Tuesday 14 April 2009

How Useful Are Keywords?

How Useful Are Keywords? Keywords used to be the be-all-and-end-all of website building as it gave the webmaster a tool to target customers and find the best words or phrases around which a web page could be built that was search engine optimized. It meant being seen by the search engines rather than being invisible and God there is no joy in being invisible. There is no point in doing it if we are invisible.

If you are not sure what keywords are, you might like to read this post: What are Keywords?

Things are changing or have changed, though. For example, this Blogger site tells us what we want to know as to whether keywords are useful or not. In Blogger you can totally ignore them and still get found by Google provided you have a decent site with decent content and inbound links. The last is very important and is a consequence of the first (i.e. good content). I have built nearly all my pages on keywords but it is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Even the guys at Wordtracker said you can ignore them! (Wordtracker is the number one keyword search website).

So you don't have to knit keywords into articles with the same kind of earnestness as before. But they are still a great market research tool. Keywords tell us as surely as a market research company what people are interested in. That I guess is obvious. What people search for tells us what interests people. We should supply what is demanded. Currently one area that is demanded perhaps more than any other is information on internet marketing and by that, in this instance, I mean how to get your site to be effective and actually do something. Only a very tiny percentage of websites actually do something worthwhile.

If a site gets 30 visitors a day, what is the point except to have some fun building it? And as competition hardens day by day it get harder to be seen. So in response to "How Useful Are Keywords?", the answer is they are useful, indeed essential at least at the initial stages of building a site and particularly with a non Blogger site. Over time the old rules apply. If what you are selling is good, eventually people will buy it. In other words if your content is good in the end people will find it. It just takes longer if the pages are not SEOed well. And keywords form the backbone of SEO work.

I use keywords like this:
  1. I have an idea for a topic.
  2. I check the keywords for that topic. SBI provide that service or you can use Wordtracker for instance.
  3. I pick a keyword that (a) has high demand and low supply (b) can be used in the article - some are simply unsuitable to be used in an article.
  4. I use the keyword in the article (a) as a title (b) in the first line (c) a little more than average in the article (d) in a link (e) perhaps as an alt tag for a picture.
But as I said Google is more flexible particularly with Blogger sites so using keywords in a formulaic way is less important but still useful.

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