Choosing keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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The whole idea of On-page SEO is based on keywords and keyphrases. “Keywords” is the name usually given to the words or phrases that best describe your page content/purpose and best match the words people use when searching for your content. Keeping this idea in mind, what you need to do to get your website optimized for search engines is to pick one of the most searched words or phrases which best match the content of your page.

For example, if you have a web design company, a good keyphrase would be “Web design”, because hey! it’s the most searched keyphrase all over the Internet related to your content (5.000.000 searches a month). So anyone would think that this is the best idea, but actually it isn’t. A very often searched keyword is more likely to have a very large amount of competitors (everybody wants the jackpot), which means that you will need to work harder and spend more money in the rest of the optimization (which is sometimes virtually impossible).

Now, you may be wondering, how can I know how many searches a month does a keyword get? This kind of information is provided freely by some ad systems like Google Adwords and Yahoo Overture (among others). In this article I’ll use Google Adwords keywords tool which I believe is the best to work with.

The URL for Google’s tool is https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. There’s no need for registration, once you enter the page you can start searching for keywords. The tool usage is very simple, you just need to enter a term, for example “web design”, and fill the security code field. Once you submit the form, a list with searches related to your keywords shows up.

The resulting list will not only tell you how many searches a keyword gets on a monthly basis, but will also give you an idea of how many people may be targeting their optimization to that keyword (the more searches a keyword gets, the more optimized pages you will find). This is why you may not want to look at the top of the list. My advice is to pick up something with 1.000.000 searches a month or less (for the previous example, it could be “web design company”).

Besides, you can also use this list as a suggestion tool to pick up a more accurate keyword. For example, if you were looking for something like “web design” you may find that a more accurate keyword for your company would be “web design services”, just because “web design” is a very extensive topic that could go from tutorials to templates.

Lastly, take into account that search engines get cleverer everyday, so keywords shouldn’t look artificial anymore. This means that you shouldn’t repeat your keywords constantly all over the page. Instead you should make slight changes to the keywords so they keep saying the same thing but with different words. In the previous example, the variations could be: “website design”, “designing a website”, “design of websites”, etc.

Diego Ponce de Leon writing for the web directory WWRoute.com

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