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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What are Keywords and Why are They Important?

Most people who look for something on the Web, whether it be a product, service, place, person, or any kind of information, don't navigate straight to a specific website to find it. Instead, they go to a search engine's (e.g. Google's, Yahoo's, or Bing's) text box and enter a bunch of keywords.

For instance, somebody looking for laundry services in Cavite may enter "laundry services Cavite", "laundromats in Cavite", or "Cavite laundry services". These are known as keywords. Experience will tell you that the person searching will normally click only the search results found on the first few pages; in most cases, only those found on the first page!

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Thus, if you're offering laundry services in Cavite (and have a website), you'd want a link that leads to your site found on the first few pages of the search results. This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes into play. Your website's pages should be optimized to cater to a certain set of keywords.

SEO specialists tweak the titles, headings, content, meta tags, etc. found on your site to target certain keywords. Since a typical website would understandably have limited content (i.e., text), only a few set of keywords can be targeted.

To increase the range of keywords that a site can target, some site owners add blogs and news sections. The reason is because these sections can be updated often. Each article or post can be optimized for a certain keyword. For example, one article can be optimized for "Cavite laundromats", another for "best laundry service Cavite", still another simply for "top laundromats", and so on.

Since different individuals will use different keywords to find laundry shops, it would be best to cover as many keywords as possible. Furthermore, maybe you'd also like to target people who aren't looking for laundry services now but may be interested in them in the future. So, keywords like "Cavite cleaning services" or "Cavite services for transients" may be possible keywords you may want to be ranked for.

Of course, if you own a chain of laundry shops, then you can either drop 'Cavite' altogether or target keywords that include specific places where your branches are found nearby.

There are ways to find the right keywords; that is, keywords that are actually known to have been searched by people in the past. There are also SEO strategies that can be carried out outside your site. We'll tackle these in future posts.

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