The very foundation of a successful internet marketing strategy is the keywords chosen by the business to attract searchers. The basic idea is that you put keywords into your website pages in a way that will make it easy for search engine bots to locate them and look upon them as authoritative. Simple? Yes and no. Here are a few practices to help you as a small business make a success of your keyword strategy and rank you well in the search engines:
1. Pick your keywords wisely
You may have hundreds of keywords you wish to be associated with your business, but you need to pick just a few to work with. If you haven’t already done so please read this internet marketing strategies post on using keywords.
The keywords you choose should be either those that appear near the top of the list and have lots of searches- ideally those with-medium competition, or conversely, those which are lower on the list but are worth going for because they have less competition. In other words, when a searcher uses the exact phrase of the keyword [in brackets] for instance, the search engine finds relatively few matches. Whilst it is fairly easy to rank well for keywords that are at the bottom of the list, it is important to bear in mind that enough people might not be searching for them.
2. Optimise any one web page for one keyword only
It is important that you create a page in such a way that it has a very good chance of ranking well for your chosen keyword or phrase when a searcher uses the phrase in the search engine.
You cannot really optimize a page well for more than one keyword phrase at a time. The most important tag on the page is the <TITLE> TAG and best practice has it to place your keywords at the beginning of that tag. Typically you create a webpage that is optimized for a main keyword phrase but you can also have other keywords- secondary keywords scattered around the page where this is relevant.
3. Keyword prominence is good
By prominence I am referring to where the keyword appears. In terms of its prominence within a page component; for example the <TITLE> tag- here, it should be at the beginning, the body text- here it should be near the top of the page, at the start of the DESCRIPTION Meta tag. What this does is to convey to the search engines that the keyword is very important to the page. Plug-ins such as the All in One SEO plug in work very well in helping to ensure good prominence of keywords as you can prepopulate your title and Meta description fields. Consider this example:
<TITLE>All you need to know about Vermeil jewellery – taking care of vermeil jewellery, buying vermeil jewellery, vermeil jewellery wearing and much more. </TITLE>
When you read the above tag you can see that Vermeil jewellery is just one of the few terms the page is related to. The search engine will arrive at the same conclusion because the term is near the end of the title, meaning that it’s probably not the key term. Have a look at this next example:
<TITLE>Vermeil jewellery- Taking care of Vermeil Jewellery, Buying vermeil jewellery, vermeil jewellery wearing and much more. </TITLE>
Placing Vermeil jewellery at the start of the tag places the emphasis on it and therefore the search engines will consider that the page is rightly about vermeil jewellery.
4. Keyword Density
I will be surprised if you have not already come across keyword density and there are many who will argue as passionately for as against the importance of keyword density.
Essentially when a searcher enters a keyword phrase, the search engine will examine all the pages that contain the phrase and also check the keyword density, which is the ration of the search phrase to the total number of words in the page.
Suppose that you search for vermeil jewellery and the search engine finds a page that contains 500 words, with the phrase vermeil jewellery appearing 10 times. This represents a total of 20 words. The keyword density is 4% (20/500).
My suggestion is to simply be sensible regarding the number of times your keyword appears on the page. If your keyword density is 50% then search engine eyebrows will presumably be raised as it comes to the conclusion that the intention of the page is purely for the search engine’s attention and not the visitor’s experience. Conversely if the keyword density is too low there is a risk that search engines will regard the competition’s pages as being more relevant for search. Be sensible. Have a friend or colleague read through the page if you are not sure, and if the text sounds repetitive you have probably exceeded what would be thought of as reasonable use of keywords.
5. Optimise your entire site with your keywords
More often than not, you are unlikely to bag the number one slot on Google’s page one just by creating one page that is optimised for a keyword phrase. You will probably need dozens or hundreds of pages to be noticed by the search engines- as well as plenty of links between your pages and inbound links too.
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