The Secret Formula for SEO Keywords - 10 Ways To Find The Best Keywords For Your Business

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the Holy Grail of the Internet. It is the magic (and secret) formula that Google, and other sites use to determine which results get listed first. It's natural for any business with a website to want their results to appear at the very top of the list when potential customers is searching. But with so much confusion about how to achieve this, we're going to dive into one of the ways you can really pack a punch with your SEO- getting the right keywords. The 10 strategies for creating and optimizing keywords we're covering today are designed to help you swing things in your favor. 

 
Secret Formula for SEO Keywords - How to find the best keywords for your business
 

If you haven't already, don't forget to check out the Dapper Fox 4-part SEO Mini Series right here on the blog. It covers all the basics for Wordpress and Squarespace websites to get started on your SEO strategy.

1.  FIRST, THE BAD NEWS

The most common search words and terms are called 'Head Terms'. The reality is that any small business will never be able to capture the top search spots. Large companies have so much capacity, volume, and capital such that they will always dominate this arena. The good news, however, is that the little guy/gal still has a chance.

Long-Tail Keywords are the phrases that customers type in when searching for the product/service they are looking for. These long-tail keywords are typically 3-5 words long, and are more specific. So phrases like, 'yoga studio park city' or 'organic cotton yoga pants' is probably going to give you a better chance at showing up first. This is because when a phrase becomes very specific, you're competing with fewer sites and therefore showing up higher in the rankings!

2.  BE THE CUSTOMER                  

One of the easiest mistakes to make as a small business owner is to get caught up in everything you have to offer. The reality is, if a customer can't find you, it doesn't matter how wonderful your business is.

Stop for a moment and be the customer. If you were looking for this product/service - where would you start? What would you search for? What variations of searches would you do? A search for 'yoga clothes' is very different from 'what are the most popular women's yoga v-neck tank tops'. Take some time and critically analyze who your customer is and what they're going to be searching for.

Find the best Keywords for your business and website SEO

A related strategy is to study your competition. Find other companies offering similar products/services and see which search phrases lead to their sites. Then make sure to include those keywords in your site as well. Don't forget to place these keywords in your body copy, heading and images. If you haven't already, check out the 4-part Dapper Fox SEO Mini Series for more information on how to place the keywords around your site. 

3.  CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE

While it might be an ego boost to look at your search results and see thousands of views on your website, if they aren't buying anything- it doesn't matter. It would be better to see hundreds of views from customers making purchases. Your profit will be determined by converting 'views' to 'purchases'. It only makes sense that your success will be contingent on how well you define YOUR customers, the people who want exactly what you have. Take some time and clearly define: What is the customer's specific unmet problem or need that my business solves? Use this information to tailor keyword-rich content to show how your audience's problems can be solved with your specific product or service. 

4.  GOOGLE 'SUGGESTIONS'

You know when you start searching for something in Google, it suggests various solutions for you? By performing those searches as if you were a customer, you can see what Google is thinking. Begin typing all of the variations you can think of from a customer's perspective and see what Google suggests. When you find phrases that apply to your product/service, take note to make sure that your website uses those long-tail keywords exactly as they appear on Google's suggestions.

5.  GOOGLE 'RELATED SEARCHES' 

A similar tool is found at the bottom of the search page. See what Google classifies as 'related searches'. Again, the key here is to not think in terms of what you have to offer but, rather, in terms of what the customer is looking for and how Google leads them to find you. Again, make sure you use these suggestions verbatim in your own website copy/verbiage.

6.  UTILIZE A VARIETY OF KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOLS

There are resources available that can help you analyze searches and get ideas. Consider it your thesaurus for search phrases. Use keywords and see all of the ancillary paths they lead you to:

7.  ANALYZE YOUR ANALYTICS

By paying close attention to your website analytics you will be able to see what is working so far. If you discover search terms that are being used, you may want to seriously consider having pages dedicated to each of them. Again, see the customer, be the customer, and then respond to the customer!

Analyze your analytics for best SEO keywords

In Google Analytics, you can view these search queries by going to: Traffic Sources >> Sources >> Search >> Organic. One place to look might be question keywords (searches that begin with what, why, how, etc.)

8.  SEARCH QUERY REPORTS

If you're running a PPC campaign (AdWords), you want to make sure you're analyzing your Search Query Reports. Just as you would in Google Analytics, you have the ability to see searches that brought customers to your site. What is critically valuable here, however, is the ability to see conversions. Again, it's nice to have visits, but it's the profit brought in by customers purchasing your products/services that is the real marker of success here. If you have long-tail keywords that are converting visits to purchases - capitalize on that!

