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Keyword Research

Keyword Research

 

Keyword research is absolutely critical when devising your website’s search engine optimization campaign. If your site is filled with the wrong keywords, potential customers may never find your website online. Also, when the search engine bots crawl your site, they may not consider your site as one that should be highly ranked. Unfortunately, not having the proper keywords within your website results in low rankings and lost revenue. By targeting the wrong keywords, you not only jeopardize your advertising budget, you are also wasting all the time and energy you put into getting your site to rank for those terms to begin with. If you want your website to stay competitive, thorough and effective keyword research must be performed.

If you think that you already know which terms a customer would use to find your site, you could be completely wrong. Instead of loading your site with keywords that pertain to what you think someone would enter into the search engines to find your business, keyword research may reveal that the keyword terms are too narrowly focused. What is critical to research is how a paying customer would look for your type of business.

Further, you may be trying to compete for specific keyword search terms that have extremely high ranking. If you are a business leader who works for a small or mid-sized company, you may not have the resources necessary to devote to keyword optimization for highly ranked keywords. A better plan of action would be to discover which keyword search terms make sense for you to compete for to maximize your search engine optimization efforts.

Keyword Discovery

With our help, we can work with you to create a list of potential keywords for your website optimization campaign. Together, we’ll brainstorm all the words you think a customer would type into their search box when trying to find you. This includes thinking of keywords for your products and/or services that are broad as well as narrowly targeted, buying and research-oriented, and single and multi-word phrases.

Keyword Competitive Strategy

Next, we will determine the activity for each of your proposed keywords. Our goal is to narrow your list so that your site will have the most effective, sought-after phrases that will bring the qualified and highly targeted traffic to your site. We will show you how many users are conducting searches for each term every day, each word’s conversion rate, search volume, competition rate and other important analytical information. By defining the list of targeted, buying-oriented terms, your chances of maximizing conversions will dramatically increase.

Implementation of Keyword Optimization Within Your Website

Google recommends that keywords and keyword phrases are used four times within your website’s pages. Also, each page should contain at least four hundred words (four paragraphs with approximately one hundred words each) of content. The keyword or keyword phrase should be used once in each of the four paragraphs. If any of your website’s pages contain more than four hundred words, try not to use the keyword or keyword phrase more than a total of nine times. The content should be written so that a person of high-school age could comprehend the subject matter.  The text should be error-free, grammatically correct, and well organized. We will gladly help you structure or restructure the pages of your website and achieve maximum content management.

Keyword Optimization Within Your Website’s Programming Code

In addition to performing keyword research, discovering which keywords will drive the most targeted traffic to your website, writing optimized content for each page of your website and structuring the content of each page properly, there are fields within the programming code of your website that should not be overlooked. The fields which help the search engine bots crawl each page of your site to determine ranking are the:

Title Tag

Google’s “Good Practices for Page Title Tags”

• Accurately describe the page’s content – Choose a title that effectively communicates the

topic of the page’s content.

Avoid:

• choosing a title that has no relation to the content on the page

• using default or vague titles like “Untitled” or “New Page 1”

• Create unique title tags for each page – Each of your pages should ideally have a unique

title tag, which helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site.

Avoid:

• using a single title tag across all of your site’s pages or a large group of pages

• Use brief, but descriptive titles – Titles can be both short and informative. If the title is too

long, Google will show only a portion of it in the search result.

Avoid:

• using extremely lengthy titles that are unhelpful to users

• stuffing unneeded keywords in your title tags

Meta Description Tags

A page’s description meta tag gives Google and other search engines a summary of what the page is about. Whereas a page’s title may be a few words or a phrase, a page’s description meta tag might be a sentence or two or a short paragraph.

Description meta tags are important because Google might use them as snippets for your pages. Note that we say “might” because Google may choose to use a relevant section of your page’s visible text if it does a good job of matching up with a user’s query.

Goole’s “Good Practices for Description Meta Tags

• Accurately summarize the page’s content – Write a description that would both inform and

interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result.

