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Tue Aug 5, 2003

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Choose Your Keywords

Next you will want to determine the keywords being used by the sites you have saved as your competition. to do this, go to the site, then click the 'View' tab at the top and choose 'source' or 'page source'. One of the first tags on the page will begin with <meta name="keywords" content=

The tag on's homepage looks like this
<meta name="keywords" content="Web Hosting, Asheville, WNC, western north carolina,web hosting,flash communications server,web design,Unix,Linux,Windows 2000 server,flash hosting,DS-3,high-speed bandwidth, streaming,reseller hosting, webmaster hosting,fcs">

As you can see, we have selected our keywords for our home page primarily based upon terms relating to web hosting, with a few geographical keywords, for folks who wish to do business locally.

Please remember not to copy/paste other peoples keywords directly into your site. Strings of words in meta tags can be copyrighted, if the page is displaying a copyright tag, and doing so could possibly bring a complaint, a lawsuit, and at the very least bad Karma. Your goal is to have a complete list of keywords, and teaching you to observe other's keywords is intended to help you toward that goal, not to show you how easy it is to steal. You will also want to choose from your list of keywords different patterns and combinations of keywords which reflect the content of each page, not simply paste the same ones into each page on your site. Each page of your site has a specific focus, and your keywords need to reflect that to maximize your returns for each page. Build yourself a good comprehensive list of keywords, and judiciously apply them to the appropriate pages in your site.

Although we have spent this section talking about meta tags, it is important to note that while some search engines use meta tags heavily in their indexing, Google drastically minimizes the importance of keywords in their search indexes. For this reason, it is important to maximize the use of keywords in the text of the page, particularly the headlines, title, url paths, and first paragraph of each page. You are creating your website both for visitors, and search engine spiders, and a little bit of planning for both will go a long way. With a little practice, you will find yourself sprinkling keywords into these text areas quite easily.

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