How to Keywords – A Short Guide to Keyword Selection for Online Business Success

After long hours of work or some out of pocket investment, you have created a professional looking web site. You have studies al about search engine optimization and gone to great lengths to make sure it is Search Engine Friendly. You have great content and you are sure that you have done everything to reap the benefits of organic search engine traffic.

Your big launch date comes and goes, and nothing. But it takes time to show up on the generic search engine results, you might say. So you try an aggressive marketing campaign, and still, your sales are almost non-existent.

What is happening? Your keywords are the fundamental building blocks of your online success. Because the competition is so great, choosing general or broad keywords is almost a guarantee that either you will not show up on the search engine results, or if you do, your target audience will not be looking for what you have to offer.

Your keywords need to be as specific as possible to get you the results you are looking for. In other words, shoppers ready to buy your product or services are your target and the ones who will immediately find you. Not only that, but the greater the specificity of your keyword, the less competition you will face.

Choosing the right keywords when your Website is new can be tricky as well as time consuming. There are a few ways to go about it:

1. You might not think objectively. Ask your clients, family members, or friends what they would look for if searching for your product. You might be surprised at what insights they can give you.

2. Get personal with your keywords. Take the obvious general keywords that come to mind, for this example we will use “toys”, and try narrowing it down. Try “toy trucks” or “infant toys” or “water toys”. Now go even deeper in your category and try “infant rattle toys” or “baby teething toys”. You see how you are now targeting exactly what someone might be searching for?

3. Do a manual search for the keywords you choose, and see who your competition is. Is that your target? Also look on the upper right hand corner of your search results. Typically, Search Engines will display the number of found results. The more specific the keyword, the less results displayed, the better your chances of obtaining results for that keyword.

So now you have all these great keywords, what do you do with them? Knowing what your keywords are is not enough; you need to keep a few critical points in mind:

1. Continually evaluate your keywords, keeping in mind that trends come and go, and what is “HOT” today may not be what people are looking for tomorrow.

2. Keep track of where your visitors found you. If you are doing a paid campaign, this is easy to do, but if you are looking at generic results, you can use a tracking software to show you what your best resulting keyword searches are. Google Analytics is an example of a free service, and one of the best to track your traffic, visitors’ keywords and behavior.

3. Your visitors should never have to find what they are looking for on your Website. This applies mainly to your PPC programs. Point them directly to where they need to be. Whether it is the page where they can purchase your product, fill out a form or subscribe to a service, land them directly to that page. If you simply send them to your home page, you will lose that visitor because they did not immediately find what they were looking for.

4. Lastly, optimize your pages to your keywords. Take time to carefully write your meta-tags. Properly written Titles can make the difference if your generic result is clicked on or not. Edit the individual pages to have a keyword rich description. This does not mean stuff your keywords anywhere you can find space for them.

Read it over, and make sure it makes sense to you. Keep in mind that you not only want to score a lot of points with the Search Engines so that they deem you content “valuable” to their users, you also want to make your visitors keep coming back to your Website .

All this may sound like a lot of work – and it is! But to put it bluntly, “what you put in to it, is what you get out of it”. If you put the time and effort into your keywords, you will eventually be rewarded with the results you are seeking.

How to Get Inbound Links from Government and University Sites

The inbound link is the holy grail of web traffic. Getting inbound links from government and university sites is a testament to the quality of your site.

You accumulate inbound links not only to increase traffic, but also to establish your site for providing high value to visitors. However, getting inbound links by link exchange or buying text links is not going to get you anywhere. You need to abandon those archaic ideas and jump forward with an inbound link strategy that provides high value authoritative links.

To obtain high value authoritative links, your site must provide high values to its visitors. Original authoritative articles and tools to solve everyday problems are a few ways to provide a lasting value to web surfers. Before you embark on your link-building mission, create something valuable.

Links from the government sites have very high value. If your site enables citizenry to interact directly with the government, it is an excellent candidate for a link back from the government site.

Sites that provide community level services, for example location of Social Security Offices in the USA with interactive maps, will also have high potential for outbound links from government sites.

Other types of sites that do well are sites that provide information about service performance, for example, a nursing home comparison site; sites that cross inter-governmental boundaries; and sites that allow transactions with the government, for example, filing taxes.

If your site is a good fit for outbound links from government sites, start with site. It is a central information hub for everything government. On the bottom of the page, you will see About Us and Contact Us links. Read their linking policy by clicking on the About Us before you contact them.

You don’t have to confine yourself to the US government sites only. Explore the possibilities of getting links from foreign government sites also. But keep in mind that your site should provide some values to citizenry of those countries and people wanting to do with them.

For example, most government embassy sites don’t display their embassy addresses in interactive maps. If your site pulls their addresses displayed in simple texts in a web page and place those addresses on Google maps for interactivity, you can contact them to put a link back to your site. Explain to them that your site adds additional value to their visitors by providing richer user experience.

