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Where Do Search Engines Looks For Keywords?
Knowing the Answer Can Boost Your Rankings

by Nina Menezes

Search engine optimization (SEO) might seem like some arcane formula known only to a select few Internet gurus, but I’m going to share some secrets that’ll hopefully demystify the art of SEO.

If you’ve spent any amount of time doing business online, then you probably know about keywords and keyphrases. But what you may not know is how important these are to your page rankings.

When people go online in search of something the first thing they do is type a word or phrase into a search engine like Google or Yahoo. So it’s important to know where the search engines look for those words in relation to your Web site if you want your pages to show up high in the rankings.

Text Links
A text link is a word or phrase that’s constructed to take visitors either to another page on your site or to another place on the web. Some Web site owners make the mistake of using words like ‘click here’ or even a graphic in order to send viewers to another place.

But generic text links won’t help people find you if they’re typing in specific keywords and search engines can’t read graphics. So you need to construct the link so that the keyword IS the link. For example: If you’re offering web design services and you want someone to go to your page regarding that, you would use the term ‘web design services’ as the link.

Title Tags
Title tags are the words that appear at the very top of your browser window. Since each page normally contains a title, you’ll want to use keywords and phrases that are popular among searches so that the search engines will find them.

Don’t use generic terms like ‘Home’ or even cute phrases like ‘Welcome to My Business’. Words like these will get you buried in the rankings. Also be sure that each page on your site has a good keyword or phrase in the title.

Description Tags
Description tags are one type of meta tags. These tags are not visible to page viewers, but are routinely seen by search engines. Description tags are information that’s inserted into the head of your page’s HTML code (if you’re not comfortable coding pages then get a pro for this). You’ll want to use text that describes your page in this tag. Many search engines use the meta description tag as description that appears in their listings.
Some people think that by inserting many keywords into their meta tags is a surefire way to increase their page rankings, but search engines are much smarter now than they used to be, and will often ban pages that cram too many keywords into their description tags.

Keyword Tags
Keyword tags are another type of meta tag, which aren’t visible to viewers. These are also inserted into the HTML code under the head section.

Keyword tags are passed over by the bigger search engines like Google and Yahoo, but you will still need to use these tags because some of the smaller search engines still see and rank them.

Headings and Headlines
Since search engines look at text in order to find keywords relevant to a search, you need to use those popular words and phrases in headings and headlines for content on your pages.

Headline text codes differently than body copy text and ranges in size from H1, which is the largest to H6. Search engines pay more attention to the larger headlines, so again, if you’re not good at HTML coding, ask a pro to help.

Body Copy
Body copy of web pages is another place that search engines look for keywords so you want to be sure that you’re using good, highly searched keywords within your page’s content.

You can help the search engines by making these keywords and phrases bold and by using them more than once on the page. It’s also wise to place your keywords as early in your copy as possible.

Some people recommend using your keywords two to three times per paragraph, but doing this often creates awkward sounding copy that turns readers off. Today’s web surfers are smarter than ever. They know when they’re getting good content and when it’s just words designed to show up high in the rankings.

There’s no sense in getting people to your website and then giving them garbage to read.

Alt Tags
Alt text are words that appear when you place your cursor over an image contained on your pages - these are sometimes referred to as mouseovers. Again, viewers don’t normally see these tags, but the search engines do pick them up.

While there’s more to SEO than just keywords, they are the most important aspect to getting good rankings. They are the words typed in by searchers and they are the words that are going to bring visitors to your site – so choose and use them wisely.

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