SEO Tips: How to Increase Traffic With Keywords - Page 2

By James A. Martin
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Get Specific with Your Keywords

The more specific you can make your keyword phrase, the better your chances of ranking highly in searches for that phrase. This is especially important if you’re in a highly competitive field.

Take real estate, for instance. The generic keyword “real estate” recently had a Google KEI of just 0.09, according to Wordtracker. No fewer than 413 million pages in Google’s index used the keywords real estate—meaning your page about real estate is competing with 412,999,999 similar pages for eyeballs. It’s extremely unlikely, then, that your page will show up anywhere near the first few results pages of a Google search.

For best results, use keywords with a Wordtracker KEI of at least 100, said Thomas W. Petty, CEO of the Bay Area Search Engine Academy, which offers SEO workshops in Sacramento and San Francisco. A KEI rating of 400 or higher is even better, Petty said.

Taking the real estate example further, the phrase “commercial real estate logos” recently had a Google KEI of 2,921.00. While there are fewer people searching for that term, your chances of ranking highly in search results for that term are excellent.

Optimizing for this phrase is unlikely to help the average realtor, of course. But it could represent an untapped opportunity for a graphic artist who designs commercial real estate logos. In fact, some entrepreneurs get ideas for new businesses, products or services to launch just from studying KEI and performing other keyword competitiveness research.

Use Your Keywords Carefully

There isn’t any universally accepted formula for using keywords for SEO. However, most experts agree on these guidelines:

Focus on one keyword per page, along with a few variations. 

Place your keyword at the beginning of your Web page’s HTML title tag. The title tag is extremely important in telling search engines what a page is about. Don’t use the same title tag on all your Web pages, either. Instead, develop keyword-rich title tags that describe each page. Include a call to action, and explain a benefit of your product or service.

Use your page’s keyword again in the page’s HTML header tag, <h1>, and subhead tag, <h2>.

Place your keyword near or at the beginning of the page’s body copy. Sprinkle the keyword a few more times throughout the text. But don’t use a keyword in a way that appears gratuitous or unnatural when someone reads your page. You’ll turn off readers. And you could even get penalized by Google or other search engines.

Add the keyword to anchor text (the underlined word or phrase that appears in a clickable link). Too often, inexperienced Webmasters will use click here as the anchor text for a clickable link to, say, a blog post they wrote, said Joe Mancuso, search engine marketing expert at SEO Research. From an SEO standpoint, that’s a missed opportunity. One reason is that anchor text helps tell search engines what a page is about, which in turn helps the engines determine how relevant a page is to a particular query. 

Don’t Bother With Keyword Metatags

Metatags are information about a Web page that, in most cases, a site visitor doesn’t see. Many Webmasters have abused keyword metatags in hopes of boosting SEO. As a result, most search engines stopped taking metatags into account when determining page ranking. In fact, a recent Google blog post clearly stated the company’s position: “Our web search…disregards keyword metatags completely.”

Monitor Your Progress

Google Analytics is a free, easy-to-use tool that provides insights into where your site traffic comes from, the keywords that visitors to your site used to find you, and much more. It “provides more data on your site traffic than most small businesses will ever need,” said McGee.

“SEO is not something you set and forget,” McGee added. “It’s an ongoing, long-term process. You have to stay on top of it, keep track of it and learn what works and what doesn’t.”

James A. Martin is the co-author ofGetting Organized in the Google Era. He writes about SEO and helps businesses optimize their sites for search engines.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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This article was originally published on October 07, 2009
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