The point of having a marketing strategy is to communicate with your audience. You want people to know you have something available that will improve their life once they have it in their possession. The old "snake oil" method of barking out a series of possibly untruthful statements is not effective in our current market. People want the truth, and it requires talking to them in a way they understand. When reaching out to people through the Internet, your conversation begins with your choice of keywords.
Your Customer's "Mind Talk"
Consider how you go about searching for something online. You have ideas about what you're seeking - a train of thoughts running through your head. When choosing keywords for your business website, the best are the ones that allow you to enter the conversation that's already happening in a person's head. More people will click on the link to your website when it repeats what they are thinking.
As an entrepreneur, you have a perception of your products that is not the same as a person that could have its benefits. You're selling it and they're looking to buy it. Two opposites on the spectrum! One of the quickest ways to find effective keywords is to use Google's free keyword tool. This will give you a sense of the psychology of your market, or what they are actually using to search.
Determining Your Ideal Customer
Here's an example of a client who owns a real estate company in the city in a major Arizona city. His primary keyword was "homes for sale" but it was not getting the results he expected. My initial discussion with him involved asking a series of questions to determine who would likely purchase a home through his company. His "ideal customer" was this: a couple over the age of 50 considering retirement in a warm-weather state.
We tested the phrase "homes for sale" in Google's keyword tool and came up with some immediate results that did not apply to his business, including "homes for sale by owner", "dallas homes for sale" and "mobile homes for sale." Obviously the people he wanted to reach were not searching with the primary keyword phrase he had been using.
We had to find something that matched the way they were thinking about finding a home, so we tried "homes for sale in Scottsdale". We found several excellent results related to this phrase. We also tested this phrase along with the word "retirement" and got some interesting results. "Luxury homes", "retirement living", "vacation homes", and "golf homes" came up with the search. This was an indication that his market was thinking along those lines when looking on the Internet for a home to purchase. By adding the new keyword phrases to the content on his website, my client began to talk directly to his market in a way that was meaningful to them. Within 14 days the number of contacts through his website increased by 23%.
Engage with Your Customers through Keywords
The most important point to take away is this: you can reach thousands of people through Internet marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) but you need to engage with the people most likely to buy through keywords that mirror how they think!
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.More from this contributor: