Ah, the beauty of search marketing! What other marketing medium lets you get your ad in front of your potential customer at the precise moment they are looking for exactly what you sell? Of course, your success with search marketing hinges on your selection of the right keywords. Good keyword selection starts with a brainstorming session. Get together with your team and make a list of all the keywords and phrases that people might be searching for to find a business like yours. Try to include terms that people outside your industry would use. Take a look at your competitors' websites to see what keywords they are targeting. Review their meta keywords, titles, and content on their websites to identify additional keywords to add to your list. Another great place to look for keywords is forums, blogs, industry sites, and Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers. What are the words people use to find the product or service you offer? Once you've built your list, use online keyword tools to see how often your keywords are searched on and refine your list. A few of these tools are Keyword Discovery, WordTracker, Google's Keyword Tool, and Yahoo/Overture Keyword Inventory Tool. These tools will allow you to see how often your keywords are searched on and give you ideas for other keywords to consider.
It's important to target keywords that are relevant to your business, but don't sacrifice relevance for search popularity--I mean don't forget about your most targeted keywords just because they aren't as heavily searched. You want to use keywords that will drive traffic to your site AND increase sales. Once you identify the keywords that are most relevant to your website, you can use that list for search engine optimization, pay-per-click (PPC) keyword ads, and any other keyword advertising. After you start getting traffic for these keywords, spend some time reviewing your analytics reports. Monitor the keyword conversion report to see which keywords are generating sales. If you find certain keywords perform better than others, shift your focus to those keywords to achieve the best possible results. Over time you will fine-tune your keyword strategy to the point where you know exactly which keywords perform best and you will enjoy a steady flow of new business from the search engines.