College and university sites provide a good opportunity to develop some authoritative inbound links. The key here is to provide services geared towards students. You may also be able to get links if a faculty member is interested in your contents.

Don’t start spamming university forums, guest books, etc. People may attack your site and bring it down, report to your web host company or domain registrar. You will lose your credibility and reputation. Try to establish relationship by helping others. Let them know that you know your topics and are willing to share with them.

If your site provides some valuable services to students, approach the appropriate university authority for linking. For example, if you have a tool that compares student loans from different sources and suggests the good ones depending on a student’s financial situation, university loan office will be willing to link to your site as a resource.

If you have a blog with original and regularly updated contents that talk about impact of the technology on the society, you may approach a faculty in sociology to link to your site from his or her home page located in the university server.

Government and university sites provide good opportunities for developing inbound links if your website has a match with their requirements. The key to that is quality contents and useful web tools. Once you meet their requirements, it is worth pursuing these entities for spreading your website links to them.

Effective Offsite Techniques For Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the task of improving your site to rank higher in the search engine result page for some specific search keywords. Even though the way a search engine ranks your site and the methods it uses to compare one site to another is a closely held secret in the industry, it is possible to follow some simple techniques to better placement in search engine rankings.

Experts have been trying to decipher the mysterious search engine algorithm for years and even though certain aspects of it are constantly updated and adjusted, some basic criteria are core to the way a site is ranked. Knowing what the basic ranking criteria are is essential to improving your ranking, and ultimately your traffic.

One of the main considerations most search engines have for a particular site is the concept of keywords. How many times a keyword is used on a site, and where on the site it appears is important to the search engine in its ranking of the site.

So when you are setting up the site initially, think carefully about the name you choose and be sure to include the keyword in the site address or the domain name. You must make sure to have your site indexed or “crawled” by search engines on a regular basis. This can happen naturally, or you can make it happen by submitting your site to the search engines directly. This will cause them to index your site faster.

Because the search engines care about sites that update their content regularly, and will rank them higher, you should update your site contents regularly with fresh and original contents. If you are using pictures and videos, use texts to describe what those pictures and videos are about.

If you update your site’s contents regularly, the search engine will notice this and will normally index your web pages more frequently. This indexing frequency is another key factor in your search ranking. So it is a good idea to keep your site fresh.

Another major factor in search engine rankings is the number and quality of links that point to your site. Having a lot of these links, especially from other sites that are ranked high is very important. The more links you can establish the better your chance of ranking higher in the search engine result page.

There are a few easy ways to get these links and most of them are free, but it takes a little effort on your part. Next to having the relevant website name, getting a lot of links for your site is the single most important factor in improving your search rankings.

There are a lot of techniques for getting these links established for your site and some work better than others. One easy way is to submit your site to website directories, especially to Open Directory Project. Submit only to high ranking general purpose directories or niche specific directories.

You should create your profiles for your site in two dozen Web 2.0 sites like YouTube, Flickr, Hubpages, Squidoo, Mixx, Digg, eHow, etc. Post links pointing to your sites in those profiles. You should also create relevant contents and submit those contents, with links pointing to your site, in those Web 2.0 sites.

Another great place to get your link building started is by visiting and posting comments on a group of blogs covering the keyword you are trying to target. Usually if you post on these blogs, you can add a link back to your site and have it counted in your favor. You could easily post on several blogs a day and establish an impressive collection of links as a result.

You should join forums related to your site topic and have your web site link in the forum signature. When you start an original thread or reply to an existing thread, your forum signature will be automatically appended to your contents.

Another great technique to build link is writing articles and submitting those articles to popular article directories like ezinearticles, goarticles, etc. These articles should have an author’s bio paragraph at the end of each article where you can leave links to your web site.

You should always use keywords as anchor texts in your links, instead of a plain HTML link.

All of these techniques are fairly easy to implement and will have a very positive impact on your search rankings quickly. Some of these are more effective than others and take a little time to work. The trick with improving your search engine rankings and traffic is to use a variety of techniques to help your site rise in the ranking.

14 Rules to Abide By For Search Engine Traffic

If you are setting up a website, follow these simple rules to improve search engine rankings of your site. You can also follow these techniques if your website is not ranked high in search engines for certain keywords. Concentrate on the home page of your site and once you learn the techniques, you will be able to apply them to the other pages of your site that will have multiple high ranking pages.

1. Find keywords (or key phrases) relevant to your website. Go to the overture keyword selector tool (type key phrase overture inventory in Google) and check the popularity of the keywords you want to use. Avoid highly popular keywords. Highly popular keywords are very competitive and the least popular keywords are search engine traffic starved.

Select a dozen keywords and key phrases from the middle of the list. This is a very important exercise and you should spend at least a couple of hours, if not more, researching different keywords. While you are researching your keywords, check your competitors by doing a search in a couple of popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc., using those keywords. Keep a record of your competitors’ urls and other information because you don’t want to waste your time doing the same search again in the near future.

