Triple Your Traffic with Top Keyword Strategies

Although the topic of keyword strategy and selection may appear to have been beaten to death already, it remains critical to the success of your website. Choosing the best keywords is only "Phase One" of the process. You must also make the most of the keywords you have.

Traffic to my log furniture site has doubled and nearly tripled in the past month and a half. Much of the credit for that success lies directly with better keyword selection and management. When I realized there was a problem with my keywords, I read every article I could find on the topic and made a number of changes to my website. And voila! Increased traffic (and sales) are the proof of the pudding for me.

Following is an overview of keyword-related steps that can send traffic to your site spiraling steadily upward:

1. Set Your Sights on Attainable Keywords

If my log furniture site was competing for the word "furniture", I would be competing with the "big boys". While I hope to compete with major furniture sites someday, there is plenty of payoff to be found in niche marketing.

Overture includes a keyword suggestion tool that gives a good indication of just how competitive a keyword is. Using this tool and a general rule-of-thumb, you can target keywords that are attainable.

The number "5000" next to a keyword in Overture's search term suggestion tool means that 5000 visitors on Overture powered searches look for that term each month. Because the most popular terms are more difficult to achieve top ranking for, my website is targeting keywords in the 1000-10,000 range at the moment.

For example, the term "log bed" is searched for 4673 times per month on Overture-powered sites, while the term "log furniture" is searched for 16,909 times. My site has been hovering between the #1 and #7 spots on Google for "log bed" for the past month, but "log furniture" has been a harder nut to crack. As of this writing I am number #18 for "log furniture", which is not where we want to be but a whole lot better than where we used to be.

2. Choose the Best Keywords for Targeted Traffic

As I mentioned in an earlier article, my site was originally (and accidentally) optimized so that more people searching for "log cabin" were finding the site than those who were looking for "log furniture" or "log beds". We re-optimized the site in December for log beds, log furniture and Amish log furniture. After an initial drop in traffic, we have double or triple the visitors we had before-not to mention a much better conversion rate.

What search terms are the most likely buyers of your product using to scour the web? This is the million dollar question. A tool included in the live help service known as Liveperson has been helpful to us in figuring this out, as it allows us to see what search terms people are using to find us.

You may be surprised at the terms people are using to find your site. Information is power. If you find an invaluable search term that your site should be optimized for, or one that is most likely to produce a buyer, the fees you pay for a visitor tracking service such as the one included in Liveperson will be well worth the money.

3. Optimize Keywords Within Your Website

Once you have evaluated the best keywords for your website, your site must be optimized for those terms. We tried for a 5% keyword density on our website, bold-faced some of the keywords, and set them as links whenever we could.

You'll also need to revisit your title, meta and alt tags to make sure they highlight your keywords. Many SEO experts believe that the first few sentences of the text on a page should include your top keywords. These might seem like very simple steps to take, but the payoff can make the difference between being on the first page-or second-for your desired terms.

4. Reap Good Results with Resource Boxes

This fourth step is about links as much as keywords. Our log furniture site would not be receiving the traffic it is without a link trading and article submission campaign. We give our link partners the top terms that we want to achieve ranking for. As a result, links pointing back to our site have our top terms either right by or in the links. Take it from the voice of experience-this matters. You'll also want your top terms in the resource boxes for any articles you post on the Internet.

5. Rotate Your Keywords When You Reach the Top

When you reach top status for a given keyword, go after another by changing the link or article resource text for your new set of coveted terms. That's what we plan to do for Log Cabin Rustics. Once we solidify our standing for "log beds" and get to the top for "log furniture" on Google, we plan to focus on "rustic furniture"-a term with 17760 Overture-powered searches per month.

Only Part of the Story

We do not mean to imply that keyword selection and management is the only thing you should do to promote your site. A solid link strategy, article publicity campaign, and overall site optimization are also important factors in any successful SEO strategy.

But the importance of choosing the right terms and optimizing for them should not be underestimated. You might also want to check out Marketleap's free keyword verification tool, which reports where your website is placing on the different search engines for your keywords of choice.

Copyright 2005 Log Cabin Rustics

Cari Haus has been successfully selling rustic log furniture and beds on the Internet since the late 1990's. Copyright 2005 by Cari Haus, website

Permission is granted to reprint this article, either online or in written publications, as long as the copyright information, this paragraph, and a link address or a link to the Log Cabin Rustics website is attached at the end of the article.

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