What are keywords and why do I need them?
Keywords in quality content = higher search engine ranking.
In search engine land, the keyword or search phrase a person uses is crucial. Keywords can be a single term, or keyword phases can be used which contain multiple words.
To appear on those first few pages of search engine results, your website must contain a density of keywords or phrases related to the search terms used. It is an imperative part of search engine optimisation for any website.
So what exactly are keywords?
When you go to a search engine such as Google and search for something, you are using a keyword or keyword phrase. For example, if you do a search for "website design" you are using keywords for your search. The results that come up consist of paid keyword advertising and natural search results.
The paid advertising comes up in the fist few results at the top of the page and in the sidebar, while the natural results appear in the body of the main page.
Tools such as Google's AdWords are an example of paid keyword advertising. You tell Google what words you want to be found when someone does a search on their site and how much you're willing to pay for them, and in return, you get a chance at having your site come up in those paid advertising slots.
Paying for search engine ads is OK and has its place, but you can save on these advertising fees by aiming for a listing in the first few pages in the natural results. If you can get on the first page for free naturally, then you've achieved the Holy Grail in search engine optimisation. It's hard to do, especially if your website is in a generic category - you're competing with potentially thousands of others.
If you have ever tried to figure out keywords or keyword phrases, you know it can be a daunting task.
Some websites make the mistake of just listing anything and everything under the sun for their keywords. Major search engines take into account many factors. If you are listing a keyword that has no relevancy to your website and there is no copy on your website to back it up, it will not be taken into consideration. Another mistake often seen is the over-use of keywords on a page. Again, if you are using a word over and over on your site, (when it isn't needed) in order to get higher rankings - you are barking up the wrong tree. It won't help you get any closer to the coveted "Top".
Keyword density is key.A good web designer will incorporate keywords into your site, visibly in the site titles, headings and content, and behind the scenes in the meta tags that the search engine robots see.
Visit again for our next post on this topic, but in the mean time, back to keywords and how to find them...
There are many tools out there, and even services you can enlist to help you choose your keywords. Free is always good, so let's look at Google Adwords - Keyword Tool.
This is an excellent source for figuring out what your keywords should be. Simply type in a keyword or phrase that is relevant to your website (make sure you check synonyms) and get your information. Another excellent tool is on the same page, but to the right of the keyword box where you enter a website URL (Universal Resource Locator = http://sitename.com.au). You can simply enter your site URL if you have an existing site and see what keywords you should be using based on the content that's already on your site. You can also check your competitors sites to see how they might be performing.
Remember, it's not just about what your keywords are, but how you use them on your site and in your advertising.