Search engines are the vehicles that drive ready to buy people to your website or blog for free. In order for visitors to reach your website you need to give them the exact and effective signs that will lead them to your website or blog. You do this by optimizing your website for the search engines and get it placed on top of the search results of Google, Yahoo!, MSN and other search engines.
The basic idea of search engine optimization is this: Your prospective customer goes online and uses a search engine like Google to type in some terms. These terms keywords represent what he or she knows about the product or service they wish to find and how they most often think about these terms. Once your customer types in the keywords and performs a search, she or he will see a list of sites that meet the criteria of their search.
You want to be in the top 20 sites on that list – preferably the top TEN.
Remember, most customers will only look at the first 2-3 links the search engines delivers in the search results list, so you need to be among the first few sites to get your customer’s attention. To sell a product or service to your prospective customer, you must first get them to visit your website.
What Are Keywords And Key Phrases First?
The first rule is very simple. Keywords and keyword phrases are search terms or phrases that are related to a product, service, advertisement or ad copy. They are used to make a search statement to find information online using search engines.
Do You Have To Use Keywords Or Phrases?
Research shows that people usually use phrases of 2, 3, 5 keywords or even more instead of a single word, when searching. This is because they have come to realize, that typing phrases would give them more relevant and targeted results. Therefore, it is a wise idea to use key phrases instead of keywords for your web pages or blog optimization to generate targeted traffic.
For example if you are selling cars in Chicago using only the word “car” would not bring targeted visitors. People searching for “economical cars in Chicago” would be more interested in what you have to offer.
How to Find The Right Keyword Phrases?
So, finding the right keyword phrases or any extra keyword that your potential customers use to search for your website or blog is vital. Think of the right keyword phrases as the Master Key to Unlocking the Internet. Find the exactly right words or phrases, and you will create unstoppable Flow of Targeted Traffic to Your Websites. But if your keywords are too general or too over-used, the possibility of seeing any real profits from the visitors decreases radically.
Your keywords serve as the basis of your marketing strategy. If they are not chosen carefully, no matter how aggressive your marketing campaign may be, you may never get the right people to your website. So your first step in creating your strategy is to gather and evaluate keywords and phrases.
You probably think you already know EXACTLY the right keywords. Unfortunately, if you haven't followed certain specific steps, you are almost certainly WRONG. It's hard to be objective when you are right in the center of your business network, which is the reason that you may not be able to choose the most efficient keywords from the inside. You need to be able to think like your customers. And since you are a business owner and not the consumer, your best bet is to go directly to the source.
1 - Ask Your Potential Customers.
Instead of plunging in and scribbling down a list of potential search words and phrases yourself; ask for words from as many potential customers as you can. You will most likely find out that your understanding of your business and your customers' understanding is notably different. The consumer is a precious resource. You will find the words you accumulate from them are words and phrases you probably never would have considered essential.
2 - Ask your competitors
Log on to a search engine and do a search for websites like yours. Open the top site, and once the home page has downloaded, click on “View” in your browser, and then “Source” That will expose the entire HTML used to build the Web page, including all the keywords that have been specially inserted.
For example, let’s say one of your websites sold used cars. You could carry out a search for “used car Chicago” or “Atlanta used car” in Google. Explore the top 10 or 20 sites and write down the keywords that you think are most relevant to you. Some of those keywords will be pertinent to your site. Others of course won’t be. Repeat the process on other sites, using different keywords, and build up a pretty long list.
3 - Ask the pay-per-clicks
Pay-per-click sites in fact let you see how popular a keyword is. The more webmasters bid on those keywords, the higher the bids are going to rise and the more money the pay-per-clicks are going to make. Use Google Keyword Tool or Keyword Digger to get new keyword ideas for free
4 - Use a keyword service.
There is a plenty of keyword research tools available on the Internet that will help you in selecting the right keywords and keyword phrases for your articles, website content and/or your blog posts. Most of them have a free version limited in some functionality. But the paid version is definitely worth the small fee for what it does!
- Wordtracker - It accumulates its database of terms that people search for from leading search engines. Enter a keyword or keyword phrase that describe your site, and Wordtracker gives you a list of related keywords and keyword phrases. Not only that WordTracker gives you also how often people search for that keyword phrase, and how many competing sites use those keyword phrases. Based on these factors, Wordtracker assign a Keyword Effective Index (KEI) to each keyword phrase. The highest rated keywords are the ones that a lot of people are searching on but few other sites are targeting.
