March 1, 2012
Keyword optimization, better known as Keyword Research, is the researching, the analyzing, then the choosing of the most suitable keyword phrases for your content. Keyword research and optimization done right will create a funnel of qualified and targeted traffic back to your site from the search engine results pages (SERP’s).
Proper keyword optimization is the finding of those targeted and profitable keywords and keyword phrases that your potential visitors will enter into the search engine’s Search box, which will bring up the most relevant sites to a particular subject.
This process will play a large role in determining where you will land in the Search Engine Results Pages… it could mean the difference between not being found anywhere on the Web, or being the first site that users click on when performing a search.
This keyword optimization procedure is NOT a onetime thing…this is something that needs to be done each and every time you decide you want to bless the World with your brilliance of the written word.
Choosing the proper keywords for your site is absolutely critical for SEO… finding yourself within the search engine results pages (SERP’s) for keyword phrases that you are targeting isn’t too shabby either. However, proper keyword research and optimization is probably one of the most common areas overlooked by online marketers.
Overlooked Keyword Optimization & Research that Search Engines Use!
The whole purpose of the list below is to familiarize yourself with crucial optimization elements that are often overlooked by the average blogging professional, yet the search engines look for while crawling your site.
Best SEO Keyword Research Practices!
Let’s Start with the Long Tailed Keyword Phrase: Long tail keywords are a way of expanding on a core, generic word to be made into a more specific targeted keyword term. Example: A Generic Broad Keyword – “Knives”; a more targeted, Long Tail Keywords Phrase – “Handmade Damascus Knives.” What you have done here is narrowed down the visitors search by giving the specific information that you are offering for “Knives.”
Since the Google Panda Update was developed “to give people the most relevant answers to their queries,” it might be in your best interest to target keywords that are related specifically to your content. You might consider this your best method to find your main targeted keyword phrase suitable to your article topic.
You can use the Free Online SEO tools like the Google External Keyword Research tool to find the keywords that potential visitors will associate with the information you are offering.
Keyword Variations: This is just another way of saying that not each Internet searcher uses the same words to find information…you need to think like your visitors and create some different variations of your targeted keyword phrase adding words at the beginning, the end, the middle, etc.
Example of keyword variants from the above long tailed keyword phrase: “Custom Damascus Knives,” “Damascus Hunting Knives.” These types of keyword phrases you can put within your written content where it sounds right and makes sense.
Keyword Synonyms: Fairly self-explanatory… these are words that have similar meanings and the search engines are looking for word association within your content.
Keyword Stemming: This is the growth of one keyword phrase that is related to your website article by using suffixes, prefixes, or adding pluralization. This is another way of making one keyword phrase into many additional new keywords that you can use in your article.
Example: blog, blogs, blogger, blogger’s, blogging, weblog, weblogs… you get the idea!
Semantically Related or Relevant Keyword Phrases: The use of these relevant keyword phrases in your content will allow the search engines to determine relevancy by the subject matter, rather than keyword density. In the world of organic or the natural search, semantically related content refers to words that are connected thematically to a specific search query.
For example: Canon Cameras, Nikon Lenses, SLR, Zoom Lenses, Tripods, etc., can all be synonymous with the word Camera. Creating sentences and paragraphs using semantic keyword variations in your article can improve its relevancy score in the search engines’ ranking algorithms.
Best SEO On-Page Keyword Optimization Practices!
Let’s Start with the URL Structure: URL, which stands for Uniform Resource Locator, essentially is an address which is used to find your website pages. Without them there would be no means of navigating from one page to another.
Making your URL file names relevant to the content contained within the page is not only an important organization factor, but both search engines and your visitors associate the name of the page with the content that it contains. Just as it makes sense to have relevant keywords within your web page for the topic you are writing about, you should name the file URL after your main keyword phrase.
Your URL file name needs to contain only the keyword phrase that you are targeting. It does not need to be the full sentence of the main article headline… the shorter, the better!
Main Article Headline: Capture the visitors attention with a compelling and relevant headline in regards to their search, or lose them. You have less than 10 seconds to grab their attention before they move on. And, of course, you will want to place a keyword phrase describing your content within the article headline.
Keep in mind that your Article Headline is a brief summary of the content contained, it does not need to be more than 5 to 7 words long.
Image File Names: Image optimization is included in best SEO practices and will help aid in determining relevancy as spiders crawl your site. The best approach to this is to use the keyword phrase you have chosen for the file name. By optimizing your images with appropriate keyword phrases for your targeted topic, you will get the attention of the search engines and get better rankings for your topic keyword phrase.
Use Heading Tags to Show a Hierarchical: Use Header tags, the h1, h2, h3 tags to apply significance to topics on your page. Be sure to include keywords or keyword phrases within the heading tags if possible.
“The Header Tags help structure the content on your page semantically, and are useful for targeting the key topic of the page. The h1 tag should be similar to the Title Tag with some variation, and should serve as the overview of the content written. The h2 tags and subsequent tags can narrow the focus…make sure you use only one h1 tag for your article (usually the Article Headline), however repeated h2 and lower tags are acceptable.”
Keyword Prominence and Proximity: Prominence refers to how close to the beginning of the page’s Title, Headings, Meta description, including sentences or phrases, that your keyword or keyword phrase is placed. Proximity refers to how close two or more keywords are to one another… the best uses would be for the Long Tail Keyword Phrases.
Example for Proximity…if your keyword phrase was ‘Free Keyword Density Tool’, the search engines will judge the keywords proximity to each other as follows. Of course, the first example is the best:
“Visit our site for the Free Keyword Density Tool, you will love it!”
Or you could say “Visit our site for our Keyword Density Tool, you will love using it, and it’s free to use!”
While writing your materials, be sure to keep Prominence and Proximity in mind for proper keyword phrase placement within your content.
Cross-Linking Using Keywords: This is another element in the SEO structure that can be classified as important for organic SEO. Cross Linking is using anchor text (linkable wording) to navigate within your internal linking structure. Of course you can also use anchor text to navigate to outside sources.
During the creation of your article, if you happen to have mentioned something that relates to an article in another post, link to it…this will also help reduce your bounce rate and aid in user experience.
The Title Tag: Your title tag is quite possibly the most important element to pay attention to if you have an interest in raising your search-engine rankings for a particular keyword phrase. The search engine will use the wording contained within the title tag as the main determining factor for what the content is all about.
The Meta Description Tag: Even though it is not important to search engine rankings, it is extremely important in gaining user click-through from search engine result pages (SERPs). You should optimize each and every Meta Description tag on your web site because these description tags are part of the display information that visitors see when your site is listed in the search engine results pages.
Closing Comments for Keyword Optimization and Research!
THERE IS MORE… the majority of these Keyword Optimization processes are covered in greater detail in the following article “TOP 10 On-Page SEO Factors to NEVER Forget!” By performing these keyword optimization research and analysis processes each time you publish materials, you will eventually expand your keywords database to ultimately be effective for ranking your site for 100’s if not 1000’s of keyword phrases over time. Doing these techniques will allow your website to expand its main keyword phrase into an unlimited number of variations, which can help you gain more traffic.
John Engle, is a Search Engine Optimization Blogging Specialist Taking SEO by Storm! He Specialized in Keyword Research and Blog Post Optimization. If You are a Busy Entrepreneur that Would Rather Concentrate on What You Do Best, Leave the Keyword Research and Optimizing to an SEO Specialist, Hire John as Your Blog Manager and SEO guy.