Why should you optimize keywords? Because it will help you achieve higher search engine rankings. Most people use search engines to find information on the internet, but usually won't look any further than the first 20 to 30 results displayed for the specific keywords or phrases they are using. You can increase the chances of your website being found when you target specific keywords on the individual pages of your website.
Ideally, you should optimize keywords that are relevant to your market during the development of your website. This can help define your niche and determine the actual content that your site will focus on. By developing a content rich website in which you optimize keywords, you will achieve higher rankings in the search engines and increase your website traffic.
How to Determine Your Keywords
You want to optimize keywords that target your site's purpose and audience. Begin by making a list of potential keywords that relate to your subject. Also write down any phrases that your visitor's would likely use. You can also see which keywords your competitors are using by going to their website and clicking "view" on your toolbar. From the drop-down list, click "source" (this will show you the source code for that web page). Look what is listed under the title, description, and keyword tags for additional keyword ideas.
Now that you have a list of potential keywords, you'll want to expand them into keyword phrases. This is because single keywords are often too broad and don't deliver the search results that people want. Most people will use combinations of 2 to5 words to narrow down and target their search.
As an example, say you wanted to make a website about remodeling. Your list of potential keyword phrases might include: home remodeling, home renovations, home improvement, home maintenance, remodeling contractors, remodeling plans, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, cabinet replacement, cabinet resurfacing, window replacement, etc.
How to Optimize Keywords for Profitability
Once you have found keywords and phrases that target your niche, you will need to check how profitable they will be for your website. To be profitable, they should have high demand (lots of people searching for those keywords and phrases), but little competition from other sites (not as many search results).
Researching Keyword Demand
For help in determining the demand for your keywords, you can use the Wordtracker Free Keyword Tool. After the search box loads, type in your main keyword and click "Hit Me". The keyword suggestion tool will return the search volume for your specific keyword, plus keyword phrases that are related to that term. Write down the keyword phrases that target your specific keyword phrase, plus the number of times that each was searched for.
Researching the Keyword Competition
You can use the Google search engine to find out how many sites offer information about that subject. Simply type your keyword phrase enclosed in quotes into the search box and click the search button.
When it returns the results, the number that you will be concentrating on is right underneath your search phrase at the top of google. For example, if you typed in "horse training" as your keyword, google would return the following "About 641,000 results". This tells you how many total pages contain that keyword phrase and gives you an idea of the competition for that specific keyword.
Optimizing Keywords with Software
You optimize keywords by choosing words and phrases that have a high demand with relatively little competition. If you've ever done manual keyword research, you know how time-consuming it can be. To speed up the process, you can use software and services to do the research for you.
Site Build It has a brain-storming tool that finds related keywords and phrases and displays the relative profitability for each. The nice thing about the brainstorming tool is that it is part of a complete website building system that includes your domain, site hosting, page building and optimization, plus too many benefits to mention. And you can get it all for about the price of the brainstorming feature alone.
If you're just looking to optimize keywords, then you can use Wordtracker - The Premier Keyword Research Tool for Search Engine Optimization. This service not only researches the specific keywords, it will also return related keywords and phrases, showing you the profitability based on the supply and demand for each keyword or phrase.
Another good service is available from KeywordDiscovery.com Keyword Research Tool which compiles keyword search statistics from all the major search engines.
Choosing Your Keywords and Phrases
Once you optimize keywords, you will have a list of potential keywords and phrases that you can target on your website. The number of keywords and phrases that you select will depend on how many pages are going to be on your website. With your list of profitable keywords, you will begin to see various themes. You can use these themes to determine the sections of your website.
Once you have determined the various sections of your website, you can build pages for each section based on your profitable keyword phrases. When you optimize keywords, you should make sure that each page is relevant to the selected search phrase and targets the information your visitors want. By developing a content rich website in which you optimize keywords, you will achieve higher search engine rankings and more traffic.