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SEO Guide - Keywords


Keywords dominate search interaction. When a search is performed, search engines match pages based on the words entered into the search box. Other data, such as the order of the words, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization of those keywords provide additional information that the engines use to help retrieve the right pages and rank them. To accomplish this, search engines measure the ways that keywords are used on pages to determine the "relevance" of a particular document to any given query.

Ensure that keywords are prominently used in titles, text, and meta data on your website. The best practice is to use your keywords naturally and strategically. If your page targets the keyword phrase "Eiffel Tower" then you might naturally include content about the Eiffel Tower itself, the history of the tower, or even recommended Paris hotels. On the other hand, if you simply sprinkle the words "Eiffel Tower" onto a page with irrelevant content, such as a page about dog breeding, then your efforts to rank for "Eiffel Tower" will be a long, uphill battle. Understanding which websites already rank for your keyword gives you valuable insight into the competition, and also how hard it will be to rank for a given term. Keyword research is one of the most important, and high-return activities in the search marketing field. It's not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting visitors that want what your site is offering. Generally, the more specific your keywords, the better your chances of ranking higher, based on less competition.

It's possible to compete on keywords that have 5,000 searches a day, or even 500 searches a day, but in reality, popular search terms actually make up less than 30% of all searches performed on the web. The remaining 70% lies in the long tail of search. The long tail contains hundreds of millions of unique searches that might be conducted a few times in any given day, but when taken together, they comprise the majority of the world's searches. Another lesson that search marketers have learned is that long tail keywords often convert better, because they catch people later in the buying cycle. A person searching for 'shoes' is probably just browsing. On the other hand, someone searching for 'the best price on Air Jordan size 12' may be comparing choices in the final stage of a purchase.

On-Page Optimization

Keyword usage forms a significant percentage of ranking algorithms, so web pages can be optimized to score highly for specific phrases. When working on your own sites, use the keyword phrase that you're targeting only once in the title tag, keeping the keywords as close to the beginning of the title as is possible. Further, repeat your target phrase again near the very top of the page, and at least 2-3 times, including variations, in the body and text copy. In every image on your page, be sure to include your keywords in both the image 'alt' and 'title' attributes.

Keywords are fundamental to the search process; they are the building blocks of language and of search. In fact, the entire science of information retrieval, including web-based search engines like Google, is based on keywords. As the engines crawl and index the contents of the web, they keep track of those pages in keyword-based indices. Thus, rather than storing 25 billion web pages all in one database, the engines have millions and millions of smaller databases, each centered on a particular keyword term or phrase. This makes it much faster for the engines to retrieve the data they need in nanoseconds.

Search Engine Stats

StatCounter Global Stats Reports the top search engines sending traffic world-wide.

Google sends 90.62% of traffic.
Yahoo! sends 3.78% of traffic.
Bing sends 3.72% of traffic.
A Study by Slingshot SEO Reveals Click-through Rates for Top Rankings.

#1 position in Google's search results receives 18.2% of all click-through traffic.
The second position receives 10.1%, the third 7.2%, the fourth 4.8%, and all others are under 2%.
#1 position in Bing's search results averages a 9.66% click-through rate.
The total average CTR for first ten results was 52.32% for Google, and 26.32% for Bing.
Google Sites led the US search market in April with 65.4 percent of the searches conducted, followed by Yahoo! Sites with 17.2 percent, and Microsoft Sites with 13.4 percent. Americans alone conducted 20.3 billion searches monthly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A/B testing
Affiliate Programs
Anchor Text Variability
Authorship
Backlink Analysis Tools
Backlink Growth over Time
Body Copy, Sales Copy
Case Studies
CGI scripts
Clickthrough Rates
Code-to-Content Ratio
Content Creation
Content Management Systems (CMS)
Conversion Tracking
Cookies
Copywrited Content
Crawl Phase of Search Engine Indexing
Data Mining
Database Output Visualization
Deep-linking, Internal Pages
Domain Name Servers (DNS)
Duplicate Content
Dynamic Sites
Dynamic Text Replacement
Error Handling, Database Errors, Server Errors
Error Pages
Facebook Likes
Geo Targeting, Localization
Google Analytics Tracking
Google Authorship
Google Blog Search
Google Chrome Browser
Google Search by Image Search
Google News RSS feed
Google News Search
Google PageRank
Google Plus
Google Trends
Headers, HTTP Headers
Headings, Headline Copy
Human Edited Directory Dmoz
HTML Compliance, Errors
HTTP Acceleration
Image ALT and TITLE text
Internal Links, Menus, Breadcrumbs
IP Addresses
Keyword Discovery
Link Building, Articles, Relevance
Local Search, LocalRank
Long Tail Search
Mailing Lists
Meta Tags
Microsoft Bing Ads
Newsletters
Organic Search
Page Size, Image Size, Loading Speed
Page Title, 1 Title to a Page, 1 Page to a Topic
Parsing and Caching
Pay-Per-Click, Google Adwords Paid Search
Pinging
Public Domain Content
Referrals
Reviews, Social Impact
Rewriting Content to Improve Rank
Rich Snippets
Robots Meta Tag
RSS Feeds
Screen Size Detection
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Conference
Search Engine Roundtable Conference
Search Engine Spiders
Search Engine Watch
Semantic Web
SEO Centro
SEO Periodic Table
SEOmoz
Server Issues
Shopping Carts
Site Navigation, Crawlability
Site Relevancy
Site Speed, Compression
Sitemaps, Robots.txt
Social Indicators
Subdomains, Add-on Domains
Synonym Matching
Targeting Headlines
Testing Landing Pages
TRAFFIC Conference
TrustRank, Hubs
Typefaces
Wordtracker Keyword Research
Yahoo! Search Engine
YouTube Video Search


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