Keywords are Key to Online Business Success

With search engines beginning to dominate the Internet, websites are actively fighting it out for valuable search engine rankings. Subsequently, keywords are becoming increasingly important as they not only decide the website’s search engine ranking, but also the quantity and quality of traffic the site draws. In short, keywords could well prove to be the single most important factor in the success or failure of a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign.

Search engines judge the quality and relevance of a particular site by the density of keywords and their placement. The homepage is considered the most important page and you will need to pay extra attention to the keywords you choose and their density. While a keyword density of 5-6 percent is considered optimum, a very high percentage could prove detrimental as it impacts readability. Moreover, a very high keyword density imparts a spam feel and many of today’s search engines have spam filters. Commonly uses keyword strategies include placing keywords in the HTML title tag, in the URL, in the page titles/headline, in the initial part of the first paragraphs and in the top half of the page as some search engines only index the top of the page.

Now to the big question, how do you decide on the appropriate keywords? While there are many approaches to selecting keywords, the simplest involves choosing keywords on the basis of your site content and what your target audience is most likely to search for on search engines. This requires a fair share of research and brainstorming and online tools such as wordtracker are of major help in shortlisting the most searched keywords. Alternately, you could use the long tail keyword strategy where in you use words that a smaller group of users/potential customers are likely search for. Long tail keywords help you to target your audience better, improving conversion rates. So, if you want to improve the search ranking of you restaurants website, you could possibly use the following long tail keywords: list of North Indian restaurants in Bangalore, the best North Indian restaurants in Bangalore, Cheap North Indian Restaurants in Bangalore etc.

Some general tips: analyse your web traffic, analyse your competition in terms of content and keywords, include your city or state in the search phrase, use synonyms, research customer testimonials for keywords, and make use of online tools such as Overture, Google AdWords, Wordtracker and Trellian.

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