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Optimizing Your Site Using Keywords

Aug 17, 2007
You have created a brand new, hot looking website that without a doubt will be placed ahead of your competitors in the search engines. Surely with all the work, time, and effort you expended creating your site, it will be up there in the ranks! Then you find out that you don't even have a page rank, and you can't find your site by doing a search. One of the reasons may be that you have not optimized your site using keywords. You wonder why and how this could be when you thought you used the best keywords possible, but what you thought was best were actually the most competitive keywords. In this case, no matter how great your site, you would never get ahead of your competitors.

One way to get ahead is by doing your keyword research with a keyword research tool that tells you a term's popularity. This is a step that simply cannot be missed when trying to optimize your site. When searching for keywords, you do not want to use highly competitive terms. What I mean by this is that you don't want the word to come up with several million hits, even if this initially sounds like it would be a good term to use. On my own website, "home business" brings up 4,100,000,000 hits, so I would not want use this term to try and drive traffic to my site! I want to start with the less popular terms until I have a good page rank, and then I can think about using the more competitive terms later on. Using our keyword tool, we would choose a less popular term, and then do a Google search to find out just how competitive that term is.

A little trick you can use to beat the competition is to notice what sites come up in your Google search for your particular, less popular keyword. If the site's URL contains a sub-page, such as "yoursite.com/example.htm", and that page ranks well in Google, then you can get ahead of that site by using the same keyword, only in your domain, "yoursite.com", not on another page of your site as in the above example, "/example.htm". You also want to check that top-ranking site's page rank using the Google page rank toolbar. If the site achieved a top ranking in the search engines, but only has a page rank of 3 out of 10, then you know it will be fairly easy to get the same page rank, or better.

Next, you want to look at that top-ranking site's HTML code by clicking View/Source in your browser. Even if you don't know much about HTML, it pays to learn a little bit, and it is not as hard as it looks. If you compare an actual web page to the source code for that page, you will start to see patterns that make sense to you. Start by studying your own source code, and then the source code of other sites will look familiar to you. The things to watch out for when looking at other people's source code is to notice whether or not they use H1, header tags. Some sites do not, and if your top-ranking site does not use a header tag, then you can one-up them by using a header tag on your site containing the right keywords, and make sure the keywords appear at both the start and end of your copy. Also notice if the site uses a title tag with the keywords within the title tag. If they do use title tags, they will be ranked higher in the search engines for that keyword. If they don't use title tags, then you should use title tags to get ahead. If the other site has bolded, italicized, or underlined keywords, they will rank higher. If not, you could get ahead by doing that on your site. You want to check to see if they use certain images on their site based on keywords. If they don't, you should be using images and call the file the name of the specific keyword you want to use.

It's a good idea to get into the habit of doing keyword research and creating a keyword file that you can add to on a regular basis. This file should consist of popular, but less searched keywords that can outrank your competitors. The bigger the list, the better off you are. This will help you get traffic to your site using keywords that your competitors have not thought of using yet. As troublesome as it may sound to do keyword research, and view the HTML code of your competitors, your site's position in the search engines will definitely improve quickly if you follow the steps above!
About the Author
Liane Bate owns a Plugin Profit Site web business, is a member of Success University, and the IAHBE.
Visit: http://www.HonestMoneyMaking.com and Plugin Profit Site
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