In light of the recent co-operation between Bing and Facebook and Google’s countermoves suggest we might be about to see a fundamental shift in the way search engine results are delivered. Web 2.0 might be yesterday’s term and how to market online could be different soon.
Still, until this is demonstrated, for those venturing into business blogging, quality keyword research and selection is essential to build a solid foundation on which to start your business blog and build your business community online.
Success online is premised on people finding people online, because they want either to find or be found. The starting point for much of this activity is keyword or keyword phrase searches.
What is Web 2.0?
Web 2.0 was coined in 2004 to describe the rise of technology, which made today’s social media possible. This was a fundamental change from the earlier years of the Internet, where a website was predominantly made up of pages of static information.
The rise of Web 2.0 has given businesses, organisations and bloggers the tools and the opportunity to have a marketing conversation and develop relationships with future customers. This is still largely dependant on those customers finding them.
While Web 2.0 properties include many social bookmarking tools, StumbleUpon, Delicious and Digg among them, the more significant platforms, for most businesses, are blogs (dynamic content) and social networking sites which include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The ability to post videos, comments, photographs and podcasts on interactive social networks like You Tube, Flickr and Itunes is also part of this weave of interactive communication. They collectively contribute to your conversations and your online community building, once the targeted customers have found you.
You Tube, Flickr and Itunes have all become search engines in their own right. You Tube continues to grow exponentially and by 2008 had become the world’s second largest search engine. Ebay and Facebook, with its over 5,000,000 users, are also search engines.
Much of how people find you, is based on how well you marry what they are looking for, with what you tell these search engines about who you are and what you do.
Investing the time and effort in these activities can be quickly wasted, if you haven’t done effective keyword research and then employed your keyword selection correctly, either through search engine optimisation (SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM).
The dots will not join. Potentially, hundreds or thousands of targeted visitors will not find you.
No new online business idea should be entertained either, without doing this research first to find out if you have a clearly defined market online
No business should build an online presence without insisting on targeted visitors (traffic). Sourcing and enticing traffic is a number one consideration.
Once you these visitors have found you, you must persuade them quickly that your offer is what they seek, so that at the very least, you win the privilege of communicating with them again.
The sales funnel is no different online to offline. It takes time and effort to convert a visitor into a customer, member or advocate. The difference is that you might be talking to hundreds even thousands, rather than one cold call at the time. This is worth your early efforts in keyword research and selection and one that should give a handsome return on investment.
You can do this yourself. But for most businesses, the sensible solution is to pay someone to do it for you. Either way, you need to be assured of quality teaching products, coaching or third party suppliers.
If you choose to outsource keyword research and SEO or SEM, have the same conversation with your potential supplier as you would wish to have with a potential client or yours. If they are to be trusted then they should be accessible online, so talk to them. Do they clearly demonstrate competency, transparency, inclusivity and authenticity?
So what do you do next?
You can do the learning yourself, starting with effective keyword research, and then its application across a range of Web 2.0 properties, or pay someone else to do it for you. Either way, you need to be assured of quality teaching products, coaching or third party suppliers.
Back in a full circle.
What will you do to find these services and products?
Start by keying in search terms related to keyword research into a search engine or on Your Tube or Facebook.
You should find those that have been successful at employing their keyword research to their blogs, You Tube videos or Facebook pages, so that they rank and you find them, are probably the best place to start. After all, if they have succeeded, they are likely to have products or services that will help you succeed.
Then begin the conversation, talk to people on their blogs and in forums. Look up who they recommend and have a talk to them. Use the Trust Monitor: Do they demonstrate competency, transparency, inclusivity, authenticity? This is a handy tool for any interaction, on or offline.
If this is the starting point of your online business, you want a solid foundation built through effective keyword research and selection. It will inform much of what you do going forward. Including your domain name.