Improving Your Search Engine Results

Recently someone asked me about how to go about improving their website visibility with better search engine optimization (SEO).  Good question and obviously an important issue for anyone wanting to market effectively online.  Do a good job with SEO and you get lots of free traffic coming to your site; don’t do a good job and you may get overlooked entirely or have to spend a lot of money on advertising to attract visitors.

When working with SEO, an important thing to realize is that the big search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are always tweaking and adjusting their algorithms so it is critical to stay up to date. The good news about this is that the changes are usually about encouraging better and more relevant content.  If people do a search and don’t find what they want, or only find empty content stuffed with keywords, they will try another search engine hoping for better results.  From the search engine’s perspective, then the more relevant the results the better.  That means  the most important rule of SEO is always to strive for high quality content.

Search Engine Optimization Keywords

When working with keywords, conventional wisdom says to select a good keyword and use it, but only so it is between 1%-2% of your total content.  That means use it 6 to 12 times in a 600 word article. However, you may find it difficult or awkward to do that, especially if your keyword is a phrase.  Recent changes in search engine algorithms have resulted in a concept called LSI (Latent Semantic Index) keywords. These are words which are highly related to but not identical to your main keyword.

For example, if you are writing about light bulbs, related words may be fixtures, lamps, lighting, dimmable, day light, incandescents etc.   Google looks for LSI keywords, which means you can have the kind of keyword density you need in order to be found by the search engine, but you don’t have to keep looking for graceful ways to say light bulbs over and over again to get there…and in fact if you do, not only will you have an awkward article or blog but Google may actually penalize you.

LSI keywords are part of an effort to give more weight to website content which is relevant; the idea being that relevant and well-written content naturally uses a variety of different but related words.  Bottom line, the concept is to reward authentic content which has real value to the reader.

Given this focus, you may be better off being conservative with your use of the main keyword.  In a recent online chat at Wealthy Affiliate, Kyle, one of the owners, stated that he now feels a keyword density of 1-2% can actually be too much.  He added that based on tests he has found using  LSI keywords to be just as effective for giving you a solid ranking.  He suggests you use the main keyword in the title, somewhere in the first paragraph and perhaps  once or twice more but let the LSI keywords that are a natural part of your content do the rest.