search engines

Fun with Keywords

If you’ve ever done a Google or any type of online search before, you may have encountered something similar to the above post. How does Google generate these suggestions? According to Search Engine Land, there are a few components. These include overall searches (things people around the world have typed in), your own search history, and regional suggestions.

So, Google and other search engines have methods for anticipating what people are looking for and delivering relevant results.

How do you get your website to show up in searches? That’s where SEO and keyword research comes in. According to Techopedia, a keyword “is a particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a Web page.” Having the right keywords on your website helps get your material to the right people when they search for certain words/phrases. How do you know if your words/phrases are “right”? There are a few pieces to that puzzle.

One part, which may seem like common sense, is that you want keywords that match the content on your website. For instance, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to use “Barnum & Bailey Circus” on our Breaking Even Contact page. It’s not accurate and probably won’t get us any traffic. (Spammers tend to use popular words to get traffic to their spammy sites so search engines will penalize you for what they consider a mismatch between what you say is on your website and what is actually there.)

Once you determine what’s relevant, another piece of a “right” keyword is what your target audience/people who are interested in what you’re offering. Just because you think people are using certain search words doesn’t necessarily mean they are actually using those words. A lot of times, business owners have more industry knowledge and might assume others are using more jargon-y terms to reach their website. To reconcile these potential discrepancies, keyword research comes in, and that’s where things can get a bit…silly.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of doing keyword research using a website called SEO Profiler. This is a paid service that has several tools, including keyword research. The keyword suggestion tool lets you type in a word or phrase, and then suggests other search terms based on number of local searches (based on an area you pick out, ‘local’ for us is United States) and  competition (how many other websites are using the keyword). One of the more interesting words that I discovered was ‘whales.’

The results for ‘whales’ was very similar to some of the aforementioned Google autofill fails. Since SEO Profiler (and other keyword research tools) are basing their information on what people are searching for, this yields some pretty interesting results. My top 10 (there were HUNDREDS of hilarious results):

  1. Prince of Whales
  2. Whales the country
  3. Why do whales beach themselves
  4. Whales with legs
  5. Blackfish
  6. Why is a humpback whale called a humpback whale
  7. Do whales fart
  8. Do killer whales kill
  9. Can whales drown
  10. whales tale (<–apparently this is a water park in New England)

So, when you’re thinking about keywords, remember: relevance (is it on your website and a phrase people are actually searching), accuracy (is it what your people are searching for), and value (are people looking to ‘buy’ what you are selling when looking up that word).

The fun factor was one of the pleasant surprises to be found in keyword research, but entirely optional.

Kassie is a distance runner and a distance reader really. She lives in Ellsworth Maine and, while she might be quiet when you meet her, will throw out something witty when you least expect it.

Get Found 2016

This is the best picture Nicole took at Get Found. She is adding it to this blog post to show that no one physically fell asleep during the event.

This is the best picture Nicole took at Get Found. She is adding it to this blog post to show that no one physically fell asleep during the event.

On January 15th, we hosted our first workshop of the year with Jim LeClair of Smart Data Map Services right here at Anchorspace, the coworking space we work out of.

We had an impressive turnout, even after capping the registration early (thanks to everyone for being awesome and getting a bit cozier than we anticipated).

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s what the event was all about (unfortunately, we don’t have any of Nicole’s so-called ugly but very delicious cookies left to share with you…)

What is GYBO? 

“Get Your Business Online” is an initiative from Google to help small businesses succeed on the internet (which is also what we do!).

It’s geared toward small businesses to encourage them to get listed on Google with updated information, which will in turn direct more people to their business location, website, or both. You’re probably familiar with Google as a search tool generally, and won’t be surprised that it’s the most commonly used search engine. When people use Google to search for your business, you want to make sure your information (like hours and location) are correct. The easiest way to do this is to create a Google Business listing (oh, and it’s free!).

To help with this set up process, Google works with partners (like our friend Colin at Root Deeper Marketing), which gave Nicole the idea for this event. Jim LeClair agreed to join and discuss some of what he does with mapping for businesses to make the agenda a bit more interesting, and Get Found 2016 was born.

schwag

The Presentations

Jim talked Data Maps. Most of us rely on some form of GPS system for directions, and it’s a little bit frustrating for businesses and customers when an address is incorrectly listed on these maps. That’s where Jim comes in. Jim’s presentation shared the importance of having an accurate address associated with your business listing on Google (and other services). Two important takeaways: 1) filling out as much information as possible in any listing can only help you and 2) many business are identified by phone number so having separate numbers for separate businesses makes sense. For more information about data mapping and Jim’s business, check out his website.

Nicole talks Google+. As far as social media platforms go, Google+ is pretty underrated. No one ever comes to us saying “Hey, our business really wants to get active on Google+, can you help?” (usually they ask about Facebook). Nicole gave a presentation about Google+ for Businesses, explaining the benefits for business marketing and some examples of the different types of content to share. You can watch Nicole’s full presentation here.

What Can You Do?

Even if you missed the event, or don’t have a business to list on Google, there are a couple ways you can show support for area businesses.

  1. Leave a review on their Google+ page.

writereview

2. This is a fun tool we found while preparing for Get Found 2016.  It’s an online tool from Google that creates a postcard based on your 3 favorite businesses that you select, and then you can share on social media. You can create yours here (Note: this link is set to Bar Harbor businesses, but you can pick any town you want!).

spreadbhlove

Want to get your business listed on Google, but aren’t sure where to start? Check out our latest offering here!

Kassie is a distance runner and a distance reader really. She lives in Ellsworth Maine and, while she might be quiet when you meet her, will throw out something witty when you least expect it.