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You Have the Keywords, You Have the Website, but Do You Have the Strategy?

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Author: Mark Nenadic

When you're a webmaster who cares a lot about the quality of your websites, you put a great deal of time and effort into them to make sure that they're absolutely perfect. The odds are that this includes a complete search engine optimization strategy, which has to do with placing the right keywords into your content the right number of times.

Of course, the first thing you need to accomplish this is to have the right keywords. Not as easy as it may sound at first. There are many different elements that need to be considered when you're coming up with your search engine optimizing keywords.

Keywords, the words and phrases that people type into the search field of a directory or search engine to find websites on the internet, should be scattered periodically through every page of your website. However, knowing what words to use is only the start of things. You'll also need to consider:

How many different keywords you should be using for each web page.

What your keywords say about your business, and if they would realistically be used by someone searching for your site.

How many keyword phrases should be used in any given web page.

What are your word phrases and how have you separated them from your keywords.

To begin with, you need to truly understand keywords in order to use them properly. A keyword is a word that is used to describe your website and would therefore be used when searching for your site. Similarly, keyword phrases, or key phrases are groups of words that are used to describe your website.

For those web designers who have been designing for a while, keywords are the words that you used to use for creating meta tags back when meta tags still had any real application.

Your keywords should not only be search words, but should also be a good reflection of the content of your website. They shouldn't simply be random words that in no way relate to your site and what it represents. Even if you think that these keywords would generate a lot of traffic, if they do not lead to a site that has to do with what they imply, then the traffic they generate will be useless; the visitors won't stick around long enough to even see the color of your background. In fact, if your keywords have nothing to do with the content of your site, then you'll likely find that your search engine ranking falls quite dramatically, instead of rising or maintaining its position.

The number of keywords and key phrases used in each of your web pages should never exceed twenty one or twenty two uses. You can use two keywords or key phrases in one web page, but just make certain that your combined use of the two of them does not exceed twenty one or twenty two times. Also, make sure that your content is substantial enough to support the high number of keyword uses. It's useless to use keywords over and over if they make up too much of the content as a whole. Most search engines will ignore any page that uses its keywords more than 22 times and that has a keyword density that is too high.

Key phrases can be rather tricky to use, since they are made up of more than one word. For example, if you use the words "computer sales", that is a keyword phrase. This should be used with care, because if you use the individual words "computer" and "sales" too many times in addition to the key phrase, you might inadvertently run your total number of uses up over the maximum limit.

Therefore, when using key phrases, be aware of the individual words that make them up, and do a count of those words when you're done writing your content to make sure that you haven't used your words so many times that the search engines won't consider them anymore.

Finally, make sure that your keywords fit well within the content of your web pages. Don't just use the words to get them in there. They need to suit the sentence, or the content will be extremely unprofessional and unappealing to the visitors who actually find the page and are attempting to read it. The last thing you want to do is to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the visitors who have actually found your site and want to use what it has to offer.

Copyright 2006 Mark Nenadic

About the author:

Mark Nenadic is the director and face behind FifteenDegrees-North, where you will find articles and resources to help with SEO, marketing and Web design.

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