Maximize your SEO by understanding keywords. These are the words and phrases entered in a search bar.
Keywords are terms, or words, used to index and retrieve documents on the Internet and are the beginning of “search” and “search” is the beginning of SEO (search engine optimization).
Keywords Start Search
Keywords are index terms used to find documents, or webpages, related to that specific term or subject. When you start a “search,” you are trying to find webpages that match your keywords.
When you “Google Something,” the words you “Google” are simply keywords.
Used to Index Webpages
Google, and the other search engines, index/categorize/file every web page on the Internet. Keywords are assigned to every webpage.
Remember, Google ranks webpages, not websites. This means that every webpage of your website gets indexed and is assigned a “main topic.”
Every time you search, the engines try to find the best webpages that match your keywords. (The order in which the results are listed is the science of SEO!)
How Search Engines Determine Keywords
In the old days of SEO (or maybe before SEO even started), the webmaster would supply their own words that should be used for each page. These were added as ‘metatags’ which told the search engines the keywords to use for that particular webpage.
Keywords would also be overused within the content of an article. The more times a word was used in an article, the higher the ranking!
“Keyword Stuffing” became a black hat SEO technique and quickly became an unethical way of trying to manipulate page rankings on search engines.
Nowadays, neither technique works. In fact, metatags are ignored by Google. Also, if a particular word represents more than 5.5% of the total words, the SEO value decreases and the page is actually penalized with lower rankings.
Google now has its own algorithm for determining keywords. There is no longer any gamesmanship and is one of the reasons that good SEO has become so important.
Adding Your Own Keywords
In almost all website design programs, blogging software, HTML generators, etc., there are area where you can manage the SEO of your webpage. In these areas, you can specifically add titles, descriptions, compose metatags and keywords.
What Can You Do?
In Titles: Use your keyword within your title. This not only catches the attention of the search engines, but your readers, too.
In the Description: Take the extra time to compose a succinct description of your article – no more than 150 words and use your keywords. The description is the text underneath your webpage title on a SERP (search engine results page). It will not necessarily improve your SEO, but it will catch the attention of your readers.
Scribe SEO Tool: I use, and we suggest, purchasing a subscription to Scribe. Scribe is a plugin for WordPress (and other CMS applications) and makes optimization simple and easy. It will walk you thorugh setting up your tiltes, analyzing your writing and descriptions, count your keywords and grade each publication.
To the Growth of You and Your Practice!
Randall V. Wong, M.D.