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Keywords & Phrases
Hopefully, your site should already contain the keywords you want to rank for. If that is the case, then that is a good start. If not, then you will have to use Google’s Keyword Tool, to gather keywords that are relevant for your content. You want to aim for keywords that have a high number of searches but low competition. Long tail keywords tend to be better for optimization. A long tail keyword has multiple words. For example, rather than using ‘apple pie’ you are better off using a phrase like, ‘gluten free apple pie recipes.’ As you can see the words are more focused. They are less commonly searched for and less popular. This means that there is far less competition, increasing your chances of ranking well.
Once you have your chosen keywords, you should sign up with Google Analytics and Google Webmaster. Using these two services, you will have the ability to track traffic to your site and discover what keywords are providing the most visitors. When you are analysing, take a look at what keywords or phrase are not bringing in enough traffic. You can use this to determine which keywords you should keep and which ones you should replace. On each page of your website, it is ideal to have two to four keywords. If you have more Google will penalise you. Any less and you are unlikely to have success with ranking high in the search engines.
Title and Description
Every single page on your website should contain a unique title as well as a well-written description. You want to ensure you have this as it is the first thing your visitors will see when it appears in the search results. If your pages and posts do not contain unique information, then you run the risk of having your content passed over by the search engine robots, when they are indexing. This will have a negative effect on your rankings, pulling you down.
It may seem tempting to just leave your site to run without looking back. However, it is important for you to frequently monitor your site and how it is performing in the search engines. You do this by using Google Analytics and Google Webmaster. Be sure to check on it every three to four months. Take note of how your chosen keywords are working out, in terms of drawing in organic traffic. If you notice that there are keywords that are not pulling in enough visitors, then you should remove them and replace them with better keywords. Ideally, you should allow your keywords to remain for three months before you make any real changes. This will allow for more accurate data.
There Are Rules
As mentioned previously, you do not want to overfill your content with keywords. This is called keyword stuffing and it is a form of Black Hat SEO. You need to ensure you have the right density of keywords for the length of content that is on a page. Since Google have updated the way they crawl sites, many site owners have found that they have dropped significantly in the rankings. By having the right keyword density, and ensuring all the keywords you use are relevant to your content, you can avoid being penalised. Do not be put off if you find your keywords are not doing that well. The whole process takes time and eventually you should find the right mix.
Google Analytics and Google Webmasters are the best tools to use to track your websites performance. They are free to use and easy to sign up with. You can use Google Analytics to track the different sources that draws in traffic to your site. For example, an organic source, like Yahoo search or a referral from another site. You can also use it to see what specific pages are attracting visitors. How long they stay on the page or how fast it takes for them to click off your site – this is called bounce rate.
If you find that search engines are your main source of referral, then it is a good idea to use those high ranking keywords across your site. Google Webmasters is used to track keywords. You may also notice that some pages on your site are just not doing as well as others. If this is the case, see if there is a pattern. It could be the keywords, but it could simply be that your content needs to be updated.
Optimizing your site is not a one time job. SEO needs to be continuously monitored to ensure optimum performance. You may feel that it is taking too long for you to see any progress, but remember it does take time. Once you have it right, you can repeat the same strategy with other sites in the future.
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Sasha Moran has a degree in Linguistics. She is a writer at essay on time with a background in psychology, e-learning, and marketing.