Keywords, also known as search terms, are the words or phrases that people enter into search engines to find websites about or related to that term. To attract more visitors to your page, you need to know which keywords people are using to find similar websites, and optimize your website for these keywords. If a key search phrase is not in at least one of your pages, the search engine will not rank your page highly for that phrase, therefore you are missing out on all the potential traffic the search phrase generates.
To help achieve high ranking on search engines, you need to optimize the keyword content of your web pages. There are several different areas in your webpages where keywords should be placed, not just in the META KEYWORD tag. The keywords need to be used effectively throughout the site, and good rankings can be obtained without resorting to spammy techniques, such as listing keywords at the bottom of a page in a white font on a page with a white background.
Most search engines place a large emphasis on the actual text on a web page. As a result, the way that the text on a page is constructed plays an important role in determining the way engines index your site. When building a web site it is important to ensure that your pages contain as much relevant text as possible. Search engines gather keywords from your page contents, and rank your web page based on the keyword density. Keyword density is number of times a word or phrase is counted on a web page. The keywords can appear in the page title, links, content, descriptions and headings.
The Keyword Research section of the manual explains how to use the keyword tools to build up a list of keywords to implement into your site. The keyword research step of SEO needs to be repeated regularly to ensure that your site is consistently optimized for the most popular keywords.
Basic steps in keyword research:
- Make a list of the major (fundamental) words and phrases related to your business or subject. (You can add the keywords to a project in the Keyword manager)
- Search for these words in the Keyword manager or the Search term suggestion tool to obtain more related keywords. The Keyword discovery spell function can help find common keyword misspellings. Include both singular and plural terms and add local/geographical descriptions to help accurately target traffic. eg. Melbourne seafood restaurant
- Filter the new keywords. Remove any keywords that are not related to your business/subject or keywords that relate to products that you don't offer. Keywords with only a few searches may not be worth targeting, however single keywords that are very popular, may not end up producing much traffic due to the large amount of competition for the keyword. Most users begin searching with a single keyword, but gradually add more words to help refine the search results.(see the next step to help determine competition).
If you are gathering keywords for PPC, you should collect as many keywords as possible and look for long-tail keywords, which are keywords that don't have a large number of searches and are much less competitive. Otherwise you will tend to spend a large amount of money trying to outbid all your competitiors.
- Analyze the keywords. The Analyze function in the Keyword manager can display various metrics to help guage a keyword's effectiveness. The Seasonal trends graph can also help predict keyword traffic.
- Integrate the keywords into your website. The Site optimization section of the manual explains how and where to integrate the keywords.