Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the 'natural' or 'un-paid' (organic) search results.
The internet has changed the way people look for information. Therefore if a company sells kikoys, they might want to be listed in a search for 'sarongs', 'African scarves', 'ethnic scarves', 'tribal scarves' and more. There are a few ways to ensure that they will be, including regular online article distribution, writing web copy so that it includes keywords, creating SEO heavy meta details etc. But before any of these strategies can be implemented, the company must determine which keywords they would like to use. Keyword research involves:
1. Thinking like a customer:
It is important to remember that your customers probably don't work in the same industry as you- so break away from industry jargon and get back to basics.
2. Create a list of potential keywords:
Go through your content and create a long list of words you'd like to be optimised for, as well as words that would make sense for you to be optimised for. Think of phrases that are broad and targeted, buying and research-oriented, and single and multi-word.
3. Avoid overly generic terms like 'shoes' or 'clothes':
These words are incredibly difficult to rank for and won't drive qualified traffic to your site. Focus on words that are relevant and not overly used.
4. Do competitor research:
Who are your direct competitors? What keywords can they be found for? How can you expand on their existing list to make yours better?
5. Make use of keyword research tools:
Using common sense to do keyword research is a good start, and it gets you thinking like a customer, but you'll have to get a bit more specific if you want to launch a successful campaign. There are many keyword research tools available online including, wordtracker.com; labs.wordtracker.com/keyword-questions; WordStream; Google AdWords Keyword Tool; Google Suggest; Thesaurus.com
Bear in mind, you're not only checking to see whether people are searching for a particular word, you're also trying to determine how competitive that phrase is in terms of rankings.
6. When choosing a keyword make sure you understand:
A second aspect involves activities which will increase your “popularity” on the web. The most important of these activities are building links with relevant websites, blogging, release articles and press releases.
How many other sites are competing for the same word and how strong those site rankings are (ie. how many other sites link to them; how many pages do they have indexed).
7. For web copy, it is recommended not to go after more than 3-4 keywords per page. Any more than that and you run the risk of diluting your page to the point where you rank for nothing.
8. Keywords should also be inserted into:
Title tags, Meta description tags, headings, text, anchor text and navigational links.
If this all seems a bit over your head, you might want to contact an SEO specialist who does this kind of work professionally. The results of continued SEO work can be quite astounding.