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Search Engine Tactics
3. Keyword Selection
What do I mean by relevance? If you own a website about "marketing" and your website comes up first in an Alta Vista search for "alternative medicine", you will get some visits from this. You'll get them, but they won't do you any good.
The term "alternative medicine" is indeed frequently used. But its relevancy to marketing is questionable.
Chances are, you are trying to sell a product or attract certain interest groups with your site. The visits you get based on the "alternative medicine" searches will be irrelevant. If you are selling marketing products or services, I sincerely doubt any of these visitors will be interested in your products.
Now, if you simply want visits for the sake of visits (for instance, if you are selling ad views on your site), then it doesn't matter where these hits come from. See "What Keywords Work." However, it's generally unacceptable to try to get traffic for keywords that are not relevant to your site. Not only will engines ban you if you're caught, it is generally "uncool". The engines are there to help people find what they are looking for. If people try to subvert the quality of the engines then the experience is spoiled for everyone.
If you are looking for relevant visits (I hope you are), then you need to be more careful in your selection. Relevant visits equal more chances for sales and more chances for return visits.
In this section we'll show you how to select relevant keywords. In the following sections we'll show you how to apply them. This may not make sense now, but it will pay off later.
Let's take the case of a site featuring water faucets. The initial list of keywords the owner devised consisted of repeating the term "water faucet" 100 times. Makes sense, right? Well he's making several mistakes here and not taking full advantage of keyword power. (Not to mention the fact that excessive repetition is considered "spam" by most engines.) Here are some rules he's ignoring and how he can be applying them:
Now, take a moment to write down the keywords related to your site. Once you have generated a list. Ask yourself: "What would someone who would benefit from my site be looking for"? Then add the results.
Show your list to your friends and colleagues. See if they have anything to add.
An interesting test may involve asking people the above question without showing them your list. Ask as many people as you can. Compare the lists. The phrases or words that show up the most are likely to coincide with the most "frequently used" words on the search engines.
Are you excited? You should be.
[ Home | The Basics | Analysis | Keyword Selection | Meta Tags | Hidden Input | Invisible Keyword Stuffing | The Title | Know the Different Search Engines | What Keywords Work? | Multiple Pages | How to Submit | Tracking Your Progress | Further Study ]
Be sure to check out the Search Engine Tactics forum at the Internet Marketing Library! You can find the latest tips and tricks there.
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