Along with picking the right keywords, it’s vital that you not limit yourself. “A really big mistake some site owners make is that they believe there are only five money words,” says Lloyd-Martin. “The difference between organic optimization and pay-per-click [a system where site owners bid for keyword positioning and pay when consumers click their link] is that with organic it’s possible that your site can position highly for every single word combination on your page.”
This is where it helps to have a keyword strategy. At its simplest, a keyword strategy involves the “integration of the keywords that you find in your keyword research into the content of the site itself,” says Detlev Johnson, president of technology solutions for SuccessWorks.
Checking site logs for referring search engines is one step (referring URLs generally include the search terms a user typed into the search engine). A Web analytics product can be helpful. This helps you optimize your content for the terms people are already using to find you.
The next step is to use a keyword service, such as Overture’s, Google’s AdWords (http://adwords.google.com) or Word Tracker (www.wordtracker.com), to find other commonly searched words that you’d like to incorporate into your keyword strategy.
Ideally, once you’ve optimized for these new terms, they’ll start showing up in your referring links as well.
Build It (Well) and They Will Come
All the brilliant content and keyword research in the world can be undone by counterproductive site architecture. The construction of your site is an important factor in having it successfully spidered.
“In a perfect world, all sites would be static HTML and all text,” says Mike Gullaksen, senior search strategist for Scottsdale, AZ- and New York City-based search-engine marketing firm iCrossing. Spiders are designed to read HTML; they run into problems with dynamically created sites that cull information from a database when a page is requested, and they can’t read sites designed in Flash at all. (There are ways around these issues, but that’s a topic for another article.)