2. Use the keywords you selected into the meta tags of your home page. Meta tags are located in the head section of a web page. Go to one of your competitor’s website and select View and then Source from your web browser’s menu to view the html source of the web page. You will see the meta elements.

The two important meta tags are keywords and description meta tags. Don’t leave them blank. You can list your keywords, separated by comma, in the keywords meta tag. Construct a catchy description using your keywords for the description meta tag.

3. Use the keywords in your title tag. The text you use in the title tag appears in the title bar of the web browser. The title tag should be less than 64 characters long. Again, the key is to use a meaningful title using the keywords. Don’t just make a laundry list of your keywords for the title tag.

The title tag and your meta description may end up in many search engine listings. So, spend sometime to make these two elements interesting, meaningful, and relevant to your site.

4. Use the keywords in top heading (h1) tags of your page. Use one keyword (or a key phrase) for each h1 tag. Use these h1 tags for the headings of your contents.

5. In the home page content, use bold, using the strong html element, to highlight some of your keywords.

6. Italicize some of the keywords in your page.

7. Use the keywords in alt tags of images. You should always use the alt tag for all images.

8. Encourage others to use the keywords for text anchors when they link back to your site. Better yet, publish your own short link text with keyword anchors, bold and italicized key phrases and give it away for link exchanges.

9. If possible, use the keywords in your domain name. Try different arrangements of the keywords to come up with an available domain name that you can register.

10. If you are using php or asp or any other web programming language for your dynamic website, make your url search engine friendly using url rewrite techniques. Search the phrase url rewrite in Google to know more about url rewrite.

11. Don’t use frames in your web pages. Many search engines will not crawl framed pages. For a search engine spider to crawl a page, you need a clickable url. When you use a frame, the target url is not clickable.

12. Avoid fancy Javascript menus. If you use a Javascript menu, provide a html text menu with clickable links at the bottom of your web page. Use include files for Javascripts.

13. Provide 301 redirections if you move your pages or domain after they have been indexed by the search engines. Don’t use meta refresh or other Javascript tricks. Search for the phrase ‘search engine friendly 301 redirect’ in a search engine to get more information on this topic.

14. If you use flash in a page, provide a html version of the page and hide the flash page from the search engine crawler using a robots.txt page.

Keep in mind these simple rules every time you want to launch a website. Spending a few days upfront in the preparation of your site will pay off in the long run with better search engine rankings.

7 Steps to Effective Search Engine Optimization

After making your Website human friendly, you have to make it search engine friendly so that human searchers can easily find your site in the search engine result pages. By following the steps described below, you can optimize your Website for search engines.

1. Use a keyword research tool for mining keywords related to your site’s offerings. One of the most effective and free keyword research tool is Google Adwords Keyword tool. Do a Google search for the URL of the site.

You start with some broad keywords like “golf ball” and the tool lists all the related keywords people use in their search queries related to “golf ball”. The tool also displays the monthly volumes of those search queries.

2. Get a domain name that is not too long and has relevancy to the products or services your site is offering. Using the keyword research tool, pick a few keywords related to your site. Pick a domain name based on one of these keywords.

All the domains based on broad keywords are already sold out. So you cannot get a domain based on a broad keyword, like golf ball. If you find one, grab it without any delay. However, most domain registrars, like Godaddy, have domain finding tools that suggest available domains based on broad keywords.

3. Your Website title that is located in the HTML TITLE tag should be meaningful and at the same time it should contain related keywords. Limit the title tag to 50 characters so that is is not truncated in the search result page.

4. The most important meta tag in a web page for a search engine crawler is the description meta tag that has two attributes: NAME=”description” and CONTENT=”your site’s content”. Describe your site’s contents using a few sentences in the content attribute of the META tag. Your site description should contain related keywords.

5. Create quality contents using texts and graphics. Use short paragraphs for text and separate texts using headings or H1 tag, and sub headings or H2 tags. Use one H1 tag per page. Don’t forget to use keywords in your paragraphs, H1, and H2 tags.

Use plenty of white spaces and bulleted items so that visitors can scan your page easily. Most people don’t read web pages but they scan to find texts that are of particular interest to them.

6. If you are using images, use keywords in the ALT and TITLE attributes of the IMG tag. Use keywords for image file names. Most people use meaningless image file names like image1, image2, etc. Search engine crawlers have no way to understand what image1 and image2 are all about.

7. Cross links your web pages using keywords in the anchor texts. For example, if your web site is about golf ball, you can use anchor text “callaway golf ball” on your home page to direct visitors to a page dedicated to “callaway golf ball”.

Search engine optimization is the art of creating contents for human readers using keywords. Don’t create contents for search engines. Create contents for human and use keywords strategically placed in your contents for the consumption of search engine crawlers.