Choosing keywords for your website optimizations

The first thing about choosing strong keywords for your websites search engine optimization (SEO) is to know what your potential client or customer is searching for that you can offer them. When a person comes to your site based on a particular keyword, will they find the items, goods or services they are seeking?  If not, you are leading them down a path that will come to a disappointing end for everyone. What are you offering that’s unique to your business?  How can you get people to come to your site for something very specific that they will be delighted to know you offer?


How do you do it?


Start by experimenting with search terms you think are your strongest possibilities.  When you enter them, what comes up? Are there lots of ads for that search term and what is the competition you have regarding those terms?

Ex: If you are a dentist, try Googling the search term dental care followed by your zip code. Location based key phrases are best with most brick and mortar businesses. If a lot of other dentists come up in that search, you are competing with those businesses for a piece of the pie using that term.  This can be costly if you are using a service like Google Ad Words as you will be competing with some of the bigger businesses for that piece of the pie.  If you have a specialty and can use search terms that are more specific to what you specialize in, you might be able to get great traction using terms about that specific service. Ex. Best tooth whitening in Orlando might be a little more targeted than best dentist in Orlando.

It’s not just about key words, it’s about key phrases.


What are the best tools to use and do I have to pay for them?


You can hire a professional SEO service, but be cautious. There are many companies that are great at this but many that are not as experienced as they profess.  Get references.

Google offers a few free tools that can be helpful. Google Key Word Planner, Google Trends and Key Word Tool io, are free and can give you some good information.

There are tools you can pay for that can be more in depth but costly.

Term Explorer and Moz Keyword Difficulty Tool are excellent products but can run as little as $35 a month to nearly $500 a month depending on what you choose.


How do you know when the keywords has too few clicks to not choose it?


It can simply be trial and error. Keep a watchful eye on it and if a key word or phrase is not bringing clicks to your site and more importantly conversions to sales, ditch it.

Remember that the sole purpose of key words is to bring people to see what you have to offer and get them to buy something, be it goods or services.


What is a USP?

USP, is an acronym for, Unique Selling Proposition (or unique selling point). It’s a marketing tool that differentiates a product or company from its competitors. USP’s use value propositions like, the lowest cost, the best quality, or a product that is the only of its kind.

Your USP should clearly state, to potential customers, a benefit that only your company can offer that your competitors don’t. This should be very compelling in order to attract new customers.

Here are some great examples of USPs from well-known companies:

  • Southwest’s claim to be the lowest-priced airline.
  • Denny’s serving breakfast 24 hours a day
  • Little Ceasars hot and ready pizza (you know you can walk in and get a pizza without calling to order or waiting long for one)
  • FedEx – When it has to be there tomorrow


How do you develop a unique selling proposition?


You have to know not only your audience but your own personality and how your business reflects that personality. What’s the corporate culture of your business?  With a company like FedEx, it’s all about speed. The hidden arrow in their logo, expressing forward motion, was no accident. They’re saying, we can get your packages where they need to go faster than the competition. That’s their USP.

What is your unique quality and what is the personality of your business? Are you charity driven like Bombas?  They realized that the number one request at homeless shelters was for sox. Their unique selling proposition became, for every pair of sox they sold, they gave a pair to the homeless. That’s a, pretty, powerful, USP. You have to look at what’s different about your company or product and how you can turn that into a strong marketing statement that makes customers want to use you instead of your competitors for their unique needs.


Why is this so important?


What separates successful businesses from ones that scrape by is knowing why they are better at something. Little Ceasars may not make the best pizza you’ve ever had, but if you’re late getting home from work and on a limited budget, a quick stop and a five dollar bill and you can feed your kids.  That’s important to the customer.  Your USP should be your flag that you fly that says what you can do for the customer to make life better for them in some way. Cheaper, faster, one of a kind, best ever, best quality, best for them and their lifestyle; these are the reasons people choose who they buy from.



Should you have more than one if you sell multiple products?


Only if those products are very different in nature or scope.  If you’re Colgate, you sell things for teeth; toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouth wash.

If you sell cars and also shoes, you may have to create more than one USP. That’s not common for most businesses but deciding on your Unique Selling Proposition takes time and careful consideration.


Think it through and make it your own.

Instagram for business – should we use it?