9.  SEARCH OTHER SEARCH SITES

Demand Media owns eHow, Cracked.com, and other sites. They have an army of programmers that uses powerful algorithms to find long-tail keywords that it can then target to content. You can see where their searches lead and what phrases are common. Even if they have a page that matches your product/service, chances are they have mass produced it and the quality is low. If they are targeting a certain phrase, it's almost guaranteed that there is high search volume for that. Another easy thing to do is to search for synonyms of the words you’re currently using.

10.  THE SECRET FORMULA

My step-dad, Russ, told me this personal story once, and I think it perfectly applies to this situation. He was a high school teacher trying to recruit students for a new specialty class that was being offered the following year. During the registration period he announced to all of his classes to sign up for this class next year. When the registration results came in, only 7 students had actually signed up for the class. 

The next year, however, he tried again. This time, he approached different students while the others were working and said "I’ve really enjoyed having you in class, I think you’d be great in my new program next year". He repeated that on an individual basis over the course of the registration period. The results this time were staggeringly different, with 60 students signing up for the course! 

What I learned from Russ's experience was that the key is to find a way to make your customer feel like you’re talking directly to them. 

The secret formula for long tail keywords for SEO by Dapper Fox

Long tail keywords are one way of doing that – it makes the customer feel like you knew exactly what they were looking for. Look at everything you’re offering and see if you can change it from a generic, mass-approach to one that is customized and feels like a personal invitation.


Google and other search sites are constantly changing the 'rules'. And the rules are never known in the first place. As companies find out how to ‘game the system’, Google finds out about it and changes their system to stop it from happening in the future. They even have ways of verifying ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ techniques. This is keyed toward determining if companies are using deception or not. If you want to maximize your long-term growth, spend time creating pages that have valid content and keywords that genuinely represent the content it leads to

The world of search is fluid. Getting things right takes lots of trial and error, figuring out what works for your specific niche and website, and a bit of elbow grease. Figuring out quality and relevant keywords for your site is one of the best steps you can take toward getting your SEO in shape to start working for you! Focus on your content, think like your customer, and keep trying and adjusting!

 

5 Easy Steps to Grow Your Email List

If you’re even slightly involved in the digital space, you probably already know how important having an email list is. But many are confused about how to really attract a prospective to sign up. We'll make it easy with just 5 steps to grow your email list.

5 Easy Steps To Grow Your Email List - Dapper Fox Design - Branding, Logos, Website Design

The Basics of Email Marketing

My favorite email marketing service is MailChimp. They're easy, simple and affordable. In fact, they even offer a free subscription for lists fewer than 2,000 recipients. I love MailChimp because it takes out all the hard stuff associated with sending marketing emails, automated messages, and targeted campaigns. You can easily design templates to use in all of your emails, keep your email lists in one place, and keep track of who’s opening what and when. It’s no wonder so many people in the creative world use it!

One of the major uses for MailChimp is inbound marketing. Basically, inbound marketing means you’re marketing to a group of followers who want to receive your content, instead of begging for the attention of random individuals who may not even be interested. The easiest way to inbound market is through creating content that is helpful and engaging for your audience through emails.

The formula is pretty simple: The more helpful and engaging emails you put out, the more people will hop on your email list, which means the more people you have access to for marketing your products, and the more clients you gain. Everybody wins. 


How To Grow Your Email List

MailChimp is pretty easy to use, but most people get stuck on how to actually grow their email list. Here are 5 tried and true techniques to exponentially increasing your list:

1. Take Advantage of Opt-Ins

Opt-ins are basically the really awesome version of Pandora’s box. When you offer a free downloadable, discount code, webinar, or really anything else, all you have to do is require they submit their email first. When you get their email, you’re now able to show them all the amazing products and services you have to offer, and just how helpful you can be to them!

5 steps to grow your email list - Dapper Fox Design

2. Co-Market With Someone

Maybe you’ve got a friend who does graphic design and you’re into photography. What if the two of you promoted a joint webinar on how to create beautiful brand imagery through your own individual businesses? In the end, swap leads and add them to your email list. The addition won’t be unwelcome because they already know who you are through the co-marketing opportunity you hosted.

3. Put It Everywhere

Don't be shy about posting your email sign up around your website. I like to encourage placing one of these sign up forms at the bottom of my blog posts to help grow my email list. Don’t be too obnoxious by placing it on every page thru out your site though.. If it dominates your website, it will seem like you have nothing else to offer your potential clients and it will only annoy people.

