Choosing the Best Keywords for your Website

Search engines try to find the most relevant sites for a user's search. Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about trying to find the best search phrases people are looking for, and optimizing your site for those phrases to help them rank higher for those searches.

But how do you pick which search terms to optimize your site for?

You want to find phrases that are targeted, specific, and easy to search.

Let's say you have a local store in Anytown, U.S.A., selling running shoes. You might think that being ranked No. 1 for the search term shoes is what you should focus on.

However, someone searching for the phrase shoes might be looking for just about anything shoe-related. They could be looking for information on anything from snowshoes to ballet shoes. They might be looking for product reviews. They might even want to know how shoes are made for a school report.

Even if they're purchasing running shoes, they might be on the other side of the country or even searching from another country altogether.

You can see this search phrase might not be the best phrase to focus on to get you in front of your target consumers.

It's much better to optimize for phrases such as running shoes in anytown, usa or anytown shoe stores. If you have an online store, you can even optimize for buy running shoes online.

What if a generic search gets a lot more search traffic than a specific one?

As you can see, even if there are a lot of people searching for a particular search phrase, that doesn't mean those people are interested in what you are trying to sell. If you optimize for a more targeted keyword phrase, there might be fewer searchers overall, but a much higher percentage of those users will be interested in your page.

Also, generic keywords are more competitive. For our shoes example, you'd be fighting for space on the first page of search results.This includes every running shoe salesman on the Internet to blue suede shoes Internet videos. It's much more difficult to rise above the noise, which uses your money and effort that can be spent to build your business elsewhere.

Remember, the more your search phrases target your exact buying customers, the better success you'll have.

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