Keyword Searches

That’s more Words than in a Small Dictionary!

Jim was dumbfounded to the point of being speechless. He just sat there looking at me, trying to determine if I was telling him the truth or not. We were sharing a cola and some small talk, when he asked if I knew anything about Keyword Searches. He knew I did, but used the question to get us on the topic. Jim often sought my advice because of my relationship with Randall Mains, owner/director of PATHMAKER MARKETING. One of the services that PATHMAKER offers as part of their Small Business Marketing Strategies is Keyword Marketing. He offers it as an Online Marketing Tool, and helps clients accomplish that which they seek by using Pathmaker as their Search Engine Optimization Agency. SEO is, of course, a sound Internet Marketing Idea, and one that Jim, apparently, was hoping to incorporate in the Marketing Plan for his independent Sporting Goods Store.

Anyway, we had jawed about it for a while when he asked me how many keywords might be associated with his business, and nearly dropped his teeth when I told him it could be upwards of a 100,000 or more. That’s where we were now – – him trying to fathom what I had just told him.

“Floyder,” he finally began slowly, “you can’t possibly be serious, “ he was finally able to manage.

“Actually, Jim, I am. If you do this the right way you have to be totally comprehensive.    Let me share a specific example with you, and then we will apply the principle to your business. PATHMAKER recently had a client in Canada that runs a large car dealership. The process started with over 50,000 keywords. From there we narrowed it down to 1500 – – and then to 300 words. This allowed them to shoot to the top of the list when people did an Internet search.”

“You mean,” Jim began, again slowly, “that I should have more than just my name and the store’s name as keywords.”

And therein lies the problem, I thought. So many people are unaware of the fact that Search Engine Optimization is a science, and not just a crap shoot.

“You really think you could come up with that many words?” Jim asked, the gleam that was starting to form in his eye making the question almost a challenge.

“Jim,” how many types of fishing lures do you either have, or have access to – – this is to include every color of every type and any other variations on the theme.”

“Good Lord, Floyder, there’s thousands and thousands of them – – you know that!”

It began right at his hairline, and slowly worked its way down his entire countenance – – realization was starting to settle in on Jim! I knew I had better intervene before he became so over-whelmed by this concept that he suffered from apoplexy!

“It’s okay, Jim, you don’t have to actually include all of those in your list. What I would suggest is that you feature a few of the better ones for each type of fish – – trout, bass, and so on. And that brings up another point,” I added, hoping this new concept wouldn’t create a brain overload. “You may want to revamp your Keyword List for each Sporting Season as it occurs. I would do this,” I quickly added, keeping him as calm as I could, “by starting with the next upcoming season and then concentrating on each season as it comes along. That way, you won’t incur the cost for the total program all at one time.”

“How do I know what words to consider,” Jim asked, handling all of this better than I thought.

“Well, you hire Pathmaker and we do the research and legwork. You will have constant input, of course, but we would take care of the list building.”

For the first time in quite a while Jim’s face looked almost placid. Then, as I watched quietly, that gleam started to creep back in his eye.

 “Let’s try,” he exclaimed excitedly.

 “Try what?” I asked warily.

 “Listing 100,000 words. Come on, Floyder, we can do it!”

 I knew I was in for a long night – – either making the list or talking Jim out of trying!

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Define Your Online Objectives

I marvel at how often clients come to us at Pathmaker Marketing and do not have a firm grasp of exactly what they want us to accomplish for them.  This seems to be as true for those companies who are seeking a small business marketing strategy as those charities who are interested in non-profit fund raising. 

For whether they are looking for an online marketing toolchurch outreach ideas or search engine optimization services, their goals are often murky and poorly defined.  An example would be those who put together an internet ad without having defined how to evaluate the results of the advertisement, or measure its success.

First, as you develop your online ad you need to know what, exactly, you are expecting it to accomplish for you. 

There are basically a few strategic things that you can hope to receive from your internet marketing endeavor – – a list addition, a lead or a sale.  Typically, your product or service will determine which you should expect.  For example, if you are selling your services as an Architect for Church Expansion, you will undoubtedly pursue leads, not sales. 

On the other hand, if you are selling a $49.95 product titled “6 Steps to 1,000 Perfect Sermons,” the end result is more apt to be a sale than a lead. 

Once you fully understand your objective you can better measure the results. Making this determination will allow you to decide whether or not your advertising program was a success.

Second, as you determine your objectives you will find that they may be different depending on whether you are prospecting for new customers or selling to your current ones.  Example: is the list email you are using an “internal” or “external” list.  For an internal list, one where you are contacting current/past customers, you may decide that for a thousand dollar investment you will want to realize $10,000 worth of sales.  It might be more, it might be less – – you should be able to determine this because you will already have a track record with those individuals. 

However, with an “external” list, a list of potentially new clients, you may be pleased even if you don’t break even!  For the same thousand dollar investment, a return of only $750.00 might be acceptable because you are acquiring new names/clients for future upselling to your internal list.  These individuals will have ongoing upsell potential and a “life time value,” which may be very significant.

It is vitally imperative that you define your objectives, for without doing so you cannot determine if your campaign was successful or not!  Too, you may want to set up a “scale” of probably/possible success.  If your “goal” is to glean $10,000 on a $1,000 investment, and you only glean $8,500, you might decide that the program was, albeit short of your expectations, still a success.  As with any goal, not reaching the ultimate goal does not mean you failed.

It is possible that you may need help in defining and refining your objective, and we at Pathmaker would be more than happy to assist you in this.  However, before you invest in an internet advertising be sure you know what you expect it to do for you!

Give us a call if you need more help to find ways to win on the web.

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