5 steps to grow your email list - Dapper Fox Design

4. Promote a Contest, or Offer Freebies

Hosting a giveaway or contest is one of the easiest ways to gain email addresses because everyone loves free, awesome things! When people enter to win, just make sure one of the requirements is to give them your email and you’ll see your email list grow exponentially.

5. Make Your Content Shareable

This is meant to be interpreted in two ways. The first means creating really, really good content, which is sort of a “duh” thing. The second means encouraging the people on your email list to share with their friends and family! If even one person does this, that means there’s at least one more person who knows what you’re all about. 

 

Growing an email list can seem stressful, especially if you’re just starting out or your business is feeling stagnant. It doesn’t have to be like that, though! By employing one or more of these strategies, your email list will grow bigger and bigger, and when that happens, so will your revenue.


SEO Basics - Mini Series (4 of 4)

It's the last post in the SEO Basics Mini Series, and if you've made it this far, congrats! You're one giant step ahead of the competition. Today we are going to wrap the series up with some final steps you'll want to take to complete the SEO basics on your website. 

SEO Basics - Mini Series by Dapper Fox Design - How to Rank Higher On Google//   Website Design - Branding - Logo Design - Entrepreneur Blog and Resource

INCREASE THE VALUE OF YOUR SITE

Live I've mentioned before, you want your site to be as valuable as possible. The more valuable your site is, the more traffic you earn. The more traffic you receive to your site, the better! Google knows whether your site is a getting high or low traffic volume, and whether your bounce rate is high or low (which can indicate a possibly low-value website).

So how do you increase the value of your site? We've talked about adding a blog as a great way to do this. You can also reevaluate how you're presenting your information to better engage your audience. If you're noticing that your bounce rate is unusually high on a certain page, take a look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. Try to discover how you can create a better experience for the user. Perhaps adding an 'about' page that is interesting and helps your audience get to know you better. Or maybe add in a 'how it works' or 'process' page to captivate attention and educate your customer. 

LOWER YOUR BOUNCE RATE

What's a bounce rate?
A bounce rate is the rate at which people visit and then immediately leave your site. You want your bounce rate to be as low as possible. If you have a bounce rate that is 100%, it means that people are visiting your website, seeing one page, and then immediately leaving. No clicks, no browsing, nothing. Make your site more engaging, and you'll definitely see visitors staying for longer. 

Lower your bounce rate for SEO - Dapper Fox Design//   Website Design - Branding - Logo Design - Entrepreneur Blog and Resource

A few reasons people might be leaving your site:

  • If your site is too difficult or complicated to figure out how to navigate, the user will most likely give up and leave.
     
  • Another reason your bounce rate is high could be because your site simply wasn't what the user was looking for. If you think this might be happening on your site, take a look at what keywords you're optimizing each of the pages for. If you find that Google searches are bringing in traffic that isn't what the user is looking for, it might be time to reevaluate your keywords to better suite your content.
     
  • If you do feel like you have the right keywords, but still notice a high bounce rate, you could look at how clearly your page is representing what you're offering. Make it more clear to your audience exactly how their keyword search is relevant to your page. 
     
  • It's worth mentioning as well that if you have a pop-up banner that asks for an email address, or blasts your latest deal in the viewer's face, many people will just leave. Popups are notorious for freezing a page, increasing load time, and frustrating a site's users. We've all been there- sometimes dealing with an annoying pop up isn't worth staying on a site! Avoid pop-ups on your pages, and your audience will thank you.

For additional information, Hubspot has a great article and infographic on how to decrease the bounce rate on your site. There is so much psychology that goes into why readers will leave your site, so make sure to check out this article if you want to improve this important part of your SEO strategy.

CREATE A SITEMAP

So what is a sitemap? Basically, a sitemap is a list of pages that are on your website. A sitemap's job is to present the pages on your site so they are accessible to search engine crawlers. They are crucial in SEO because they allow Google to find and read every page of your site. 

Squarespace >> The beauty and simplicity of Squarespace is that you don't even need to worry about this step! Every theme on the Squarespace platform has a sitemap created on the back end for SEO reasons, so you're covered.

Wordpress >> Wordpress users need to be sure to create a sitemap so Google can properly crawl the site. One easy way to do this is to download the plugin I've talked about before, Yoast SEO. Navigate to the 'XML Sitemaps' button inside the plugin, and make sure the box that says 'Check this box to enable XML sitemap functionality.' is checked. Done!


Thanks so much for following along in this four-part mini series! You've made it through the basics of SEO strategy for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Follow all these tips we've talked about in the last four posts, and you'll be 100+ steps ahead of your competition. If you missed any of the previous posts, you can check them out below: