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Keyword Research- Part 1

Keyword Research is the building block of any SEO strategy. Formulating an SEO strategy without keyword research is like walking into a maze blindfolded. If you don’t use the words people are actually interested in and actively searching for, you’re missing a lot of traffic.

Keyword Research helps you mainly in two ways:

1. To figure out what people are interested in and what language they are using to search these topics. Your audience might not use the same terms to describe things or not be aware of industry terminology.

2. To rank higher in search engines. With keywords that you decide on you can optimize your website, target phrases for link building and develop content for target audience. All of the factors mentioned help a website achieve better search ranking.

Note that Keyword Research is not just about finding the right words to help you talk to your consumers online- it’s part of a process and requires diligent monitoring and updating to get the best results.

KEYWORD DISCOVERY PHASE

In this post we will cover some initial steps which help you through the keyword discovery phase. People use their familiarity with the products/services to find new word variations or maybe some new relevant words. This might produce a lot of  information, therefore finding the right method to organize and deduct is crucial.

A good way to start would be to write down the top twenty words you associate with your company and product/services. Once you have that go over to Google.com and type in your keywords to see more targeted, suggested searches. You can get more and more detailed and local to see varied suggested keywords.

You can also try tools like wordtracker , sem rush (Paid services with free trials) that offer a quick look at the Keywords your competitors are using.

Let us first set up a spreadsheet to organize all the information you have gathered until now. You can download (click on file, go to download as excel) a simple spreadsheet we use.

GOOGLE  ADWORDS KEYWORD TOOL

The Google free keyword tool is a good start to associate some numbers to your keywords. Enter your core keywords and run the search…

The keyword shows you three columns:

  • Competition: “The number of advertisers worldwide bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. The shaded bar represents a general low-to-high quantitative guide to help you determine how competitive ad placement is for a particular keyword.”
  • Global Monthly Searches: “The approximate 12-month average number of search terms matching each keyword. This statistic includes traffic in all countries and languages but is specific to your keyword match type selection.”
  • Local Monthly Searches: “The approximate 12-month average number of search terms matching each keyword. This statistic is specific to your targeted country and language as well as your match type selection. If we don’t have enough data for a particular keyword, you’ll see this noted within the column.”

If you have logged into the google adwords account you can also see approximate CPC. (CPC- “This is the approximate cost-per-click you might pay if you were to bid on the keyword. The CPC is averaged over all the ad positions.”)

It is here you need to narrow down your keywords and start moving away from generic terms. If you see the left side of adwords you can select three options for specific match types based on broad, exact and phrase. This becomes more relevant if you are looking to run a PPC campaign.

  • Broad- “The sum of the search volumes for the keyword idea, related grammatical forms, synonyms and related words” So PPC ads and Organic search results  for commercial real estate would show up with any searches including commercial or real estate.
  • Phrase- “The sum of the search volumes for all terms that include that whole phrase” Therefore if you were doing PPC and targeted the phrase match for Condo, ads would show for anyone who typed in  commercial real estate with or without additional keywords such as commercial real estate listing . Organic results would include only results including the exact phrase commercial real estate.
  • Exact- “The search volume for that keyword idea” . If you were doing PPC and targeted the exact match for commercial real estate , ads would only show if someone typed in commercial real estate but not any other variation of that phrase.

Generic terms are expensive and hard to get a good ranking for, therefore you need to narrow down your keyword list to 10-15 terms that you can dedicate your budget and time to. We will look further into the details of picking the best terms based on more specific factors other than volume- stay tuned for the next post!

If you would like to learn more about Keyword Research, check out our LogicClassroom video presentation, Master Your Keyword Strategy (Advanced SEO)

LogicClassroom Session on SEM 101

Thank you to everyone who came to our latest LogicClassroom session on Search Engine Marketing 101!  We explored the basics of SEM, including search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.  We learned how these tactics help you bring traffic to your site from the major search engines.

Don’t worry if you missed this LogicClassroom session, you can view the slides below at your convenience. Enjoy!

Our next LogicClassroom will be on 3/9/10. Learn how agents and brokers can create effective and engaging email marketing. Please email Katrina if you would like to attend.

LogicClassroom Session 3 – Leveraging Social Media for your Business

Thank you to everyone who attended our LogicClassroom presentation last night. We discussed how and why to leverage different social media platforms for your business. Don’t worry if you missed this session – the slides are below for you to view!

Please join us for our next LogicClassroom session 2/9/10 on Search Engine Optimization 101. Please email Katrina to attend.

Who’s got Talent

Boston Logic is looking to bring on two additional members to our already strong team. As you may know, Boston Logic is a technology and marketing consultancy providing online marketing (including Real Estate SEO), web development, and IT consulting.We are a fast growing company with clients throughout the country. Our culture has a fun, energetic feel, but we are intensely busy and maintain a professional, dedicated working environment. Our employees embody an entrepreneurial, passionate nature and a work hard/play hard attitude.

A little bit more about the two positions we are looking to fill immediately:

Ruby Developer

Strong technical and coding skills are essential for this job. You should have experience interacting with clients and effectively communicating with several parties to achieve results. Knowledge of online marketing and how the web can be used to drive business is key. Demonstration of superior client interaction, communication, and time management capabilities are a important for success in this position.

We will also be looking for the following abilities and qualifications:
•Communicating with clients to understand their needs and mapping business requirements to technical specifications
•Working with a team to strategically design and implement solutions
•Plan and execute internal company projects and contribute to long term company direction
•Write software in Ruby, PHP, Javascript, HTML, and CSS. (.Net, a plus)
•Linux server administration
•Knowledge of the real estate industry is a plus.

Online Marketer

We are looking to expand our Online Marketing team with a self-motivated, talented, and driven individual to serve as our Online Marketing Associate. The position requires 2+ years of work experience, a fair understanding of Web 2.0, strong writing skills, a contagious enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and get involved in all levels of our marketing programs (experience in Real Estate SEO, SEM, PPC and email marketing preferred).

We will also be looking for the following abilities and qualifications:
•Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills
•A strong understanding of existing online marketing tactics and a demonstrated history of creative, out of the box thinking
•Proven ability to take on several projects simultaneously from different groups; ability to delegate and manage tasks accordingly
•Familiarity with Email Marketing Tools such as Constant Contact
•A strong grasp and understanding of company branding
•Understanding of the real estate market
•Ability to work in a fast paced, fun and entrepreneurial environment
•A self-starter mentality and ability to work independently, as well as within a small team

If you match either of these descriptions or know of someone who does then please refer to BostonLogic.com/jobs
for more details about the position and how to apply.

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Web Presence Management and Optimization

At the intersection of Real Estate, Marketing and Technology

For those who missed the most recent course in our ongoing series, which included a discussion of traditional vs new media, here are my notes from the course presentation. Hope to see you at the next class, April 13th.



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