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Choosing the Right Keywords

by Robin Nobles

Introduction

What is the single most important thing you can do to insure the success of your website?

Choose the right keywords.

How we can achieve this?

Why is that, with all of the highly effective search engine strategies that we can employ? It's rather simple. If you don't choose the right keywords, all of your other strategies won't help you at all, because those strategies build on top of choosing the right keywords.

Let's look at it from the point of a view of a searcher. A searcher visits one of the major engines looking for your goods or services. He types in what he considers to be the most important topic, or keyword, for his search. Up come the results, ten per page.

If you haven't taken time to choose the most effective keyword phrases, you may have done something like use the name of your company as your main keyword. If your company has significant name recognition, like Sony, that's fine. But, if your company is like the vast majority of companies on the Net, optimizing the page for the name of your company has just cost you some business.


Choose the most effective keyword phrase for your page!

How on earth do you choose your important keyword phrases? First off, don't depend on yourself to choose the right keywords. Your searchers are probably not finding you the same way that you'd think they'd find you. Instead, ask your customers or someone outside of your business what they would type in the search window when looking for your site.


Optimize each page separately.

When working with search engines, consider the focus of each page separately, because the engines do. So, if you want top ranked pages, create content-rich information pages that center on one or two topics only, and use those fine-tuned topics as your keywords for that page.

Don't try to optimize a single page for every keyword that's important to your business. It just won't work. Instead, create separate content-rich pages and utilize your other keywords in that manner, and bring additional traffic into your site.


Let's look at some tips on how to choose keywords.


Stay away from general keywords.

Take your keyword ideas and fine tune them based on each page of your website. While it's tempting to choose very general keywords, like "computers," don't do it for a number of reasons.

First off, the competition will be fierce. And, more and more searchers are realizing that they can fine tune their searches and cut out never-ending search results by searching for phrases rather than single keywords.

Also, research has shown that when a searcher wants to purchase something, he conducts extremely fine tuned searches to find it. In other words, if he's searching for a DVD title by a particular actor, he'll search for the exact title or under the name of the actor, rather than simply "DVD."

So, while having a web page that ranks extremely well for a very general keyword seems like the ideal situation, keep in mind that you may get more traffic, but you won't necessarily get more sales.


Consider your individual goods or services.

Some excellent keyword choices are the names of your individual goods and services. For example, if you're a professional writer, create pages that advertise your services, such as "ghost writing" or "technical writing." Creating a page for the very general keyword, "writing," actually may not get you the business you want.

By the same token, don't use trademarked terms for your competitors in your tags. Trademark lawsuits are springing up faster than blemishes on a teenager's face, and you certainly don't want, or need, to find yourself in the middle of one.


Take a general keyword and add a specific word to it.

If you can only think of very general keywords, start with a list of those keywords, and then add specific words to each one. For example, if you're an artist, take the general keyword of "art" and add a specific word or two to it, based on your particular business. So, your keyword phrases may be "art lessons for children" or "modern art."


Consider regional keywords.

Does your business cater to a particular region? If you have a restaurant in New Orleans, for example, your keyword phrase should contain the name of the city or state.


Different terminology?

Do people from other regions use different terminology when searching for your keyword phrase? If so, utilize that terminology in your tags or on your page, or create a separate page. For example, in the South, people call "shopping carts" that you find in grocery stores "buggies."


What keywords are your competitors using?

Search for your competitors sites and see what keywords they're using. Do NOT copy their tags or anything else. Simply review their pages to see if they might be using a keyword phrase that could be helpful to you.


Use online resources for ideas!

The Internet has some wonderful resources to help you consider what keywords to use on your pages. Here is one:

Roget's Internet Thesaurus: http://www.thesaurus.com/


Once you've determined your keyword phrases, don't stop there!

As mentioned earlier, just because you think that a keyword phrase is perfect for your page, doesn't mean that it is.

The bottom line here is, we're after traffic to our sites. Even more to the point, we're after paying customers! So, if our keyword phrase is so fine tuned that no one is using it, then it will do us no good, even if we have a #1 ranking for it.

On the other hand, if our keyword phrase is too general, we may get traffic, but we might not get paying customers.


Search for your keyword phrase at the engines

To determine how competitive your keyword phrase is, visit the search engines and search for it. If you come up with 349 results, or five million results, you may want to rethink your keyword strategy.

While this approach is certainly helpful, it is only telling you how many pages have been optimized for that particular keyword phrase. However, there is frequently a correlation between the number of pages that have been optimized for a particular keyword phrase and how many people are searching for that phrase.


Subscribe to WordTracker.com!

If you are serious about your website, however, you want some serious information. By utilizing their extensive database of actual keywords that people are searching for, WordTracker.com allows you to work through your choices to see which will bring you the most traffic.


In Closing

If you spend time choosing the best keywords for your web pages, it will add up to traffic and sales for your online business!


This article was written by Robin Nobles. Over the past few years, she has trained thousands of people in her online and onsite courses in search engine positioning strategies. Visit this website to learn more: http://www.onlinewebtraining.com.

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