News Leadership 3.0

August 26, 2008

SEO and keywords

Find their keywords,
and they will come
What’s your search strategy?

Powerful as “search” has become on the Internet (think Google), “search engine optimization” still remains mysterious territory to managers of some news sites. The Bivings Report has a fairly simple explanation of SEO and the importance of keywords in “SEO Basics.”

Here’s a summary:

Search optimization techniques to improve content visibility center on use of keywords that users are likely to employ in their searches. The key to key words is figuring out and using (in headlines, tags, text, etc.) words or phrases that someone searching for content that you have on your site will use in her search. Simple example: “Restaurant” is probably more widely used than “café” or “eatery”. But there are a lot of restaurants, so “French restaurant” or “Thai restaurant” or “‘Name of neighborhood’ restaurant” might fare better in a search. Or “pizzeria” might do better than “pizza restaurant.” Or… that’s the mystery.

This chart shows how the spelling of “barbeque” might affect search:

image

Your Web site’s traffic analytics program is one place to look for keywords people are using to find your site.

“SEO Basics” offers a handy list of free services to help you figure out the best keywords:

Google: Suggest and Adwords’ Keyword Traffic Estimator Tool and Trends

Microsoft: AdCenter Keyword Forecast Tool

WordTracker: Basic Keyword Suggestion Tool

KeywordDiscovery: Basic Search Term Suggestion Tool

For more, check out the full report.

What’s your formula for keyword success? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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Exploring innovation, transformation and leadership in a new ecosystem of news, by journalist and change advocate Michele McLellan.

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