You’ve got a website up and going, but you’re wondering why you’re not getting significant numbers of visitors, nor ranking well on the search engines. One of the main points of reference in both cases is keyword selection. Here we take a look at some techniques you can use to determine which keywords will bring focused traffic to your site, as well as improving your position on the search engines.
You need to think from the point of view of the person searching. That person is going to enter two or three words most relevant to the information they’re trying to find. As an example case, we’ll use a website which sells gardening tools and garden products.
Here’s how the search engines index sites. The spiders ‘read’ the HTML portion of each of your pages and establish the relevancy of each page’s contents to a given search. The algorithms used are fairly intelligent, picking up on both terminology and related keyword phrases. For example, if one of your pages contains an article which describes how to plant bulbs and the various tools and techniques used in the process of planting bulbs, it’s likely that page will rank well.
In this case, good keyword selections might include ‘bulb planting tool’, ‘soil amendments’, ‘spring blooming bulbs’, ‘summer blooming bulbs’, ‘soil testing’, ‘bone meal’ and so on, with the main keyword phrase being ‘how to plant bulbs’. If you were the person searching for this information, the main keyword phrase would be the most logical starting point.
On the other hand, if you do a search on that keyword phrase and come up with millions of results, you’d want to refine and focus your keyword selection to a more specific, albeit narrower audience. Suppose the focus of the article is on planting cyclamen bulbs. The searcher is looking for information on planting a specific type of bulb and would be likely to include the name of that bulb in the search query. Thus, a keyword selection of ‘plant cyclamen bulbs’ as your main keyword phrase would have less competition in results and bring more visitors to your site who are more likely to buy. The related terms within the article would need to be relevant to the particular terminology, such as ‘winter blooming’ and perhaps named varieties. Other keyword selections for the article might include some of the gardening tools and fertilizers the cyclamen planter would need.
When working with keyword selection, you want to be careful to avoid what’s known as ‘keyword stuffing’, repeating the main keyword phrase over and over. Not only does the text no longer read naturally, but the search engines are wise to this tactic. Instead of improving your rankings, you may well be penalized, or not indexed at all!
It’s also best to optimize individual pages with ads and links which are relevant to the reader of that specific page. For example, alongside your article on planting cyclamen bulbs, you’d want to advertise tools, fertilizers and links to related articles on planting other types of bulbs or sites which sell cyclamen bulbs. Target your specific audience!
Keyword selection is important on every page of your site. Permeate your site with keywords and related terms that clearly defines the purpose of your website and stick with your subject area. Don’t be tempted to put up a banner ad for cell phones simply because you think everyone uses cell phones and a visitor might click through, bringing you a nice commission. This strategy only dilutes your relevancy in the search engines. However, a page of affiliate products, such as a select group of quality gardening books, will have the opposite effect and will probably make you some money, too.
Using good keyword selection techniques can do your business a world of good!