Target the wrong keywords and all your efforts will be in
vain. Choose the right keywords, and you will see your traffic
skyrocket. Decide which keywords
people are likely to use to find you. If you want to attract visitors through search engines the most relevant and effective keywords should be prominent in the home page and in top level pages.
When selecting keywords, try to put yourself in the place
of someone who is searching for your product or service. Make
a list of your keywords, then do some searching in a few search
engines using them in different keyword phrase combinations.
This will help give you a feeling for how the search engines
rank web sites using your keywords.
After you have done your research, make a list of the best
keywords for your website, putting the best ones at the top
of the list. Later, you will optimize the home page with one
or two of the top keyword phrases. If you have more than a
couple, you can optimize other pages with them. The other
pages will be doorway pages to attract searches made with
your secondary keyword phrases. We will cover this more in
section. It is important to identify the best
keywords now so that you can use them in your domain name.
Tips For Selecting and Using Keyword
Develop your keyword list before you begin to
for your website. Then prioritize the top keyword
phrases and use them prominently in the text. Refer to these
keyword development tips when writing the content. After you
have written the first draft, go back and optimize it
Consider this example. An airline company executive came
up with this list of keywords: cheap, flights, cheap flights,
quote, discounted, airfares
The word "cheap" alone does nothing to target their
audience. It has to be paired with other words like "flights"
or "airline reservations" to have any meaning. It's
the same with "quote" and "discounted"
-- too broad. Pair them with one or two other words. Statistically,
most people search for two to three word phrases to avoid
getting back too many unrelated matches. Keep this in mind
when you design your pages.
Don't worry about there not being enough top 10 slots where
you can achieve a high ranking. True, there are some keywords
that are very competitive. If it appears unlikely that you
will get in a top 10 spot using your top keyword or phrase,
be creative! There are usually other keywords and keyword
combinations where you can achieve a Top 10 ranking. For example,
if you can't achieve a good ranking on "cheap airfares,"
target "inexpensive airfares". You may find that
there are more people searching for these other phrases than
were searching for the first phrase you thought of. In marketing,
this is called carving out your niche. If you're Microsoft,
you can afford to fight over who has the best "Browser
software." But, for the rest of us, we know we can't
always fight the big boys. So instead, what savvy marketers
do is to identify a "niche" that few others are
targeting and go after it.
It's a good idea to ask friends or coworkers what they might
type in to find your site, or even have them go to a search
engine and tell them to try and find information on the topic
your site happens to cover. Watch what words and phrases they
Important things you want to remember when picking keywords
keywords such as "accounting software" if that's
what you sell, but also try and be specific enough so that
its not too broad.
Include more specific
brand names such as Quicken. If you offer services, then try
to use service brand names when possible. Legally, you should
put the ® reserved symbol or ™ trademark symbol after
the names when mentioning them on the page.
3. COMPANY NAMES:
If you offer
products from a well-known company, include that company's
name in your keywords.
4. YOUR NAME:
Unless you are
a well known company/organization such as Microsoft or Hewlett
Packard, it's generally less important to emphasize your name
as a keyword. You should, however, set up an "About My
Company/Organization" page that does repeat your name
many times so that someone searching for you will find that
5. COMMON WORDS:
now so many pages and words indexed on the Web, that a search
on many common words such as "software" or "Internet"
are going to be completely ignored for that search by the
engine! Therefore, most people have to search on two or three
word phrases to find what they're looking for. Trying to be
listed well on every phrase/keyword combination they might
search for is next to impossible. However, WebPosition lets
you target many more keywords and monitor them than you'd
otherwise be able to manage by hand.
6. TEST KEYWORDS:
before you even start a new Internet website (or even after),
you should see how many other pages match the keywords people
would likely search on to find you. The fewer matches found
for your search, the easier it will be to get your name up
near the top. Also important are the quality of the matches
that appear. Your keywords may only bring up a lot of garbage
that your potential audience would have no interest in anyway.
Therefore, with the proper strategy, you could be the only
site of your type that appears near the top of that search.
The WebPosition Gold detailed report will let you see what
competing pages or sites you are up against. There may be
phrases that people are likely to search for which are much
easier to achieve good rankings on than more common words
and phrases. This strategy can gain you unexpected traffic.
As mentioned, many
people will likely use multiple word phrases to find you particularly
when single words do not provide adequate scope for the search.
The syntax for this varies by engine but generally phrases
are searched for by surrounding them with quotes. Therefore,
make a list of 2-3 word phrases people are likely to search
for. When placing keywords on your page, make sure you always
include them in a phrase that the visitor might use.
Keep the important words chained together in sentences on
the page. If the user searches on "KEYWORD1" AND
"KEYWORD2" then you only have to have the words
in the same proximity on the page. If, however, they search
on "KEYWORD1 KEYWORD2" along with the surrounding
quotes, then the words MUST be together on your page, preferably
multiple times to find a match. Therefore, it's a good idea
to create a Mission to monitor your position for both "baseball
cards" and just baseball cards as an example.
user types the word Baseball then most engines will search
for "Baseball" with an uppercase "B" ONLY.
If your page has only "baseball" in it, you will
not be found! On the other hand, if they search for "baseball"
and your page has "Baseball" on it, most engines
default to finding words of any case when the keyword used
was in all lower case. Therefore, it pays to make sure you
have at least some of the keywords in uppercase or starting
with an uppercase letter if the user might search that way.
The easiest place to do this is in the title of the page,
in meta tags, and at the beginning of sentences.
9. BAD SPELLING CAN BE GOOD:
Search engines don't have spell checkers. Also, product names
can have slight variations. For example, MicroLogic has a
product called Info Select. However, people could easily search
on MicroLogic, Micro Logic, Infoselect, or Info Select. Look
for obvious mistakes people are likely to make and then incorporate
some of them into one of your pages in some way to pick up
traffic you'd otherwise miss.
10. TRAFFIC ANALYZER
how many people found you on each search engine and what keyword(s)
they used to find you! This can be very helpful in determining
what keywords people are definitely using to find your site.
Unfortunately, it won't tell you what keywords people are
searching on and NOT finding you, but it's a start and you'll
be able to see certain words you hadn't realized people would
use to look for you. You can then optimize on those keywords
on other search engines.