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Keywords? SEO? What relevance does all of this jargon have? People looking for products, information, videos, etc. use keywords to search within a search engine like Google or Bing. Keywords are what Google and other search engines use to rank your webpages on the search engine results page, or SERP. If nobody can find your website, what’s the point of having one?

Generally, a search engine ranks everything on the internet and displays the results, 10 at a time, on a series of pages. You usually want to rank in the first 10 results, which appear on the first page. Prospective site visitors will rarely go to page 2 of the search results. In Google’s case, the top 4 results are reserved exclusively for paid advertising (“pay per click”), because Google has determined that those positions are ideal for content relevance and keyword placement.

Over the years, I’ve heard many stories, some of them cringe-worthy, from potential clients who have paid a lot of money to have someone build their website, but the site is nearly invisible on the internet. The only way to find such sites is by using the exact URL (web address) of the site. Even the most beautiful websites, when difficult or impossible to get to, are of little value. Search engine optimization (SEO) is what gets websites noticed by the search engines. My main rule of thumb is to build the entire website around great SEO practices rather than trying to retrofit good SEO into an existing website. Often, incorporating SEO into existing websites requires entire redesign and creates a lot of complications.

A common misconception is that saturating a website with focus keywords will increase search result rankings. In this case, more is definitely not better. Research suggests that maintaining specific keyword to content ratios raise rankings. Keeping these ratios in mind while creating content will yield proper SEO. Scattering keywords throughout the page make the text sound unnatural while reading.

Back when the internet was fairly young, web developers used a piece of HTML code called “keyword meta tags” to include as many keywords as possible for page ranking. Google and other search giants stopped using them long ago, but sometimes you can see these relics of the past in the source code of older websites. Google keeps their search algorithm top secret, but back in 2009, they told the public that they no longer use keyword meta tags for search rankings anymore.

In the end, keywords are an important part of an SEO campaign, and when implemented properly, can help move your site to the top of search results. Keywords play a significant role in this process, but the entire thing extends far beyond just  keywords.

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John Hanysh
SEO Strategist
Xpotential Marketing Group