How to Choose Keywords for Your Website

Whether you dive fully into SEO or just dabble a bit, keywords are a must for your website. They’re the key (get it) to people finding your website when they’re searching online. If they’re not properly targeted, they will lead the wrong people to your site, and keep the right ones away. Here are some tips for identifying and using the appropriate keywords for your website. The information is adapted from Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies, which I reviewed here last week.

Start Brainstorming

You know what you sell, and the type of person you consider your ideal customer. Start by thinking about the words that those people would search for to find your site.

  • What words would you use to find your own product?
  • Are there other terms for what you sell (i.e. someone might call a Jacuzzi a ‘hot tub’)?
  • Are there industry terms for my products?

Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, make a list of the words that come to mind. Don’t be afraid to make a long list; you’ll be whittling it down soon.

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Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies

I like reading about topics I’m weak in. For me, that’s the more technical side of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. So when I picked up the behemoth book, Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies, by Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza, I knew I’d learn a thing or two. This is actually 10 books in 1, which explains its 700+ pages. I recommend using it as a reference book and picking the sections you want to work on as you go.

If you’re new to using SEO as a way to be found by search engines, the first book, How Search Engines Work, will demystify SEO and the terms it uses. It’s not complicated, actually, and Clay and Esparza do a great job of breaking it down for newbies. If you’re ready to move on to more advanced tactics, read Keyword Strategy and Optimizing the Foundations. The authors provide the tools you need to see where your keywords currently rank, as well as determine what you can do to improve your search engine rankings.

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SEO Leader Webimax Secures New Funding

Webimax,  the nation’s #1 rated search engine optimization (SEO) company, announced some exciting news – the company was recently on the receiving end of an undisclosed amount of additional round of funding.

Kenneth C. Wisnefski, Founder and CEO of WebiMax, shares that their recent financing will mainly be used for expansion, and he also imparts more info about the company in this recent e-interview with Lead411:

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SEO Basics for Entrepreneurs

seo block
Image via Wikipedia

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, got a lot of buzz a few years ago. Webmasters lived and died by it. But is it still important or relevant?

You bet your business.

While the tactics may have changed a little (Google loves changing how its systems process data, so it keeps us on our toes), SEO is one of the biggest tools you have to get traffic to your website.

SEO 101

For the non-technical, SEO reflects how well your website ranks in search engine results. Let’s say you sell cupcakes in Oregon. Ideally, you’d like to be the top site listed when someone searches for “cupcakes Oregon.” That might not be the case if you don’t pay attention to the copy on your website. More on that later.

You can improve your search engine rankings by using keywords throughout your website. Keywords are the words you want people to search for to find your site. If you sell cupcakes only, you probably don’t want to mention “cookies” or “pies” on your site, as those aren’t keywords you want to be known for.

How to Improve Your Web Copy

Make a list of 10+ keywords that describe your business. Sticking with our “sweet” example, we might have:

  • Cupcakes in Oregon
  • Oregon bakery
  • Homemade cupcakes Portland
  • Portland cupcakes

For a business that only operates locally (as opposed to one with clients everywhere), that location will need to be part of the keyword. Your competition for appearing in a search for “cupcakes” alone is much fiercer, so stick with your local market.

After you have your list of keywords, make sure you’re using them in your copy. For instance, your About page would say, “A leading supplier of Portland cupcakes, Sweets n Stuff delivers homemade cupcakes Portland-wide.” See what I mean? Use the keywords as part of your copy.

If you get into the back-end of your website at all, you probably have something in your content management system (or WordPress) where you can set a title and description for each page. This is your opportunity to use those keywords again. The description is what will appear in a Google search, under the title. So make it good to entice people to click on your link:

Buy Fresh Organic Cupcakes in Portland

Choose from among many flavors, including vanilla, strawberry and chocolate cupcakes in Oregon at our organic cupcake bakery.

Other SEO Tricks

Okay, they’re not really tricks, but they will help you!

  • Change your content slightly every few months. No one likes a stagnant site, least of all search engines.
  • Add articles or blog posts using your keywords. Search engines love this.
  • When you add a hyperlink, set it over a keyword. “Cupcakes in Oregon” is better than “try our products.”
  • Read up on the latest SEO news and tips. They’re always changing.
  • Check your competitors’ sites to see what keywords they’re using.
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