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An exercise to get your site in shape!

By Kerri Reeves
Posted Friday, October 22, 2004

Submitting your web site to search engines is the single-most important step, to bringing in a flood of targeted traffic.

These people are actively seeking you out when they type your keywords into that little search box. Question is "Are the keywords they're using, the same keywords you're using?" and if so, "How relevant are these keywords to what you're selling?"

You see, when you submit your web site to a search engine, some will ask you for a list of keywords *relevant* to your web site.

Other search engines will only send a spider to your site to look at your content. What they do, is take a kind of inventory of the words you use on your main page. Whichever words you use most often on this page, the spider will assume that's what your site is about and will base your listing on these words.

Then there are those search engines that will base your listing on the keyword and description tags within the heading tag of your page.

We are going to focus on getting the right keywords in the right places (optimizing) for the free-to-get-listed search engines; then we will move on to the pay-per-click and the pay-per- inclusion engines.

Before you begin compiling your list of keywords, you need to do a little bit of research.

Start by putting yourself in your customer's shoes. Pretend that you know nothing about your product or service; this can be very difficult to do. The best way to find out what keywords your customers may use, is to ask them. Using your spouse or your friends as guinea pigs, is the easiest way to do this.

Without telling them what your site is about, give them a very vague idea; as most of your customers really don't have any idea that they need your product. For example, you might say, "Honey, if you wanted to make some extra money for Christmas gifts this year, what words would you type in this little box?"

If your spouse has the time and is willing to help you out, ask him/her to go to at least 3 different search engines and conduct at least 3-5 searches, using different keywords and phrases each time. Also, be sure that she/he clicks on a few of the results, but only the ones she/he feels is relevant her/his search.

Note: Most internet marketers are alone in their work. Meaning, many times the spouse of the marketer usually doesn't know how internet marketing works. (My husband can't even turn on a computer!) Allow your spouse to use any keyword or phrases she/he needs to find what she/he is looking for. There are no wrong answers here and you'll learn a lot more if she/he isn't given a lesson in search engines beforehand.

Make sure you write down *every* keyword and/or phrase your spouse uses. Also pay close attention to the web sites she/he clicks on from the search results. This will give you an outside look at how the majority of your customers are going to find you.

After your spouse clicks on one of the search results that she/he is interested in, ask them "Why?" What was it about that particular site that interested her/him? Take notes; this is good stuff!

Note: Of course not everyone is selling information on how to make money online. Some of you may be selling crafts that you made yourself, vitamins or weight loss products, long distance service, etc. No matter what your site wants from its visitors, you can still do this exercise. Just be sure that your spouse only has a vague idea of what she/he is searching for.

The next step in this exercise is to have your spouse conduct their searches again, only this time they should have a really good idea of exactly what it is they are looking for. Tell them to be specific in their searches.

Again, write down the keywords and/or phrases they use, what sites they visit from the results and why.

Be sure to also write down the URL of the web sites they visit. (This is your competition!) Next week, we are going to do a little undercover work. You will become the ultimate internet spy!

Note: The reason I say to use your spouse or friends for this exercise, is that we, as marketers, tend to get so close to what we're doing, that it's hard to get back, outside the box, as newbies. We know what it is our product does, and how it does it, but our customers don't! We need to get inside their heads and discover *their* idea of our product. This is the easiest way to do that.

***Attention, MRI subscribers!***

If your spouse isn't available for this exercise, try using the Keyword Finding Tools listed in the "Search Engine Tools" category at

Click here Spend some time with the last resource listed and you'll have your keyword list in no time!

***Attention, Non-MRI subscribers!***

You can subscribe to The Marketing Resource Informer and gain access to the only ezine that does all the work for you and provides you with easy to use resources you won't find anywhere else on the net at
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About the Author
Kerri Reeves is the publisher of A1 Home Business News and The Marketing Resource Informer where she provides subscribers with Keyword Finding Tools that go hand-in-hand with this article. Subscribe right now at (http://www.marketingresourceinformer.com/)