Monday, May 09, 2005

SEO Basics - Keyword Integration

Keyword Integration is one of the most fundamental steps in search engine optimization. To what extent you incorporate the keywords into your web pages are entirely up to you. Minimally, the keywords would be entered into the source code of the site.

Here is where to integrate the keywords into the source code with examples:

Title and Meta tags, Image tags, and Table Tags.

Source code modification is typically not enough to gain search engine rankings. It is the minimum that should be done.

The next level of optimization is working the keywords into your pages visible content. A good rule of thumb is to mention the keyword about 2 to 3 times for every 200 to 300 words.

If it makes sense, you can reinforce the keyword focus in the content by "marking up" the actual keywords. Here are some things that can be done to "mark up" the visible keywords on a page:

a. Make the keyword a "header".
b. Make the keyword bold
c. Highlight the keyword
d. Underline the keyword

The next level of optimization is more extreme and many times not practical. It involves using the designated target keyword for each page in the actual text that links to that page. So for example, you choose to use "luxury baby gifts" as the target keyword for your "gift" page. You would then incorporate the phrase "luxury baby gifts" into your website's navigation where it links to the "gift" page.

An even more extreme way to optimize a website would be to use the target keyword in the actual naming of the pages. So for example, the gift page would be called something like luxury-baby-gifts.html. (Side Note: Always use hyphens "-" and not underscores "_" in these situations).

By integrating keywords into your pages you increase the chances of your website ranking for those terms. However, other factors come into play. For example, if your industry is very competitive then the number of inbound links pointing to your website vs. the number of inbound links a competitor has becomes a determining factor.

Look for more on inbound links and other SEO Basics in up coming SEO Expert posts.