Title: Determining Keywords

Copyright 2005 Sharon Housley

Determining keywords is a critical step in web design. If
your website and meta tags do not contain related keywords,
web surfers will be unable to find your website when they
conduct searches.

The formula is a little tricky - you will need to locate
terms that are popular and relevant to your site. These
terms may or may not be terms that *you* feel are relevant
terms. The optimal terms in a site should be terms that a
potential customer would use when searching for a website
with your content. In order to achieve success your website
should be optimized with terms and phrases that are
descriptive, related to your content, and which receive a
significant amount of searches. The caveat, of course, is
that you want to find terms and phrases where there is
little competition, so you quickly achieve high ranking in
the important search engines.

relevant + popular with searchers but not with competitors
= success

Markets saturated with other sites competing for search
terms make it difficult to find quality keywords. Sometimes
it is better to optimize for a less popular term, one that
is more targeted at your visitor, as it will likely have a
higher conversion rate than a less specific popular term.
The first step to determining keywords is brainstorming a
list of logical terms and phrases that relate to your
product or offerings. This should be done by a number of
individuals; sometimes people have very different ideas for
search terms and by identifying a variety of people and
their search terms you may tap words that hadn't occurred
to you. There are a number of free and low-cost tools
available online and for download that will allow you to
expand and research terms that have been brainstormed. The
results typically vary with the tools but overall the tools
will assist you in determining where to focus your keyword
efforts. The tools will often assist with pay-per-click
engines, creating expanded, related keywords or phrases
that can be bid on.

In addition to examining log files to see what terms
customers are using to find a website, visit competitors‚?T
web sites and examine their meta tags for additional terms,
use a thesaurus to find related terms, include misspellings
of keywords in your meta tag keywords, and optimize for
various forms of nouns and verbs, including tenses and

Keyword Tools -

KeywordTumbler - KeywordTumbler takes existing keyword
phrases and generates multiple variations, reordering the
words. This allows you to build a large keyword list in

TheDowser - Overture Keyword Tool, Google Keyword Sandbox,
Keyword Harvester, Google AdWords report analyzer, Google
AdWords optimization tool, log file analyzer, conversion
tracking and optimization tool.

WordTracker - Wordtracker helps you choose the right
internet marketing keywords that will help your search
engine placement and ranking. Use Wordtracker for keyword
research. Web marketing is all about search engine ranking,
and that starts with the proper internet marketing
keywords. Get a free keyword report and web site promotion

Keyword Suggestion Tools - A handy little tool will show
you the results of your query from both Wordtracker and
Overture for determining which phrases are searched most
often. Enter a search phrase below to see how often it's
searched for, as well as get suggestions for alternate (but
similar) keywords.

Keyword Ranking Tool - This utility can be used to check
search engines for keyword ranking and track search engine
ranking for your various keywords over time, which, as you
probably know, is critical when doing search engine

Overture Keyword Tool - After entering a keyword or phrase,
Overture provides a list of related phrases that have been
searched on. The tool provides a count that indicates the
number of times the phrase has been searched on.

Topword Tool - Topword Tool is a free online tool that
analyzes a complete web page and counts keyword
occurrences, as well as keyword phrases (number in
brackets), equal to or above that set in the Minimum
Occurrences setting. It supplies a list of keywords and
keyword phrases which are most likely to achieve the
highest rankings on a major search engine. The tool will
also analyze your meta description/keyword and title tags
and then, through color coding, inform you of words/phrases
which should be included. The main use for this tool is
checking your optimization and tweaking existing web sites
to rank well.

Google Suggestion - The Google Suggestion is a new online
tool for webmasters. As you type into the search box,
Google Suggest guesses what you're typing and offers
suggestions in real time. This is similar to Google's "Did
you mean?" feature that offers alternative spellings for
your query after you search, except that it works in real
time. For example, if you type "bass", Google Suggest might
offer a list of refinements that include "bass fishing" or
"bass guitar". Similarly, if you type in only part of a
word, like "progr," Google Suggest might offer you
refinements like "programming", "programming languages",
"progesterone", or "progressive". You can choose one by
scrolling up or down the list with the arrow keys or mouse.
The tool provides a number that indicates the number of
searches a specific word or phrase has had.

Keyword statistics give webmasters a way to tap into what
is on the minds of Internet consumers. When you can match
your marketing efforts to the various ways people locate
their items of interest on the net, potential customers
will be streamed to your site like ants to a picnic.

About the Author:

Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing
and publishing RSS feeds and NotePage, Inc. a wireless messaging software