This blog post was originally posted on December 30th, 2009 and has been restored for historic purposes. The information in this blog post is very much out of date!
Find below an easy three step program to select killer keywords for your website.
1. How to Find the Best Keywords or Search Terms
Firstly, find out what your competitors think are good keywords for your industry class or product type. They may be completely wrong, but it is worth checking and it only takes a few moments. Here’s how…
- Go to three of your closest competitor sites
- On the homepage go View > Source
- Look for two lines of code at the top of the page that look like <meta name=”description”… and <meta name=”keywords”…
- Make a short list of search terms you think are worthwhile
Now, go and test your short list of these keywords on www.keyworddiscovery.com. You will need an account to get basic results.
The example below is for the keywords “real estate”. Note how “las vegas real estate” is the second most searched on term with “real estate” in it. Who would have guessed?
Recap: looking at your competitor’s web sites and using a keyword discovery tool has a single purpose: to get real about what people are actually searching on. NOT what you think they are searching on, but what they are actually searching on. It is a litmus test. You are looking for synonyms to your search phrases.
Tip: the keywords you choose are not in fact words, but phrases. There are too many web pages that conform to a single word so people search using phrases.
2. How do I Add my Killer Keywords to My Web Site?
Much has been written on this topic, so what follows are broad principles and not specific instructions.
So, you have your shortlist of keyword phrases and you now need to work them into your web site in such a way as to make it 200% clear to search engines what your site is all about.
The thumbnail above expands to a full size screenshot. Note the the little flame icons. They show that:
- The <title> tag is glowing white hot. If you only do one thing, make sure each page of your web site has keywords in the title tag specific to that page. Many webpages are listed as “Untitled” in search engine results. These sites are missing the single biggest opportunity they have to present keywords phrases.
- The first link on your homepage is also burning hot for search engines. Try to include at least one keyword in it.
- The first main heading on your page (H1 or H2 tags) is burning hot. Tell those search engines what the page is about.
- The first para on the page is the one that introduces the subject of the page. It is cooler, but still very important. Add your keywords to it.
- Likewise, the closing para sums up the page. Put your keywords in it.
Recap: What does all this mean? It means that there are some parts of your page that are scrutinised more closely than others. Use this logic to present your keywords to search engines.
Tip:you are looking for 5% (not more) keyword density on your chosen phrase(s). Use www.keyworddensity.com to calculate your keyword density in relation to your competitor’s sites.
Tip 2: make sure your page is comprised of valid hypertext mark up. Go to http://validator.w3.org to make sure.
Tips 3:if your site is made with frames, get a web designer to rewrite it with tables or divs and css. Frames are old and out moded.
3. Evaluation: well, did it work?
To evaluate the success of the work above you need a ranking report. A ranking report takes your web address and chosen keyword phrase(s) and looks for your position or “ranking” on search engines.
There are free tools that do this like http://www.selfseo.com/serp_check.php but they tend to be blunt and not very helpful. If Dynamic Web Solutions made your web site, it is likely that we are submitting it to search engines and can give you a free emailed report of your search engine ranking on the leading search engines.
See a sample below (click to enlarge).
- Compile a short list of keyword phrases you are going to target after researching competitor sites and using reverse look up tools like Keyword Discovery
- Work these keyword phrases into strategic parts of your web pages
- Review with ranking reports at 12 week intervals
If you have done the above, you will be clear what your objective is and you will have a subjective means of evaluating your progress.