Wednesday, February 25, 2009

SEO - Are Your Keywords Ranked High In Google?

By Stewart M. Russell

Understanding the keyword ranking of your website is one of the most critical ways in which you can analyse the success of your search engine optimisation. Using keywords is a very specific element within the battery of techniques at your disposal for ensuring that your website is as search engine friendly as possible. Many people, however, seem to leave the use of keywords as much to chance as design, which is certainly not the wisest of decisions.

It is certainly true to say that Google is no longer a search engine which can be fooled easily through keyword stuffing and excessive use of key words in meta tags. Using its highly developed latent semantic indexing, Google is now able to analyse and identify the overall contextual relevance of a website without having to rely purely on the existence of half a dozen specific keywords.

However there is a great deal of misunderstanding as far as ensuring that your website is optimised for Google is concerned. Many people seem to believe that because Google now uses semantic keywords, rather than specific keywords, that it is no longer important to include a specific words anywhere in your website. This is a serious misunderstanding, and nothing could be further from the truth. There is a great deal of difference between stuffing your website full of keywords, and optimising a website for those keywords.

Let us imagine that your website is focused on selling stationery items. It will be important to ensure that as much of your website as possible uses key words and phrases which will help to build up Google's contextual understanding of the relevance of your website. But including and creating this broad picture for the search engines is only the first step, and there is a great deal more which must be considered.

Working on the search engine optimisation of your website it is sometimes very easy to lose focus, and forget that at the end of the day everything that you are attempting to achieve is for one very specific goal. That goal is to make sure that when a potential customer carries out a search on a major search engine, your website appears as close to the top of the results pages as possible. But search results pages only exist after a potential customer has actually carried out a search. Understanding what potential customers are actually searching for is the most important aspect for you to understand.

There are a number of tools available on the Internet to help you identify the most popular searches for particular topics. Even Google itself is able to help you here with its own keyword tools. Once you understand the key words being used by potential customers, you are able to maximise the relevant use of those keywords within your own website .

All the hard work that you will have invested in ensuring that your website maximises the relevant use of most popular key words and phrases should pay off. But how can you tell if it has been successful or not, and if it has been successful, exactly where your website is ranked compared to your competitors? Is important for you to be able to tell where your site is ranked.

There is a particular tool which I used myself quite frequently to be able to analyse where my websites rank for specific keyword phrases, and out of similar tools on the Internet, I find that the key phrase ranking tool on a new website I have just come across, is the quickest and easiest. Simply enter your chosen keyword phrase, and the domain you would like to check, and their tool will be able to tell you exactly what your ranking position is within the major search engines. To be successful, try to make sure your site is within the top 20 or so.

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