Faced with the prospect of search engines passing over their website in favour of competitors, it is common for companies to target keywords, in completely the wrong way. Rather than have a strategy and understanding of how search engines rank websites, many website are, instead, littered with keywords. There is more to search engine optimisation than the volume of keywords. Here is how keyword use can go terribly wrong and how to fix your website.
As the thinking often goes, if keywords are important, then it must be a good idea to fill the website with as many keywords as possible. A quick peek at the source code for many websites reveals this is a common strategy. Lists of keywords are stuffed into the code, in some cases as much of a page of keywords on a single page of a website.
Unfortunately for these websites, search engines like Google do not subscribe to the belief that more is more. Packing larger number of keywords into the html will actually count against your website by the search engine bots that visit it. Not only do the search engines view keyword stuff negatively, even if they didn’t by listing so many keywords, the website loses all focus on any specific word. This muddled message means that bots visiting your site may not even be about to figure out who your website was supposed to be aimed toward.
It is far too easy for us to get used to using our own terms for products and services. Those often don’t translate well to the general public. Are your potential customers searching for your product by name? You may have built a better mousetrap but that doesn’t guarantee customers finding their way to your door. If people are searching for “mousetrap” they are unlikely to find your product if you’re listing it as the “Super Gotcha 3000!” While that might seem like a far-fetched example, it is actually quite easy for companies to lose sight of what most people would call their products or services. Even putting words in a unexpected order can throw off your search engine rankings. Consider how a mention of “mouse catcher” would be more likely to found during a web search that the “Mouse Super Catcher” your company is trying to promote.
Take a close look at your website to see if you are using industry terminology rather than the types of words and phrases customers are likely to use. Your “pest extermination” product might be overlooked because people are searching for “bug killer” or “pest control.” This is why it is critical to find out what search terms are being used for your type of product or service so that you can target the right words and phrases.
Giant Keywords, No Focus
Even websites that have tried to focus their keywords, often go astray. A common issue is using words that are too broad to attract the right target market. Even after doing research on how often various keywords are used, may sites go astray. Perhaps they are enticed by the enormous number of searches for common words and want to attract that whole market. Typically, this is a bad idea. There are probably huge numbers of people typing a search for “animals” into a search engine. However, very few of them would be looking for anything related to controlling mice. Due to the larger number of websites using “animals” as a keyword, your site has very little chance of moving to the top of the search engine rankings for that word. Meanwhile, you could be using more specific words in your site to attract those who are actually interesting in your product. While “catch a mouse” would have a much lower number of searches that “animal,” you’d be much more likely to attract your target market.