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Selecting SEO keywords : the right strategy

Keywords selection is possibly the most critical stage of the SEO process. By keywords, we mean any word or combination of words used to describe a web page's content or purpose.

The single most important rule in SEO is "NO SPAM!" From every standpoint, it's a bad business strategy unless traffic is solely based on advertising in questionable schemes such as banner pop-ups and the likes. First of all, search engines might see through spamming as they identify those sites submitting too many pages to too many engines with repetitive keywords.

Being identified as a spammer (for instance, by an Open Directory or Looksmart editor) is like wiping out your entire SEO strategy. Even successful spammers usually rank lower than others and drive minimal qualified traffic to their sites. By contrast, careful but sustained submission for specific keyword phrases will pay off and bring substantial qualified traffic to a web site.

That is why your strategy should be based on careful optimization rather than brute force and flooding techniques. You will find, like we have, that it is the best strategy any web site can choose. By contrast, weaker strategies will delay or jeopardize your entire strategy no matter how good the intentions.

The pitfall of single keywords

Single keywords are made out of one single continuous word, acronym or combination of characters. Historically, they are the most searched-for terms on the Intgernet.

But trying to rank in the top 10 search results for a keyword like "Internet" on Google is nearly impossible. The same is true for most keywords and search engines. Any strategy based on single keywords is almost certain to fail for the following reasons:

Finding niches with keyword phrases. As the word implies, a keywords phrase is a set of single keywords arranged together to form a more explicit keyword description. They allow a better target qualification and chances to be ranked in top positions.

Choosing wisely

NOTE: Many major search engines Google included, do not support “exact sentence” by default, which means that searching for "blue widget" will also return results for "widget blue," and decrease the likeliness of top 10 positioning for keywords phrases which are not specific or explicit enough. This emphasizes the importance of choosing the right keywords.

You should keep it simple: Select the few keywords that best define your core business and those activities you wish to publicize online. For example: caterers, wedding catering, event planners.

Run a search using Wordtracker or Google Adwords keyword tools. Then select keyword phrases based on those keywords that yield the best ratio based on the actual number of searches and competing pages found.

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