SEO optimization is a key aspect of your website’s success. Developing an effective search engine strategy will ensure that your website gets noticed online. While it’s a difficult task to perfect the art of optimizing your site, there are a few online resources that can help.
We’ll go over some of the best online optimization resources. More specifically, we’ll cover the ones that help you in identifying keywords that will be useful to your site.
If you’re new to SEO and keyword optimization, these tips will help you to fine-tune your website.
What Is SEO?
It’s impossible to start a website and gain a large audience right off the bat. Website owners who get the most traffic put a lot of time and effort into optimizing their pages.
It helps to have an understanding of the search engines before you start with website optimization.
If you’re more of a visual person, try imagining optimization like Ancient Rome. A search engine is like Caesar at the Colosseum. When a gladiator was wounded beneath a competitor, the Caesar would hold out an arm with his thumb pointed sideways. The turn of his hand would determine the wounded competitor’s fate.
His thumb turns down, and the gladiator dies. It moves up, and he lives to fight another day. So it is with the search engines — while less cutthroat, the principle remains the same.
If your content is not relevant to search queries, your site will never find its way to the top of a Google search. The key is understanding what the search engine deems relevant. This is where keywords come in.
Your site’s relevance to a particular search will come, in large part, from your selection of keywords.
These can be single words, phrases, or longer sentences that hold a particular value. So, if you use the phrase “this is how you can last longer on a treadmill” 10 times in an article, that article is more likely to be found by those searching for running tips.
Your keywords should be relevant to your niche and finely tuned to meet the needs of your target search engine. You may be thinking that you can just load your site with hundreds of keywords and make your way to the top of the list.
This would seem smart, but it will actually hurt your search engine relevance. Certain activities have been deemed as SPAM and will hurt your rankings.
Search engines are created to serve the end user, not the person who is trying to get their site noticed. For this reason, any activity that overly panders to a search engine’s algorithm will be flagged. This is because the content on that site is likely low-quality and irrelevant.
This works in the favor of the user but makes it more complicated for those trying to optimize their site. Search engine optimization is essentially the process of understanding your niche, crafting your site accordingly, and reaping the benefits.
Tools for Keyword Optimization
So, what are some ways to optimize your site? Keywords might seem intuitive, but remember that the algorithm is built to be difficult to work around.
Don’t think of optimization as a way of cheating the search engines, but a way to make your site more relevant to your specific niche.
Here are a few tips to get your keyword strategy ready to bring in serious traffic.
Brainstorming a Strategy
Whether you’re trying to optimize an article, page, or blog post, you’ll want to have a general plan before you hit Publish.
Think of the purpose of your article. What will people be thinking before they search the web to find help from your article?
In other words, what would you search if you were trying to find a web page like yours? Whatever you would type should be similar to your keyword phrase.
You’ll want to place this phrase strategically in a few places. Having the right words is key, but knowing where to place them is also very important.
For example, you’ll want to have a keyword in the title of your article or web page. If you’re using a word processor that has the option of using an actual “title” or “heading one” setting, make sure to do so. The search engine recognizes this and holds it in higher importance than a keyword in the body text.
You will also want to place a number of keywords in the body text. Don’t overdo this one because it can quickly turn into grounds for spam.
Types of Keywords
In terms of keywords themselves, there are a few different terms that you should consider. The first is the term “head keyword.” These are typically one or two words.
Head keywords don’t yield as much importance because they are so vague. For example, if your keyword was “baseball bat,” you would end up somewhere in the search with the millions of other sites that have “baseball bat” listed in their text.
The next term is “body keyword.” These are keywords that use small phrases, getting a little more specific and yielding slightly better results. For example, using “baseball bats with new grip” would get you a more specific audience than simply using “baseball bat.”
The final term to note is long tail keyword. These are longer strings of words that hold a higher specificity and lower search volume. Lower search volume isn’t bad, though, because it means that those who search for your keyword will find your site more easily.
For example, “34-inch baseball bat with aluminum barrel and yellow grip” is a long tail keyword.
Now that you understand how keywords work, you’ll want to figure out how to choose them.
Search online for ideas on keywords in your niche. You can also browse competitor sites and see what they’re using in their headings, body text, and other areas.
Use some of the tools listed below if you want to get right to it.
1. Google Adwords
This free tool works well and is very intuitive to use. It would be your best option to do an online search and get a feel for what keywords you might want to use.
You may want to give this app a shot, then move on to different sites once you have a good idea of your keyword choices.
This tool that allows you to get access to your competitors’ keyword optimization efforts. It’s a good choice if you’re noticing that sites similar to yours are experiencing more success than you are.
Get some insight into the optimization of your niche and get a leg up on the competition!
3. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is one of the best free tools for keyword research. After all, most online searches start with Google. It’s like getting advice from a dealer on how to beat them in cards.
The Keyword Planner allows you to research your competitors’ keywords, see how well certain keywords work by using charts and graphs, and check monthly search volume.
4. KW Finder
KW Finder is a tool that focuses primarily on long tail keywords and gives insight into the domains that are using that keyword. Another great thing about this site is that it provides region-specific information.
This means that you can plan your search results around specific local and national areas. If you’re planning to bring your site to a wider audience, consider implementing multiple strategies for different regions.
5. Keyword Tool
This tool allows you to get keyword data by using a Google interface to gather long tail keyword information. It works best when used along with the Google Keyword Planner.
Google Keyword was created primarily for advertisers, while the Keyword Tool is geared toward content creators.
Using both applications will allow you to have a healthy blend of keyword optimization.
6. Moz’s Keyword Explorer
This tool gives a unique spin on keyword optimization. It highlights how useful or relevant a keyword can be to your strategy. This is nice because it lays out different visual information to help you understand which keywords will work and why.
Additionally, it allows you to gather information on the whole scheme of your keyword optimization and how it will work for you.
7. SEM Rush
This site gives insight into different search engines. It covers a comprehensive list of keyword attributes that show how common the word is and the number of hits it’s likely to get.
SEM Rush essentially covers most of the information that the previous keyword tools do but contains all of the help in one site. It’s also useful for international keyword research.
Need Help with Your Keyword Selection?
Use these tools as best you can. It can often be difficult to navigate these things if you have little experience with the terminology in this niche. Don’t get too down on yourself, though, because you aren’t out of luck.
It may help to do some additional research and find the ins and outs of website optimization. There has been a lot of dedicated effort to understand how to make a website stand out. Read tutorials and guides that cover the basics.
There are people whose job is to assist you with keyword optimization. Contact a professional to help you get your optimization on track and start getting traffic to your site!