Keywords: the “KEY” to a Popular and Profitable Website
The only activity that should preface keyword research is the brainstorming you do to come up with list of potential themes for your website. Think about things that you find interesting, are passionate about or that leverage your skills. Once this is done you are ready to find out which topic on your list will be the most profitable to pursue.
Keyword Research will reveal answers to 3 critical questions:
1. Is there a demand for what your site offers? If not, you need to keep moving down your list until you find something that people are already looking for.
2. How are people searching for your topic? For example, if your theme is "Japanese food" how are people searching for information? Are they typing in "Japanese recipes", "low sodium miso soup", "history of Japanese food", "Japanese food in NYC", etc. This part of the search will allow you to build up good topics for your site pages and provide keywords that you will use to optimize your pages to become a search engine magnet.
3. How many sites will you be competing with – does demand outstrip supply or vice versa? Right now your job is to build huge lists of high-demand, low-competition keywords. Be thorough and exhaustive in looking for phrases that people might use to find your site.
You cannot cut corners at this stage of the process or your business will suffer. This can be slow, tedious work but fortunately there are some good tools to help you automate your keyword research and help find the most profitable keywords to build your content around. There are some good free tools to help you make light work of this including Good Keywords, Search It! and Overture. A more comprehensive tool that provides demand, supply and profitability data is Wordtracker.
You may have heard the terms “search engine optimization (SEO)”, “keyword optimization”, “page optimization”, etc. Basically, they all refer to the same thing – making sure your pages have the right amount of keywords, placed correctly, to effectively get your site “spidered” or found by the search engines, such as Google.
Repeating keywords throughout a site is just as important as choosing the right keywords. If you use the keywords too often the search engines will ignore them; if you don't use them enough the search engines will not find and index them properly.
The main keyword, in our example “Japanese food”, should be used as part of the domain name and in the title tag of the HTML code for the page. It should also be used in the heading of the page using size h1. Also, most SEO experts agree that it is best to put your keyword in the first and last sentences of your page.
As for the body copy, there are some good rules-of-thumb that help you achieve the correct "keyword density" or keyword repetition. Many experts say you should use the 4% - 7% rule (approx. 25 words in a 500 word document). However, don't use a single keyword over and over or your copy will seem forced. Instead, weave in some variations of the keyword (e.g. plural forms, synonyms) to ensure your content flows well and makes sense! Simply filling up a site with your keywords will not fool the search engines; rather, it may be considered spamming and your site can get banned!
Many people say that content is king, but in fact, it's content that is keyword rich that is king. It is absolutely critical to find your best keywords and use them in the right way to attract targeted traffic. It takes some time and practice but if you persevere your website will be built on a strong foundation.
About the author:
Written by Gail Kaufman co-founder of http://www.websitedesigngenius.com
Visit her site for information, free valuable e-books and practical tips on how to build an affordable and profitable website with no technical skills.
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