Search Engine Optimisation is a buzz topic in the world of the Internet at the moment – big businesses are spending large amounts of money trying to get their sites listed at the top of search engines. There are several main factors that contribute to the search engine ranking of a website, such as age of the site, links and keywords. The easiest of these to manage on your site is keywords, because you have complete control over them. This article will take you through the process of choosing appropriate keywords for your site and including keywords in your copy.
The keywords that you place throughout your site need to be words that relate to what you are selling and would be used by your prospects when using search engines. It is important that you research the keywords for your site before you start using them to ensure that you choose the most effective ones. There are 6 steps to keyword research:
• Step 1 - Brainstorming
Sit down and think about all the words that describe your industry, business and the products and services you sell. It is important to think about it from the perspective of your prospects that will be using search engines to find your business. If you are having trouble coming up with keywords, browse through your competitors sites to see the words they use or use a thesaurus to find synonyms.
• Step 2 - Estimate numbers
Get a count for the keywords you have brainstormed using one of the keyword research tools listed below. These sites will give you the number of times that particular phrases have been searched for on the major search engines over a period of time. To keep track of all this research, you should create a spreadsheet with a column for the keywords, their results from each research tool and the overall average. Click here to download a spreadsheet that you can use for your research.
• Step 3 - Add expanded phrases and new terms
Add new terms that the keyword tools suggest that weren’t originally on your list. This will give your list even more depth and variety.
• Step 4 - Give the keywords a relevancy score
Once you have built your list of potential keywords go through each term and estimate what you think its relevancy is to your site [0% - 100%, with 0% being the least relevant keywords and 100% being the most relevant]. This will help you judge which words best relate to your website and therefore will be better to use.
• Step 5 - Estimate competition and difficulty
You can estimate the competition on certain keywords using tools such as Spyfu or KeyCompete. These tools will tell you how highly competitive a keyword is. Alternatively, you can search for your keywords on the main search engines like Google and Yahoo! and take note of the keywords used on the sites that rank highly. Then give each keyword a competitiveness percentage in your spreadsheet. The scale for this can be found in the spreadsheet template here.
• Step 6 - Choose the keywords you want to compete for
It is crucial to know each keyword's difficulty and competitiveness, as choosing competitive keywords will require more work, and will be much harder. Often, the greatest amount of value in search referrals comes from the "long tail" or rarely-searched, low volume keywords. It is suggested that you choose up to 10 keywords and focus on these to start with.
Search engine optimised copy
Once you have chosen your keywords, you need to place them throughout the copy on your website. This is so the search engine spiders can find it and rank your site when those words are searched for. Here are some hints on the most effective places within your copy to use your keywords:
• Ensure keywords are included in the title of each page you create
• Repeat your keywords near the top of each page as headings or use larger fonts
• Make sure the keywords are as close together as possible (if more than one word makes up your key phrase)
• Design your site with pages that don't have more than 300 - 500 words per page, with keywords repeated 3 - 6 times for every hundred words.
• Keywords should be repeated throughout the whole site, not just the individual page. Use links back to the home page with the keywords in if possible.
• At the bottom of each page, link to another part of your site using its keywords (eg: 'Click here to view our tennis shoe collection').
Taking the time to research keywords and add them to your site will make a big difference to your search engine optimisation. For even better results, you should work on increasing the backlinks to your website (link to kb). If you would like any assistance or further information about search engine optimisation, click here to visit our knowledge base, or contact us.
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