. You’ll type things like, “Why won’t my lawnmower start”, “My lawnmower won’t start”, or “Lawnmower doesn’t start”. There are certain single keywords that users would type in, such as lawnmower, lawncare, etc., but they may be looking to buy a lawnmower. You don’t sell them, you fix them. Single keywords are good to include, mind you, but by expanding them to include keyword phrases that describe your blog, you’ll rank and index higher by the search engines. So, in your blog include content that includes, “why won’t my lawnmower start” and/or “my lawnmower won’t start”. For instance, you might include in the title and the blog’s content, “If you’ve ever wondered why your lawnmower won’t start, consider the following…” You’ve included the exact phrase that people are likely to enter in their Google search―”why your lawnmower won’t start.” Later in the blog, you might want to include other keyword phrases in the content. As an example, you may want to include, “I’m left wondering, ‘Why won’t my lawnmower start?’” That includes another way people might search for the service you provide.

Also, if you include the keyword phrase in the title of your blog or in the first line of it, it will show up in the headline and first few lines that show when a Google search spits back results.

Keywords are super important; don’t just think of a few words to target, then forget about it. Remember, new content should reflect the keywords that you’ve decided on. And if you write a blog about lawmower carburetor cleaning, but the only place it’s mentioned on your website is within that one blog, don’t expect to show up on a Google search when somebody is looking to have their carb cleaned.

Remember, your website has to reflect the keywords you’ve selected. And, if you’re having trouble coming up with more than a few, go to your competitors’ sites to find more. Remember, you’re going to be competing against them in searches. If they’ve put more thought and energy into their keyword and keyword phrase selections, they’re a step or two ahead of you. And if they show up on page 1 search results while you’re on the second page, guess who’s going to get the customer.

Questions about keywords or any of the many elements of a successful digital marketing strategy?

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