SEO Overview and Tips for Beginners - Using Keywords

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SEO Summary:SEO Overview and Tips for Beginners - Using Keywords

Choosing and using keywords are almost separate areas of study. If this were a full-fledged college course, choosing keywords would probably be a unit of its own covering several days, while using keywords would be spread almost throughout the course. Keywords are important to almost every kind of optimization you will do with a web site. You will use them directly in the body of the site's content, in various places in the site's code, and in links associated with the site. If you engage in any social media optimization, you will use them as anchor text to point back to the web site.

So what do you do with your keywords? It goes without saying that you use them in your content. You USE them, you don't OVERUSE them. Read whatever you write with your site visitors in mind, and consider how they would react. Are you serving their needs? Content that sounds as if you're simply repeating the same word over and over again won't fool your visitors into thinking your site is valuable and relevant – and it won't fool the search engines either.

Even so, there are some places where your keywords are essential. You must have a unique, keyword-focused title tag on every page of your site. Please don't make it the name of your company, though, unless your brand is a household word. Remember, few people will actually search on your company name; they'll search on things like “swimming pool toys” or “chlorine for swimming pools” or whatever other keywords are relevant to your field. If your company name needs to be in the title tag, put it toward the end.

Notice the kinds of searches I put in quotation marks in the previous paragraph. These aren't single words; they're phrases. These days, savvy searchers know that they can get more relevant results by using a phrase, so you should do the same. Depending on the nature of a user's search, they might also include a location, such as “pizza fort lauderdale” to find a pizza place close to home. If you want your site to turn up in these kinds of local searches, you should put your location in your text. Try “our West Palm Beach store” rather than simply “our store,” for example.

You should also use key words in text links, image alt tags, and even your domain name if you can. Since you might have several links and tags on a page, here's something to keep in mind while you're doing this. If you focus on more than one key word or key phrase on a page, it will effectively dilute that page's relevance for each of those key words. So optimize for a single key phrase on each page so the search engines will give you strong relevance for that phrase.

Key words also belong in your RSS feeds. You should optimize them in the same way that you would optimize your posts and web pages. Make sure the text in your title and description is, well, descriptive and rich with keywords. Put keywords in the captions to your images, and the content surrounding your images. Oh, and that blog I was talking about in the previous section? Your blog's title is probably optimized, but what about the titles of each post? They should be optimized with keywords as well, and that optimization should be separate from the blog title.

That's all I have room for right now. Don't forget to come back next week for the second part of this article. Stay tuned!   


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