Imagine a search engine spider or robot as a giant filter or colander. It pours your web pages through the colander and all the stuff it decides is useless is left in the colander and the useful stuff pours through, entering their searchable database ready for the search engine user to sift through with their own colander and criteria. Your goal in designing your web pages is to create content that will pass through the colander holes and into the search engine databases.
A lot of people put the majority of their energy into search engine submissions. That’s one way to get noticed by search engines. But it doesn’t help your blog stick with a search engine. Content and the words inside of that content matters. Without anything to sift, a search engine will have nothing to log into their databases.
Developing the keywords inside your post content involves creating a keyword list for the entire site and incorporating those keywords into everything you write on your blog or site. This is not about keywords tricks, spam, or scam. This is about understanding the importance keywords play in your blog content and how to make them work for you.
Creating Your Keyword List
Keywords play a vital role in helping search engines categorize your content and help searchers find your page. To create a keyword list, make a list of all the words you use to search for your site on search engines. These are the words that “should” be in your blog’s content.
Have some content already on your blog? Then run the text through a keyword checking online program like Word Counter to find out if the words you have on your list are indeed in your content. Look at how many and how often these words are in your posts.
If your list and your content keywords don’t line up, then you need to get to work on growing more keyword frequency and density within your post content.
Let’s look at a few other methods to develop your keyword list.
Industry Terms: What words are used when discussing your subject or business? Every industry has its own keywords. For a dentist, they might be teeth, tooth, hygiene, tooth decay, drill, filling, or mouth. For the nature photography industry, we use words like environment, nature, endangered species, protected, habitat, park, land, and so on. What are the keywords used within your industry to describe what you do?
Synonyms: There are many ways to say the same thing and you want to make sure you optimize your keywords and content to match the different terms people will use when searching for your topic. For blogging, words like blog, blogging, and blogger, as well as writing, posts, opinion, editorial, and commentary are representative. In a nature photography business, we use words like nature, environment, plants, animals, landscape, and flowers. Are there other references or synonyms associated with same words?
Top Searched Keywords: Sometimes finding what the most searched for and popular keywords are will help you create your own. Overture’s Keyword Term Suggestions tool goes through the most requested search terms to find words similar to the keyword you are researching. Visit Yahoo, Google, and other web sites (listed below) to find out what the top searches are on their search engines. Just because a search term or word is popular doesn’t mean it applies to your site. Brittany Spears continues to be top of the web searches for over five years, but will putting Brittany’s name in your page a few times help you reach to the top search results for your category or only for search for “Brittany Spears”? Unless your page is completely dedicated to the young diva, using her name will not help you.
More appropriately, you will find some words that do apply to you. For instance, our main site specializes in nature and travel photography, and travel is hot right now. How is travel information searched for? We found the top keywords included travel insurance, travel agency, travel agent, travel tours, travel plans, air travel, car travel, travel arrangements, hotel travel..etc. This will give you some hints for word phrases, and even content topics, to include on your blog.
Who is Your Audience? Who is the intended audience of your web page? Different groups of people use different words to say the same thing. If it is designed for the academic and technically inclined groups, using the proper terminology will be critical to attracting their attention. But what about the rest of us? Someone familiar with blogging would call it “blogging” or “weblog”, since they would be familiar with the terminology. But everyone else might call it journaling, writing, editorials, diary writing, writing opinions, or advice. Consider your audience and the words they will use to search for your page and add them to your keyword list.
Ask Others: Take time to ask others what they think are the keywords that describe your content? Friends, professionals, co-workers, and family all have something to say about what you do and why. So ask them. You might be surprised at the many ways people have to describe the different things we humans do. This is also a way of finding out how people would search for you if they wanted to find you on a search engine. Go on, ask them what words they would use to find your web page if they were searching on a search engine.
What are the competitors using?
If your competitors or similar sites to yours are moving up the ranks in the search engines, what words are they using and how are they using them? Spend some time visiting their sites to get a feel for how they are working.
Lift the hood to check the engine underneath (their coding) by clicking on VIEW, SOURCE from the browser menu bar. Even if you aren’t familiar with HTML coding, you can search the meta tags at the beginning of the document and look for their keywords and description. Then go back to the graphically pretty page and read through the content.
How are they using those words from their keywords and descriptions? How redundant are they? A lot, a little, somewhere in between? Pay attention because they are doing something “write”.
With modern technology, there are web sites that can help you check out what keywords a site is using. Run their pages through the keyword density checkers to find out what words they are using and how frequently. Compare their results with yours and consider the changes you have to make to raise your keyword density.
In an upcoming post, I’ll talk more about how to include keywords inside your posts to make them work for you.
Keyword analyzing and comparison tools include the following:
Keywords – Resources and Suggestions
- Lycos Top 50 Searches
- Yahoo’s Buzz Index – Top Searches of the Year
- AskJeeves Search Results
- Ask Jeeves IQ (Interesting Queries) Top Searches
- Google Zeitgeist – Overview of keywords, browsers, etc. on Google.com
- Top Keyword Searches
- Google’s Keyword Sandbox
- Keyword Thesaurus and Suggestions
- Thesaurus.com – Look up synonyms
- Keyword Map – Unique Keyword Connections on the Internet
Keyword – Testers and Checkers
- Enginemage’s Keyword Suggestions Tool
- Keyword Density.com
- Keyword Validators with Search Engines
- Ranks.nl Keyword Density and Prominence
- Search Engine World Keyword Density Analyzer
- Search Engine Optimization Tools – Similar Page Checker
- Webjectives Keyword Density Analyzer
- Webmaster Toolkit’s Web Page Analyser for Search Engine Keywords
- Word Counter
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