Keyword Optimization – What you Need to Know

Keywords form the basics of any internet search. A user visits a search engine, types in a few keywords relating to whatever information they want to know, and the search engine returns results in the order that it deems most appropriate.

Now, the question is, how do you make it so that when a (potential) customer is looking for information about your product, they find your site among the top returns on the site.

The answer lies in keyword optimization.

Keyword Selection
Keyword optimization begins by selecting the keywords you want to optimize your size for. Keyword selection is an incredibly detailed process, and books could be (and have been) written on it. We’ll take a very brief look at it here.
Begin your selection process by looking at your site, and thinking of a few good descriptive words and phrases for each page. These should describe the contents of the page, and should be phrases that you would type into a search engine hoping to get to the information on your site.

Once you’ve selected these, you a keyword selection tool like Overture or WordTracker to give you more ideas about how often your terms are searched for. If you have some really common words on your list, you’ll probably want to drop them for less popular words. Pages outside of the top 10 rankings don’t really get looked at.
Thus it’s much better to be top-ranked for an uncommon keyword than bottom-ranked for a very common keyword.

Optimization for Search Engines
Once you’ve selected your keywords, you need to know where to place them on your site for optimal response. The Title, Heading 1, and Heading 2 sections of the page carry the most weight as far as search engines are concerned. So make sure to put your target keywords in those slots.

However, make sure that you’re writing for your users as well as the search engine crawlers. One of the most difficult parts of SEO is making titles that both incorporate keywords, and make sense to readers.

Content Generation
The third step toward the keyword optimization of your site is keyword-based content generation. This is where the waters get a little bit murkier, as search engines do not reveal their specific crawler algorithms. There are a number of things we do know though.

First, you should be using the relevant keywords at least a few times. However, this is a fine line to walk. In the past, there was a lot of talk about keyword density. It’s more generally accepted now that if you write a 500-word article, you should be able to drop in the target keyword 3 or 4 times. What’s more important though, is the quality of the information.
Search engines are getting more sophisticated, and they’re getting better at determining if content is well written. Moreover, they’re getting extremely apt at indirectly reading whether an article is well-written. Search engines understand that if an article is well-written, it will be linked to and shared via social media. Thus links and sharing are weighted quite highly.

On the other hand, if the search engine determines that your content is poorly written, the number of times that it incorporates your target keywords will not matter, as your rankings will be negatively affected.

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