If you haven’t considered optimizing your site, you may be missing out on one of the most profitable vehicles in the digital marketing landscape. Last year, Google experienced an average volume of over five billion searches a day. And there were plenty of pages to meet the demand. There are currently over 3.5 billion pages in Google’s index, to be precise. Considering that most people only look at the first few search result listings, it is critical to be strategic about your approach when optimizing your site. So how do you jump into the ocean, but keep your head above water? Keyword Strategy Keywords represent the words that customer prospects type into Google\'s search engine to find your business. As the backbone of SEO, using the right keywords in your website content boosts your Google ranking. Selecting the right key terms are critical to your success or else you will drown in the search results. Identify your different audiences. What key terms would they type in to come across your brand? Segment them into keyword themes based on your audience groups. For example is your audience local? Do they differ by product or offering? What is the intent? Are your key terms clear in their intent? “Buy a dozen roses” is clearly a search to purchase a dozen roses as opposed to a search for “Flowers” where the intent is not clear and is broader, not to mention a more competitive term to rank for. What is the context? Besides your key terms being clear in intent, do they have context to them closely related to what you’re offering. For example, “Buy a dozen roses online” is not only clear in its intent, but also in the content of wanting to purchase roses via a website. Similarly, “Dozen roses delivery in NYC” is contextually relevant to a florist in New York that provides delivery. Is there search volume? What good are your key phrases that have clear intent, context, however no search volume? There are a number of tools that will help you analyze if your terms warrant you selecting them based on search volume. These tools will also give you an indication on competitiveness. Here are a few… Google’s keyword planner WordTracker Trellian Keyword Discovery Integrating your key terms Finding the right keywords to integrate into your website’s content is only half the battle; you must now make sense of your terms in your content. This is where most marketers new to SEO fall off. They may successfully integrate keywords into the meta data code, but fail to properly inject them into a specific page’s content. The key to capitalizing on key terms in your website is to map back the phrases you’ve chosen, back to specific pages on the site that speak to it. If there is a gap between your key phrases and the pages they are placed on, either you need to go back to the drawing board or more ideally, create new pages/content that will address those key terms organically. Google Analytics: Measure your success and performance Google Analytics is free tool that helps you measure the success for your SEO strategy. You can devote time and energy to structuring your site for SEO, but get only a handful of visitors. To get started with Google Analytics, use the code Google provides you with and wait no more than 48 hours for the search engine giant to start collecting your website data. Google Analytics helps you measure how many unique visitors come to your site and the average time they spend reading your content. You learn where the traffic comes from and if you have properly integrated the right keywords into your content. Start applying a strategic approach through sound keyword research and marry it with your content. By following this, over time you should notice an increase of relevant traffic. And remember that SEO never ends, you are always optimizing your website for new key phrases based on trends, business needs, and newer content that reinforces your original keyword strategy.
Ruben Quinones is Director of New Media at Path Interactive, a digital marketing agency in NYC, consulting leading national brands and agencies on their paid search, SEO, and social media efforts. Ruben is also an Adjunct @ New York University, teaching several digital marketing courses including Search Engine Optimization, Facebook Marketing and Examining Social Media Networks for Brand Value.