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choosing keywords

  1. Choose 6-10 keyword phrases people would search for to find a site like yours
    • Phrases produce more specific results than single words
    • Try to create longer phrases (4+ words) that combine smaller phrases
    • Ask friends and colleagues which phrases they would use to find a site like yours
    • Don't include commonplace words in your meta tags (a, at, the etc)
    • Look at the meta tag keywords your competition use
    • Don't use irrelevant words, such as "sex" or "Nike", to boost results
      • This won't work
      • Could get your site barred from search engines
      • Could get you sued
  2. Look up these phrases on http://www.wordtracker.com (click on "Free Trial" for a quick look up or purchase the full product)
    • Check alternate spellings of the same words and alternate words (some might be more popular than others)
    • http://www.wordtracker.com shows all related words too
  3. Update list of keyword phrases according to which are most popular on http://www.wordtracker.com

other keyword suggestion tools

the actual site

keywords for search engines

  • Use keyword phrases wisely
    • Ideally, make a particular phrase prominent for each page
  • Include keyword phrases in
    • HTML <title> tag
    • Heading <h1> - <h6> tags
    • Text links
    • Body content
    • Alt tag in images
  • Keep the keyword phrase intact - don't split it up into individual keywords
    • Make sure it is used in the same way in the title, headings, links, content, alt tags

meta tags

  • Make sure the <title> tag is immediately after the <head> tag
  • Write a keyword rich description for each page
    • Don't use the same description across the site
      • If several pages from your site are listed - not obvious to the user which page to choose
      • Reduces the relevancy of individual pages, decreases the chance of relevant pages appearing higher in search engine listings
  • Place all relevant keywords in the meta keywords content, include different spellings etc
  • Most search engines who index the meta tags will index 1000 characters for the keywords meta tag - not necessary to squash words together
    • I have found that separating words with spaces, not commas, more effective
    • Increases the chance of word combinations and reduces unnecessary repetition
  • More information about meta tags

the html document

  • Keep the HTML concise - and always use stylesheets
  • Have the most important keyword rich information at the top of the HTML document
  • Make sure there isn't lots of extraneous JavaScript in the document header
    • Put it in an external file and link to it

More about search engine submission tips