Choosing keywords and key phrases for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an art: if a webmaster doesn’t choose the right keywords and phrases and use them within the pages of the website, the amount of web traffic they will receive can be directly and adversely affected. Due to the fact that the Internet is a vast, collective space of information, webmasters are constantly striving to make their website more visible and choosing keywords and key phrases for SEO purposes can immediately increase a website’s page ranking, if done correctly. Thus, with an increased page ranking in search engines, webmasters will see a paralleled increase in the amount of web traffic they receive.

How Keywords Work

Choosing the right keywords and key phrases for SEO is crucial to a website’s success. With the right keywords, individuals can create online businesses that are highly visible and an increase in visibility means an increase in the profit that a business will receive. Just because your business has a website doesn’t mean that you will be able to reach a global audience overnight–in fact, you may not be able to reach a large audience at all if web users cannot easily find your website. Therefore, in order to make your website easily accessible, you will need to get your website to appear as a response to any search engine query that a web user may submit: one way to successfully do that is to find and use popular keywords and key phrases.

When a web browser submits a query to a search engine, the search engine will pull up the pages that will best answer the web user’s query. Further, search engines will base their responses on the quality of a website: the quality is determined by the website’s content along with other factors like how many outside links point to the website. If you want your website to appear in the top of the search engine results pages, you will need to make your website one that is prepared to answer any query that may relate to your website’s theme.

Common Mistakes When Choosing Keywords

  • Choosing Keywords and Key Phrases that are Not Targeted: One of the biggest mistakes that webmasters make when selecting keywords is that they choose keywords and key phrases that do not really apply to their desired audience. Although the idea that choosing as many keywords as possible may, at first, seem like a good idea, it’s not. In fact, poorly chosen keywords can adversely affect the way a page is ranked and can consequently lead to a lower ranking in search engine results.
  • Choosing Keywords and Key Phrases that are too Broad: Choosing keywords and key phrases that are over generalized will result in the ineffective use of keywords: the keywords will fail to increase your page ranking and it will also decrease the likelihood that you will draw traffic to your website. Remember, using keywords that are too broad will ultimately get your web pages buried beneath hundreds of thousands of other web pages using the same generalized keywords. Therefore, one needs to be very specific when selecting their keywords and key phrases.
  • Choosing Ineffective Keywords: When choosing keywords and key phrases for SEO, you really need to refrain from using common misspellings of keywords to insert in articles. Not only does the use of misspelled keywords make your web content look unprofessional, you may ultimately affect your overall page ranking within a search engine.
  • Overuse of Keywords: The overuse of keywords and key phrases will also act negatively when a page is ranked by a search engine. Using too many keywords and key phrases will alert the search engine that you are attempting to draw traffic with keywords and a search engine may in turn, lower the ranking of your web pages as a result.
  • Increased Web Traffic versus Improved Web Traffic: When choosing keywords and key phrases for SEO, a webmaster must always keep in the back of their mind the difference between an increase in web traffic and an improvement in the amount of web traffic a website will receive. For example, simply increasing your web traffic does not mean that you are attracting a web audience that is actually interested in your products or services. Conversely, drawing an audience that is looking for what you have to offer, an act of improving your web traffic, can make all the difference in the world to your online business.

Tips for Choosing Keywords and Keyword Phrases

  • Choose Keywords and Key Phrases that are Genre Oriented: When choosing keywords, be sure that you select words that match the theme of your website, your products and your services. In other words, don’t choose keywords like “ghost” when you are really offering “ghost writing services”. Not only will your web pages get lost within a search engines response for the term “ghost,” but you will not be drawing the type of traffic you desire.
  • Choose Keywords and Key Phrases that are Unique: When using keyword generators and online keyword search tools, a highly recommended process, be sure that you do not select the most popular keywords from the top of the list. Instead, it is better to focus on keywords that are used less frequently. Why? You are ensuring a higher listing in search engines whenever the unique phrasing is used because there may be less competition and you will be getting the targeted traffic you want.
  • Make Keywords and Key Phrases Read Naturally: It is imperative that no matter what subject your web content addresses that you use choose keywords and key phrases that can be used naturally throughout the webpage. When keywords read naturally and can go unnoticed, that means that a search engine is less likely to penalize the attempt at increasing a page ranking. Clearly, no more than 10 to 15 percent of a webpage should include keyword insertions. Just as important as driving traffic from the search engines, once the users come to your site they will read your content and repetitive word will make it harder for them to find the information about your products and services that they need. On the same note, in order for a webpage to read naturally, you will want to rely on correctly spelled keywords within your webpage content.
  • Using Keywords in Your Meta and Alt Tags: If you insist on using keyword misspellings, do so where it won’t be obvious to your readers. For instance, Meta and Alt tags are hidden within the HTML coding of a webpage and they let the search engine spiders know how a page should be listed. Using misspelled keywords within such tags still makes it likely that your web pages will be an answer to any query using questionable keywords without affecting the quality and appearance of your web content overall.
  • Domain Names and Keywords: It’s a good idea to insert popular keywords in your domain name and in page names. In doing so, you are increasing the likelihood that your pages will be listed as a response to queries related to your web content.

Keyword and Key Phrase Selection Tools:

Choosing key phrases for SEO may seem a little overwhelming at first. Nevertheless, the task of selecting keywords doesn’t have to be a daunting one. In fact, there are numerous free and premium keyword and key phrase selections tools available both on- and off-line that can help you in selecting the right keywords to increase your web traffic. Let’s take a look at some of the available tools below:

  • Using Keyword Generators: Having trouble coming up with appropriate keywords? You can always use keyword generators to determine what popular keywords and key phrases you should choose. Some keyword generators are free, but the subscription keyword generators are more thorough when it comes time to selecting appropriate keywords and key phrases. Whether you decide to use the free keyword suggestion tools or you decide to subscribe to a premium site offering keyword suggestions, you will find such tools extremely useful in your seo endeavors.
  • Keyword Tracking Websites: Along with keyword suggestion tools, you may find keyword tracking sites particularly useful. Keyword tracking sites will help you determine what kind of queries people are making in popular search engines. Further, several keyword tracking websites offer results in real time–you can find out what people are querying about at the immediate moment, choose keywords that apply to your website theme and then work such keywords into your website.
  • Related Keyword Tools: Do you have a few good keywords in mind already and you are looking to find related keywords; keywords that are similar to the ones you are already using. Many websites offer related keyword suggestions and some websites like keyword databases and thesauruses focus on keyword related suggestions for your use.