In part one of this SEO guide for beginners, we discussed how search engines crawl your website to look for key words and phrases that they can use to rate the relevance of your site for searchers. Today, we are going to talk about these important words and phrases in more detail, and see how to get the right keywords for your website. This is called keyword optimization.
Every day, billions of searches are performed by people who browse the Internet for the information they seek. In order to ensure your site ranks as high as it can you need to identify and target a set of specific keywords for your site. Ideally, each page of your website should focus on 2 or 3 keywords that are directly related to your business.
How do you choose these keywords? Start by thinking about the words or phrases that people might use to find a website like yours, and make a list of the 15 to 25 that you would consider to be most relevant to your business. So, let’s say that you have an online office supply store. You may come up with things like office supplies, discount office furniture, office supplies online, office paper products, office machines, and so forth.
The next thing you need to do is take your list of ideas, and head over to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. This online search portal is a great resource for keyword optimization because it is Google’s own record of the keyword phrases that people are using every day when they search for information on its website. At the top of the page, there is a space for you to enter the keywords that we talked about above. Once you have those entered, click Search.
The list of keywords that this generates will most likely be very long to start with, but it contains some crucial information. It has a list of keywords people are using on Google, the number of searches the phrase receives globally, (and in the country you currently reside), and perhaps most importantly, the amount of competition each term generates.
Keywords that have a high level of competition are going to be tough for your site to compete against. So instead, look for keywords that have a healthy number of searches each month, but a low competition rating. This will give you the best chance of ranking higher with Google, and other search engines.
If you target these keywords by including them on your website’s pages, then you have already taken the first important step towards optimizing your site for the web. Just don’t go crazy. Keyword stuffing – the process of overfilling a page with a given keyword to try and rank higher for that term – is frowned upon by Google, and will lead to your site’s relevance being downgraded by the Google gods.
So, now that you know how to get the right keywords for your website, you are ready to move on to the intriguing world of meta tags, and we’ll tell you all you need to know in part three of our SEO Beginner’s Guide. Stay tuned!