SEO and Keywords

Pick a Word, but Not Just Any Word

By Alan Eggleston

A keyword is a word or set of words very close in meaning to the subject of your Web page. You hope – you dream – that people using search engines will use your keywords to look for a website written around those keywords and find your website. The whole process of optimizing a website for SEO (search engine optimization) begins by deciding on the keywords for each page. The follow-through is to make sure the keywords are used in the page title, description, keywords list, and content for that page to establish relevancy.

Keyword Development Process

  • Step One – Research the main word that describes the topic you will cover on the page. Example: car
  • Step Two – Look for other words (synonyms) that people might use to describe that main word. Examples: car, automobile, sedan
  • Step Three – Think of other words that might surround or support the main word in searching for your page. Examples: American made 4 door sedan
  • Step Four – Focus on in what order the words will be written in describing this page. Examples:  American 4 door sedan with 4 wheel drive
  • Step Five – The deeper into the site the page, the more descriptive and accurate the words must be. Examples:  Red Jeep 4 door SUV 4 wheel drive manual transmission
  • Step Six – Adding the city will help with competitive local searches. Example:  American made car dealership Grand Rapids
  • Step Seven – Adding the company name will help when people know your company and simply want to find you. Example (page title):  Used Cars and Pickups – Hefty Automobile Sales
An SEO purist will tell you that you should focus on the main keywords and not include the name of the business or organization, but some businesses will insist on having their name show up in the title. Fine. At least use it at the end so that the main topic shows up at the front.There is room for 8 to 12 words in the page title in the browser tab, depending on word length. I plan for up to 10 and sometimes squeeze in 11.

Word proximity in keyword selection can play a big part in ranking, so the fewer words you select the less variables you have to worry about, although the less opportunities you have to match as well. Try for three or four main keywords maximum for writing your page title (ignoring words like “and” and “the”), but feel free to add a few more words to your keyword list as long as they actually appear in your content.

My next article: SEO – Inside or Outsource?

Doing SEO right can take time and energy your schedule may not allow. Do you do it yourself – inside – or do you hire it done outside – outsourced? Up next in my series of articles will be, “SEO – Inside or Outsource?” Join me!


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