The Big Picture

The idea is to place keywords strategically within your pages that match both the gestalt of your site and the terms users actually enter when searching for content like yours. The strategy is to choose keywords that best match the overall theme of your site, but yield few enough appropriate search results that you can achieve competitive rankings. These are your optimum keywords.

WordTracker's Secret Weapon

WordTracker's Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) can help you identify the keyword phrases that are most likely to succeed ( ). The KEI is the ratio of the number of times a term appears in the WordTracker database (its popularity) versus the number of pages that target that phrase (the competition). A keyword phrase with a KEI of 100 is "good," while a KEI of 400 is " excellent "and more likely to be successfully targeted .

Although many developers perform SEO after they've created a site, the best approach is to research keywords and keyphrases beforehand, and build your site around them. The best time to employ optimized keywords is when you are choosing a domain name and organizing your site. If possible, enhance your keyword relevance by using a domain name that contains your top keyphrases. Pay special attention to top-level directories and files because search engines give these higher relevance.

Target Multi-Word Phrases

Unless they are unique, targeting individual keywords is a losing proposition. The competition is intense , and single keywords can sometimes be misleading. Users know that they'll get better search results with multi-word phrases than with individual words (like "cruises in Caribbean" versus "cruises"). Unless you can effectively target unique words like "UNISYS," "JavaScript," or "your ACRONYM or product name here," stick with multi-word phrases for the best results.

NOTE: An NPD Group study of May 9, 2000 found that multiple keyword searching has become more popular than single keyword queries (

How Search Engines Rank Sites

Fredrick Marckini, founder of, says that most search engines rank the relevance of your site by using the following keyword factors: [1]

[1] Fredrick Marckini, Search Engine Positioning (Plano, TX: Wordware Publishing, 2001). The definitive guide for SEO professionals.
  • Prominence How high in your HTML and DOM hierarchy your top keywords appear ( title , h1 , etc.).

  • Frequency How often your keywords appear.

  • Weight or density The ratio of keywords to the total number words within a web page, or a section of a web page (that is, title tag density). Used to detect " stuffing " of keywords by search engines.

  • Proximity How close keywords are to each other.

  • Placement Where you put your keywords within your HTML shows their relative importance and can indicate what your page is about. Search engines favor the following areas for keyword placement:

    • The title tag

    • Heading tags ( h1 , h2 , and so on)

    • The keyword meta tag

    • The first 25 visible words

    • Hyperlinked text, URLs, and titles

    • alt attributes

  • Off-the-Page Criteria In some search engines, the way external sites refer to your page can be more important than what's inside your page:

    • Inbound Links Google, Teoma, and other search engines rank relevance in part based on the number and popularity of inbound links to your page. These "virtual votes " by other webmasters are a good way to improve relevancy.

    • Term Vectors A data-mining technique that converts inbound and outbound link characteristics and page terms into numbers representing points in space (vectors) and compares these numbers against an existing database of term vectors to classify pages according to subject and "theme." Focusing your page content on two or three keyword phrases can better define your theme, and thus raise your relevance.

Inbound Link Popularity

Here are two tips for building inbound links to your site:

  • Find sites similar to yours that rank highly on Google and other search engines, and ask for a link or an exchange of links.

  • Outbound links can also help raise your relevance, so be generous with links to sites you recommend.


Speed Up Your Site[c] Web Site Optimization
Speed Up Your Site[c] Web Site Optimization
ISBN: 596515081
Year: 2005
Pages: 135 © 2008-2017.
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