June 12, 2007
The most important consideration in Search Engine Optimization or SEO is in your selection of the most appropriate keyword(s). Search engines operate on keywords and on how people use them to search for information on the Internet. Not choosing the right keywords means that your website has been condemned to the loser’s bin of unsearched sites. The only way to resurrect it then is to pay for traffic which can get very expensive. But choosing the right keyword means that you have a better chance of getting free or nearly free traffic.
There are three main considerations in determining the most appropriate keywords for your site. These are demand, supply and relatedness. All three need to be considered to ensure that your website finds its way into the Top10. Selection of your keyword can be based on your line of business or your interests or based on popular demand. You can use a service like WordTracker to keep you informed about the most popular keywords.
WordTracker will send you a free weekly report containing two tables of the most popular keywords over the past month and over the past 6 months. Once you narrow down to a key theme, you can then use Yahoo or a program such as “Good Keyword” to tell you how many searches there were for the selected word or phrase for the past month. In this instance there were 22,493 searches over the past month in Yahoo for the term ‘making money’. Based on experience, the figure from Yahoo probably represents only 10% of all demand for that term. That is, there is probably over 220,000 potential visitors to your website. That’s not a bad target to aim for.
To determine the level of supply, i.e. how many sites cater to that particular keyword, it is best to use the most popular search engine, Google. If you put the term ‘making money’ into the Google search box, it will return about 220 million entries. That is a lot of competition for the 220,000 potential visitors. The odds are not good. Even if the traffic was equally shared between all competing websites, you will have to share one visitor with a 1,000 websites. Clearly there must be other options. Fortunately, there are at least two approaches to get winning results, one is the long tail approach in using related keywords. The second approach is to aggregate a number of keywords to achieve some viable results.
The first option is to choose a related keyword that has a better demand-to-supply figure. This is the so called ‘long tail’ approach. Instead of the above ‘making money’ term, we could use ‘making money from home’ or ‘start making money today’ or some other term. The key requirement is to find a term that has low supply (competing web sites) but still enough demand (Google searches) to justify your effort.
The second option is to use a number of related keywords, one or more per page of your web site. Good Keywords can help you identify appropriate related keywords. These can then collectively attract a large enough volume of visitors to justify your effort. These can funnel the traffic to your resource page or to your main page which has the main keyword. This will boost the rankings of your main page and get you the volume of business that your efforts deserve.
Author: Ron Skruzny is a webmaster at http://www.criticalmass.biz dedicated to SEO. He also runs http://www.ourbestarticles.com, an article directory database.