SEO strategy starts with keyword development

Without a doubt, the first and most important step towards optimizing your website on Google is to identify the most important keyword phrases that will fulfill your overall marketing strategy.

The ultimate goal is to determine the single keyword phrase (KwP), consisting of three to five words, that will both lead prospective customers to your website and satisfy their search curiosity.  Most important, is that we use plain language, the words and semantics that our targeted customer uses to describe us or what we do.  It is very important to recognize and distinguish our internal language from that of our potential client.

My favorite example, that I used again and again, is that of the person who labels herself a “certified automotive technician,” when her would-be client only know her as their local Volvo mechanic.  Replace the word, “local” with your city or region and Volvo with the type or class of vehicle that you need repair.  You see, just as all politics are local, so are mechanics.  Few people want to pay for a California mechanic who specializes in diesel trucks to fly out to Washington DC to work on your hybrid.  You need a local mechanic who specializes in the type of vehicle that you have.

The reason this exercise is so crucial is that everything you do with regard to search engine optimization (SEO) must focus on this keyword phrase (KwP).  Your KwP must be the first words in the title tag of your home page.  It must be in one of the links on your primary navigation bar. It must appear as one of your headers.  It should be the title of your blog.  You should have a photo, along with an alt and title tag, named after your KwP.  Ideally, you would also have a directory and file name named after your KwP.  Finally, when people link naturally to your website, or digg your website, or you comment on other blogs, it is crucial to use your KwP as part of the anchor text.

When you combine all of your forces with laser-like precision, you will see not only a dramatic improvement in your website traffic but also an increase in your conversion rate, which ultimately delivers more business and higher profit margins.

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