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Keywords: How to Pick 'Em, How to Use 'Em 

Does your site rank highly for keywords that no one searches on? If so, it doesnít matter how highly your site is ranked on search engines.

There are several ways to be sure your site is keyword-rich and ensure good rankings.

Website guru Jill Whalen suggests that if your most relevant keywords aren't bringing you traffic, find ones that will.

According to SageRock.com, which specializes in search engine optimization for business-to-business firms in the U.S. and Canada, the process can be long and seem complicated, but it's worth the time if you want good rankings.  

SageRock.com recommends making a substantial list of keywords and their popularity ranking. (They study between 50 and 400 words depending on the topic and site.) Then use Wordtracker or another type of keyword research software to search your choices.

Heather Lloyd-Martin, President of SuccessWorks (a company that specializes in prime search engine positioning), says search engine optimization copywriting must satisfy the demands of both the search engines and your target audience.

Lloyd-Martin offers five tips to writing keywords:

  1. Because search engines rely on visible content for their ranking determinations, make sure your body text is keyword-rich and doesnít appear as a graphic.
  2. Before you start writing, determine what keywords you should optimize for. Use common sense words that people actually understand and would search under.
  3. Choose two to four of your most important words and focus on these phrases for your homepage, including them as much as possible. Emphasize your main keywords in the first paragraph and in your main and sub headlines. This is the first thing the search engines "see," so keyword-dense text helps influence the rankings.
  4. If you're afraid that your text will sound stilted with all those keywords, read it out loud. Strong search engine optimization copywriting keeps a persuasive marketing flow. Donít put all your keywords in a big text block separated by commas because search engines read this as spam.
  5. Longer copy is better, and itís much easier to write keyword-dense text when you keep your page length to at least 250 words. To keep it readable, write short paragraphs, include subheadlines and integrate keyword-rich bullet points to help enhance usability while satisfying the search engines.

With a little keyword research, you can write optimized copy for your website that search engines will love, which translates into higher rankings on their pages.

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