09/18/12 Tuesday Training: How to Choose Keywords for your Website
Keywords are an extremely important part of search engine optimization. These are the words that Google (or your other favorite search engine) uses to determine whether your site is relevant for their user. Google takes these keywords from places like your URL (website address) or from the actual content on your website. For now, we’ll focus on your website’s content.
If your website is already up and running, go ahead and test out some of your pages on tools.seobook.com/general/keyword-density/. Type your URL into the blank, leave all the options default and click "Go." Next you’ll see a list of your page’s keywords – according to SEOBook, this is what you’re telling Google you’re all about.
Are those the words you were hoping to see? It’s always good to stop and consider your customer. Is he or she likely to type those words into a search bar?
Check to see if your keywords are logical. First, that they’re accessible, likely words a customer would use to search for a company like yours. But beware, because choosing keywords that are too simple won’t help you show up on the first page of a search either. For instance, a small-town candy shop relying on a keyword like "chocolate," has approximately no hope in showing up anywhere near the top of a search. Hershey’s and Godiva will beat them out every time. But adding a geographical keyword like "Duluth, MN" to their site could help exponentially. This is especially good to keep in mind if your product or service is location specific.
Second, aim to balance your keywords. Try not to hang all of your hopes on one word or phrase. You’ll notice that the keyword analysis you just did on your pages also yielded percentages. While the numbers really range depending on the actual words you’re using, some experts recommend aiming to have your main keywords rank around 3-4%. Again, this number is subject to your specific keywords so it’s also suggested by some to do a keyword checkup on the number one site and then aim for 0.1% higher than that percentage.
Last of all, be sure your keywords are truly relevant to what you offer. It might be tempting (and occasionally helpful, we admit) to over-broaden, but the best policy is to be true to your company and engage your best customers. Learning to own your niche like this is a big step in becoming a celebrity in your field and having a truly effective online presence.
Online is not the place to be haphazard, disorganized and subsequently invisible. Determine what you really want to say to your customers and potential customers and then use keywords and other tools to focus on reaching them in the most efficient and engaging way possible.
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