Ranking - Selective Keywords
by Kenneth Catto
Keywords are an
essential component of producing a web site.
These are the words which the search engines use
to help categorize and rank your pages. For
instance, if your web site is about 'writing
articles' then your keywords could include
'writing', 'articles', 'article writing' and so
The advice from
many web designers and search engine optimizers
has been to find as many keywords as you can.
They advise you to search for keywords using a
variety of online tools and software programs
which can identify leading keywords. At first
sight this seems attractive, but it actually
Let's take a look
at the aim of a search engine. It's job is to
track down pages that meet the specific search
term that a web surfer has typed in. The more
closely the pages it serves up match the search
term, the better it is for users. Search engines
need to be as accurate as possible in delivering
the right material to their users. Otherwise the
web surfer goes elsewhere.
Now imagine you
are a search engine algorithm - the mathematical
program which calculates the probability of any
web page matching the search term typed in. If
the page has hundreds, or thousands of keywords
you'll be a bit confused. For instance, is this
web page about 'article writing', or is it about
'feature writing for journalists'. They are
different things. You'll end up knowing the page
is relevant but not that relevant. So you rank
it down the bottom.
But what if the
page only has the keyword 'article writing'
several times? You're absolutely clear the page
is about article writing and so you rank it
not quite as simple as this. But this is the
principle of search engine technology. It is
trying to find the most relevant pages that
match the search term.
What this means
for Internet marketers is that you need separate
pages for each keyword. Focus each page on each
individual keyword. Use the keyword in headings,
sub-headings, the page text, the page title tag
and in the meta tags. Avoid having pages which
contain several keywords as that simply confuses
the search engines and lowers your rankings.
So forget the
advice to have hundreds or thousands of
keywords. Go for single pages that match single
keywords and you will find your page traffic
This trick also
works for Google AdWords. Each advert should
apply to just a handful of keywords - you get
much greater click through rates and therefore
cheaper advertising when you only have a couple
of keywords per advert. If you have hundreds of
keywords you'll find you'll get greater results
by having keyword specific ads, rather than one
advert with hundreds of keywords.
So go against the
advice of filling your pages and adverts with
keywords. Go specific.