Keywords and Keyword Phrases:
What They Are and How To Use Them
How To Secure Your Website On First Page Google
What are Keywords?
Keywords and keyword phrases are what people type into search engines when they're looking for something in particular. For example, if you're looking for a Massage Therapist in Seattle on Google, you might type in "Massage Therapist Seattle", which would be a keyword phrase.
By identifying keyword phrases that people would associate with your website, you can shape your website content around these words and increase the likelihood of your website coming up on search engine results pages. The higher your website ranks on the search engine results page, the higher the amount of traffic directed to it.
Building a List of Keywords
There are a couple of ways to start building your list of keywords:
- Think about what YOU would type into a search engine if you were looking for a product/service/business like yours.
- Ask friends and family what terms they might use if they were looking for your website.
- Expand on the terms that you found using a thesaurus, like www.thesaurus.com. People will use all sorts of words that you'd never even think of.
- Include alternative spellings ("doughnut" vs. "donut") or misspellings ("field" vs. "feild") of your words.
- If your location matters to your customers, you'll want to include it. For example, "Pet Supplies Seattle".
2. Keyword Density Tools
Keyword density tools will show you what words are being used frequently on a website page. All you have to do is enter the URL of the page, and the tool will show you which words and phrases are used most frequently.
You can find keyword density tools online - we like the Term Extractor (http://www.seomoz.org/term-extractor) from SEOmoz.
Once you've found a keyword density tool that you like:
- Look at your existing page content (if you already have some).
- Look at your competitors.
NOTE: You can also look your competitor's keyword tags by right-clicking on their webpage, then clicking 'View Source'. You'll find the keywords listed between the tags at the top of the page and it will look something like this:
3. Keyword Suggestion Tools
Keyword suggestion tools offer keyword phrase suggestions based on the keywords you enter. They also offer statistical information, like how frequently the terms are searched, how popular they are among advertisers, etc.
You will be absolutely amaized when entering in a search phrase you think would be a good choice to search for a business, product or service. Only to find people use some-what different phrases altogether. Without checking first, you could end up with keyphrases with very low popularity, which means very little traffic directed to your website.
This is why it is so important to do research before starting a website.
You need to test the keywords and phrases of your choice to see how many people have used the keywords and phrases you have chosen.
It's no use using a key phrase you feel is a good choice if you don't test to see what the popularity of the key phrase is.
Pointless choosing a key phrase which only gets 300 hits a month if you can find a similar key phrase which can give you 1,000,000 hits.
I think you get the idea of the importance of choosing the correct key phrase for your domain name.
Note that not all the keywords suggested by these tools will apply to you, so pick and choose which ones best fit your website.
If you decide to use these tools, you may want to create a spreadsheet that will allow you to see each keyword phrase's conversion rate, search volume and competition rate (as given to you by the tools mentioned above). These figures will allow you to figure out how valuable a term might be for your site and will help you narrow down your focus
Focusing on a Few Keywords
You should be able to come up with a pretty hefty list of keyword phrases by following the steps above. Now you need to narrow down your focus and pick about 10 - 20 keyword phrases that you think will produce the best results for you.
The more targeted your keywords, the more likely you are to pull in the right kind of customer.
For example, if you sell raw, organic dog food, you'd probably want to focus your efforts on the keyword phrase "Raw Organic Dog Food" instead of just "Dog Food". Not only will "Dog Food" be harder to rank for due to a large amount of competition, you also won't necessarily pull in the people that are looking for your specific product, which would be "Raw Organic Dog Food"
The importance of narrowing down your keyphrases
Quality traffic is more important than quantity. You want someone who is specifically looking at what you have chosen as a keyphrase. You need to solve your customers problem by offering exactly what they are looking for.
There are no magic tricks that will instantly place your website on the first search engine results page. Keywords are just one part of the equation. With that in mind, if your text is keyword rich, your page structure allows the search engines to get to this text easily, and you've crafted your meta tags well, you have a great chance of getting the search engine positioning results that you are striving for.
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