last wednesday, i sat in on a webinar on key word research (seminar via the internet, for all of you non-nerds out there). the speaker was greg jarboe, who is the guru who knows all about how get yourself found on ‘the internets’ via search engines. i got to participate because i am now a client of business wire (biggest news release service in the world, recently bought by berkshire/hathaway, aka warren buffet’s company). oh yeah, i also share a bed with their account exec for AZ, NM, and UT.
i was expecting to hear a bunch of pr mumbo-jumbo that sounds like japanese to me since my speciality is coming up with ridiculous street signs and cool bags and not pr. i could not have been more wrong.
this guy is good. real good. that may be why he is basically considered a god on SEO (search engine optimization), and more than likely why i had never heard of him. not surprising since, once again, i would rather spend my time figuring out how to make the mullets look better on pedestrians. however, being a total novice to the online world, i really appreciated his extremely simple advice. we spent an hour going over the top three steps involved in researching the key words you need use to get yourself on other’s internet radar. three steps. that’s it. i can handle three steps…it’s 12 that get me.
so for some of you, you’ll stop reading here because you just don’t care to learn about SEO (it’s cool, i used to be one of you not so long ago). for those of you that want to hear a bit more about how i’m going to make durtbagz known in the nerd world, keep reading.
the first step is my favorite: ask everyone involved to give you all of the words they’d use to search for you. does this sound familiar to anyone? yeah, more than a few of you have received an email from me asking this of you, (katie, are you sober enough now to help? geez.) i love seeing what people would plug in to search for durtbagz since we are not a typical bag company. i’ve received anything from ‘caution sign bag’ to ‘funny traffic signs’ to ‘humorous bag’ to plain old ‘totes’. i love it. i love the variety and seeing terms that i would not have thought up at all. greg emphasized that it’s really important to include everyone in this step for two reasons: a) you cover all angles and see how people are looking for you. and 2) he gave the example that southwest airlines is one of his clients and they managed to leave out the chairman of the board in this step. he (said chairman) was happy when he found out. lucky for me, i am the chairman of the board so i can’t forget myself like that. phew.
secondly, take everything you’ve accumulated and narrow the list to 12 words/phrases. i’m not sure why the number is 12, but if greg jarboe said it, i believe him. i totally drank the kool-aid with this guy. also, he made the point that phrases are better than individual words, which totally works in my favor. the only single word that would ever work for durtbagz is…bags. as if. ‘funny tote bag’? me likey. and so does greg, although, i never actually spoke to him so if you ask him if ‘funny tote bag’ is a good phrase for durtbagz, he’d probably assume you were talking about a porn/fetish site.
the third step is probably the most valuable of the three so listen up. once you’ve narrowed down your words to roughly three from the 12, research those words/phrases to see how many times they are used for searches (aka, how competitive they are). obviously, you want to use terms that others are using to search for similar products, but it’s a bit of a double edge sword. it’s pretty easy to get lost in the crowd by using terms that are also used by lots of others. (i.e bags). he made the comment that more times than not, it’s good to zig when everyone else is zagging. i love that. basically, the point was that even though you might want to make a name for yourself in a very competitive industry by using terms that are used frequently in searches, you’re bound to get more attention using terms that are less popular, more unique than those used by everyone else. he went on to explain that though the terms that are more competitive obviously have more regular searches done using them, you will get buried under all of the people/companies already there. if you use key words that are popular, but not as much as the obvious terms, you will get found much quicker and easier than those trying to compete with the masses. wowee wow wow. so freaking simple and what i needed to hear.
three steps in an hour webinar and i have a complete grasp on the concept of key word research. maybe greg will get a free durtbag as a token of my appreciation. too bad i don’t have a sign with a google homepage on it…yet.