Keywords. The Road to Optimisation

An essential element in driving traffic to your site.

Over eighty percent of people use search engines to find product and services.

The objective of search engines is to deliver a quality result to people searching on the web for a product or service. These results will hopefully be websites which are relevant and have good content. These sites have not been viewed or ranked by a person at the search engine company but instead have been indexed and listed after being 'crawled' by what we call a spider. This spider is a piece of software which on finding your site, crawls through each page, following links. Then according to an algorithm built into the spider, it ranks your site in its importance.

There are so many sites it is impossible to physically review each one, let alone review each site on a regular basis. However, search engine spiders or meta crawlers can do this job automatically and regularly.

Your ranking dictates where your listing will appear when people search for your primary keyword or term. Ideally you need to be on the first page of results.

The search engine spider users an algorithm designed to weigh up several factors that effectively judge your site and rank it. This ranking process will include the evaluation of your keywords, link popularity and a number of other factors. Now, the whole point of optimising pages is to help this poor old search spider figure out what YOUR essential keywords and phrases are. So first of all you need to figure out what they should be and then how do you weave them into your site in a way the search engine spider will take notice.

This is what we are going to do:

  • Select your keywords 
  • Analyse their competitiveness 
  • Optimise your website with them 

Selecting a Keyword

Write down a list of keywords you think people will use to search for your products. Now look at your competitors and write down any new ideas. Having done that search for some alternatives using tools like Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Simply paste in your most promising keywords to view alternate suggestions produced from Google's database. Naturally some terms are searched for more than others. It is pointless having a word or term that no one searches for. To evaluate how many times a word or term is searched for, Google has a Traffic Estimator tool which you can use to estimate the amount of traffic for given keywords. To access the estimator login to your Google AdWords account and go to the Tools section.”

After all of this you will have a pretty good idea of which key words or phrases you want to use.

When you select a keyword, it is pointless picking keywords where you have to compete with larger players. For example, if you picked a keyword in the music industry that the likes of Sony and other large players use, you will not be able to match their link popularity. Therefore, regardless of the effort you put into your optimisation, all these companies will rank ahead of you.

Analyse Your Keyword Competitiveness

One way to determine the competitiveness of a key word is to use a tool that evaluates how much companies are actually paying a PPC (Pay Per Click) for a visitor. I recommend using your Google AdWords account for this. Create a new ad campaign and add in your desired keywords and Google will give you a good idea of how much it will cost you to get your adds online. You can always cancel the creation of the new ad campaign after you have determined the competitiveness of each keyword.

When you search the internet through a search engine you use a word, or combination of words to find what you want. We refer to these as key words and key word phrases and terms. One of the most important assessments a spider makes is the amount of times specific phrases and words appear on your pages. This is what we call keyword density.

To successfully rank highly in the search engines, the words on your Web pages should never be an afterthought but a major investment in your search engine optimisation campaign.

As always, have a good look at your competitors and look at what key words and phrases they focus on.

  • Include your key word and phrase in your page title. 
  • Include your key word and phrase in your description 
  • Have a H1 heading at the top of the page that includes the key words and phrase. 
  • Include your key word and phrase several times throughout the body text. 
  • If possible link keywords to a relevant page.

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