Keywords - Choosing the Most Relevant

Keywords are the backbone to optimizing your web site for search engine visibility. These are the words that desired prospect visitors will use to search in the engines to find your site. Choose wisely.

As a rule of thumb, you should have at minimum eight keywords. Why eight? Well it used to be that Infoseek, now owned by the network, would not allow one keyword to be within seven words of itself. If your site had did, it would be disregarded. So if you choose eight keywords, you have a better chance of getting past the seven word distance rule. This is an old rule, but still wise to keep in mind as a 'just in case' factor. Additionally, having your top eight keywords will help you for optimizing your pages uniquely (see page optimization for more details).

Here are some steps to your top eight keywords:

  1. Brainstorm Session - write down every word that comes to mind when thinking of your web site's top related words to your business, your industry, its buyers and/or prospects (include the incorrect spellings of commonly misspelled words).
  2. Check your list against real online search results using one of the following methods:
    • Visit Google Keyword Suggestion Tool (best viewed in FireFox broweser). Type in the words from your brainstorm session to see how many visitors searched on those keywords the month prior.
    • Download RapidKeyword and find the same information from the Google Keyword Tool but with a lot more features.
  3. Throw out any "Stop Words". Click here for a list of "Stop Words".
  4. Use the numbers from the real online search results to determine which keywords make the eight and then rank them one through eight (one being the most searched word).

Search engines will index most all of your pages. If each page is optimized with different words, visitors will enter those pages instead of your home page. If your site has several different industries or sub-categories, I recommend finding eight different words for optimizing each page on your site uniquely. This will maximize your potential visitor reach and your search engine optimization in the organic (free) search results.


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