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Selecting the right keywords to signpost your site

Selecting the right keywords to signpost your site

Search engines are the vehicles that drive potentialcustomers to your websites. But in order for visitors toreach their destination – your website – you need toprovide them with specific and effective signs that willdirect them right to your site. You do this by creatingcarefully chosen keywords.

Think of the right keywords as the Open Sesame! of theInternet. Find the exactly right words or phrases, andpresto! hoards of traffic will be pulling up to your frontdoor. But if your keywords are too general or tooover-used, the possibility of visitors actually making itall the way to your site – or of seeing any real profitsfrom the visitors that do arrive – decreases dramatically.

Your keywords serve as the foundation of your marketingstrategy. If they are not chosen with great precision, nomatter how aggressive your marketing campaign may be, theright people may never get the chance to find out about it.So your first step in plotting your strategy is to gatherand evaluate keywords and phrases.

You probably think you already know EXACTLY the right wordsfor your search phrases. Unfortunately, if you haven’tfollowed certain specific steps, you are probably WRONG.It’s hard to be objective when you are right in the centerof your business network, which is the reason that you maynot be able to choose the most efficient keywords from theinside. You need to be able to think like your customers.And since you are a business owner and not the consumer,your best bet is to go directly to the source.

Instead of plunging in and scribbling down a list ofpotential search words and phrases yourself, ask for wordsfrom as many potential customers as you can. You will mostlikely find out that your understanding of your businessand your customers’ understanding is significantlydifferent.

The consumer is an invaluable resource. You will find thewords you accumulate from them are words and phrases youprobably never would have considered from deep inside thetrenches of your business.

Only after you have gathered as many words and phrases fromoutside resources should you add your own keyword to thelist. Once you have this list in hand, you are ready forthe next step: evaluation.

The aim of evaluation is to narrow down your list to asmall number of words and phrases that will direct thehighest number of quality visitors to your website. By“quality visitors” I mean those consumers who are mostlikely to make a purchase rather than just cruise aroundyour site and take off for greener pastures. In evaluatingthe effectiveness of keywords, bear in mind three elements:popularity, specificity, and motivation.

Popularity is the easiest to evaluate because it is anobjective quality. The more popular your keyword is, themore likely the chances are that it will be typed into asearch engine which will then bring up your URL.

You can now purchase software that will rate the popularityof keywords and phrases by giving words a number ratingbased on real search engine activity. Software such asWordTracker will even suggest variations of your words andphrases. The higher the number this software assigns to agiven keyword, the more traffic you can logically expect tobe directed to your site. The only fallacy with thisconcept is the more popular the keyword is, the greater thesearch engine position you will need to obtain. If you aredown at the bottom of the search results, the consumer willprobably never scroll down to find you.

Popularity isn’t enough to declare a keyword a good choice.You must move on to the next criteria, which isspecificity. The more specific your keyword is, the greaterthe likelihood that the consumer who is ready to purchaseyour goods or services will find you.

Let’s look at a hypothetical example. Imagine that you haveobtained popularity rankings for the keyword “automobilecompanies.” However, you company specializes in bodyworkonly. The keyword “automobile body shops” would rank loweron the popularity scale than “automobile companies,” but itwould nevertheless serve you much better. Instead ofgetting a slew of people interested in everything frombuying a car to changing their oil filters, you will getonly those consumers with trashed front ends or crumpledfenders being directed to your site. In other words,consumers ready to buy your services are the ones who willimmediately find you. Not only that, but the greater thespecificity of your keyword is, the less competition youwill face.

The third factor is consumer motivation. Once again, thisrequires putting yourself inside the mind of the customerrather than the seller to figure out what motivationprompts a person looking for a service or product to typein a particular word or phrase. Let’s look at anotherexample, such as a consumer who is searching for a job asan IT manager in a new city. If you have to choose between“Seattle job listings” and “Seattle IT recruiters” which doyou think will benefit the consumer more? If you werelooking for this type of specific job, which keyword wouldyou type in? The second one, of course! Using the secondkeyword targets people who have decided on their career,have the necessary experience, and are ready to enlist youas their recruiter, rather than someone just out of schoolwho is casually trying to figure out what to do with his orher life in between beer parties. You want to find peoplewho are ready to act or make a purchase, and this requiressubtle tinkering of your keywords until your find the mostspecific and directly targeted phrases to bring the mostmotivated traffic to you site.

Once you have chosen your keywords, your work is not done.You must continually evaluate performance across a varietyof search engines, bearing in mind that times and trendschange, as does popular lingo. You cannot rely on your logtraffic analysis alone because it will not tell you howmany of your visitors actually made a purchase.

Luckily, some new tools have been invented to help youjudge the effectiveness of your keywords in individualsearch engines. There is now software available thatanalyzes consumer behavior in relation to consumer traffic.This allows you to discern which keywords are bringing youthe most valuable customers.