- Overture's Keyword Selector Tool - Enter a keyword that describes your site, and the tool gives you related searches that include your term. Plus, it gives the estimated number of times that term was searched on last month on Yahoo! (to estimate of the number of searches on Google multiply that number by five).
- Digitalpoint – It is another tool you can use to check keywords and rankings. This tool provides keyword suggestions and is quite valuable when you are looking for variations or derivatives for your keywords.
- Googlefight.com - is another useful tool to see whether one keyword is more popular than another. The site compares two keywords and tells you which is more popular. It’s free and has a limited use but, it’s fun to play with.
Note: You’ll need to get a free account (API Key) click here to create your account.
Remember that you must anticipate misspellings as well and include commonly misspelled words in your keyword list so you don’t lose a customer just because they don’t know how to spell. When you put together your keyword phrases and lists, look for variations in word sequence as well.
Evaluate Your Keyword Phrases
The goal of evaluation is to narrow down your list to a small number of words and phrases that will direct the highest number of targeted visitors to your website. You want to get people who are most likely to take the action you want them to take rather than just cruise around your site and leave for the next website. In evaluating the effectiveness of keywords, bear in mind three essentials: popularity, motivation and specificity.
- Popularity - It is the easiest to evaluate because it is an objective quality. The more popular your keyword is, the more likely the chances are that it will be typed into a search engine which will then bring up your website or blog. You can now use Wordtracker to rate the popularity of your keyword phrases by giving them a number rating based on real search engines activities. It will even suggest variations of your words and phrases.
- Consumer motivation - This requires putting yourself inside the mind of the customer rather than the seller to figure out what motivation prompts a person looking for a service or product to type in a particular word or phrase.
But, the first keyword targets people who are just out of school and casually trying to figure out what to do with their life in between beer parties. You want to find people who are ready to act or make a purchase, and this requires slight tinkering of your keywords until you find the most specific and directly targeted phrases to bring the most motivated traffic to you site.
- Specificity - The more specific your keyword is; the greater the likelihood that the consumer who is ready to purchase your goods or services will find you.
The keyword phrase "automobile body shops" would rank lower on the popularity scale than "automobile companies," but it would serve you much better. Instead of getting a swarm of untargeted traffic interested in everything from buying a car to changing their oil filters, you will get only ready to buy clients. Not only that, but the greater the specificity of your keyword is, the less competition you will face.
Track Your Keywords' Results
Once you have chosen your keywords, your work is not done. You must continually evaluate performance across the major search engines, bearing in mind that times and tendencies change, as does popular language. You cannot rely on your log traffic analysis alone because it will not tell you how many of your visitors actually made a purchase.
Fortunately, some good tools have been invented to help you judge the effectiveness of your keywords. There is now software available that analyzes consumer behavior in relation to consumer traffic. This allows you to distinguish which keywords are bringing you the most valuable customers.
This is an essential concept - Numbers alone do not craft a high-quality keyword; profits per visitor do. You need to get keywords that lead consumers to your site who actually buy your product, download your product, fill out your forms, or click on your ads.
This is the most important factor in evaluating the efficacy of a keyword or phrase, and should be the sword you wield when removing and replacing ineffective or inefficient keyword phrases with keywords that bring in better profits.
Constant analysis of tested keywords is the method for search engine success. This may sound like a lot of work - and it is! But the amount of knowledgeable effort you put into your keyword campaign is what will eventually generate profits.
How to use Your Keyword Phrases To Maximize SEO
Whichever of these methods you use - and I tend to use more than one - you should end up with a pretty complete list of keywords that you can use into your website. The next question then, is how do you use them? When a search engine assigns relevancy to a site, it looks for the keywords in a number of specific areas such as..
- Title Tag - The text you use in the title tag is one of the most important factors in how a search engine may decide to rank your web page. For this reason I urge you to put your most relevant keyword phrase in the title tag.
