If you want to start at the beginning of this series on creating a successful SEO strategy, click here. Links to the other chapters are at the bottom of this post.
You will read a lot about keywords if you are trying to learn how to optimize your website. I want to make this simple for you. I’m only going to suggest one tool to use; the Google Keywords Tool. The tool is meant for adwords users for their pay per click advertising, but what it does for you is help you to understand how Google applies Latent semantic indexing to search.
I know that sounds technical and I also know that some may not agree with me on this method. But I have had success applying it to client websites and the results warrant continuing to do the same. 🙂
In the past, you picked a key phrase you wanted a page to rank for and you used that exact phrase several times on the page. It was repetitive and not always appealing to the person reading it. Some SEO Content Writers still do this. It is no longer an effective method of optimization.
Why? I’m so glad you asked. Spammers were building websites that contained all latin text. Then they would pepper the page with the key phrase they wanted to rank for. They knew that people who landed there would not find what they were looking for and would then click the adsense or yahoo publisher ads on the page earning them money.
Google on the other hand wants you to find what you are searching for and not these spammer websites. So, for a time Google put heavier weight on inbound links than on content to avoid these spammer pages from ranking well because people don’t link to them.
However, Google worked on their ability to crawl and index content. Their bots needed a method to verify that a page containing that main key phrase was really about that topic. Google is now very effective at indexing content and verifying its’ relevance to the key phrase you are optimizing for.
They did it by having the bot also search for related keywords and phrases on the page. So, if you want to optimize a page for green widgets, you need to go to the Google keywords tool and type in green widgets.
When I did this, Google gave me a list of key phrases;
green day widget
go green widget
go green widgets
lil green patch
Other topics would have produced a longer list, but this will do for now.
Note that green widgets and green widget are two different search terms so both the singular and the plural should be used on your web page.
When you target green widgets or green widget, you are already targeting widget and widgets.
The other phrases relate to a widget for a particular organization or topic that would not be related to selling green widgets, so you would ignore them.
If the list was longer, it would have included other variations of your target key phrase. You need to choose the ones that actually apply to your topic. You need to focus on key phrases that a buyer would type into a search engine.
If my website ranks well for the term SEO, then everyone who wants to know something about SEO would find my website. It would not necessarily give me a very high conversion rate.
If my website ranks well for SEO company, SEO services, SEO prices, Video SEO Services, Video SEO production, etc., then the people who searched for those phrases would find my website and I know they are looking to “Hire” an SEO company or service. Therefore, I would have a higher conversion rate.
Type your master key phrase you want to target into the Google keywords Tool. Pick from the list Google gives you as related to that master key phrase. You will now have a keyword list for your website.
Google is telling you that it considers those phrases as related to your master key phrase. So, basically, Google is telling you their search bot will crawl your web page, find that you are using that master key phrase in your title tag, header tags, etc., so it will know you want to rank for that key phrase, then it will crawl your content to look for other terms related to that master key phrase. If it finds them, your chances for ranking improve greatly.
In the next chapter, I will show you how to use that keyword list to optimize each page of your website. I welcome all comments, suggestions, corrections, etc., so let me know what you think!
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