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Choosing Keywords For Your Website

Posted by Jane on April 22nd, 2007

When first setting your website you want to be sure you start with the best foundations to come up on search engines.  The best way to do this is to set your blog up with the best possible keywords to bring the most amount of traffic (optimizing).  A keyword tool will be your best friend for this.  Once you’ve finished working with a keyword tool, look at the final list you came up with to determine how popular a keyword phrase actually is. You may find that many of your original terms are not worth bothering with. Don’t be surprised if you just throw them out the window.  Some people often have terms on their preliminary lists — the lists they put together without the use of a keyword tool — that are virtually never used (this is actually pretty normal for company websites especially). You’ll also find other terms near the top of the final list that you hadn’t thought about. Here is some food for thought to help you clean up your list.

Removing Ambiguous Terms

Scan through your list for ambiguous terms, keyword phrases that probably won’t do you any good for various reasons.

You missed the target- Take a look at your list to determine whether you have any words that may have multiple meanings to people. Sometimes you can spot these words or phrases out right away.  For example, you have a science blog and you try to use the keyword “cellular,” although it makes sense that you want people to search for the word “cellular” and think anatomy or science, but the reality is that the word “cellular” would probably bring up cellular phones as opposed to a scientific term.

Use a keyword tool to help you find some good phrases.  One I mentioned before is Overture (free and credible), but there are many others.  Wordtracker and Wordze (7.95 day trial and 35.00 a month) are other popular keyword research tools that many top bloggers and webmasters use for web sites.   The downside to sites like these is that you have to pay to use their services.  Wordze charges $35 a month and $7.95 for a day trial.  Although not too expensive, you can sign up, sit on your computer for half the day and get all your keyword research done for the one day trial price.  Once you earn money online, then it would be a wise investment to have.

Ambiguous Terms

You want to be sure to limit any ambiguous terms or phrases when promoting your site.  For instance, you want to promote a product designed for controlling fires. So one common phrase that comes up is “fire control system.” However, when doing a search on that phrase, most sites that turned up don’t promote products relating to stopping fires. Instead, they’re sites related to ”weapons-fire control.”

With this in mind, you don’t want to solely rely on systems such as wordtracker or wordze because they only tell you how often people search term or phrase. It’s even a pain to spot these terms even by searching to see what turns up when you use the phrase.

Very Broad Terms

Look at your list for terms that are broad and too general to help. You may be tempted to go after high-ranking words, but make sure that people are really searching for your products when they type in the word.

Suppose that your site is promoting online degrees in Computer Science. You discover that about 60 people search for this term each day, but approximately 1,500 people a day search on the term “Computer Science” specifically. Do you think many people searching on the term “Computer Science” are really looking for a degree? Hmmmm…probably not. Although the term generates 40,000 to 50,000 searches a month, few of these will be your targets. Here are a few reasons why you should pass on this term:

  • It’s probably a very competitive term, which means getting a high ranking on it will be difficult.
  • Use your time and effort focusing on another, more relevant term.
  • It’s difficult to optimize web pages for a whole bunch of search terms, so you may want to consider optimizing one term before trying a slough of them.

If you can implement some of the keyword-analysis procedures I’ve mentioned above, you’ll have a better perspective as to what your keyword landscape looks like. Unlike the majority of webmasters, you’ll have a good sense of how people are searching for your products and services.

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