A good position doesn't depend only on
your choice of keywords. It also depends on how well do you position
those keywords in your web page, and how many quality external pages
link to you. However, choosing the wrong keywords can throw off your
entire search engine optimization strategy, so you need to invest a few
hours and make sure you do it right.
Let's start with your homepage. Look at
it carefully and write down the words and phrases that best define your
site. Try to form two or three word phrases, since competition for
one-word keyphrases is fierce, and it is virtually impossible to get a
top position for them. That is why, from now on, we will talk about key
phrases, not keywords.
Once you have developed your list of
potential key phrases you are ready for the next step: to analyze the
demand and supply for those key phrases, and choose the best ones (those
with good demand and not enough supply).
We will first check the demand for your
selected key phrases. For this, we will go to Overture's Search Term
Overture is a popular pay-per-click
search engine (as we know, pay-per-click search engines are the only
ones that disclose keyword popularity for free). You will then type each
of the key phrases you selected, and see how many people search for
those terms. This tool will show you only those searches conducted in
Overture (and only in one month time). However, the relative popularity
of each search term will be very similar in other search engines as
In addition to telling you if your
selected key phrases are popular, this tool will show you other key
phrases that you may not have thought about, which may even be more
relevant to your site. For example, if your first key phrase was
"Italian Restaurant", the Search Term Suggestion Tool will also display
other popular search terms, like: "Gourmet Italian Restaurant",
"Northern Italian Restaurant", "Italian Restaurant Pizzeria", "Italian
Restaurant Miami", etc. You may also try other key phrases, for example:
"Italian Cuisine", and come up with more specific key phrases, like:
"Fine Italian Cuisine", "Italian Cuisine Miami", "Northern Italian
Cuisine", "Italian Cuisine Fine Dining", "Gourmet Italian Cuisine", etc.
What you have done is to validate and
enlarge your pool of popular, in-demand, potential key phrases for your
The next step is to check the supply,
or, in other words, to see how much competition there is for your
selected keywords. Naturally, you want to focus on key phrases where
competition is less fierce. For example, choosing "Italian Restaurant"
alone will certainly hurt you. There are so many of them that your
chances of showing up in an advantageous position within the search
results are pretty slim.
Having said that, get your list of key
phrases, go to Google (
http://www.google.com ) and type-in each of them in the search box.
Enter your key phrases within quotation marks (to filter-out less
relevant results), and see how many results each individual query
produces, making a note of those with a relatively small number of
results (less competition). You will stick with the key phrase that:
- Best describes the topic and content
of your page.
- Is a popular search term according to
Overture's Search Term Suggestion Tool.
- Generates a relatively small number
of results after performing the Google search.
If "Gourmet Italian Restaurant" is the
key phrase that best meets these three criteria, it will become your
primary key phrase. To get even better results, you can choose a second
key phrase to make your page more relevant to an even more specific
niche. For example, if your restaurant is in Miami, you can consider
"Miami" a second key phrase.
Once you have chosen the key phrases
for you homepage, do the same for the other pages on your site.
You will then take your selected key
phrases and optimize your pages heavily for them. This involves placing
them in strategic locations in the title, headings and body of each