How to choose the best keywords for building your email list

How to choose the best keywords for building your email list

Fabienne Fredrickson
November 25, 2013

list-building-keywordsAre you working on list building in a competitive area of business? If so, selecting keywords to highlight in articles, videos, or web content can be challenging. The right keywords help improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). To say it simply, they’re the words someone in your ideal market will type into a search engine when looking for your product or service. So how do you ensure you appear prominently in the results?

You can easily use keyword tools to find out what results certain keywords are producing for your business competitors. A tool like Google Adwords’ Keywords Tool lets you search for words and phrases relevant to your market and find out which are most “competitive,” or gain the most attention for businesses like your own.

It’s very likely that when you type words into a keyword tool, you will see a lot of businesses like yours using these words to boost their own SEO. It’s not always obvious which keywords you should focus your energy on to get ahead of the competition. Here’s how I recommend making that choice.

Identify a subset. Take a step back to think about what words you want to be known for. How can you refine your search and be more specific? For example, if you are a virtual assistant, think of that as the overall umbrella and then consider all the things you offer under that. Get into your specialties as a virtual assistant for:

  • Customer service
  • Online marketing
  • Social media
  • Web design
  • Email marketing, etc.

You want to figure out the sub-keyword phrases that relate to virtual assistants.

  • What do you have a specialty in?
  • What do you want to be known for?
  • What do you have a keen interest in?

Once you decide on the focus, then start to develop content. Whether it be your blog post, video or free teleclasses, center your keywords on this subset. Writing content around this subset gives you a higher likelihood of getting your results picked up when people search for that particular sub-phrase.

These are the steps we took when we started branching out from Client Attraction to list building. I searched for the term “list building” and the competition was through the roof. There were tons and tons of marketing firms and established bloggers that had been generating content for those keywords over a significant period of time. I knew it would be difficult to compete and land above them in search results, so that’s when I decided to break it down into sub-categories.

This is a smart way to address the big elephant in the room, so to speak. Focus on the less competitive level first and begin attracting traffic with that targeted approach. As we did this, we started to get traction for our bigger keywords too. The result? We were ultimately ranked higher for our umbrella keyword, which was list building!

It can be difficult to get visibility for the most competitive umbrella keyword phrases if you are just starting out. But if you focus your energy on the more refined subset of keywords that apply to your business and develop content around that, you’ll be off to a great start.

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What keywords are you trying to get know for? If the area is very competitive, take time out to give thought to the more narrow areas you specialize in. Then you can start to build traffic for the refined keyword phrase and ultimately, get traction for those higher level keywords you really want.

Now, if you’re just starting out and trying to fill your practice in the FIRST place, then follow a step-by-step system that feels easy and authentic to you. The Client Attraction  System® gives you the most important things to do to set up simple, solid systems, so that you consistently fill your pipeline and continually get new clients. It’s all step-by-step, not a big mishmash of things. So, you do step one of the system, and when you’re done with that, you move on to step two, and so on. All the tools, scripts, templates, and examples are handed to you on a silver platter. Easy. You can get it at

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