Searching For Clients? How To Research Using Keywords
In a previous article about how to be found on the Web, I told you about my experience typing in key words I thought potential clients would use when trying to solve a problem for which I had some answers. I wanted to know if they could find me by using the search engines, and I wanted to know who else they were finding as well.
To do this research, I imagined what a potential client would type into a search engine. For my newsletter service business, I guessed that a potential client might type in "ezines" or "how to do an ezine" or "ezine publishing tips." Each time I used a version of these keywords I got different results.
For example on Technorati, a search directory of blogs, "ezine publishing" brought 10,164 results; most of them article directories where there are thousands of articles written on this topic. For "how to publish an ezine," there were 7,631 results. "Newsletters" brought in 250,692 results, and many of them were themselves newsletters rather than articles or resources about newsletters and ezines. For "ezine tips" there were 33,845 results, including my own Google Adwords ad (always nice to see that this appears somewhere!).
Technorati also allows you to search for "blog directories" so you can look for blogs using your key words.
"Ezine publishing tips" brought zero results. "Ezine publishing" brought 2 results, both of which are possible competitors and worthy of investigating further. Interestingly enough, the keyword "ezine" brought in 21 blogs, and my own blog was number 2. Many of the blogs on this list were more focused on writing and freelance writers. And many of them were blogs that had been abandoned, or at least not posted to in over three months.
Then I turned to Google, because that is the most popular search engine. You can do this same research with Yahoo, MSN, and any other search engine and you will get different results. But the more you study the results the more it will become apparent where you need to add content.
For example on Google, for the keywords "ezine publishing" there were 2,670,000 results and one of my web pages came up #24, or on the third page. This tells me I need to create a web page using the term "ezine publishing" more, because being on the third page isn't good; most people won't search beyond page one or two.
However, for the keywords "how to do an ezine" I am #4, 5, and 6! This is excellent, out of 9,800,000 results. However for "ezine tips," there are over 6 million results and I didn't see any of my pages in the first five pages.
These examples are designed to show you how to do research for your own website, web pages and blogs. Using three or four versions of the keywords you think your potential clients would use, find out where you are coming up in the results. Then create new web pages and new articles containing those keywords. Use them in your titles, headlines, and in the first and last paragraphs.
Then repeat the research process and see if you don't get better results.