Keyword Selection for SEOI called in the expert for this article. Mikkel has spent many an
hour learning and discovering the way the search engine world works.
Here are his thoughts on choosing keywords for your home page....
Most Internet users rely on search engines like GoogleTM, Yahoo!®,
MSN® Search, AOL® Search, etc. when searching for content on the
Internet. This means that if you want to claim your share of the
booming Internet market, you must ensure that the search engines are
directing visitors to your Web site. In other words, you need to
"search-engine optimize" your custom home page. The search engine
optimization process begins with choosing the keywords for your site.
Keywords are words and phrases that describe the content of a Web
Researching Your Keywords
page. The keywords must match the search terms Internet users are
typing into search engines when looking for the type of content offered
by your Web site. The proper keywords for your website should reflect
the products and services you are selling and your particular niche
So how do you determine the right keywords for your website? The
first thing you need to do is to put yourself in the Internet users'
place and imagine which search terms they would be using when looking
for a deal on the products you are offering. Those words/phrases might
include such terms as "domains," "domain registration," "Web hosting,"
"e-mail accounts," etc., depending on your product selection. And don't
forget keywords specific for your niche market.
Another good place to start your keyword research is to take a look
at your competition. Simply look at Web sites of your main competitors
on the Internet and take a close look at the keywords used in Title
tags, Meta tags, page copy, etc. To learn who your main competitors
are, simply go to one of the top search engines and type in the
keywords you are considering for your website. The top results returned
by the search engine will reveal the nature of your competition.
The following general rules should be kept in mind as you define the keywords for your website.
Be specific - generic keywords, such as "domains," "hosting" or
"e-mail," could be featured on literally millions of Web sites. More
specific words and phrases, like "Web Design in Miami",
will significantly narrow the amount of Web pages that rely on the same
keywords. Generic keywords may be necessary, but should be combined
with more specific phrases.
Be intuitive - the keywords must reflect words and phrases that
potential customers would actually use when searching for Web content.
Highly technical terms generally should be replaced with commonly-used
Consider popularity - a keyword's popularity is an indication of how
many search engine users have searched for it. In theory, the more
popular your keywords are, the more likely you are to attract
customers. However, popular keywords generally mean tougher competition
for the top search engine rankings. Your keywords, therefore, should
hit the right balance between being popular enough to generate
significant traffic to your site and being rare enough to actually
allow you a chance of securing your site's top ranking for them. A
number of tools, including Wordtracker (http://www.wordtracker.com/) and the free Yahoo! Search Marketing Keyword Selector (http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/), allow you to easily research the popularity of potential keywords for your site.
Narrowing Down Your ListWrite down the words and phrases that come to mind as you perform
your research. Then, having determined their popularity, boil the list
down to two or three keywords that you can optimize your content for.
These keywords should appear frequently in your Web pages' Title and
Meta tags, page copy, image Alt attributes, heading text, link anchor
text, etc. A longer list of keywords can be compiled and used in the
Keywords Meta tag on your Web pages.
The keyword selection process for your Web site is a crucial step in
your quest for prosperity. Choosing and using the optimal keywords may
well define the difference between turning your Web site into a virtual
hotspot and allowing it to remain in relative obscurity.
Published by Roberto Espinoza at www.cpccci.com