Search Engine Optimization - Austin Keyword Research and SEO
Article by Austin search engine optimization company Semantic Advantage, Inc. Copyright (c) 2011
Optimization Strategy – Keyword Research and Search Engine Rankings
Most people performing a Google search find what they’re
looking for on Page One, and very few browse beyond page three. So it’s worth investing in search
engine optimization and Austin SEO services to achieve a Page One result for your major keywords.
To rank #1 in the Google search results, a web page needs
enough SEO to convince the Google search engine it is better -- more
authoritative, more germane, more informative -- for a specific keyword phrase
than all the other pages on the Web. If it’s better than all but nine other
pages, it will still make Page One. Ditto for Ask, Bing and Yahoo! search
Note: We have an SEO Glossary for those not familiar with
search engine optimization nomenclature.
(This will open in a
Keyword selection -- the process of deciding exactly what a
web page should be about, and boiling this down to a 2-5 word keyword phrase –
is a major component of search engine optimization. A highly specific 5-word keyword phrase can precisely
capture what your page is about; but few people will use this in online
searches. A broader 2- or 3-word
keyword phrase would be searched for more frequently; but this may also apply to
thousands of other web pages, creating a daunting SEO challenge. This brings us to one of the
fundamental principles of good search engine optimization: Keyword selection is a compromise between keywords with high search
volumes and keywords which most precisely describe aspects of your business,
products and services.
There are three things you need to know to do effective keyword
selection and related organic search optimization:
volume – the number of times per month a specific keyword phrase is entered
into Google, Yahoo! or Bing. You
can have the best search engine optimization in the world, but if no one ever
enters your keyword into a search engine, you’re not going to get much traffic.
At the same time, if you select
high volume keywords, you’re going to have a lot of competition from organizations
that have applied SEO resources toward those popular keywords.
strength – the search engine optimization-enhancing attributes of competitors’
pages that embody that keyword. Of
course, the SEO strength of competitors’ pages is a moving target; you should
expect them to step up their search optimization in response to your SEO
engine ranking factors – the attributes of a page that search engines evaluate
to determine the page’s ranking. These
on-page and off-page SEO methods constitute your search engine optimization
Using keyword research tools like the Google AdWords Keyword
Tool, WordTracker or Keyword Discovery, you can estimate the number of monthly
search volume for candidate keywords.
These search engine optimization tools will also suggest closely related
keywords that might be more effective (or they can be used on the same page as
synonyms or contextually related terms).
Keyword Research and Competitive
Search Engine Optimization
Competitor strength can be determined by examining the pages
listed on Page One of the search results for your candidate keyword, noting
what keyword(s) they are using and where the keywords are used. Keywords embedded in the URL, page
title (meta tag), page description (meta tag), navigation menu and major
headers are most beneficial to search engine optimization. The keyword should also appear in the
body of the page – several times – along with synonyms and related terms.
We also need to analyze competitors’ pages for other search engine
optimization ranking factors. The most
important factor is the number and quality of backlinks – links from other
websites to that page. If your
competitor’s page has more backlinks from higher PageRank pages and websites,
your page is going to have a tough time beating it in the search results.
Organic Search Engine
Optimization and Keyword SEO
One of the most frustrating aspects of search engine
optimization is the realization that search engines do not understand web pages
in any meaningful way -- they just count and grade the words and links, apply a
mathematical formula to determine which keywords apply, and then score each
page for those keywords. It’s
remarkable that the search engines do as well as they do in presenting relevant
search results – particularly with all the aggressive SEO out there.
We don’t know the details of the search engine algorithms –
and these change periodically in response to unexpected results, overzealous
search engine optimization efforts or outright black hat SEO. But there are several widely accepted
heuristic search optimization guidelines for keyword use:
Keywords embedded in the page URL, Page Title (meta tag)
and Page Description (meta tag) enhance search engine optimization enormously.
Keywords embedded in anchor text (the text in a link to or
from your page) are extremely valuable for SEO. Ideally in-link anchor text should contain your page’s
keyword (or a variant or synonym).
Google claims not to use the Keywords meta tag for ranking
purposes; but other search engines may use this, so putting the page’s keyword
there (with variants and synonyms) can enhance search engine optimization.
Major headers (H1, H2) should also contain the page’s keyword,
variants or synonyms.
Keywords in large type sizes, bold/strong, italicized
and/or underlined are given extra weight.
The page’s keyword should also occur several times in the
page body, along with synonyms and other related terms. But too many occurrences of a keyword
on a page (called ‘keyword stuffing’) is a negative SEO factor and is penalized
by the search engines.
Keyword placement near the top of the page is more
effective for SEO than locations near the bottom of the page.
Keyword Tools for Search
Engine Optimization -- Austin, Texas SEO Firm Semantic Advantage
There is a broad variety of keyword research and evaluation
tools available for search optimization. Each of the major online advertising platforms (Google,
Bing, Yahoo!) has a free keyword tool; and the Google AdWords Keyword Tool is
the most capable and popular of these.
Professional SEO practitioners generally use one of the more
feature-rich 3rd party paid keyword research services. The most popular keyword research tools are
good for discovering long tail keywords
generate up to 2000 keywords per search
good assessment of competition for keywords
easy to use
Keyword Discovery (Trellian)
results for multiple search engines
common spelling errors and plurals
statistics on keyword density
demographic dependencies for geo-targeting
The ‘free’ keyword tools are not really free -- your business
is paying for SEO time or services.
In our experience WordTracker and Keyword Discovery save enough time to
make their modest fees worthwhile.
Semantic Advantage: Austin
Search Engine Optimization and SEO Services
For more information on SEO strategies and keyword research
or other search engine optimization services, browse our website or contact Semantic