Instagram might not be for everyone but it’s a very powerful social media platform, especially for millennials.  Research shows that Instagram drives more engaged traffic than any other social media channel, including Facebook.

Instagram gleans more return customers. If someone buys something from you and then follows you on Instagram, statistics show they’re more likely to become repeat customers, which is how businesses survive.

Our world is visual, and “a picture’s worth a thousand words.” Most people have a great camera built into their phone. That alone can be a fantastic business tool.

Is it really worth your time?


It’s hard to say how you should spend your time marketing your business.  Marketing is a science and, with the onslaught of social media platforms, it’s only become more complicated. If you offer goods that are visual in nature, where images can be very impactful, Instagram is can work.  Marketing is about one thing, engagement.  How can you engage an audience? We live in a world where everything is moving so quickly, to keep up with it, you have to be fast and visual.  Can you get them to your website, store, or event to see what you’re selling with strong visuals and content?  If so, Instagram is worth your time and efforts.


How does your small business tell a story if you don’t sell “sexy” products?


Everything can be sexy if you approach it from the right angle. If you’re selling orthopedic shoes to senior citizens, show a sexy older woman rocking those shoes.  You can make your small business look just as important as the big guys with well thought out images that tell who you are and what you’re selling.  Sexy is subjective. Sexy can be getting the right product to the right people at the right price.


Do we have to post everyday?


Yes!  Engagement is tough.  People are fickle and the 20-40 year- old Instagram user is no exception. Post at least once a day.  With Twitter you might need to post 8 to 10 times a day to stay current.  With Instagram, a couple of pictures with short, pithy, content can do the trick.


Hashtags – are these just a gimmick? How do they work?


Hashtags are not a gimmick.  They’re keyword phrases.  If someone’s searching for something and uses a phrase that turns up in a hashtag, that search will lead them to you. Hashtags can take on a life of their own. The hashtag, #Nevermypresident,  is getting a lot of traction from the people that don’t support the incoming president. Searching that hashtag will bring people with that mind set together.


When is Instagram better for my business than Facebook?


Instragram is better for reaching a younger audience. Facebook has moved toward an older demographic where Instagram and it’s visual connection to the phone garner a much younger crowd.  If you’re product or services are aimed at the under 40 crowd, Instagram is a must.

Artificial Intelligence on the web

Using artificial intelligence, with a complicated algorithm of logics and code, companies employing this method can create a website in minutes.  WIX claims they are testing the use of this software in their builds. Using this technology, WIX, like other DIY website builders, can save a great deal of time and money, but will the end results be what the client needs and likes?


Here’s how it works:


You’re asked a set of standard questions to determine the nature of your business and what kind of website you would need to build. This will determine the layout, design and content as well as overall branding that should work best for your situation. Neither you nor a team of web developers (actual people) need to code anything.  AI does it for you from design to organization and you can focus on what content you think will best grab your audience. If that feels like magic, it almost is.


Can a small business use it?


Yes, but probably through working with a bigger business like a WIX or GRID if and when they bring this technology to the public.  It’s a costly endeavor and not fully proven. There will be issues with using AI to create websites. The art of customizing a site that really reflects the personality of a business could be lost in this kind of programming not to mention a lot of programming jobs that pay the bills of human beings and their families but it could save time and money for the end user.


What are chat bots?

Chatbots are a hot new trend
Bots are simple artificial intelligence systems that you interact with via text. It can be something as simple as asking what the weather will be like in Portland Oregon (rainy, most likely) or more complicated like seeking advice on your internet connection issues.
A Bot might handle things that would usually require a phone call, web search, or mobile app. Things like banking, making reservations, movies times, games, can all be handled by a Bot.


Which chat bots actually learn from user interaction?


Bots with Machine Learning have an artificial brain. They understand natural language, not only their programmed commands. Every time they converse with actual people, they get “smarter”.

When they crash, they re-program and learn from their previous mistakes. This happens as they interact more and more with people. This is how they differ from normal computers that can only solve problems they are programmed to solve.  AI means artificial intelligence so Bots continue to learn and evolve.


What are the trends for 2017 that everyone can use?


AI will be a hot topic in the coming year. As we move into the new year and beyond, AI will provide new technology for the home, office, hospital and more. Perhaps the next time you go to your favorite restaurant, your order will be taken by a bot and their website will have been built by AI power.