SEO Buzz-Understanding, Determining and Improving Keyword Rankings

by Steve Fisher on September 21, 2009


One of the more critical things in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is getting your site found via the right keywords. Keywords are the words people type into the search box at a search engine. Since we don’t know exactly how search engines behave (that is their secret and how they stay competitive), we do the best we can.

Determine the Best Keywords

We start by determining the best ones and go from there. To do this, RemarkaBlogger put together this list, initially for WordPress SEO, but it applies to almost every web site:

  1. Use the Google suggest box. When you search on Google, a drop-down appears that contains suggestions. These suggestions are aggregated from the millions of searches people do on Google every day. What you’re seeing there is a “best of” list of the most frequently searched keywords.
  2. Use the Free Wordtracker Keyword tool. Wordtracker has a free and a paid version of their service. The free version is perfectly adequate for most people.
  3. Use Google’s Free Keyword Tool for AdWords. Even if you’re not going to run a Google AdWords campaign, you can still use the free keyword tool to get an overview of the market around a keyword in terms of searches, ad spend, and clicks. If you make money from your blog by running Google AdSense, this tool can help you target keywords for post topics that will create a more profitable context for AdSense ads.
  4. Analyze the top sites for your keywords. To be blunt, you can simply copy the successful tactics of other sites. Look at how a site writes its title tags and meta descriptions. Observe how its content is written and how keywords are used in it. Observe the site’s architecture and file-naming. Synthesize how the top sites do it into your own keyword/content/navigation strategy.

    Tuning and Improving Your Keyword Rankings

    Once you are out there and the site has been running for a few weeks, it will be time to tune to improve your search engine rankings. For some quick tips, I came across this great list from Kherize5 Marketing on six steps to improve keyword rankings:

    1. Modify Site. Evaluate the page that is ranking for the core keyword and determine what changes can be made.

    2. Search Keywords. Perform a search for the core keyword as well as yourlongtail keywords to spark some content ideas as well as areas where you can get inbound links.  Inbound links from sites that are already ranking are best as they have a high traffic volume which will click through to your site.

    3. Research & Review Content.  While searching keywords take a look at the content on the pages to see how you can differentiate yourself while still focusing on the needs/wants of your target market.

    4. Create a Call to Action Around the Keyword.  Creating a call to action around the keyword is far better than saying “Click here.” You do not want to rank for click here. Ultimately you want convert readers into buyers and this is another way to increase rankings and traffic. Also, a call to action that does not convert readers into buyers is pointless.

    5. Measure Results.  Track the number of inbound links after modifications have been made.  Measure the number of visitors, leads and conversion rate to customers.  Have you moved up in keyword rankings?  Converted to customers?

    6. Repeat and Tune. Repeat the entire process for other keywords that are close to a page 1 ranking and then once again in a few months to further search engine optimization efforts to achieve a page 1 ranking for a highly searched term with a high difficulty.

    Best thing you can do is to just get started and experiment with things and as the last recommendation said “Repeat and Tune”. This is an ongoing process and one which your efforts will pay off with increased traffic and if you have the right promotions/take actions on your web site, new sales leads.

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