Keyword Basics – Content Marketing, SEO, Keywords

keyword basicsIf you have a website as a profit center or simply created for fun, you want to have visitors. You may not be able to sell a product or a service if no one knows about them. The question is, how visual is your website and how much exposure are you actually getting?

Here are some strategies that may help you to optimize your site for search engines. This process is called search engine optimization, or better known as SEO.

Search engine optimization is a set of techniques, tools and strategies that can be applied to your blog or website to attract the attention of the search engines. Search engines use software applications known as bots and spiders that scan or crawl websites looking for content that makes them relevant to the entered search parameters from online visitors.

Most web surfers are either not sure what they are looking for or they don’t know how to find it online. Web users rely on search engines to do the work for them. The words or phrases that visitors enter into the search fields are called keywords. If you use these same keywords in multiple places on your web site, the search engines will pick up these keywords as they crawl your web pages. The website owners who do their homework and apply optimization techniques will be effective at the top of the standings. But why is this important?

Studies have shown that about 60% of the people looking for a product or service will search the internet and usually click on one of the top 3 websites in the search results. In addition, most of these web seekers will click on the result in the number 1 ranked position. Therefore, if you happen to be one of the first three positions in the search results, you can expect to receive an increased amount of website traffic. Results showing at the 4th position or lower usually get less attention and will not see the clicks compared to the top 3 positions.

So the question is how do you get a site in the coveted top positions in the search engines? The answer to this question is beyond the scope of this article. However, there are many tools, strategies and resources available to help increase search engine ranking optimization for your site. But how do you decide which keywords to use?

First, you should think like a customer. If you search for information about something that is provided by your business or your website, which words would you want to use? This may be a short list, but it’s a start. Try typing in the keywords in the search box and the search engines will give you a list of related keywords below the search box. Make note of these keywords as they are highly searched terms that you can use.

Next, you can use an online keyword analysis tool for more ideas. There are programs like Google Adwords Keyword Tool that allow you to enter one keyword or phrase and generate a long list of keywords to choose from for your topic or niche. Other keyword tools are Wordtracker, Market Samurai, and many more are available online.

These keyword tools get their information and results from the search engines themselves so you are assured that you are getting real world results.

You can also make a list of keywords that are already existing on your site. Here are a few places to look:

Headlines (for articles and posts)
Anchor text (in-content links and ads)
Image Alt Tags
Pull-down menus

Keywords are an important part of search engine optimization and will help your site’s overall exposure. Your keywords give the search engines what they need in order to get your site ranked. More importantly, it will enable web visitors to locate your products and services. This will significantly increase your traffic and ultimately help turn your visitors into customers.