SEO Basics, Part 1: Keywords and Keyphrases

Keys. Photo by Richard Payette

As you are creating your website, you are probably interested in making it easier for your audience to find it. This post will be the first in a series of posts with some quick and easy tips to help your site rise in the search results on keywords and keyphrases which relate to your organization and the information available on your website.

Tip #1: Determine which keywords and keyphrases you want to target, then create pages devoted to them

After you have determined which of the search keywords and keyphrases that you want to specifically target, create separate pages for each phrase and fill it with relevant content. Repeat the keyphrases occasionally and make sure to use them in the title and the URL of the page. If you emphasize the keyphrases in the content it will also help (for example, enclosing the keyphrase at the top of the page in an <h1> title tag, and using subheads that include the keywords wrapped in <h2> or <h3> tags, as well as bolding or italicizing the words when they appear in the body of the text).

It's important that this page be well-written and well-presented in addition to having the correct keywords and keyphrases, because you have two audiences: the mechanical spiders that crawl the web searching for keywords but also the visitors you are trying to draw to your page. This page will act a landing page for those who have searched on the keywords and phrases you are targeting, since Google (and the other search engines) will direct them to the page most closely associated with those words and phrases.

Be careful not to overuse the keywords in relation to the rest of the content on the page -- if you do, your site may be associated with "keyword spam" and actually go down in the rankings.

In the coming weeks we'll be reposting more of these basic SEO techniques, so check back often if you're interested, or bookmark this SEO landing page.