Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Keyword Research is the building block for search engine optimization. Search engines utilize keywords or key phrases to identify web pages which are relevant to these terms. Finding keywords/ phrases which are relevant to your website and implementing them in your pages will help a search engine identify your webpage when a search is conducted for that particular keyword/ phrase. Keywords have to be implemented on-page as well as off-page for higher ranking.
Building links is essential to gain more traffic and obtain a high ranking on search engines. But building links which are effectively optimized can score you extra points. Search engines analyze a link based on several factors, one being the text of the link itself. If your linking text, commonly referred to as anchor text, contains relevant keywords it indicates clearly what the link is connecting to. Likewise, your title text for each page should be clearly defined with relevant keywords.
Keyword research is not as simple as putting down a bunch of words which users may search for. Today people commonly use advanced tools to find appropriate keywords. Wordtracker, Overture Search Suggestion Tool and Keyword Discovery are some of the more commonly used tools. These tools will not only help you find keywords but will also help you determine the competition these keywords attract.
Using generic terms to optimize your website and links is not a smart idea. Keywords which are most commonly searched for will be used by several thousands websites; competing with these already established websites may not improve your ranking at all. It is important that you select keywords which are not overused. Include keywords which receive a fair number of searches but have minimal competition. Optimize your website with these keywords and once you have established yourself, you will have the liberty to include more general keywords.
These tools will help you determine synonyms or other similar words which fall into your category. When selecting less searched terms, one may always run the risk of less traffic. But this may be better than no traffic at all if the keywords used are highly competed for. One way to solve this problem is to go as specific as possible with your keywords. Instead of general terms such as ‘baby clothing’, you narrow it down by specifying location or age range or any other factor which clearly demarcates what you cater to. Today’s web searchers are a lot smarter and are capable of conducting searches with specific terms.
Any successful business runs by targeting a niche segment today. Catering to the general market may not reveal the same results. If one can identify their niche segment, then there is the opportunity of increasing the quality of your marketing efforts. Likewise when finding relevant keywords, select terms or phrases that target a niche segment. Use the advanced tools available to create a list of relevant keywords which do not attract too much competition in your niche segment.
Finding the right keywords is not as easy as it may seem. The success of your website may depend on traffic directed from search engines; and to figure on a search engine you will have to optimize your site with relevant keywords. It also does not end with optimizing your site once; one has to continually analyze the popularity of keywords and make appropriate changes to your website.
Keyword research plays a major role when building links. Instead of a ‘click here’, relevant keywords can be used to make the link more user-friendly as well as help the search engine detect what the link is connecting to. This can help you get a higher ranking for those specific keywords included in your link. It carries extra weight as another site is recommending your page for a particular keyword. Including relevant keywords in your title text and anchor text can improve your search engine placement tremendously.