Market Your Business

Choosing Keywords for Search Engine Optimization

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Category: Market Your Business , Boost Search Engine Visibility

Do you choose your words carefully? Your search engine optimization (SEO) success will depend on your ability to choose the right keywords for your website. Effective keywords can help increase your website's relevancy and its ranking on search engine results pages. When you consider that most searchers won't look past the first page (or top 10) of the search results, it's clear that keywords must be chosen very carefully.

Keywords used for search engine optimization can be found in two key locations. When they are used in your Web site's metadata, they will only be seen by the search engine crawlers (unless visitors have the option to "View Source" of your page). Keywords should also be used throughout the content that your visitors will see on the page when they arrive at your site. In general, it's thought best to choose 1-3 keywords per page and to achieve a keyword density of 2%-6%, although opinions vary.

While keyword selection – along with link building and even Web site design – is an essential component of search engine optimization, it's also quite challenging. For this reason, many people choose to work with a professional SEO company. When you're ready to choose keywords for your search engine optimization campaign, there are four key factors to keep in mind.

Keyword Volume

Keyword search volume is a valuable indicator of a term's popularity at a given moment. It can have a significant impact on search engine optimization, which means that you must choose keywords that people are actively searching for when using a search engine like Google®. You can check keyword search volume by using a variety of online tools such as Wordtracker.

Keyword Relevance

A keyword must not only be popular among searchers, but relevant to your site's content as well. By using keywords that let people know what they will find on your site, you can reach those visitors who are truly interested in your products and services. When developing your search engine optimization strategy, remember that it's never a good idea to try to "trick" search engines. Search engines value relevancy when assigning rankings, so they'll be checking to see that the keywords you use in your meta tags are also used throughout your site's content.

Keyword Competition

A simple search for a given keyword will tell you how many results the search produces – in other words, how much competition you have. The more sites that rank for the keyword, the more difficult it will be for you to compete. You can improve your search engine optimization results by finding keywords with high relevancy and low competition.

Keyword Focus

Broad keyword phrases are almost always going to make it impossible for you to achieve a high ranking. Try narrowing your focus to target your products' niche audience by expanding your keyword phrase. For example, a beauty supply Web site might try "professional hair care products" instead of "hair care".

Selecting keywords is just one aspect of your search engine optimization campaign, but it is an important one. Your search engine optimization success depends on finding targeted keywords that have the right balance of search volume, relevancy and competition.