Choosing Keywords for SEO

The use of appropriate key words is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization.  Selecting and targeting pertinent key words and phrases is crucial for building web traffic and getting the audience you want for your web pages. Like any other type of advertisement, your key words must be carefully chosen to ensure that you achieve both high page rankings and relevant traffic. Achieving high page ranks is useless if the traffic it brings you is not the right audience. For this reason, many experts believe that the target key word list used for a site can mean either success or failure for a web site or online business.

It is no longer enough to simply choose a relevant domain name for an online business or web site. Choosing the right key words for the site is now equally if not more important. The majority of people who visit a site get there by using a search engine. They will type in two or three words that describe what they’re looking for, scan the resulting list generated and pick one that seems relevant until they get the answer or product they need.  This is where target key words are utilized. Key words are what enable people to find your site; choosing the right key words for your site will ensure the right people find you.

With this in mind, identifying your target audience is the first step in creating relevant key words and phrases. Again, this is not dissimilar to targeting television advertisements.  Consider location when you are developing your target market.  For example, if you own a used car dealership in Hayward, California, any traffic you get from outside a very specific area is virtually useless to you. Similarly, if you operate an online business that does not ship outside the USA, generating traffic from other countries will not help you make sales. By adding key words that are specific to your location as well as your product, you will better hone into your target audience, improve your rankings, and achieve a better conversion rate, which will help increase your site’s page ranking, in turn.

Keyword competition should also be taken into consideration when developing a site’s key word list.  Going back to the used car dealership example, let’s say a potential customer types in the word “cars” into a search engine. They’ll never find what they need, because it’s far too general—generating around 500,000,000 different sites to choose from. Typing in “used cars” generates almost 70,000,000.  That’s still too many to deal with effectively. Using “used cars Hayward” generates almost 900,000 hits, and narrowing the focus even further by using the zip code rather than the city name reduces it to less than 25,000.

Choosing key words for your web site works the same way. If your key words are too general, your target audience will never find your site, because the search terms generate so many web sites that it is impossible to look through them all. However, if you go too far in the opposite direction and use too many key words, or key words which are too specific, you risk losing business as well. The best key word phrases are no more than three words in length.

So how do you choose the right key words? The first step is brainstorming with colleagues, friends or an SEO professional, to come up with a list of 20 or more appropriate key words.  The Google Keyword Tool is an excellent place to research key words. By entering key words into this tool it will give you an idea of the popularity of certain words and offers you alternative key words and phrases.

Once you have a good list of terms, you may want to refine it to call out the strongest terms that have the best potential for sales or traffic conversion. There are several good online research tools available, which can help you decide which words will be most effective for you. Some good examples are SpyFU and Majestic SEO.  These sites may charge a fee for using their database.  After reviewing the terms, eliminate the key words that rank poorly or are very unpopular, then prioritize the remaining terms according to search popularity. These terms will become the keywords you will want to focus your initial SEO campaign on.

Always remember that when it comes to key words, you are focusing on optimizing your traffic rather than maximizing it.  Setting up the right keyword list for optimization is the cornerstone to a successful web site.

This article was submitted by Gaglani SEO & Web Hosting.  Their website is located here – http://www.gaglani.com.

 

5 Tips For Improving Your Site’s Search Engine Positioning

Almost all webmasters or website owners are looking for ways to get better results from their websites. They wish to improve their site’s standing and get better rankings in search engines. This quest for improved results, known as search engine positioning, can be satisfied by following a few basic procedures.

Before you even begin, you have to realize that you are competing against hundreds, and in some categories, thousands of websites offering similar products and services. In the case of affiliate marketing, many of the competing websites may even be identical! If you want to get the edge over these competitors and improve your search engine positioning you have to fine-tune your website and actively work to make it better.

1. Make Sure that your design is search engine friendly:

Your design may look good to your eyes, but it may also be the cause of you present difficulties and poor search engine positioning. How is that possible? Look at your web page using a text editor or the html view of popular editors such as Dreamweaver and Frontpage. On what line does your first line of copy begin? If your actual copy is pushed far down the page, it is more difficult for search engines to pick up the crucial information that would have helped you to improve your web page ranking.

If you have this difficulty, first take out all unnecessary spaces in the html code. If there are long strings of java script, put these in external files. Similarly, put style information in external Cascading Style Sheet files. Simplifying your table structure may also help. If this starts getting too complicated for you, then consult with a professional search engine positioning specialist or your web designer.

2. Make sure your keywords are strategically placed in your copy:

It is not possible to improve web page ranking if the readable copy on your web page does not contain the words you wish to be found by. Many people erroneously think that just putting your important keywords in meta tags is enough. This is not true, some search engines hardly use the meta tags and look more to the copy on the page. Make sure that your important copy is in the first paragraph of text, in headlines (using headers such as H1, H2, H3) and in the active or clickable portions of link text on your page.

3. Use a site map and text link navigation on your pages:

If you want to improve your search engine positioning for all the pages of your website then you have to be sure that these pages actually get indexed or included in the search engines. You can help this process along by making a site map, a web page that has text links to all the sub pages of your site. Another good practice is to include a text link navigation system on your web pages, even if you already have a graphics based navigation bar elsewhere on these same pages. Remember, search engines follow text links more easily. A robot that lands on your main page or site map page will follow the text links and then visit and index your lower level pages.

4. Increase the quantity and quality of inbound links:

In fiercely competitive categories it will be difficult to improve web page ranking without obtaining a good number of links to your page from other websites. If you have very good and valuable copy, other sites may link to you because you are a valuable resource. However, if you want to speed this process along you will have to actively request links from other websites, either by trading links or by getting your content (with a link back to your site) placed on other websites.
When it comes to links you should keep in mind one important principle: it is not the quantity of links that is important, but the quality. One good link from an authority site such as CNN or Wikipedia is worth more than dozens of links from other sites. To get these quality links, there is no short cut. You will have to earn it by having a site that provides a lot of useful information.

5. Keep up with Search Engine Developments:

The challenge of improving your web page ranking and search engine positioning is dynamic. Search engines are not static. Most of the big search engines of yesterday have disappeared or are only minor players today. You should keep up with changes in the world of search engines by taking part in online forums or subscribing to newsletters which deal with topics such as search engine optimization, web ranking, and general webmaster related issues.

If you do not have the expertise or the time to tackle these matters by yourself then you should take advantage of skilled professionals who can help you to improve your site’s performance in search engines. Whether you rely on professionals or are able to do it yourself, these five tips can provide a good point of reference for starting the work.

This article was submitted to us by The AspenHouse – their New Jersey website is located here:  http://www.seonjcompany.net