Nick O'Neill

My ramblings on entrepreneurship and online publishing.
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Choose Good Keywords to Optimize Your Site

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Currently, keywords are one of the primary factors in what your website shows up for in search engines (if it shows up at all). In order to optimize your content for search engines, and to get to the top of google, you will need to choose a few distinct keywords and work them into your content. Choosing good keywords for your website can be done through completing a few simple (yet very important) activities:

Step 1: List all possible keywords that you would like to have your site display for when searching in Google. Remember, the only reason for spending the time on search optimization is to reach your target market. Think of keywords that your target market will be searching for. Also, remember that it is easier to show up at the top of the search results for keywords that are more unique. For example, trying to come up as the top site for the word “dogs” is going to be extremely difficult if not impossible. Instead pick keyword phrases such as “how to train dogs”. Also, for each keyword, try picking a few mispellings. There is a useful tool that can be used for finding common keyword typos at SeoChat. For this exercise I will be optimizing my blog to the phrase “Webpreneur”.

Step 2: Do an analysis of the competitive landscape for each of the keywords you have selected. When doing a competitive analysis I suggest using a spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet. This will allow you to organize all of your research into one location and determine which keywords will be best to target. When doing a competitive analysis I suggest going through the following process:

  1. Search for each keyword in google and take a look at the top two results. Do the keywords show up in their URLs and/or page titles? If not, optimizing your site will be much easier.
  2. Get the pagerank for the url and for the site, using a tool such as the SEOChat Pagerank Lookup Tool
  3. Get the code to text ratio of each of the pages using a tool such as the SEOChat Code to Text Ratio Tool
  4. Check the link popularity of each of the pages using a tool such as the SEOChat Link Popularity Tool

Enter in the information you find from doing your research above into your spreadsheet. This information should be used to determine two things: 1) Do you want to invest the time into optimizing for this keyword, and 2) What are the values of the optimization factors that you need to mimic? (What I mean by optimization factors is: PageRank, link popularity, meta-tags, URLs, and page titles). If the competitor has a text/code ratio of 30% (30% text), you should mimic this and have a similar amount (or slightly more text). Same thing goes for link popularity, and pagerank. You need to be at least equal if not better for each of the variables.

Step 3: Narrow down your keyword list to 5 or 10 specific keywords. Remember, search engine optimization is a difficult and time consuming process. If you pick too many keywords you will be spreading yourself thin. Once you have selected your keywords it is time to move on to the next step.

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