Find Best Keywords For Your Site
Keyword optimisation is probably the most important thing that you want to concentrate on with regards to search engine optimisation (SEO). Unfortunately, not many people know this, or do enough to optimise their sites' keywords. Before I knew the importance of keyword optimisation, I used to pluck any keywords that seemed relevant to my site, insert them into my title tag and meta tags, then submitted my site to the search engines. And then wondered why I didn't really get much traffic.
Well, now I've learnt something: make sure you don't rush, and you have to do your due research to find out what exactly are the keywords that are best for your site.
To do this, take a good look at the first page of your website, and really try to get a feel of what that page is about. Is the theme clear and defined? Or are there too many conflicting topics on that single page?
Your readers and the search engines prefer a single themed page that focuses on one particular topic, so try to keep to a subject. Split your page up into multiple pages if you find it to be too long or too complex.
Once you've done that, try to find the keywords of your page. These are the words or phrases that can best describe your content. Put yourself in your readers' shoes: what kind of words or phrases would they use if they wanted to find a page like yours through a search engine? Make a list of these keywords and keyphrases, and don't worry about making it as long as you want, you can scratch off all the excess keywords later.
Your goal is to try to find the one or two keywords that are best for your site, and optimise your site for them. Also try to remove those highly competitive, single-word keywords such as "books", "dvds", "mp3", "toys", "computers". You don't want these keywords, because it is so hard to get a good ranking with them. Hundreds of thousands of other websites are targeting these highly popular keywords, and it is simply not worth your effort.
Remember, it is always better to rank 5th for a less popular search term than to be ranked 500th for a highly popular search term! Choose keywords or keyphrases that still have searches done for them, but are not that competitive.
To have an estimate on the popularity of a search term, use a free service such as Overture's keyword suggestion tool to get a rough guide on the number of searches done. Run your list through the free keyword suggestion tool and Overture will be able to tell you how many times a particular term was searched for during the last month. This keyword suggestion tool is great to get a general idea of where your keywords stand.
You may also want to consider WordTracker, which is a paid service, but gives you a much clearer picture on which keywords are better to optimise for. WordTrack does offer a trial option, so you can make use of that to try out their service, or search for good keywords if you just have a small, one-time website project.
Once you have an idea of the popularity of the keywords and keyphrases in your list, consider scratching off the less commonly used terms. You might also discover some new terms with those tools as well, and you can add them to your list.
And that's it! You should now have a list of good, medium-popularity keywords and keyphrases. Make sure you repeat this process for each of your pages, and have a slighlty different list for every page that you have.
Alvin Poh has been specialising in web development, content distribution, advertising and marketing strategies since 1995. His goal is to provide practical information based upon his years of experience to help webmasters, website designers, and self-employed people achieve their goals in today's competitive Internet. At his site, you can learn how to make money online.
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