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Search Engine Optimization: How To Prioritize And Choose Keywords

Oct 15, 2007
The impression is not without reason that Search Engine Optimization of your websites is a major marketing effort; a site optimized for major search engines like Google and Yahoo is more likely to get you clicks and sales than a site no one knows of.

SEO is not a simple task though; all major Search Engines are striving hard to stay a step ahead of those that try to find short cuts and unethical ways of getting rankings they do not deserve. The effort wasted in such antics, if applied in the right direction, can however, get you to your desired ranking, or get you close anyhow. Here we are going to discuss the ways to choose the applicable keywords for your site and prioritize them.

Focus on Your End Aim: Sales

A major pitfall that detracts many from achieving the goals of raised sales is the temptation of optimizing the website for the wrong keywords. Surely when you look up keywords for your products there can be those that do not apply to your products and yet they get more clicks.

The temptation is to choose keywords that raise the number of clicks; selling plastic chairs and optimizing your site for wooden ones just because they have more clicks is going to get more people to your website but when they do not find the promised product it is only going to take a click for them to move away. Your clients, instead, would go to the smart guy who optimized his site for the plastic chairs he sells. Even if 5-10% of the 1500 people searching for plastic chairs convert to sales for him, the clicks are more valuable than the 100,000 you get for wooden chairs because their next click would be on the dreaded x. What remains for you are the figures; an impressive hundred thousand clicks that lead to no revenue because there were no sales.

How to Choose Keywords: Research

Once you have your priorities worked out as to the products you want to optimize your site for, use the tools widely available on the internet to give you a history of searches carried out in the field. Wordtracker, Keyword Suggestions for Overture and Google adwords suggestion tool are some good tools to do that, though they are something that point you in the right direction, it is not by any standards the end of your research.

While searching for the right keywords for your product, it helps to look through the search engine you are concentrating on with words you think are applicable to your products. If the top ranked sites are indeed concentrating on the products you are, you are on the right track. Keep going.

The next step should be to see how your top ranked competitors have optimized their site; note the use of tags, like web page title, the meta tags, headings from 1-6 and, of course, the use of strong, bold and italics script. The process is a simple reversal of what your competitor has done; there should be enough indicators of what they have concentrated on.

After that comes the evaluation again; how applicable and how feasible would it be for you to optimize your site for the same keywords? It helps to work out a list of some 50 or so applicable keywords before you check with a Pay Per Click engine. Check the cost per click on each of your keywords; the click value would be directly proportional to its usefulness to its owner.

So a keyword that cost 5$ per click will probably make fewer sales than the click that costs 14$ per click. Try calculating the actual profit you would make on the keyword, if you were to optimize for it as well. Remember, in the real world, not all clicks are going to result in a sale, but those that do should be enough to make your efforts worthwhile if you optimize for the right words and combine it with a good SEO friendly site design.
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