How to Use Keywords

Herman Drost

You have designed a beautiful web site and published it for the world to see and visit. You wait patiently, however there is either a trickle or no visitors at all and therefore no sales. You may be 1 of 4 web site owners that has not optimized your site with keywords for ranking in the search engines. You say you have inserted keywords in your site, but are they targeted keywords? Let’s take a deeper look at how to use keywords to optimize your site.

What Is A Keyword?
These are words or phrases which people would insert in a search engine to look for information contained in your site. The search engine spiders take those words and display the best sites that relate to that information. Depending on the popularity of the word, you may have a million or more web sites to choose from. Ideally your web site should appear in the top 20-30 sites displayed, to be included in the persons search. This would result in a continuous stream of visitors.

Targeting the Best Keywords
If your keywords are not tightly targeted to your site, you will dim your chances of being highly ranked in the search engines. Here’s what to do: Go to the overture suggestion tool or wordtacker and insert a word or phrase that one would search on for information on your site. Create a table (in MS Excel or MS Word) with 4 columns. Insert 200-300 words or phrases in the first column from the results of your suggestion tool. Use the second column to record the popularity of each word beside each word in the first column. The third column is to determine the competing sites for the words you have listed above.

Do a search on a few of the most popular search engines (is, for the words or phrases you have listed above. (i.e. if you do a search on for “Internet Marketing”, your reply will be: “Results 1 - 10 of about 3,280,000”). Enter this number in the third column for each searched word to determine its popularity. In the fourth column you can enter the results of the other 3 columns. Mark the words in this column that have a high number of searches but have low competition. Utilize these keywords or phrases in your site, so you won’t have to compete with the millions of other web pages. Now you have a list of targeted keywords or phrases that you can incorporate in your web site. Not all search engines use keywords to rank your site, however you have increased your chances for those that do. Doing keyword research can lead to a continuous flow of visitors to your site, and ultimately more sales.

Placing keywords strategically throughout your web pages will greatly improve your rankings in the search engines. Many sites, however, leave them out altogether so your site won't get ranked at all. Inserting too many keywords in your web pages or repeating them too often, will result in your site getting banned from the search engines. How do you sort all this out so you can effectively market your web site to the search engines? Let’s discuss where to place keywords, how many to use and some tips on what to avoid:

• Title Tag: This tag should contain your most important keyword phrase. Make the title interesting enough to grab the visitor's attention. Only use 5 to 6 words in your title with your most relevant keyword in the beginning.

• Description Meta Tag : The search engines often use this tag when they display the description of your web site in the search results. Try to make the description inviting for your visitors. The length should be less than 200 characters, including spaces.

• Keyword Meta Tag: This tag will contain a listing of your keywords and keyword phrases that are relevant to your page and enable a Search Engine to find you. Here are some things to remember: Don't use the same keyword more than 3 times. Use keywords that occur in your Title Tag and Description Tag. Use only 200 characters for all your keywords. Use different keywords for all your pages. Only use keywords that are relevant to your site. Use lower case letters. Use the single and plural forms of your keywords. Use commas or spaces between your keywords or keyword phrases.

• Heading Tags: These tags hold separate topics between paragraphs and range from H1, which is very large and bold to H6, which is very small and bold. Your page heading should contain your most important keywords or keyword phrase.

• Alt Tags: This tag is used to add text in place of the image. The user may have turned off reading the graphics to make the page load faster. Therefore he will read the ALT Tag text instead. Add short keyword rich text to your graphic links. Make sure the ALT text describes the link destination.

• Hypertext Links: Include your keywords or keyword phrase in your link text.

• Content: Search Engine spiders put more weight on keyword rich content that is higher up on the page rather than in the middle or lower sections. Insert your keywords and keyword phrases in your text at least three times.

• Types of Sites That Won't Get Indexed: Flash and Frame Sites will be avoided by the Search Engine’s spiders. Dynamic Pages (any web address that contains a question mark i.e. ASP, Perl, Cold Fusion), will usually not be indexed by the spiders. Likewise, any password protected pages will not be indexed either.

• Meta Tag Generators: These are tools that can be used to automatically generate your keywords. Here are some resources you can use, here, and here.

Consumers are 5 times more likely to purchase your products after seeing search engine listings versus banners. Implementing these strategies may not get you a number one ranking in the Search Engines, but you definitely have a distinct advantage over those Web Sites that have not done any optimizing.