Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Words and the Web: Understanding Keyword Tiers

A car with no key is a useless hunk of metal, much like a website with no keywording is a static clump of code and graphics. There’s no magic bullet to bring traffic to your site and customers to your product. 

Your user-friendly functionality and attractive visuals won’t get the word around for you. You have to spread it yourself with three keyword tiers that Google can grab onto to help your site get found.

Tier One: Who and Where You Are 

Let’s say you’re a sporting goods retailer. You’d stock tier one with variations of your company name and location. For example, you should go with “Jimmy’s Sporting Goods, Rhode Island,” or “Jimmy’s RI.”

The web is a seemingly endless road. Through tier one keywords, customers ask for directions to your site.

Tier Two: Your Products and Services 
Not all users will ask Google to point them toward your stake in the digital terrain. Some people will be searching for products and services in their area using tier two keywords.

Following the sporting goods example, such users might query “baseball equipment, Rhode Island,” or “hockey equipment, Rhode Island.” You offer these products, and you want to be sure your site is optimized with them.

If you operate in a competitive market, properly executed tier two keywords give your small business’s voice extra decibels in a loud and crowded room.

Tier Three: Your Niche 
SEO specificity hits its peak here. If you’re just starting out, don’t bank on tier three landing you on a page one Google search result. It incorporates extremely focused terms not likely to be queried.

This doesn’t mean optimizing with tier three terms is mere diligence. Think of them as an investment.

Once your business and products start to take off, you want your unique items to have a foundation web presence. Back to Jimmy’s Sporting Goods, let’s say the shop is carrying equipment for all of the major sports, but wants to eventually be the local go-to for custom lacrosse gear.

They’d lean heavily on tier one and two keywords, but not so much on tier three examples like “Jimmy’s Extreme LaCrosse 3500 Stick.” But, they would want to lay groundwork to build this product’s searchability over time, turning this specialty item into a tier two term as it gains visibility and popularity.

In Summation 
Remember, your site is not going to attract eyeballs based on merit. Approach keywording and SEO for what they are; crucial components to your site’s success.