Title tag is usually the line listed in the search results as well. For example, the New York Times’ title tag is “The New York Times on the Web: Daily international, national and local news coverage from the newspaper, breaking news updates, technology news, sports, reviews, crosswords, classified ad listings.The title tag is written in the section of the Web page and after the (titletags). It’s usually the line listed in the search results as well.
For example, the New York Times’ title tag is “The New York Times on the Web: Daily international, national and local news coverage from the newspaper, breaking news updates, technology news, sports, reviews, crosswords, classified ad listings.” That looks long, but the title tag is usually between 50 and 80 characters including spaces.
Different search engines have different limits so you want to make sure that your most important keyword phrases are near the beginning of the title. When you look at the New York Times’ site, you only see “The New York Times on the Web”. The rest of the title is made up of keywords and phrases but in fact, you don’t want to put in too many keywords here.
Just place one keyword as the second or third word in the title. Too many, and your site could be seen as spamming.
(meta keywords)and (meta description)
- Meta keywords and meta description tags - You can also list more keywords in the (META Keywords) and (META Description) sections of the (HEAD) area, but because these areas have been so abused in the past, the major search engines like Google, Yahoo! And MSN today will skip right past the title tag and go straight to the Web copy.
- Web Copy - The search engines will scan the text on a Web page to see if your site is relevant to the search term. That means that in effect, your Web copy is going to have to do two things: to persuade a customer to buy, and persuade a search engine it’s relevant.
You can also consider adding text-only pages such as how-to articles, tips or tutorials to your site. Throw in some keywords and they can turn up in search engines and create opportunities for link exchanges.
So there’s a few ways you can try to improve the position of your site in a search engine. More important than where you put the keywords is choosing the right keywords. That’s not really a huge challenge as your competitors are likely to have done the job for you.
Of course, even if you do get everything right, it doesn’t mean you’re going to shoot straight to the top of Google. One of the criteria for relevancy is how long you’ve been online, so success on the search engines won’t come overnight. The sooner you start submitting though, the sooner you can start to rise.
Don’t overdo your keywords, but be sure you do use them ENOUGH throughout the content on your pages. If you repeat your keywords every other word on every line, your site will probably be rejected as an artificial or Spam site. This is where keyword ‘density’ comes in.
Keyword density is always expressed as a percentage of the total word content on a web page. Let’s say you have one hundred words on your web page (not including HMTL code), and you use a keyword five times in the content. To find the keyword density on that page, you will first have to divide the total number of keywords by the total number of words on your web page.
In other words: 10 divided by 100 = .05.
Now use the result of that calculation (.05) to derive your keyword density. Because keyword density is a percentage of the total word count on the page, you need to multiply your results above by 100. 0.5 x 100 = 5%
You should strive for a keyword density between 3% and 5% to attract the attention of search engines but not overdo it to the point where your site may be considered a Spam or artificial site.
Remember, that you need to apply this calculation to every page on your site. Whether you are using the same keywords or another set of keywords that relates to a different product or service, if your pages are between 3% and 5% in keyword density, you will attract the clients you want.
Word of caution: No one truly knows how search engines determine keyword density or how they rank websites. Search engine representatives say a keyword density of 3 to 8 percent is suitable. One keyword density tool might say a page has 20 percent keyword density; another may say it has 8 percent. Search engines might use a completely different calculation. Make sure you don't over do keywords. All search engines hate this,
Rule of thumb: Search engines are in business like you and me. They sell advertising space. It's how they make money. The only way that the advertising space is valuable to a given Search Engine is if people keep using the Search Engine and keep seeing the ads. They need to deliver quality sites to their searching audience because the advertisers won't pay for space with the search engines if people don't use them.
So write to please your targeted audience and search engine will love you. Write or find relevant content to what you have to offer based on keywords and search engines will reward you many times. Get as many links pointing to your website or blog as you can and you will increase your website rankings on all search engines.
Of course, search engine optimization can’t KEEP your customer on your site or make them buy, but getting them to visit your website is a big part of the battle!
Can I Optimize My site For The Search Engines?
Sure you can. Search engine optimization is not hard to do. With a little education anyone can improve his site or blog and have a profitable and busy website. Look at the capture screen blow and see. This is my blog ranks in Google for "google work at home" search term. It's in the top 359.000.000 results. Am I a search engine expert? No, I just know what you are reading now. So, if I can do it you can to.