Search Engine optimization is all about keywords. Selecting a good niche keyword, means that you are half done in your efforts to drive traffic to your site. Earlier, when SEO was “discovered”, we were all told by the gurus that keywords are the main components one should focus efforts on. So we went around, picking niche keywords, selecting the most popular ones on search engines, and tweaked our site copies to increase it’s keyword density.

This is old story. Recently, it has been noted that SEO is more than just selecting a good keyword. It’s about how well your site “naturally” uses the keyword. Algorithms have evolved. Now they can easily spot a Made for AdSense web site simply with it’s copy. So what are the changes that were adopted by the search engines?And how do we need to update our copies to our advantage? Let’s have a look.

  1. Keyword Combinations and multiple keyword use
    Two years ago, it was normal for a web site to have selected a keyword like “Insurance”. Not any more.
    These days, it makes more sense to select a keyword with different combinations with another related one. For example – General Insurance, Motor insurance, Theft insurance etc.
    This is primarily because, the top level keyword markets are already saturated. In order to crack open into the same niche, the best choice is to use combination keywords. A site which is optimized for “Insurance” may not go down it’s position on the SERPs, but for newer sites to share it’s niche, it’s important to use multiple related keywords like “Theft Insurance”.
  2. Assigning elements to multiple keywords
    When search engine crawlers scan your site, they scan for the elements that decide the importance to keywords. These are H1 tags, Title etc. This will decide how high in hierarchy does your keyword combinations occur. If two keywords are used on a site, both should be given equal importance by assigning the same elements.
  3. Frequency of appearance
    In your copy how frequent does your keywords appear? Does each keyword have the same keyword density? Ensuring the same density for both keywords ensures that they are equally important to search engines. In no instance, should one keyword be appearing less frequent as compared to the other one. In my experience, this affects the optimization adversely. Here, neither the first keyword would be highlighted nor the second keyword. A 50-50 ratio is recommended for best results.
  4. Proximity
    How far and how near are your keywords placed in the copy? The more nearer the better the strength. This factor is very important because, this is one factor that decides the “natural” quotient of the copy. If the keywords are scattered around in no particular fashion, it signals weak relation between the keywords and is not good.
  5. Inbound links
    Okay, so you have two keywords. So which one does others choose to link to you?
    This is not in your hands, and Google understands it. Still, out of 100 back links, if you can manage 10 with a dual combination, fair and good. It will increase the link value to the site. Google does not expect all the 100 links to have the same anchor text. If it does, it flags your site red, since 100 back links with the same anchor text means artificiality. So be wise, sprinkle them around and reap the benefits.

So,if you have been optimizing your site for single keywords, like “make money online”, (which I know is a phrase, but due to excess use on the Internet, is as strong to penetrate as a single keyword like “free”) try to find a better keyword and make a combination, and follow the above points. It would be easier to hit the top ranks in SERPs, than it would be for the current keyword.