Keyword selection is the first step for writing meta tags or the text of your website. If you don’t select your keywords wisely and carefully, you would not be able to attract the desired traffic to your website.
Simply having meta tags in your website does not guarantee more website visitors or high rankings in the search engines. You need to base these meta tags on carefully selected and targeted keywords. Here are a few guidelines to help you in selecting good and appropriate keywords.
The first rule is very simple. The keyword should describe the product or service you are offering. Don’t make the mistake of making your company name a keyword. It might be related to your service, but people would hardly search for it (unless you are a big and famous company). For example, I won’t put the words “BizTalk4U Consulting” in the meta tags of my website. Instead, I would use “web content writers”, which describe the services I offer.
Also, in the beginning, I was using the words “website copywriting” in my meta tags and content and was hardly getting any hits from search engines. When I did some research, I realized that people use the words “web content” for their website text, and not “web copy”. I had to change the entire text of my website, to optimize it for the keywords “web content”.
Therefore, please don’t assume that you know which keywords to target. Ask your customers and prospects about the phrases/ words they would use if they search for a product or service like yours. Make a list of all the answers and select your targeted keywords from them.
Once you have brainstormed and asked around about possible keywords you can target, it’s time to do some online research. Put in the keywords of your list in keyword suggestion tools to assess their popularity. A good tool to use is the:
- Overture suggestion tool
This is the search suggestion page of the pay per click search engine Overture, which was formerly known as Goto. Type in your chosen keyword and it would generate a list of similar keywords and how many hits each of them got. This would give you a fair idea of how popular a certain search term is.
3.Words or Phrases?
Research shows that people usually use phrases of 2 to 3 keywords instead of a single word when searching. This is because they have come to realize, that typing phrases would give them more relevant and targeted results. Therefore, it is advisable for webmasters to use key phrases instead of keywords for their meta tags and web content so that they generate more targeted traffic. For example, if you are selling clothes for little girls, only using the word “clothes” would not bring targeted visitors. People searching for “clothes for little girls” would be more interested in what you have to offer.
After you have researched the popularity of keywords, you may also want to look at the keywords your close competitors are using. You can do this by running a search for one of your chosen keywords, and observing the other keywords being used by the sites that come up. Wordtracker also gives you an analysis of the competition, which your keywords face.
Once you have a list of the most popular and competitive keywords it is time to make your final selection. If you use keywords that are extremely popular, they would also have more competition, and your chances for high ranking would be slim. On the other hand, if you try to use keywords with no competition, they would not be popular and no one would search for them. Hence, your website would come in very few search results, even if the ranking is higher. You need to make a trade-off between popularity and competition. You must choose words, which are reasonably popular, and low in competition.
You must try to focus on a few qualified keywords instead of trying to target every phrase that is even remotely related to your product. If you use too many keywords in your meta tags and content, you will end up having very low keyword density, which would again result in lower rankings.
If you feel that there are many keywords that you simply can’t do without, then you must create several web pages. Each web page should focus on one or two keywords you are targeting. This strategy takes a lot of work but is bound to give you higher rankings and more exposure in the search engines.
7.No Cheating / Spamming
This is a well-known rule but worth repeating again and again. Do not cheat by using keywords that have nothing to do with your website. You would get traffic that has no interest in your offering.
Do not spam by repeating your keywords too much in your meta tags and content. You can be banned from search engines for this. Also, it is advisable to stay away from using tricks like cloaking and hidden text. Search engines hate these tricks and would ban you forever.
These are the seven secrets of smart keyword selection. Choose your keywords wisely and carefully, so that you get the desired amount and quality of traffic to your website.
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