When building or redesigning your website, it is vital to do everything possible to make it rank high in a web search.  After all, a website that is only visited by friends and family is not helping you increase your customer base. To help your site rank high in web searches, one of the most efficient methods is the effective use of SEO.

Coined in 1997, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of making one’s website more accessible and visible to search engines via natural or unpaid (aka- organic or algorithmic) search results rather than through SEM (search engine marketing) which is paid inclusion. When SEO is correctly employed, search engines will crawl your site and find relevance to a search term and the site will rank high at the top of search engine results. The higher your website ranks, the greater potential for business. It should be noted that writing for SEO should be done with social media groups such as Twitter, Facebook and others in mind as Google announced in December 2009 that it would be using the web histories of all its users to populate search results.

SEO is, however, more than stuffing your website with keywords. Paradoxically, too frequently using a keyword or phrase can work against you. To improve your website’s SEO, take these 4 steps (Steps 3 & 4 will be covered in subsequent articles).

  1. Develop a list of keywords used to search for your webpage, products or services. As you begin creating a keyword list, be thorough but be sure not to only include your brand or company names. You may want to talk to friends and family for keyword ideas. Other ways to develop a keyword list is the use of synonyms (mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, etc.). Also, keywords don’t have to be single words; phrases with 3 or more words are known as long tail words or niche words and can bring more search engine hits than individual words.
  2. Keyword Research and Development- After creating a list of keywords, you are ready to begin keyword research and development through the use of keyword research tools. You can use sites like Word TrackerGoogle AdWords, Spy Fu and SEO Digger. These tools range in cost from free to a monthly or annual charge, but are well worth the time (and money) it takes to use them. The keyword research and development tools will show you the most popular search terms for your product or service and how often they are used. With these words and phrases identified you are ready to begin making changes to your website.

      Intentionally misspelled words may seem an odd approach, but according to Gyutae Park of Winning the Web , there are 10 million misspelled search queries every day. To find high potential keyword misspellings check out Keyword Typo Generator. No, you don’t want to produce copy that is rife with errors, but including a statement like "Common misspellings are…" or turning a common misspelling into a brand name can make a difference.

  3. It is also critical to look at web analytics such as Click TracksKey Word Discovery or Keyword Spy. Web analytics will show you how many times related words are used to find specific information.  

    Keyword Spy

    Once you have your keyword research finished you will be ready to proceed to step 3…covered next post 🙂