Important tips to optimize Keywords for SEO

In this SEO tips article, we’ll discuss one of the major factor that affect your rankings with Google, MSN, Yahoo and the other search engines. The list contains the importance of keywords in terms for search engine optimization. The majority of the factors in this checklist apply mainly to Google and partially to MSN, Yahoo and other search engines.The focus will be on Keywords and how and where they should be placed.

1. Keywords in the URL:

Keywords in the URLs can serve quite a bit. For example http://www.cardekho.com/carmodels/Maruti/Maruti_Alto, where Maruti Alto is the keyword phrase you are set about to rank well for. But if you don’t have the keywords in other parts of the document text, one must not rely on having them in the URL.

2. Keywords in headings (H1, H2,etc. tags):

Another very important place where keywords weighs a lot. But you also require to ascertain that your page has actual text about the specific keyword or heading.

3. Keywords in the title tag:

Another very important place to have a keyword because what is written inside the title tag is depicted in search results as your page title. The title tag should be short (7 to 10 words at most) and the keyword must be present near the beginning.

4. Keyword density in the document text:

This is one of the important factor you need to determine – Keyword Density. 3-7% for major keywords is best, 1-2% for minor. Keyword density of over 10% can be fishy and can look more like keyword stuffing, than a naturally written text.

5. Keywords in the anchor text:

Also very important, especially for inbound links. Having the keyword in the anchor text in a link from another site, is usually considered as getting a reward from this site not only about your site in general, but about the keyword as well.

6. Keywords in alt tags:

Spiders don’t read images but they do read their given descriptions in the alt tag. If you have images on your page, use the alt tag with relevant keywords or keyphrase as they comply with the image.

7. Keywords at the beginning of the document:

This also counts, though not as much as anchor text, title tags or headings. Keep in mind that the beginning of a document does not necessarily mean the first paragraph — for instance if you use tables, the first paragraph of text might be in the second half of the table.

8. Keyword proximity:

Keyword proximity measures how near by in the text the keywords are. It is best if they are immediately one after the other. For example “new cars” – with no other words between them. If you have “new” in the first paragraph and “cars” in the third paragraph, this also counts but does not have as much weight as having the phrase “new cars”. Keyword proximity is applicable for keyword phrases that consist of 2 or more words.

9. Keywords in metatags:

This is not very important though, especially for Google. Yahoo! and MSN still consider them, so when you are optimizing, fill these tags in properly. Filling these tags with proper content will not hurt, so do use this to your advantage.

10. Keyword phrases:

Similiar to proximity, you can optimize for keyword phrases that consist of several words. For example “new car prices”. It is usually best when the keyword phrases you optimize for are popular ones.

11. Secondary keywords:

Optimizing for secondary or minor keywords can be a golden opening. When everyone around is optimizing for the best-selling keywords, there will be less competition (and undoubtedly more hits) for pages that are optimized for the minor words. For instance “car prices in india” might have five thousand times less search results than “new cars”. Another benefit of this is you will typically receive better targeted traffic.

12. Synonyms:

In addition to the main keywords, one can try to optimize for synonyms of the target keywords. This works particularly well for sites written in English for which search engines are smart enough to use synonyms.

13. Keyword stemming:

For the English language, this is not so much of a factor because words that stem from the same root (e.g. car, cars, etc.) are usually considered related and if you have “car” on your page, you will get hits for “cars” as well.

14. Keyword mistypes and misspellings:

Spelling errors are very dominant and if you know that your target keywords have popular misspellings or alternative spellings, you might be excited to optimize for them even. If you go ahead, this might lead you to some more traffic but having such spelling mistakes on your website does not usually make a good impression. Use this with caution in context or in your metatags.

15. Keyword dilution:

When you are optimizing for an unreasonable amount of keywords, especially not the relevant ones, this can hinder the performance of all your keywords. Even your major keywords can be lost or diluted in the text.

16. Keyword stuffing:

Any artificially injected keyword density (typically 10% and over) can be considered keyword stuffing and you get a high risk getting banned from search engines.

Taken from: http://blog.girnarsoft.com/2008/06/seo-tips-importance-of-keywords.html