Keyword Basics

The following keyword basics will help you with your search engin optimization efforts. The first step in web page search engine optimization (SEO) is choosing the right keyword phrase. Before your website can be search engine optimized you must choose which keyword phrases you want to be optimized for. This must be done regardless if you do your own search engine optimization (SEO) or you pay someone to do your search engine optimization (SEO) or search engine marketing (SEM).

Choose the right keywords and you could see your website traffic soar. Target the wrong keywords and all your efforts will be in vain. Therefore, it is important to think about which keywords your target audience is likely to use to find your website. Below are the keyword basics that you need to know before you choose your keyword phrases.


Keywords are the basic words an internet user types into a search engine's search form. There are now so many pages and basic keywords indexed on the Web that a search on many common keywords such as "Bed and Breakfast" or "Architect" is going to generate billions of web pages that may not be relevant to your search. Internet users are learning to be specific in their search queries, and it would bein in the best interest of any business to do the same.

Keyword Phrases

Many people will likely use multiple-word phrases to find you, particularly when single words do not provide adequate results for the search, as illustrated above. The syntax for this varies by engine, but phrases are generally enclosed in quotation marks for a search. Therefore, it is best to make a list of 2-3 keyword phrases people are likely to search for. Trying to be listed well on every phrase or keyword combination that visitors might search for is next to impossible. 

Know What Your Target Audience is Searching For

There are several things to consider when choosing keyword phrases. The most important is to put yourself in the shoes of the type of visitor you want to attract, your target audience.

After you have created your core marketing message you will know what you are selling and who your target audience is. Then you can search for keyword phrases that your specific target audience is using to find the product or services you are selling.

Identify the Topics of Your Website

Now that you know who your target audience is and what services you will provide you can identify the topics of your website. The topics of your website will determine how many pages your website will have and what the content of each page will be. You will want to identify the main topic of your website for your home pag; your sub-topics will be the additional pages. Make sure the other pages support and relate to the main topic of your website.

For example: my website’s main topic is “Property promotion for those in the architectural, travel, hospitality, and tourism industries.” My website sub-topics are: architectural photography, graphic design, web design, 360° virtual tours, etc.

It is important to have multiple pages on your website and to have each page dedicated to one topic only. Search engines list web pages with content about the keyword phrases that are searched for. The keyword phrase is the topic of the web page. Search engines want to see that the web page is mostly dedicated to one topic (keyword phrase). The web page that best covers the keyword phrase searched for is then listed at the top. This is why it is important to optimize a single page for only one or two keyword phrases.

Multiple Pages with Unique Keyword Phrases is Best

Having more pages with only one unique keyword phrase for each web page helps in three ways:

First, if the page covers only one topic, then the search engines and your visitors will know exactly what the page is about. If the page has too many topics, the topics will dilute each other and hurt your chances of being listed for any one of the topics.

Second, the more pages you have listed, the greater your chances of listing high in the search engines. This is because you will have multiple pages that can be listed rather than just a few. This will also increase your traffic because people can search for different keyword phrases and find your website. The more pages you have, the better your odds are that potential Customers will find you.

Finally, when you are listed high and a visitor clicks onto your web page they will expect that web page to be about the topic that they searched for. If it is not about the keyword phrase they typed, they will leave rather than search your website for what they want.

Knowing the above keyword basics will help you when you choose your niche keyword phrase. Having the right keyword phrases will not only list well in search results, they will bring you more business.