This is an essential concept: numbers alone do not make agood keyword; profits per visitor do. You need to findkeywords that direct consumers to your site who actuallybuy your product, fill out your forms, or download yourproduct. This is the most important factor in evaluatingthe efficacy of a keyword or phrase, and should be thesword you wield when discarding and replacing ineffectiveor inefficient keywords with keywords that bring in betterprofits.

Ongoing analysis of tested keywords is the formula forsearch engine success. This may sound like a lot of work -and it is! But the amount of informed effort you put intoyour keyword campaign is what will ultimately generate yourbusiness’ rewards.

How can people in an outsourcing respect their manager but hate the organisation

I was thinking about outsourcing change management and the observation that those being outsourced often speak with respect about the boss delivering the message whilst being very hostile to the organisation actually forcing through the reorganisation. It has often happened to me when talking to people being outsourced that some managers or leaders are able to give bad news when it is necessary whilst still maintaining a good relation with their staff.

From a justice perspective, followers, or in this case the ones on the ‘receiving end’ of the outsourcing change, will judge the leadership exercised as to the degree which it is fair. That is leaders can motivate followers by following ‘fair procedures’ and followers can as a result become more supportive of the direction or goals being proposed and exercise good organisational citizenship – even when the goal being proposed is adversely affecting them.

This can be sharply contrasted if you think of a more distributive type of process where the person affected by the change only sees the instrumental issues – how the change is materially affecting them (loss of income or job for example). What this forces us to consider is how people apply different yardsticks when looking at an organisation’s position and how this can inform us why a person could simultaneously ‘respect’ the person who is communicating the bad news whilst keeping this distinct from poor justice perceived at an organisational level – or from another person or department elsewhere. I.e. is it seen as fair what the company is proposing as articulated by the manager compared to the way it is actually carried out at a company level. For example an outsource in order to gain cost advantages over an incumbent workforce would I suspect be judged adversely in a distributive justice sense, whereas a correct and fair application of the selection of the people affected by the outsource, as done by the manager, could be seen as procedurally fair if done with integrity – you would probably hear things like ‘he’s only doing his job’ or ‘he has no say in the matter’ but never the less ‘he’s a good chap.’

You could also take another view more directly related to identity and leadership: followers internalise the leaders perspective and construct an identity congruence to the leaders (buy in to the vision) and the issues around Identity in terms of the organisation (letting go and the processes involved in breaking the psychological contract) and constructing a new identity with the new organisation in outsourcing or ‘downsizing’. These types of processes also affect those left behind – i.e. be distanced from the organisation as a consequence of a poor outsource process. These sorts of processes could also help us ‘explain’ a differential response to the different players within an organisation (respect the manager but despise the organisation) – this is seen a lot in downsizing or outsourcing organisations people leave and organisation with a bitter taste in the mouth. It should not be forgotten that poorly outsourced people are probably lost as customers for the rest of their lives!

What this means is that the response of workers to an outsource can be greatly affected by the way messages and procedures are actually executed. A fair and equitable approach delivered by a well trained and respected manager can actually help in reducing resistance to change – in effect stopping causes of resistance at source.


The Twitter Tool-Box collection

The Twitter Tool-Box – The Twitter plug in guide.

Twitter is and interesting Micro Blogging tool but to be really effective you need to exploit one of the hundreds of add-on tools that are out there. I have posted just a few of my favourites. On this forum posts are tweeted to the tweetosphere to get you further coverage.

  1. TwitterFox is a Firefox extension that notifies you of your friends’ status on Twitter and lets you make posts from your browser status bar.
  2. Twitbin is a Firefox extension that allows you to send and receive tweets from the web
  3. TwittAd allows Twitter users to monetize their account by accepting advertising on the background image of their Twitter user profile.
  4. TweetBeepKeep track of conversations that mention you, your products, your company, anything this tool notifies you by email when you get a mention.
  5. TwitterBar a Firefox extension that enables you to post from the address bar – my favorite and very easy
  6. Twitterfeed is a site where you can submit a feed via RSS and have it posted to Twitter – and essential tool if you are serious about marketing (Bizface Tweets your posts via this)
  7. GroupTweet set up a group to share tweets – nice little site
  8. TwitPic, is a photo sharing tool for Twitter.
  9. Twufferschedule a twitter post for any time of day or night – the twitter answer to the Blackberry you can convince you friends you are always working (maybe)
  10. iTweet is yet another interface for Twitter with built-in auto-refresh, search and hash tags and users can view and post user bio, location and URLs inline with their tweets.
  11. MrTweet is like LinkedIn, it looks through your extended network and makes suggestions to help you build effective relationships on Twitter.
  12. Twitter Search is Twitter’s own built-in and oft-overlooked search tool. You can use it to search for other Twitter users, keywords very useful as it helps you put get words in your Tweet that can get noticed.

Don’t like the standard Twitter Badge:
Then go to Widgetbox nice site to get yourself a Twitter widget and a whole host of nice gadgets – this is a fantastic site take a visit.

Any more Twitter tools you find post them here