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Keyword suggestions and guidelines
The first and the single most important step is for you to develop a PRIORITIZED list of approximately 5 keyword phrases starting with the most important, or relevant, phrases.
Each phrase should be 2 to 3 words long with a maximum of approximately 15 UNIQUE words (repetitions of the same word do not count).
The first 3 phrases MUST be at least 2 word phrases and appear as often as possible while still being readable in descriptive text on the Home page of your site.
While as many of the keywords will be included as is possible, search engines have total character limits and your home page can only be fully optimized for THE FIRST 5 or 6 UNIQUE PHRASES.
Please be certain that your keyword list is PRIORITIZED. WE CANNOT STRESS THIS TOO MUCH!
We will use the first 5 unique keyword phrases, plus as many of the other submitted keyword phrases as possible.
How do I decide what my keyword phrases should be?
Your keyword phrases should be those you believe people looking for your product or service would enter into a search engine. There are many effective approaches. Try two or three different ways and look for phrases that repeatedly pop up when using different techniques.
1) Imagine that someone is looking for your product or service, sitting down at a computer and entering words in a search engine. Research shows that most people enter two or three words in a search. List the words or phrases you think they will enter. Try the words in your favorite search engine. You should come up with sites with offerings similar to yours. Ask friends and associates to list their choices.
2) Go to WordTracker at WordTracker.com and use the free trial to check two and three word combinations of the words you would use to tell people what you do. Look for words and phrases that are frequently entered and also for those where the hits, which is the number of competing sites, are low. Remember that Word Tracker is only a tool. It cannot "tell" you the best keywords to choose.
3) Print out your home page and other pages on your site that have information about your products or services. Highlight words and phrases that are central to what you are offering. Consider adding these words to you keywords list. If your keyword phrases DO NOT appear on your site, you should re-evaluate your choice of keywords or rework the text on your site. The frequent appearance of keywords in the site text is very important in being well listed in the search engines. The first 3 phrases MUST appear in descriptive text on the Home page of your site.
4) When you talk with your customers, what do they ask for? Use the words and phrases you hear from prospective clients.
5) Remember to think like a searcher when considering your phrases. If you want dance lessons in New York city and you are tying to find a studio to teach you, what would you type into the search engines. If you type 'dance lessons', you will be presented with everything from dvd's and videos to on-line dance studios. But if you want hands on dance instruction you will quickly realise that you need to type something like 'dance lessons in New York'.
Just remember that the most obvious words are often the best choice. Be as specific as possible; dance lesson in "name your city" will probably be better than dance lessons.
What about phrases and repeated words?
Phrases Definitely use phrases; it helps us understand the usage of the words. People usually search in two to four word phrases, so that is our emphasis. We will work our magic to put them in the best format. Remember that each new word in the phrase counts as a new keyword.
Repeated words Go ahead and use them where they help make your idea clear. After the first appearance they don´t count towards the total number of words.
Should I use my company name or my name in my keywords?
There are only three cases in which it is a good idea to use your company name (or your name) near the top of your keywords list.
1) You have GREAT name recognition (IBM, Kleenex)
2) You intend to receive ALL of your business by referral.
3) Your site is intended to provide service to existing customers ONLY.
If you want to bring in new business through the Web site, your PRIMARY keywords and phrases should describe the goods or services you provide.
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