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Search engine optimisation with website keywords

Google Analytics Graph

What is keyword research?

Keyword research is one of if not the most important activities in you can do to drive traffic to your website.  By doing your homework when it comes to keywords you can learn a lot about phrases and words your target market search for which in turn can help you create content they are more likely to find and ultimately generate more interest in your business.

Identifying Relevant Keywords

You can use the free keyword research tools mentioned later in this post to search for keywords, but how do you know what keywords are relevant? Ask yourself these questions when trying to identify keywords and phrases:

  • How relevant is the term to your product, service or content?
  • How likely is it someone searching for the term will perform the desired action when they get to your site i.e. buy a product?
  • Will people searching for this term leave your website having not found what they are looking for?

Competitor Analysis

It is worth looking at your competitors website's to see what keywords they are targeting and niches they may not be targeting. Google Adwords and SEOmoz's Term Extractor lets you enter in a website URL and suggests keywords based on it, this can be very useful for competitor analysis.

Free Keyword Research Tools

Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Although this tool is aimed at AdWords it is an excellent way to visualise how many people have searched for a keyword or phrase over the last year. You can throw multiple keywords at Google AdWords at once and compare them to see what keywords may be best to target.

Google Trends

This allows you to compare multiple search terms against each other to see how popular each search term is over time and by country. This gives you the chance to see how the different seasons can affect your search results.

I have identified the keywords now what?

Once you have identified your keywords you want to integrate them into your websites content.  This includes headings (h1, h2, h3 HTML tags), the title tag (look in the top left corner of the browser to see the title tag for a given page), link text, image alt text and normal page content.

Try to have a page per keyword/phrase instead of trying to fit all the keywords into one page, remember to write your content for people not search engines.

External links (links linking to your website) are an important factor to getting a good Google rank and those links should contain your keywords. It is not easy getting people to link to you, you can be sneaky about it and pay people to link to you (amount other things) but Google doesn't look well on sneaky people, if it doesn't feel right it probably isn't. The best way of getting traffic to your site is to provide content that people find useful and will want to link to.

Hopefully this has given you a little insight into how to make keywords work for you to get you a better search engine rank.

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