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Keywords for Search Engine Success

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A website provides a shop window to the world for any company or organization, but no one will look through that window unless they know the site exists. Visitors will most often find your website through a search engine, and keywords are the secret of success in search engine ranking.

The words typed in during a search are known as keywords. When a user enters text in a search engine query, the text is matched against that used by the search engine to index the website. It follows then, that if you want people to find your website, you will have more success if the text on your website contains strong references to the text or keywords that form the search engine query. How do you know what the best keywords are to use on your site? There are three important principles you need to consider:

1. Keywords you use must match you website content and services. There is no benefit in attracting visitors to your website if they are tricked into visiting because you have used popular keywords that are irrelevant to your site. You will simply create bad feeling and alienate people. Use keywords that truly reflect the content and purpose of your website. Each page should be focused on a particular sub-topic, and the keywords used on that page should be focused on that content.

2. Keywords must reflect those used in search engine queries. How do you know what the relevant keywords are? There are a number of ways to find keywords. The simplest is to ask friends or colleagues what they would type in when searching on a particular topic. Try not to lead them by the words you use. Give the broadest topic term you can, and then re-focus if necessary. This simple approach will yield a first selection of terms. A more objective method for finding what keywords are used is to use statistics provided by search engines and other websites. Examples of these are the Google keywords tool that is available for free, and Wordtracker that has a subscription based service. These sites will show the range of keywords, some unexpected, that are associated with your topic. They will also give information on the frequency with which they are used, and the competition from other websites. The wider the range of keywords used, the more success you will have in attracting visitors. Ensure keywords or phrases are given individual pages where the content will be focused on them. Too many keywords on a page results in 'keyword dilution'.

3. Keywords should be those least used by competitor sites, thereby maximizing your chance of being higher in the search engine rankings. If your website is new and you are not a multinational company, it will be difficult to compete with large organizations on single-term, popular keywords. Instead, look for a niche market where you identify specialist, focused keywords and keyword phrases. Here you will attract people who are truly interested in your topics, and are more likely to buy from your website. You will also be found higher in search engine rankings than websites with non-focused keywords.

It can be seen that by incorporating a set of carefully researched keywords and content on your website, you will make your site relevant to a wider number of search engine queries. It is vital that you do not try to trick the search engines, or the visitors they provide. Build a website that is relevant to people's needs, fill it with good content interspersed with relevant keywords, and visitors will find your site and keep coming back.



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