Picking up the Right Keywords for SEO

Keywords are really the cornerstone of any SEO program. Your keywords play a large part in determining where in search rankings you’ll land, and they also mean the difference between a user’s finding your page and not. So when you’re picking keywords, you want to be sure that you’ve selected the right ones. The only problem is, how do you know what’s right and what’s not?

Selecting the right keywords for your site means the difference between being a nobody on the Web, and being the first site that users click to when they perform a search. You’ll be looking at two types of keywords. The first is brand keywords. These are keywords associated with your brand. It seems pretty obvious that these keywords are important; however, many people don’t think they need to pay attention to these keywords, because they’re already tied to the site. Not true. Brand keywords are just as essential as the second type, generic keywords.

Generic keywords are all the other keywords that are not directly associated with your company brand. So if your web site, TeenFashions.com, sells teen clothing, then keywords such as clothing, tank tops, cargo pants, and bathing suits might be generic keywords that you could use on your site.

Going back to brand keywords for a moment, if you don’t use the keywords contained in your business name, business description, and specific category of business, you’re missing out. It seems as if it wouldn’t be necessary to use these keywords, because they’re already associated with your site, but if you don’t own them, who will? And if someone else owns them, how will they use those keywords to direct traffic away from your site?

Right Keywords

Keywords fall into two other categories: those keywords you pay a fee to use (called pay-per-click), and those naturally occurring keywords that just seem to work for you
without the need to pay someone to ensure they appear in search results (these are called organic keywords).

When you think about purchasing keywords, these fall into the pay-per-click category. When you stumble upon a keyword that works, that falls into the organic category.

When you begin considering the keywords that you’ll use on your site, the best place to start brainstorming is with keywords that apply to your business. Every business has its own set of buzzwords that people think about when they think about that business or the products or services related to the business. Start your brainstorming session with words and phrases that are broad in scope, but may not bring great search results. Then narrow down your selections to more specific words and phrases, which will bring highly targeted traffic.

When you’re considering the words that you’ll use for keywords, also consider phrases of two to three words. Because key phrases can be much more specific than single words, it’s easier to rank high with a key phrase than with a keyword. Key phrases are used in the same ways as keywords, they’re just longer.

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