When it comes to the success of digital marketing Lookout Kentucky and finding new customers via the web, keyword optimization is one of the most important tools you can bet on. Keyword optimization or keyword research is the act of researching, analysing and selecting the best word or concept of great significance to your product, services or campaign in order to target and drive traffic from search engines such as Google to your website and other digital platforms.
Getting your website or blog on the first page of search engines can be a daunting task if you do not understand the fundamentals of optimization.
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It is very essential that the word you choose as the keyword is broad enough for lot of people to search for on the internet, but narrow enough that you have a decent chance of getting a high search rank for it on the search engines and results.
For example, the word “shoe” is way too general. However, “Where can I find cheap shoes online” is a pretty good one. Similarly, the word “Europe” is way too general and Wiki sites will normally dominate these top spots. So, “the best holiday destination in Europe” is a much better phrase to focus on.
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SEO can be a confusing venture for most people. Even many so-called-experts can have a difficult time keeping a website at the top of the search engines.
First... the search engines are constantly changing their algorithms in an effort to bring you the most relevant website listings for your search query. Search engines also change their algorithms to stay ahead of the dishonest companies that quickly learn how to manipulate the search results.
As soon as the search engines change the way they list websites, there are unscrupulous people who go right to work trying to figure out how to cheat the system.
These people are using what's known as "Black Hat SEO" and if you are trying to run a legitimate website, stay away from them at all cost! Sure your website will get a high listing rather quickly using black hat techniques, but as soon as the search engines figure out what you're doing, they will likely ban your website from their listings altogether (forever). And sooner or later, they will figure it out.
Second... There's a lot of misnomers about what's more important when it comes to SEO. Some so called SEO gurus will have you believe page rank is the most important thing when it comes to search engine listings. This is simply not true.
Page rank (or Google PR) is one important factor when it comes to ranking a site for the search engines, but SERPs (or Search Engine Results Page) is what really counts.
"Page Rank" is Google's way of putting a number to the authority of a site. If they believe your site is important, they'll give you a higher PR.
But it doesn't mean the authority of your site will get you indexed for you main keywords.
There are thousands, perhaps even millions, of websites that have a low page rank, but are listed on the first page of the major search engines (including Google), for some top keywords. By contrast, there are just as many high PR ranking web pages, that are buried in "no mans land" when it comes to the search engines (including Google).
Also, the other major search engines (Yahoo, MSN, Bing, and hundreds of smaller search engines) don't really care about your "Google Page Rank" at all. They only care about giving their visitors relevant search results.
So ask yourself this... would you rather have a low Google PR of 1 or 2, and be listed on the first page of the search results? Or would you rather have a high PR of 5 or 6, and be listed on the tenth page of the search results, where no one will ever find you..? I think the answer is obvious.
One of the websites I built for my other online business, hasn't had a Google PR of more than 2 for the last 4 years (since it's been live on the internet). But it has been on the first page of ALL major search engines (for my main keywords) for 3 1/2 of those 4 years. I'll take the low PR and keep the high listing any day of the week.
What about this "Alexa Rank" I've heard about?
Alexa rank is supposed to be an indication of how much traffic a website gets. The lower the number... the more visitors a website is getting. If your Alexa rank is 50,000 it's supposed to mean (out of the millions of websites on the internet) your site is the 50,000th most popular site there is.
If your site has an Alexa rank of 2,000,000 then your site is only the 2,000,000th most popular site on the internet.
But here's the truth... Alexa ranking is NOT an acurate measure! It only registers websites that are visited by people who have the Alexa toolbar installed in their browsers (mostly SEO companies and web developers) So it doesn't count actual visitors to a website.
Here's a statistic that proved this fact to me...
I currently have a dozen websites I maintain, and I regularly check the traffic stats on all of them (like every good webmaster should)
One of my sites has an Alexa ranking of 171,246 (pretty good... right?) Another has an Alexa rank of 4,276,996 (which is lousy) But according to my analyzing stats (I cross reference Google Analytics with AWstats and a couple other programs, to get a more accurate statistic) The one with the better Alexa rank is only getting around 40 to 50 visitors a day, but the one with the worse Alexa rank is seeing over 400 visitors a day.
What does this tell us?
It tells us the one with the higher rank is being visited by a few people who have the Alexa toolbar installed (and the toolbar is sending stats back to Alexa) But the site that's actually doing better is being visited by real people who don't find it necessary to have Alexa monitor their browsing habits.
A lot of SEO companies will use the Alexa rank to show their customers "proof" that they're earning their money. ("see, your Alexa rank has gone up... so keep paying me") But remember this... Alexa rank is NO indication of how well a website is actually doing!
So, what gets your website listed on the first couple pages of the search engines? In a word... "Relevant Content" (O.K. in 2 words)
Search engines are only concerned with showing relevant search results for a persons "keyword search query". Search engines make their money by showing their advertisements to as many people as possible, and having as many people as possible clicking on those sponsored listings.
