Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of ensuring that a particular website ranks as high as it can within search engine results. The process can be as simple or as involved as the website owner/manager desires to make it. It can also be as expensive or inexpensive as they desire.
There are many components to Search Engine Optimization. It really depends on the school of thought the person belongs to. Initially, many thought that link building was the key, where a website manager would attempt to entice others to link to their website. Quantity was the order of the day. Then came along keyword density, where a certain percentage of keywords -- the "keyword density" -- were thought to be the primary SEO factor. But these days -- in more enlightened times, only a handful of years later -- the concepts behind the field of Search Engine Optimization have become more expansive. It's no longer solely about links or keywords or any other single component. It's about all that and much more. SEO should be thought of as a symphony of distinct, yet powerful notes and tones which form a multiphasic unit.
Let's face it. The people over at Google are smart, and they know their algorithms better than all else (and if not, it doesn't matter since it is their algorithms which website owners are targeting). As such, everyone must play the game as Google dictates. But what is often lost in the matrix is the fact that content is what drives traffic and appeals to search engines. Without a broad application of keyworded content, neither search engine nor reader will arrive.
WHAT ARE KEYWORDS?
When searchers utilize Google or other search engines they must enter search criteria. This could be as simple as a person's name (e.g., Randy Radic), a business's name (e.g., Intimo Media), or even a specific topic (e.g., search engine optimization). These terms which searchers input become the keywords of the search. They are what search engines utilize for indexing and to provide the best set of results to users.
For the website owner or manager, keywords are their lifeline to search engines. This is because it is keywords which are used to find the websites in the first place. If it weren't for keywords -- regardless of whether searchers realize it or not -- search engines wouldn't exist, since they would have no way to catalog and categorize websites. Keywords are the vehicle search engines use to provide results to their users.
UTILIZING KEYWORDS: HOW TO USE THEM AND WHAT "KEYWORD DENSITY" MEANS
Keywords can be utilized in a number of areas concerning websites. They can be a part of their domain name, the title of the blog, the title of the article or blog post, and even contained in general, static content. By compiling an effective list of keywords -- terms searchers use in a particular market -- a website owner can better target their market and improve the search engine ranking of their website to the coveted first page of results, or even the top three results for a particular keyword or key phrase. This is the nexus between keywords and Search Engine Optimization. The keywords are utilized to further a website's SEO ambitions and, therefore, connect with new readers through the search engines.
Keywords can be used in the following areas:
~Domain Names (and Sub-Domain Names)
~Static Website Content
~Blog or Article Titles
~Blog or Article Content
~Any Other Textual Writing on a Website (including media captions)
The optimum use of keywords is to find a healthy middle ground between SEO and reader experience. The end goal of any website is to attract readers who will stay because of engaging content. But in order to attract them, the website must be accessible to the reader. As such, keywords are required to gain the desired search engine traffic, but are not necessarily of paramount importance to individual readers since the readers are interested in the content, not the key terms used.
Finding the middle ground can be a challenging task. Some unscrupulous services out there will flood a website with keywords (called "keyword stuffing") in an attempt to gain search engine traffic. On the other hand, some web content writers have no idea what keywords are and fail to use them at all. In the first situation, the site will probably ascend in the search engine rankings, but will do so to the detriment of readers' experience. In the second situation, the site might be well written, but will not be found by readers.
The solution is to learn about keywords and use them effectively. After the website writer understands the concept of keywords, they must use them. Keyword density is the percentage of keywords in any particular piece of writing. Websites which engage in keyword stuffing might have an effective rate of 20-50 percent keyword density per specific search terms. This means that 20 to 50 percent of every piece of writing is simply the same keywords utilized over and over again. While effective with search engines (to a point), it destroys the status and reputation of the website. Readers don't want to go to the site, and if they arrive, they leave in short order, even if they don't know why they found it unreadable.
A good rate of keyword density is probably in the 1 to 2 percent range. This means that 1 to 2 percent of the content contains the keywords being targeted. While there is software out there which will analyze writing for keyword density, it is often a bit too involved for most web content writers. To effectively engage in keywording -- and use the proper amount of keyword density -- the web content writer should simply use the keyword or key phrase in the title of the piece of writing (or even the page name), once or twice in their introductory paragraph, sprinkle the keyword or key phrase throughout the blog or article, and ensure that the keyword or key phrase is included in the final paragraph of the piece of writing. By doing so, the effective keyword density should be a good fit. The web content writer should make sure that the strategic use of keywords doesn't take away from the user's experience.
KEYWORDING EFFECTIVELY INTO THE FUTURE
While keywording is a foreign concept to some un-established web content writers, it is easily learned. With minimal time and effort, any aspiring web content writer can easily learn how to select and utilize keywords. The writer simply needs to select effective keywords, use them in a competent way, and continue writing. Without fresh content, any blog or website will flounder in search engines and readers will not return. As such, while keywording is essential to an effective SEO strategy, it must be remembered that fresh and engaging content is even more so. By regularly posting keyworded content to a website, the site's search engine ranking will continually improve, and the amount of traffic with it.
(First published on http://ezinearticles.com/)