Key Word Strategy for SEM Share Engine MarketingRequest Free Quote
Keywords form the basis of any search engine optimization campaign, and having a solid keyword marketing strategy in place is one of the most significant factors when it comes to drawing in the right sort of traffic, and more of it, to your website and any other on line portals. In SEO, a keyword refers to a single word or a short phrase which people enter into Google, Bing or any other search engine or social network. The purpose of your keyword marketing campaign is ultimately to associate relevant search queries with your website and business and draw in more website traffic accordingly.
The search engines dominate the Internet, with Google being the world's most popular website as well as the homepage for countless millions of Web users. More consumers than ever are locating businesses and websites by way of the search engines, and they achieve this simply by entering a key word or phrase describing what they are looking for in the search engines. Taking advantage of this consumer habit means formulating a solid and well-planned keyword strategy by targeting the most valuable keywords in your SEO campaign. To begin with, you'll need to conduct keyword research to determine which ones are most likely to drive organic traffic to your website.
Researching Your Keywords
To begin with, put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer and consider what they might be entering into the search engines to find a website such as yours. It is important to realize at this point, that as a small- or medium-sized business, you should not use your brand name as a keyword, since not enough people will know about it anyway. The type of keywords you need to use are those related to your industry or particular type of product or service.
Creating a preliminary list of keywords shouldn't be at all difficult. For now, just select around three to five words which best describe your industry and its products and services. These keywords will likely not be of much use to you right now, but they will give you something with which to start your keyword research and refine your efforts to determine which the best keywords to target are.
The keywords you selected previously will likely be extremely competitive. For example, typing 'marketing' into Google reveals well over half a billion results, so you're not likely to get anywhere near the first page of the search results by targeting such a keyword alone. Although there are many keyword research tools on the Web, a good place to start refining your search is the free Google Keyword Tool.
Using a keyword research tool, search for your keywords to receive numerous suggestions detailing important factors such as search volumes, value in pay-per-click advertising and competitiveness. It is wise to focus primarily on longer keywords consisting of two or three words, since these tend to be less competitive. If you are a local business, you will have an easier time of it, since you can include your location or service area in your keywords.
Another useful way to conduct a more refined level of keyword research is to try out Google's auto complete feature. Start by typing the queries that you imagine people will be most likely to enter when looking for a website like yours and see which suggestions Google comes up with. The auto complete tool is more useful than ever for this purpose now that many mobile Internet users are heavily reliant on it.
Optimizing Your Website Using Your Keywords
Now that you have decided which keywords to target, you will need to put them to good use. Before you begin making changes to your website, it is wise to test its current level of optimization. You can use Website Grader at marketing.grader.com to get a free evaluation of your website which will also provide you with a total score out of 100.
While keyword optimization is only a part of the greater SEO process, it is a major part of on-site optimization and one which delivers results relatively quickly. However, before you begin, there is one very important thing to keep in mind at all times when optimizing your content for the search engines: avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.
Keywords might be very important with SEO, but excessively use of your chosen keywords in your content will lead to disaster, particularly as Google's search engine crawlers are getting better every year at picking out and penalizing over-optimized content. Such content leads to a bad experience for your visitors as well, and attempting to trick the search engines into increasing your page rank will inevitably end up with your website being pushed all the way to the back of the search results or even d-indexed entirely. To summarize, your visitors shouldn't even be able to tell that your content is keyword-optimized.
There are several on-page elements where you should use your keywords, provided that you do so with care:
. Page titles. The titles of your individual web pages are the most important pieces of your content in terms of SEO, since they are the elements that both people and the search engine crawlers are likely to see. Your page titles will appear in the search engines, and you can modify them by changing the <title> tags in the HTML files representing each web-page. If you use a content management system, you will usually be able to add or modify the title without editing the source code directly. The best practices include keeping your title around 50-70 characters long, readable and informative for your visitors and using your chosen keyword as close to the beginning of the title as possible. Try targeting different keywords for each page, but be sure to keep them relevant.
. Meta descriptions. Meta descriptions appear accompanying search engine results and social media shares, and they exist to give readers a brief overview of what a particular web-page is about before they click on the link. For this reason, it is essential to provide engaging descriptions which encourage your readers and also stand out in the search engine results. For best results, use your keyword no more than once in your meta descriptions, and keep the total amount of text under 150 characters so that it appears fully in the search results.
. Heading tags. There are several heading tags used in HTML, although you generally only need to pay attention to the first one, displayed in HTML as. Your headings can be the same as your page titles, and additional heading tags, such as and are generally best suited to text-heavy content such as longer blog posts. For these tags, you can use subheadings from such content which also contain your targeted keywords.
. Alt attributes. Search engines have a hard time categorizing and ranking images all by themselves, and this is why it is important to associate them with some textual content as well. Aside from providing useful and descriptive filenames and captions, you should also fill in the HTML alt attributes for every important image on your website. Alt attributes can also be useful for your visitors, since the text appears in place of the image if it can't be displayed for any reason. Include relevant keywords in image filenames, captions and alt text. When optimizing your file names, be sure to separate any individual words using a dash rather than a space.
. URLs. A URL is the full Web address of an individual page. These are typically similar to the titles of the pages they represent. URLs should also contain the same keywords that you are targeting with that page. You should also maintain a clear hierarchy with your URLs using categories for folder names without making them any longer than necessary. You should also have static URLs (also known as perma links) for your content so that people and the search engines can always visit every page without a problem.
. On-page content. You need to be more careful when optimizing your actual visible on-page content than with anything else, but you should still use your keywords in it nonetheless. The most important thing of all is that your keyword usage doesn't detract from readability or user experience. As a general rule, avoid using your chosen keywords more than twice each in the main textual content, and focus primarily on using them in the title or first paragraph.
Although keyword optimization is still important, it is not the only major area of search engine optimization. What today's SEO ultimately boils down to is focusing primarily on building up trust and authority, and Google is constantly getting better at putting authoritative sites containing original and quality content on the first page of the search results. Your primary goals should be to encourage visitors to return to your website on a regular basis and get them to share your content and engage in conversation with you and the community which develops around your website.
Kurt Stocker - Master Certified SEO Consultant
Heather - Moses SEO
Cliff - Moses SEO
Fill out this form to get a free quote. Or another short sales message. We respect your privacy. Call us today. .8805 Chambery Blvd Suite 300-156