Picking Selective Keywords for Higher Search Engine Ranking
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/23/2006 | Marketing
Keywords are an essential component of producing a web site. These are the words which the search engines use to help categorize and rank your pages. For instance, if your web site is about 'writing articles' then your keywords could include 'writing', 'articles', 'article writing' and so on.
The advice from many web designers and search engine optimizers has been to find as many keywords as you can. They advise you to search for keywords using a variety of online tools and software programs which can identify leading keywords. At first sight this seems attractive, but it actually defies logic.
Let's take a look at the aim of a search engine. It's job is to track down pages that meet the specific search term that a web surfer has typed in. The more closely the pages it serves up match the search term, the better it is for users. Search engines need to be as accurate as possible in delivering the right material to their users. Otherwise the web surfer goes elsewhere.
Now imagine you are a search engine algorithm - the mathematical program which calculates the probability of any web page matching the search term typed in. If the page has hundreds, or thousands of keywords you'll be a bit confused. For instance, is this web page about 'article writing', or is it about 'feature writing for journalists'. They are different things. You'll end up knowing the page is relevant but not that relevant. So you rank it down the bottom.
But what if the page only has the keyword 'article writing' several times? You're absolutely clear the page is about article writing and so you rank it highly.
Admittedly, it's not quite as simple as this. But this is the principle of search engine technology. It is trying to find the most relevant pages that match the search term.
What this means for Internet marketers is that you need separate pages for each keyword. Focus each page on each individual keyword. Use the keyword in headings, sub-headings, the page text, the page title tag and in the meta tags. Avoid having pages which contain several keywords as that simply confuses the search engines and lowers your rankings.
So forget the advice to have hundreds or thousands of keywords. Go for single pages that match single keywords and you will find your page traffic increase.
This trick also works for Google AdWords. Each advert should apply to just a handful of keywords - you get much greater click through rates and therefore cheaper advertising when you only have a couple of keywords per advert. If you have hundreds of keywords you'll find you'll get greater results by having keyword specific ads, rather than one advert with hundreds of keywords.
So go against the advice of filling your pages and adverts with keywords. Go specific.