13 Sep Search engine optimization: What's the word?
Most effective search engine optimization (SEO) tactics have one thing in common: keywords. By anticipating the search terms used by customers and incorporating them into a web site, marketers can boost their site’s natural search engine ranking.
Obtaining a desirable search engine ranking requires good information about the keywords and keyword phrases that related to your website’s industry or topic. A good place to start is to examine the keyword density of pages in the website.
Keyword density is measured by the number of times a word appears on a page divided by the number of words on a page. Keyword density is used by search engines to help determine the rank of a web site for a given keyword.
One of the best ways to determine the keyword density of terms on your web site is to create a keyword cloud. A keyword cloud is a visual representation of a web page based on the way a search engine “sees it.” To generate your own keyword cloud, try one these free tools:
• Icon Interactive’s Keyword Cloud Tool generates a keyword cloud.
• SEO Tool’s keyword cloud generates a keyword cloud that includes phrases.
In a keyword cloud, some of the keywords that appear in your cloud are in larger fonts and some are in smaller fonts. The keywords in larger fonts have a higher “keyword density.” This means that they occur more frequently in that website. Popular search terms should be the largest words in your site’s keyword cloud.
It’s important to incorporate popular keywords and keyphrases on your site that potential customers will be using to find your site on search engines. The addition of new popular and highly relevant keywords will improve the ranking of your site in natural search engine results. To find keywords you may be overlooking, try these free tools.
• Icon Interactive’s Keyword Suggestion Toolhelp find keywords related to the words you enter and displays the popularity of the term.
• Adapt Keyword Finder Betaemails you a report of alternative keywords related to those you enter.
• Google Trends can be used to explore and compare the volume of queries over time, by city, regions, languages, etc.
Based on what you learn, you can rewrite pages to include popular and effective keyphrases throughout your site. Place keywords in the page title, headings, metatags, comment fields, “alt” tags, URL link text, and throughout the body of your web pages where a keyword or phrase is appropriate.
The trick is to improve density and placement of important keywords and keyphrases throughout the site without negatively affecting the content. Keywords need to be as specific as possible to each page. This ensures that people who find the site through search engines won’t be disappointed with the content they find.
Search engine optimization isn’t based on keywords alone. Importance is also a factor. “Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank,” according to Google, which uses its PageRank system to determine the best sites to displpay in natural search engine results.
“Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the page’s content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it’s a good match for your query.” An easy way to measure a site’s PageRank is to visit a site like checkpagerank.com
Google and other search engines reward sites that are linked from other popular and reputable sites. Sites linking to your site should have an equivalent or higher page rank. Text for incoming links should include keywords and phrases.
Incoming links that contain keywords within the text of a link also are viewed as more relevant than links without keywords. Links that use phrases like “click here” or “learn more” are less relevant. In addition, text links that only contain a company’s name aren’t relevant for keyword searches that leave out the name.
SEO is not about being highly ranked for every possible keyword or getting incoming links from every possible web site. It’s about being highly ranked for the right keywords and linked from the right kind of web sites.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. (WTN). WTN, LLC accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.