Generally, the more specific you can be, the better. On the
other hand, you don't want to use keywords that are too unique,
because no one will ever think to look for them. Use keywords
that someone who has never heard of you, but who would be interested
in what you offer, is likely to search for.
Many Internet directories limit your description to around
25 words. So your description needs to be packed with appropriate
keywords. The more keywords, and the more precisely they describe
your Website, the more highly targeted traffic you're going to
Your keywords are crucial, and you only get one chance with
each search engine. Here's a very effective technique that uses
brainstorming, distillation and competitive research to develop
a powerful list of keywords.
Make a list of 50 words that describe your business. Just put
down the first things that come to mind, until you have 50. Don't
spend a lot of time worrying about how appropriate they are.
Just do a little brainstorming with yourself and keep writing
until you have 50.
Now, remove all the words that appear in the name of your site.
(Your listing will include these anyway). Take the top 20 remaining
keywords and prioritize them, with the most important first.
Now, get on-line and go to a major Internet search engine. Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com)
is a good place to start, but it is a directory and therefore
carries a limited amount of information. I would next try MetaCrawler (http://metacrawler.cs.washington.edu:8080/),
which is a multisearch engine, then Lycos (http://www.lycos.com), Open
Text (http://www.opentext.com:8080/), Hot
Bot (http://www0.hotbot.com:5555/) and WebCrawler (http://webcrawler.com/WebCrawler/WebQuery.html)
another multisearch engine. Try searching for each of the 20
words and keep track of how many listings you get for each one.
Look at the listings you get back for each search, perhaps follow
a few links, and see how the sites compare to your Website. This
will give you a good idea of what your competitors are doing,
and how they're listing their websites.
Next, start searching for combinations of keywords. Try
combining the first two on your list. Try other combinations
based on the numbers you got back for each individual word.
Try each of your first few words combined with other words
on your list. You'll probably discover some combinations
that will give you more of an "exclusive" listing and combinations that only return a few
(or no) other listings. If you find certain combinations that
(1) would likely be searched for by your prospects and (2) don't
return very many other listings -- by all means make note of
these. These are called "power combinations".
You may want to change the priority of your keywords based
on what you find. So go ahead and re-prioritize your 20 top keywords.
Now, you'll need to create several versions of your description.
First, try and create a description using all 20 keywords.
If you discovered any "power combinations" make sure that
those words occur NEXT to each other in the description.
Now, limit your description to 40 words total, using as
many of your keywords as possible.
Next, create a description that's limited to 25 words. Use
as many of your highest priority keywords as possible.
Finally, develop a 10-word description using your highest priority
You now have several versions of your site description. Keep
these handy. It's a good idea to type them into a text file and
have it available when going on-line to submit your listings.
Then you can just cut and paste text into each Internet search
engine's submission form. You'll want to do the same with the
name of your site and your URL.
The reason you've developed several versions of your description
is that different directories have different limits on the length
of descriptions. Some permit unlimited descriptions, and others
limit you to just 15-25 words. Also, there are other places and
methods on the Internet for you to promote your website, so some
of your descriptions can be used in other ways, such as for classified
You can also use one of the descriptions you've developed on
the top of your home page. Remember that the Internet search
engines are out there looking for your page and you need a way
to let them know how to describe it.
Here's where it pays to be creative. The trick is to get your
listing displayed to the appropriate people, not necessarily
in the appropriate categories. Because the majority of people
use search engines by searching for particular terms (rather
than clicking through the categories), it's important to devise
keywords that will get your listing displayed to your potential
customers when they search for subjects that interest them.
Let's illustrate this concept with an example. Suppose
you're selling lakefront vacation homes. Your natural inclination
would be to use keywords such as "lake", "lakefront", "real estate", "homes", "vacation",
etc. And those will work, as long as your prospect goes
on the Web with the intention of looking for lakefront real
estate. But this strategy will miss a lot of very well qualified
prospects -- people who are in the market for your product
but don't think about looking for it on the Web.
What if instead of, or in addition to the "lakefront" and "real
estate" keywords, you used words such as "fishing", "water skiing", "sailing",
and "swimming" in your description? Do you see the difference?
Yes, these keywords will put your listing in front of a
lot of unqualified people, but it doesn't matter. What
matters is, you'll catch those people who are interested
in what you have but who would have never searched for
We hope the above information is usefull to you as we are all
looking for the best ways for people to find our web sites. Don't
forget to use the link back to META
MEDIC to check out how your META tags look to search engines