February 11, 2012
Importance of Identifying Relevant Keyword Phrases
When you are optimizing your website for search engines, one of the most important steps is identifying and using relevant keyword phrases. A keyword phrase is a set of two to four words that people are likely to search for when they are looking for information online. If you find and use the best keyword phrases for your target market, your website will appear near the top of the search engine results when people search for those phrases. This translates to more hits, and therefore, more business for you.
If you are curious what keywords people are using to find your site, you need an analytic tool that tracks where your website traffic comes from. After letting the analytic tool gather data for several weeks, look at the top search phrases that are generating traffic. If these aren't the ones that you want to target, your next project is to identify what keywords are the best ones for your target market.
You have plenty of options for free tools to help you find the best keyword phrases to use in your text. One of the most powerful tools is the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Although this one is designed for people buying ads on Google, it also works well for identifying keywords to use on your website. When you type some words to describe what your site is about, the tool comes back with results for popular keyword phrases. In addition to telling you how many searches per month each phrase gets, it also gives you an estimate of how much competition you have in that keyword. Your goal is to use the phrases that have the most searches, but the least competition.
Wordtracker also offers a free version of its keyword tool that you can use to supplement the Google results and help you come up with additional keywords to consider. It is not as powerful because it does not show you the competition for each keyword, but it can help provide additional information to make your decision.
Once you identify some relevant and popular keyword phrases, it is time to include them in the text of your website and content pages. For each page of your website, identify a primary and a secondary keyword that people are likely to search for when they need to find the information you plan to provide. Choosing a different primary keyword for each page helps your search presence because you can appear near the top for lots of different searches. Once the visitors are at your site, they can navigate through the site on their own.
Your keyword should appear in the title for the page, in the meta data, in the first 100 words of text, and again about once every 300 words throughout the page. Don't overuse it which can look unnatural and hurt your search rankings and try to incorporate it as naturally as possible into your text, so the readers feel like they are getting real content, not SEO junk.
Natural-looking search engine optimization is a form of art, and keyword phrases are your building blocks or the paints you use. It is your job to add relevant content around the keyword phrases to make them look natural as part of your website as a whole.