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Choosing Keywords Efficiently for SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is paramount for businesses that choose to make themselves known via the Internet. Keyword research and, ultimately, keyword selection are extremely important parts of the overall SEO process. Selecting keywords relevant to your field of activity is essential.Make sure you conduct a proper in-depth keyword research before you begin placing keywords on your web site.
If you want your web site to be high ranked in search engines, then find out the words that searchers use to get to your site and place them in the appropriate places.
Nevertheless, avoid the trap of placing too many keywords on a single page, because many search engines nowadays have "spam" filters, which means that your site might not even appear among search results.
Below are some tips on how you can perform a proper keyword research and how to use the keywords you have selected in order to optimize your site and rank it as high as possible in the most commonly used search engines. Always be aware that keyword selection is fundamental. Choosing keywords that people might not use to find your site and your products/services will not get you the expected traffic.
What you need is relevant traffic, namely visits that will eventually convert into sales/contracts. The higher the conversion rate is, the better for you and your business.
Given the fact that the main purpose of a web page is to provide information, and that the Internet offers a vast array of choices for prospective customers, it is of utmost importance to have the right keywords embedded in your web pages. To achieve this, there are some steps that you need to follow.
The first step you need to take is to simply sit down and write down keywords. Write everything. Do not discard any idea that comes into your mind. You will brush up that extensive list later on. Consult your old web site (if there is one) and even some documentation from the sales department. Consult your internal search logs (the logs on your server) to track where your visitors came from and if possible, extract more keyword combinations. Essentially, you will find out what you are missing. Even if you're not sure about a certain keyword, that it will prove relevant for your purpose, write it down anyway. It may lead you to something more closely related.
If you feel that you have "the writer's block", have a brainstorming session. The main purpose of this session is to make you and the other participants think outside the box. Interact with people, ask for their opinion and get their feedback. You can get invaluable ideas and suggestions from a multitude of sources, such as your colleagues, clients, or friends. Remember to always think like a customer. This is a rule of thumb in marketing. Remain focused on the prospective customers and try to understand how they think.
Keep in mind that searchers often mistype words when searching the Internet. Try to think of the most common spelling mistakes for your keywords and include them in your list. Don't neglect those words that are written preferentially with a hyphen or without it, or those that are written with or without spaces between them. Add them to your list.
Another thing that you have to pay attention to is the language that the targeted audience uses. Take jargon into account, and make use of it if you consider necessary.
At the end, begin brushing up your list. Remove any words that, even if they describe your products / services perfectly, are simply too common and aren't searched for too often. Work on your list until you get a number of keywords that you consider the closest match to what you are looking for.
Keyword Research Tools
Now that you have narrowed down your keywords list, it's time to evaluate the result. Technical assistance is welcome and help is available online. There are numerous resources, applications that will help you in your endeavor, free of charge or for a certain fee. Nevertheless, remember that no tool is perfect. Don't be afraid to use your intelligence and common sense. These tools will help you select which keywords to use, but, by no means, will predict the amount of (relevant) traffic that you'll get by using them.
- Overture Inventory - currently a Yahoo! Search Marketing product - generates a list of related searches that include your term and also shows how many times the term was searched for during the last month.
- Related Pages - generates a list of possible keyword combinations based on lists of keywords that you provide
- Google's Keyword Tool - generates potential keywords for your ad campaign and reports their Google statistics, including search performance and seasonal trends
- Google Suggest - as you type, Google will offer suggestions
- SEO Book Keyword Suggestion Tool - shows top keyword phrases from Overture; links to other keyword research tools and links at various vertical databases, blog searches and tagging systems to show you top results from other information sources
- Digital Point Keyword Research Tool - shows you the results of your query from both Wordtracker and Overture for determining which phrases are searched for most often
- Good Keywords - a free Windows software for finding the perfect set of keywords for your web pages
- Wordtracker - free trial also available - Discover the best keywords to target on your website
- KeywordDiscovery - free trial also available - Find the best keywords for your website
- Keyword Intelligence - drive high quality customers to your website using the top search terms used successfully by millions of people across all major search engines including Google, Yahoo! and MSN
When you consider that you have narrowed down your list to what you were looking for, submit each and every one of the remaining keywords into some of the most popular search engines and see the results. If the results consist of web pages that are not by far related to your own, this is a sign that you are still a long way from the expected result and you have to toil some more.
- All in Title
This method targets the keyword embedded in the title tag of the web page. What you have to do is to type allintitle: "your keyword" in the search field of your search engine and it will give you results with sites that contain your keyword in their titles.
- All in Anchor
An anchor is the part of a web site that is clickable (it has a link associated to it, and it can be either a picture or some text). To find out who are your competitors that use this keyword placement technique, type allinanchor: "your keyword" in the search field of your search engine. The results represent those sites that have anchor text containing your keyword.
- GoogSpy - free; shows a small sample of terms that competing sites are using to get ranked in search results
- AdGooRoo - fee-based, but a trial version is also available
- HitWise - fee-based
If you want to perform an analysis and a comparison of the searchability of your selected keywords, then you can use Google Trends, which analyzes a portion of the Google web searches and calculates how many searches have been done for the terms that you enter relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. A graph is displayed where you can see the interest taken in your keywords. Use this information to make adjustments and to improve your keyword selection and placement strategy.
Keep track of your visitors and the performance of your keywords by using Google Analytics. Don't think that you will do great from the very beginning. Keyword placement is a process that never stops. Analyze your results and learn from your mistakes. Also, keep experimenting based on the results that you get. To gain more experience and knowledge, regularly check forums and consult people with experience. There's always something to learn or work on.
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