Avoid:

• writing a description meta tag that has no relation to the content on the page

• using generic descriptions like “This is a webpage” or “Page about __________”

• filling the description with only keywords

• copy and pasting the entire content of the document into the description meta tag

• Use unique descriptions for each page – Having a different description meta tag for each page helps both users and Google, especially in searches where users may bring up multiple pages on your domain. If your site has thousands or even millions of pages, hand-crafting description meta tags probably isn’t feasible. In this case, you could automatically generate description meta tags based on each page’s content.

Avoid:

• using a single description meta tag across all of your site’s pages or a large group of pages

Heading Tags

Heading tags (not to be confused with the <head> HTML tag or HTTP headers) are used to present structure on the page to users. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>, the least important.

Google’s “Good Practices for Heading Tags

Imagine you’re writing an outline – Similar to writing an outline for a large paper, put some thought into what the main points and sub-points of the content on the page will be and decide where to use heading tags appropriately.

Avoid:

• placing text in heading tags that wouldn’t be helpful in defining the structure of the page

• using heading tags where other tags like <em> and <strong> may be more

appropriate

• erratically moving from one heading tag size to another

• Use headings sparingly across the page – Use heading tags where it makes sense. Too many heading tags on a page can make it hard for users to scan the content and determine where one topic ends and another begins.

Avoid:

• excessively using heading tags throughout the page

• putting all of the page’s text into a heading tag

• using heading tags only for styling text and not presenting structure

Alt Text for Images

Images may seem like a straightforward component of your site, but you can optimize your use of them. All images can have a distinct filename and “alt” attribute, both of which you should take advantage of.

The “alt” attribute allows you to specify alternative text for the image if it cannot be displayed for some reason.

Google’s Practices for Images

• Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text – Like many of the other parts of the page targeted for optimization, filenames and alt text (for ASCII languages) are best when they’re short, but descriptive.

Avoid:

• using generic filenames like “image1.jpg”, “pic.gif”, “1.jpg” when possible (some sites with thousands of images might consider automating the naming of images)

• writing extremely lengthy filenames

• stuffing keywords into alt text or copying and pasting entire sentences

• Supply alt text when using images as links – If you do decide to use an image as a link, filling out its alt text helps Google understand more about the page you’re linking to. Imagine that you’re writing anchor text for a text link.

Avoid:

• writing excessively long alt text that would be considered “spammy”

• using only image links for your site’s navigation

• Store images in a directory of their own – Instead of having image files spread out in numerous directories and subdirectories across your domain, consider consolidating your images into a single directory (e.g. brandonsbaseballcards.com/images/). This simplifies the path to your images.

Anchor Text/ Navigational Links

Creating descriptive categories and filenames for the documents on your website can not only help you keep your site better organized, but it could also lead to better crawling of your documents by search engines. Also, it can create easier, “friendlier” URLs for those that want to link to your content.

Visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs that contain few recognizable words.

Google’s “Good Practices for URL Structure”

• Use words in URLs – URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and are friendlier for visitors navigating your site. Visitors remember them better and might more willing to link to them.

Avoid:

• using lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs

• choosing generic page names like “page1.html”

• using excessive keywords like

“baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseballcards.htm”

• Create a simple directory structure – Use a directory structure that organizes your well and is easy for visitors to know where they’re at on your site. Try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL.

Avoid:

• having deep nesting of subdirectories like “…/dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/page.html”

• using directory names that have no relation to the content in them

To achieve the maximum benefit for your website search engine optimization campaign, keywords should be entered into each one of these fields described above and your site’s URL structure should be User friendly.

Please keep in mind that over time your keywords may need to be changed or updated to stay ahead of the competition. Further, when the content of a website is updated (properly) on a frequent basis, your site will achieve higher search engines rankings.

We’d be happy to perform keyword research, website optimization and content management for you, work together with your team in a collaborative effort, or train you and your staff how to do all of this yourselves.

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