Search Engine Optimization Basics – Lesson 3

In the last post we talked about how search engines spiders analyze data and index your website. In this issue we are going to talk about good keyword selection for SEO.

One of the main components that helps determine the success, or failure, of your search engine optimization campaign is your keyword selection.

Although this may not seem like a tough job at first, choosing the right keyword to use for your website is one of the more grueling parts of the entire SEO process, especially if you want to find the ones that will be most effective for your site.

When using keywords for SEO, you just need to follow a few simple steps in order to properly find the right keyword that will do the job. There are also a couple of things that you need to look out for in order to avoid any problems when trying to optimize your web pages.

The first thing that you should do if you want to be able to use keywords effectively is to start out by making a list of “key” keywords or phrases that are relevant to the content of your site, and by doing this, it can actually lead you to create or discover more keywords or phrases that may blossom from the original one that you have chosen.

Once you’ve made a list, try to select ones that contain a “key” keyword or phrase that can help you identify your site’s content. Let’s say your site’s content is all about cars, using cars as a keyword won’t put you high up in the page ranking of search engines, especially since a lot of sites or pages have that as a keyword.

Try to avoid using words or phrases that are too general like; dog, cat, car, makeup, because the competition for these common words will be very high and won’t really help improve your page ranking.

Numeric examples of PageRank values in a small...
Image via Wikipedia

By adding other key terms to your chosen keyword, such as “custom built cars”, or “custom built sports cars” will actually help improve your chances of going up higher in the page rankings. Just make sure that the words you choose are relevant to your site’s content.

It also helps if you take the time to search for keywords or phrases that your competition are using so that you can narrow down which ones to use, and which ones to avoid. There is no sense in using a type of keyword or phrase, such as “custom cars” if your top ten competitors are using it, and their site’s are ranked high up in the search engine’s index. Because unless you have a big advertising budget you will have a difficult time going up against them.

You can also improve your chances of getting a much better page ranking result if you incorporate your location to the keyword or phrase that you are trying to use.

Let’s say your business is located somewhere in Florida, by simply adding the word “Florida” to your keyword selection (“Florida custom sports cars”), you can fair better in your page ranking.

However, this type of method usually entails that people are planning on seeing you in person when they do searches like this, so make sure that you only utilize this technique if you are open to the idea of them visiting you in person.

Always try to choose the keyword that you specialize in, or at least the one that offers you with the most opportunity to rank well. Keep in mind that you want to look for the keywords that best describe your business and that is closely related and relevant to your site’s content.

You can rank high if you use keywords wisely, but your site can also suffer or lose credibility if you overstuff.

As a general rule, you should try to optimize your webpage by using your main keyword or key phrase no more than three times. You can also include one or two secondary keywords, but avoid overusing these. Tertiary keywords can also be used which are related or similar but not the same as the main terms. Using
alternative keywords help drive other potential visitors that come from different areas and use different related terms to your website.

The title is one of the most important parts of your web site or content. This is the name which you find at the top of the window of the web browser, or Title Bar. The title has to be descriptive but brief and short. It should also contain the targeted keywords that are highly related to your web site.

Meta-tags have two parts namely the description and the keywords. The description should generally be short, but it should also be both descriptive and logical to the reader. Try to provide the reader with a brief overview of the page. The keywords should be the very same ones you use in the page text.

When it comes to choosing the most effective keywords for your website there is a lot to learn and we have barely scratched the surface in this issue. I high recommend that you take the time to learn all you can about keyword research if you really want to take your site the top of the search engine listings.

Make sure you look for your next issue soon. We will be talking about the do’s and don’ts of search engine optimization.

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