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Define Goals
Select Keywords
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Develop Content
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Insert Meta Tags
Optimize Content
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Test, Test, Test
Link Popularity
Search Engines

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Select Keywords For Search Engines

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 the Optimize Content 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 Phrases

Develop your keyword list before you begin to Develop Content 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 use.

Important things you want to remember when picking keywords to target:

1. CONCEPTS: Include concept keywords such as "accounting software" if that's what you sell, but also try and be specific enough so that its not too broad.

2. BRANDS: 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 page.

5. COMMON WORDS: There are 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: Ideally, 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.

7. PHRASES: 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.

8. CASE-SENSITIVITY: If the 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 counts 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.

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