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The Real Key to Online Success

peteark

Banned
Opinions on this subject vary, my own is

Website construction
On-site optimisation
Link Building

Are all an important process of Internet marketing, but they really do play second fiddle to 'keyword research'. Select the wrong combination of keywords and the above become meaningless, unless your route to market is PPC.

Ranking at the top of Google for terms no one searches for is pointless

Having a fantastic looking website is pointless if no one sees it.

To that end the most important process starts at the beginning of your online venture. Targeting keywords after a site is constructed is possible, it's just ideal.
 
PeterHoggan

PeterHoggan

New Member
Targeting the right keywords is important but, in my opinion, prior to keyword research it is important to understand who will be using the site and what information or resources they require to accomplish their goals effectively. You then have a basis or foundation on which to conduct keyword research.
 

peteark

Banned
Your right Peter, this all forms part of the research

Competitiveness of terms
Popularity of terms
Business goals
Demographics
Geo-specific targeting

It's complicated but well worth spending a few weeks on this research

When I complete this research I am able to build a sites navigation and sub page URL structure, the rest just flows into place.
 
Adventurelife

Adventurelife

New Member
Hi Guys

Before anyone goes near a onlinme business I would suggest several weeks or months of research should be done on the business product/service what evcer it is going to be selling.

I know this sounds obvious but most start ups do not do it and hence never really get past creating a job for themselves instead of a business they can run.

Of course once all that is done the online side needs careful consideration as it will of course help the business but way to many just rush straight into getting a site done without knowing a hundred other things they should first about the business they propose to start.

If they did this would also in turn help you guys as they could communicate better about what they want the site to do and achieve etc

Peter
 

PennyPR

New Member
I think it's really hard for most small business owners & prospective business owners to research the market well enough to reach very good keyword decisions in advance of trading and conversing with real customers. And to get some customers, they will need an online presence...
There's something about actually doing business that strips away lot of potential blind alleys and red herrings that research throws up.
In an ideal world people would develop products and services in response to a clearly defined market need and know their key target market so precisely that their segmented customer profiles had fully developed characters and nick-names. For first-time businesses at start-up, it's unlikely to happen. Some fully-fledged businesses are still far from there.
Is it not more realistic to provide flexible websites with easy-to-update integrated blogs so the RSS-based updated posts will hit the search engines faster? Plus really easy content management systems to makes tweaks easy as real-life experience informs the business owner?
A good site won't be static anyway. Most pro SEO people still fine-tune landing pages and tweak content as the market develops.
 
PeterHoggan

PeterHoggan

New Member
PennyPR you are so right, new businesses, and some well established ones too, often continue to follow the goals set out in their initial research to the letter in order to satisfy stakeholders interests (egos) rather than adapt to the customers they attract. The trends of the day might be entirely different six months down the line.

Take the current recession for example, many retailers are finding it difficult to maintain brand loyalty while cheaper alternatives are available. So doesn’t it make sense to re-evaluate who might be downshifting to you and target them.

I guess what I am saying that initial research will probably point you in the right direction but you can’t take eye of the ball. Markets are dynamic and analysis has to be ongoing or you stand to be left out in the cold.
 

peteark

Banned
So many people miss the point when I speak about the importance of initial keyword research

It forms the basis for the website, in effect the start line. Nothing should ever be set in stone.

During this research we are able to diagnose what keywords are attainable and which ones are not, for example, brand new websites will naturally react poorly to popular terms.

Once a site is live, it's then a matter of adding regular good quality content and working on the sites link profile, whilst continually monitoring keyword performance.

Going forward It's normal to tweak a sites keywords, generally moving from uncompetitive phrases through to premiership phrases.

The whole process of SEO is long winded and very systematic, I guess it suits the way I work. 10 years ago I was responsible for the Health and Safety of a very large establishment. Due to many factors people where working in unsafe conditions, of course there was not a chance in hell I could improve matters overnight, so I set up a programme of long term improvements. 3 years later the establishment was the flagship for Health and Safety in the County. Internet marketing is very similar, understand what needs done, be patient and be expected for some very late nights.
 
PeterHoggan

PeterHoggan

New Member
Got to disagree with you peteark, in my mind it’s the relationship between the target customer and the products or services you sell that forms the basis of the website. Without a clear understanding of how one benefits the other keyword research will have limited success.

Keyword research is very important, however understanding the consumer and being able to communicate your marketing message clearly goes way beyond consulting a few keyword tools or log files. This will tell you little about who they currently purchase from?, why? etc and what you need to do to encourage switching.

Search engines and search engine rankings are only a means to an end, it is what the customer does once he/she reaches your site that really matters. Sure, keyword optimisation is critical in driving traffic however an understanding of the needs and goals target customer, your competitors and their offers etc ultimately defines the keyword set that you will target and frame any subsequent marketing message, USP or call to action.
 

peteark

Banned
All of these things are considered with the research, hence I stated

Competitiveness of terms
Popularity of terms
Business goals
Demographics
Geo-specific targeting

Business goals and demographics are contained within the points you raise, you are right there is more to the research than tools and log files. Luckily most people's businesses are fairly straight forward.

Flexibility is the key, therefore the structure of a site is important. Most people think a well structured, clean coded, user and owner friendly website is expensive, it isn't. However finding the right designer, that is another matter all together.

As long as a person can back up their theories and working practices they are not far off the mark.
 

stuarty

Banned
I agree 100% - very accurate and insightful explanation!

Got to disagree with you peteark, in my mind it’s the relationship between the target customer and the products or services you sell that forms the basis of the website. Without a clear understanding of how one benefits the other keyword research will have limited success.

Keyword research is very important, however understanding the consumer and being able to communicate your marketing message clearly goes way beyond consulting a few keyword tools or log files. This will tell you little about who they currently purchase from?, why? etc and what you need to do to encourage switching.

Search engines and search engine rankings are only a means to an end, it is what the customer does once he/she reaches your site that really matters. Sure, keyword optimisation is critical in driving traffic however an understanding of the needs and goals target customer, your competitors and their offers etc ultimately defines the keyword set that you will target and frame any subsequent marketing message, USP or call to action.
 
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