Newbie Tips for Keywords, SEO and Social Media

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If you’ve been struggling with figuring out how the whole keyword, SEO and Social Media game works then here are a few tips to help you begin navigating through these tricky waters.

First let’s define the meaning of each of these terms as many considering marketing online tend to be confused when they begin.

Keywords:

Keywords, keyword phrases, long tailed keywords all refer to the words or phrases that people use when searching online for anything thing.

Why do you need keywords?

When people search for anything online they type some sort of ‘question’ into the search engine.  It may be a single word, such as ‘lawyer’ or it may be a keyword phrase, such as ‘Seattle lawyer’ or it may be a little longer – a long tailed keyword such ‘Seattle lawyer specializing in business contracts’.

When you are marketing online, you want to put the keywords that people use to search for your product / service into your material.  This way, when the search engines receive a request for a particular keyword, they scan the available, indexed material online and match the request as closely as possible.

How do you find the right keywords?

There are a number of tools that can be used to find the right keywords – tools such as the Google keyword tool  and paid tools such as Market Samurai.

When using these tools, you plug in your best guess at what the keywords might be and the tools deliver results to you in the form of the volume of searches for the word you chose as well as the number of competing results. They also suggest alternate words that may have less or more competition.

One of the best initial ways to figure out which keywords are best for your purposes is to ask the people doing the searching. It can often shorten your research time considerably by honing in on the specific, words, terms and phrases your market uses naturally.

Where do you use keywords?

If you’re marketing online, you’ll use specific keywords in everything you do – from your web site set up, to the set up of your other online presences such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.  You’ll also use them in all the content you post online.

SEO: what is it and what do I do with it?

SEO means Search Engine Optimization.  Briefly, SEO is the function used to make all your online presences and online content both search engine friendly and keyword rich.

SEO on it’s own doesn’t guarantee you online marketing success.  In many ways, it’s similar to using correct grammar when writing.  You may use correct grammar, but it doesn’t mean your article is not boring.  However, no matter how interesting your subject may be, without correct grammar, you will find it more difficult to be clearly understood.

Good SEO needs to be supported by good online marketing strategies, which brings us to…

Social Media:

It’s the latest, greatest thing since the information highway, but what is it, really?  Social media is a term that covers just about everything interactive on the internet.  It includes:

  • social community sites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • online video sites such as YouTube, Veoh and Viddler
  • online photo sites such as Flickr and Photobucket
  • ‘old fashioned’ forums and chat rooms
  • blogs
  • etc

Basically, Social Media is a term used to describe any online venue that encourages participation and interaction between members.

In order to make the fullest and best use of Social Media for business purposes, you will need to pay attention to some basic SEO and this includes familiarity with and use of targeted, relevant keywords in all your written and visual online content.

I hope that this brief explanation of these very broad and complex fields has given you some insights and cleared up some of your questions.

Please feel free to post comments or contact me if you’d like some help in any of these areas, especially regarding content creation and syndication.

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