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In our previous article Internet Marketing 101: Generating Leads from Your Website, we presented you with a general overview of all the internet marketing 101 tactics that consistently have the biggest impact on generating leads from your website.

Now it’s time to dig a little deeper and discuss keyword selection. But first, what is a keyword?

Internet Marketing 101: What is a Keyword?

Keywords are the words or phrases an online user types into a search engine. They represent the questions of the user, and generate one or more pages of results, or addresses for websites that include the keywords or answers to the initial question. You can attract qualified visitors to your site by carefully choosing the keywords they are most likely to include in their search terms. Qualified visitors are more likely to turn into new customers than random web surfers.

Driving traffic to your website begins with selecting the best keywords or keyword phrases. The question then becomes what are the best keywords and how do we find them.

Internet Marketing 101: What Are the Best Keywords for Driving Traffic to my Website?

Keywords fall into two categories: Short tail keywords and long tail keywords. Short tail keywords contain one to two words, and are usually very difficult to rank for on the search engine results, as the bigger and more established websites often hold the top spots for them. Newer websites can achieve a higher search engine spot more quickly by focusing on long tail keywords that contain three or more separate words.

The best keywords are:

  • Not too broad
  • Not too competitive
  • Three or more words long
  • Relevant to your business
  • Representative of what your qualified visitors would type into a search bar

Here’s an example of both long and short tail keywords:

Long Tail Keywords:

  • Nikon power shot digital camera 4MP
  • 22 inch HD plasma TV free shipping
  • Michelle Obama action figure

Short Tail Keywords

  • Digital Camera
  • plasma TV
  • Mp3 Music player

As you can see, long tail keywords are much more specific and are likely being searched for by a more qualified prospect. This prospect knows what they’re looking for and wants more information in order to make an informed buying decision.

Internet Marketing 101: Keyword Selection Tips

Use these tips to brainstorm possible long tail keywords for your website. Once you have a list, use Google Adwords Keyword Tool to check how many people search for these terms locally and globally. The tool can also give you ideas for more relevant long tail keywords to include on your blog posts and web copy.

  • Think like a customer. Many search queries begin with the phrases "how to" or "how do I?"
  • review your catalog or product manual for precise model makes and models and include these in article titles, product description pages or blog posts 
  • use singular and plural versions of the keywords 
  • if there are spelling variations, be sure to include these 
  • include the active form of a keyword. For example, if you are trying to rank for "take an Instagram print," also include "taking an Instagram print," and "how do I take an Instagram print?"

Taking the time to select the best keywords before investing money and effort on web content is critical to increasing traffic from qualified visitors, and one of the fundamental lessons of Inbound Marketing.

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