If their search results are useless to their visitors, people will stop using their search engines, and start using a different search engine. No visitors... no revenue for the search engine.
So while there are a number of important techniques you need to use for a higher search listing (back links, internal linking, proper meta tags and keyword percentage, to name a few) Remember... relevant content is king! And as the search engines become more sophisticated, relevant content on your website will only continue to become more important.
There are also many other factors that play a role in getting your website listed at the top of the search engines. It takes consistent effort and continual learning to keep up with the ever changing algorithms of the search engines, and a quality SEO person (or company) will continue to learn and keep up with the changes.
But remember... there are no "secret" methods for getting a high search engine listing. If you're talking with an SEO company, and they won't tell you their methods for increasing your website's listing (because they say it's "proprietary information") then I recommend immediately finding someone else to talk with about your website's SEO.
A quality (and honest) SEO company should have no problem telling you what methods they will use to increase your website's exposure on the search engines. So before you give anyone (or any company) your money, there are a few questions you should ask them first...
9 Important questions to ask your SEO company BEFORE you hire them!
And yes, SEO is something you can effectively do yourself, but it does take a lot of time and effort, and most business owners have better things to spend their time on. That's why you hire an SEO company... to do the work for you. They provide a service, and you pay them for that service.
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The success of a Website is dependent on the quality and quantity of its content. The content of web pages should be structured around keywords.
Google has this week - July 20th 2008 - enhanced its free keyword research tool to include numerical data. This tool previously employed horizontal bar charts to show only relative frequency of searches. Both averaged monthly numbers over the last year and latest month figures are displayed. This numerical data can be downloaded into a spreadsheet where further information, such as competition counts and keyword popularity index (KEI), can be added/calculated with other sources. This is a timely replacement for Yahoo's once popular free keyword research tool - inventory.overture.com which became unreliable, was last updated in January 2007 and has recently been withdrawn.
Keyword research is the art of uncovering and selecting good keywords for your web site and keyword research tools are designed to identify those best keywords that have the potential to attract targeted visitors. The aim of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase targeted web site traffic.
The top five search engines (SEs) - Google (53%), Yahoo (19.9%), MSN (12.9%), AOL (5.6%) and Ask (1.7%) provide 93.7% of global searches. About 80% of visitors to web sites arrive from SEs. Keyword research tools provide access to SE logs. Ideally, search engine optimizers would have access to all this data but no keyword research tool can accurately identify every search conducted for a given keyword.
The new problem for commercial keyword research tools is that they use databases that are tiny compared to that of Google. Wordtracker, for example, one of the most popular subscription keyword research tools, acquires search engine data from two meta search engines viz. DogPile.com and MetaCrawler.com. Although a meta search engine, such as MetaCrawler.com may display results obtained from sources including Google, MSN, and Yahoo, its database is confined to its own search data. A search today for "life expectancy" on Wordtracker gave a count of 171 compared to 550,000 on Google. Furthermore, the data included by Wordtracker is from the last 90 - 100 days compared to Google's monthly figures. One can calculate that for every 9,000 searches on Google for this keyword there is only one search on the combined Dogpile.com and MetaCrawler.com.
"The long tail" is a concept that has been working its way recently through the SEO community. The principle of the long tail keywords is the opposite of concentrating on the top short tail keywords. Long tail keywords are the thousands of keywords and key phrases that send the majority of traffic from the search engines to web sites.
Those that focus solely on the top 10-20 popular keywords may be missing out on most of the potential traffic. There is opportunity here for search engine optimizers. An analysis of the latest 250,000 referrals from the search engines to my website 2womenshealth.com, showed that my top performing keyword provided 4341 visitors. 24 keywords were individually responsible for more than 100 referrals with a total of 20,728 visitors. 1315 keywords each with less than 100 referrals accounted for 229,272 (91.7%).
Competition for short tail keywords is enormous. There were 56,600,000 searches on Google for "vacations" last month. Unless you have an enormous web site such as Wikipedia.com (more than a million pages), there is no point in optimizing a web page for such a popular keyword. The competition is 115 million pages! Unless your page can be found in the top 20-30 positions on the search engine results pages (SERPs), it will receive no visitors from the search engines. The new Google Keyword Tool shows us that the long tail keyword "vacation review" had 9,900 searches last month and there are just 39,000 competitor pages. Successful search engine optimization for this keyword is more achievable.
It is possible with the newly enhanced Google Research Tool, to start with narrow searches of perhaps just one word, find related combination phrases or synonyms and gradually drill down to provide good long tail keywords. This tool provides the largest database available for the purpose and is a long-awaited addition for search engine optimizers. Enthusiasts now have access to an enormous supply of niche keywords previously beyond their wildest dreams.