Do-It-Yourself Keyword Optimization

The first step in a search engine optimization campaign is to choose your keywords or keyphrases for each of your web pages. Keywords are the terms that search engine users type in the search box to conduct a query. The right keywords are those that:

  • clearly describe the purpose and content of your site, and,

  • allow your site to show up as close to the first results page as possible.

    A good position doesn't depend only on your choice of keywords. It also depends on how well do you position those keywords in your web page, and how many quality external pages link to you. However, choosing the wrong keywords can throw off your entire search engine optimization strategy, so you need to invest a few hours and make sure you do it right.

    Let's start with your homepage. Look at it carefully and write down the words and phrases that best define your site. Try to form two or three word phrases, since competition for one-word keyphrases is fierce, and it is virtually impossible to get a top position for them. That is why, from now on, we will talk about keyphrases, not keywords.

    Once you have developed your list of potential keyphrases you are ready for the next step: to analyze the demand and supply for those keyphrases, and choose the best ones (those with good demand and not enough supply).

    We will first check the demand for your selected keyphrases. For this, we will go to Overture's Search Term Suggesion Tool:

    http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/

    Overture is a popular pay-per-click search engine (as we know, pay-per-click search engines are the only ones that disclose keyword poplularity for free). You will then type each of the keyphrases you selected, and see how many people search for those terms. This tool will show you only those searches conducted in Overture (and only in one month time). However, the relative popularity of each search term will be very similar in other search engines as well.

    In addition to telling you if your selected keyphrases are popular, this tool will show you other keyphrases that you may not have thought about, which may even be more relevant to your site. For example, if your first keyphrase was "Italian Restaurant", the Search Term Suggestion Tool will also display other popular search terms, like: "Gourmet Italian Restaurant", "Northern Italian Restaurant", "Italian Restaurant Pizzeria", "Italian Restaurant Miami", etc. You may also try other keyphrases, for example: "Italian Cuisine", and come up with more specific keyphrases, like: "Fine Italian Cuisine", "Italian Cuisine Miami", "Northern Italian Cuisine", "Italian Cuisine Fine Dining", "Gourmet Italian Cuisine", etc.

    What you have done is to validate and enlarge your pool of popular, in-demand, potential keyphrases for your web page.

    The next step is to check the supply, or, in other words, to see how much competition there is for your selected keywords. Naturally, you want to focus on keyphrases where competition is less fierce. For example, chosing "Italian Restaurant" alone will certainly hurt you. There are so many of them that your chances of showing up in an advantagous position within the search results are pretty slim.

    Having said that, get your list of keyphrases, go to Google ( http://www.google.com ) and type-in each of them in the search box. Enter your keyphrases within quotation marks (to filter-out less relevant results), and see how many results each individual query produces, making a note of those with a relatively small number of results (less competition). You will stick with the keyphrase that:

  • Best describes the topic and content of your page.

  • Is a popular search term according to Overture's Search Term Suggestion Tool.

  • Generates a relatively small number of results after performing the Google search.

    If "Gourmet Italian Restaurant" is the keyphrase that best meets these three criteria, it will become your primary keyphrase. To get even better results, you can choose a second keyphrase to make your page more relevant to an even more specific niche. For example, if your restaurant is in Miami, you can consider "Miami" a second keyphrase.

    Once you have chosen the keyphrases for you homepage, do the same for the other pages on your site.

    You will then take your selected keyphrases and optimize your pages heavily for them. This involves placing them in strategic locations in the title, headings and body of each page.

    About The Author

    Mario Sanchez publishes The Internet Digest ( http://www.theinternetdigest.net ), an online collection of web design and Internet marketing articles and resources. You can freely reprint his weekly articles in your website, ezine, newsletter or ebook.

    In The News:

    Top Tips to Improve Your Website SEO  Business 2 Community
    Stock Photography Impact on SEO  Search Engine Journal
    How to Show the Value of Local SEO  Search Engine Journal
    Stephan Bajaio  Search Engine Journal
    SEO in 2020: Going Beyond Google  Search Engine Journal
    SEO How-to, Part 1: Why Use It?  Practical Ecommerce
    5 Ways SEO & Web Design Go Together  Search Engine Journal
    Google's Advice on How to Hire an SEO  Search Engine Journal
    Can SEO Be Made Predictable?  Search Engine Journal

  • The Unethical SEO Myth

    "The use of black hat SEO techniques are completely unethical."... Read More

    Search Engine Optimization Strategies Guaranteed to Skyrocket your Rankings

    The point of optimizing your website is so that you... Read More

    SEO and Google Indexing - Why It Requires A Complex Blend of Skills

    If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Getting... Read More

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy - Navigating the Dark Waters of Website Promotion

    Creating a well-designed website is the first step in your... Read More

    Meta Tags Help Optimize Your Web Site Rankings

    Are you working on getting your web site up onto... Read More

    SEO - Get Your Site Out of the Google Sandbox Fast!

    Is your new site sitting in the infamous Google "sandbox"?... Read More

    Not Ranking High Enough on Search Engines? Here?s Some Help!

    Search engines are frugal things. (Froogle, too, haha! Sorry, lame... Read More

    Google PageRank Explained

    1. What is PageRank? Here is what Google says:" PageRank... Read More

    Search Engine Essentials

    What are Search Engines?There are numerous different search engines, and... Read More

    Basic Search Engine Promotion

    I can't tell you how many times people have asked... Read More

    Keywords ? Key For All Doors

    Keyword research is certainly the most important phase in Search... Read More

    Table Structures For Top Search Engine Positioning

    So you have a beautiful website that you paid a... Read More

    How Important is PageRank, Really?

    Webmasters can spend most of their waking hours doing everything... Read More

    Offpage Optimization: Does Article Marketing Cut the Mustard?

    For those who haven't heard: article marketing is the new... Read More

    Search Engines - The Dominant Factor

    Let's face facts - Search engines are starting to rule... Read More

    SEO Expert Guide - Sitewide Optimization (part 4/10)

    In parts 1 and 2 you learnt how to develop... Read More

    Optimum SEO Keyword Density ? A Real-Life Case Study

    So you've built your website, you know what keywords you... Read More

    Search Engine Optimization - Enhancing Web Site Visibility

    I've had several prospects and clients say to me "I... Read More

    Picking Keywords for SEO ? A Different View

    The first step to developing any search engine optimization effort... Read More

    SEO Deadly Sins - Mistakes That Hurt Web Page Ranking

    The following are a list of mistakes can ensure that... Read More

    Five Simple Steps to Getting Links to Your Site

    Today if you want your site to survive in the... Read More

    SEO #6: How TO GET Banned by Google!

    Yesterday you should have read the fifth course out of... Read More

    How To Use Google As A Niche Website Builder

    The popularity of weblogs or blogs has gotten a lot... Read More

    HTML Title Tags Dictate Your Rankings

    There are a lot of things in Search Engine Optimization... Read More

    What is Your Sales Message?

    So you built a website, you have a product, but... Read More