Before I show you how to target the right keywords, you have to understand what the Internet is made up of.
The internet is basically an enormous disorganized library. There are millions of websites, with billions of webpages, and gazillions of links and bytes of text.
Search engines are like librarians. They both try to organize the content, so that people can find what they’re looking for, without too much effort.
With books, librarians have the benefit of bibliographic databases and the information on the book covers to help them organize their library.
Search engines don’t have such a luxury. There aren’t databases of every single webpage ever created. The internet is just too big, with too much information to index. And it’s growing so quickly that even the search engines can’t keep up.
The only way search engines can try to organize the mass of information available on the internet is by the use of keywords and hyperlinks.
It reasonable to conclude that if a webpage contains enough keywords related to a certain topic, and enough webpages “recommend it” (link to it) as a source of information for that particular topic, search engines will give it a high ranking.
Keywords are the most important element to achieving high search engine rankings. Before you scream "You are wrong!" let me explain my reasons for that statement.
Yes, keywords are by no means the only relevant factor in achieving high search engine rankings. Other factors such as link popularity, click through popularity, webpage age, webpage size, the number and quality of competing pages, and numerous other factors all contribute to a webpage's search engine ranking.
But if you study search engine optimization techniques, you will soon realize that the majority of the optimization strategies involve the keywords contained within a webpage, in one form or another.
Therefore, I think it is fair to say that keywords are the most important element to achieving high search engine rankings. After all, if a page had no text at all, there is nothing for a search engine to index.
The internet is mostly a textual medium. Yes, the internet does offer images, sound and multimedia. But apart from images, most search engines currently do not index these elements. Search engines concentrate on indexing text, simply because that is where the money is, I guess. The internet is an ocean of text, and search engines are simply made up of gazillions of bytes of text.
The main problem with web designers is as their job title suggests, they are designers, not marketers. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not trashing web designers. They do a terrific job. They are great at designing attractive looking sites, but not so good at designing search engine friendly websites.
This is why I highly recommend including a search engine optimization specialist in the design process. This person may be you.
Another problem for web designers is that they don’t know what keywords people search for when looking for products, services or information related to what the webpages offer. The variety of keywords used to search for the same product, service or information is quite staggering.
For example, here is a sample of popular keyword phrases used by people searching for information on search engine optimization:
You notice how many different variations people use to search for information on the same topic? And that’s not the entire list!
The fact is unless a page contains all of the keywords in a search query; it has no chance of appearing at the top of the rankings.
For example, “optimisation” is the English - as opposed to American - spelling of “optimization.” Unless you have that spelling in your site, you will lose out on all the English users who search for “search engine optimisation.”
So you see why it’s imperative that webpages must contain the keywords that people search for.
Before webpages can be optimized, you must conduct research to determine which keywords to target. This involves finding targeted keywords, determining their popularity, assessing the amount of competition, and then deciding which keywords to use in your webpages.
Luckily, there are a number of tools to help you find out what people are really searching for.