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Why Jim didn't make profit with his Internet business

Last week, a customer wrote us to ask why his web site wouldn't sell. Normally, we cannot give specific advice because we wouldn't have time to improve our software programs then. In this case, we made an exception because Jim's web site was fascinating.

Jim seemed to make everything right. His web site had proper HTML code, it had a lot of contents and it didn't use frames or dynamically created web pages. Jim told us that he had carefully avoided the 19 common mistakes we outlined here.

He also told us that he had optimized his web site with IBP's Top 10 Ranking Optimizer, and that he had top 10 rankings for his most important keyword on several search engines. If that wasn't enough, what was he missing?

Finally, after exchanging some email messages with him, it suddenly hit us: Jim used the wrong keywords. Of course, he had put keywords in the web page title and several times in the body text according to IBP's advice for his most important keyword. Still, he was missing something: the keyword he used was not used by his potential customers in the search engines.

How did we find out about this? We simply used Overture's search term suggestion tool. We found out that his keyword was only searched for 3 times in the whole month. Out of these 3 searches, only some went to his web site - too few to make some sales.

So how do you find the right keywords or key phrases for your business?

To find keywords and phrases that people actually search for in the search engines, you can use so-called keyword search engines. The most popular ones are:

These tools help you to get an idea of the popularity of a keyword. Only if people use your keyword in web searches, it makes sense to optimize your web site for it.

There are also some other factors you should consider when choosing keywords for your web site. We've outlined these factors in a previous issue of our newsletter.

Next week, we'll tell you other, not so well-known ways to find the right keywords for your web site.

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February 2004 search engine articles