Nailing it in Keyword ResearchNo matter how elegantly you write, no matter how compelling your art or web design, your Internet freelance marketing opportunities may well come to naught without good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) — those critical keywords that intrigue readers and bring them to your website.

SEO is derived from two sources on your page: the title and the meta tags. The meta tags are the keywords you enter to help searchers find your content. Most of these are written guided by what seems common sense, for example, “graphic designer” or “freelance graphic designer.” Yet more than common sense needs to enter into SEO selection. You don’t need to do keyword research worthy of an Amazon or a Sony, but some knowledge of the underlying dynamics of Internet searches is helpful. In terms of statistics, what you’re striving for in your keyword selection is to attract searchers from the long tail of the demand curve.

The Tale of a Tail

Even the greatest number of keyword terms account for only a small percentage of the total number of searches on the Internet, about 3%, as seen on this demand curve chart of Internet searches. Only 18.5% of Internet searches can be accounted for by the top 10,000 search terms. The tens of millions of keyword searches that aren’t comprise 70% of all searches and form the long tail of the chart. (Hence the name.) The demand curve search tail is the grail of SEO researchers and marketers—all want their search terms to bring in a chunk of it. There are ways go to about it.

Crafting Your SEO for the Tail

There are two methods for drawing hits from the long tail. One is to use less popular or relatively uncommon words, with the rationale that those querying with them have carefully defined what they want and are likely to follow the search result to its page of origin. The second method, which is proving equally efficacious, is to use key phrases, or multiple key words, as a single SEO tag. 58% of key word search queries are three words or longer.

The Page Title

This is the signature piece of your page’s SEO. Google will use the first 65 characters of your title. This appears in a web browser’s window bar as the result of a search and provides the clickable link to your page. A title should to be as interesting and content relevant as possible, while containing a key phrase that speaks to the heart of your content. You may go through multiple iterations of titles before you hit upon one that satisfies all objectives.

Metatags — Tweak and Repeat

Consider carefully. You’re often limited to between two to five of these but should need only a few. Compile a list of candidate words and phrases and review them: are they relevant to your website’s content? Will searchers find what they wanted? Will they like it? Deciding upon your keywords, you’ll want to test them by querying with them using major search engines. Do they return results with content similar to your own? If not, tweak and repeat. Don’t publish your page until you get it right.

There’re a vast number of sites out there offering to SEO advice. It’s best to go to the source: Google itself offers the most lucid and well-written guide.

Content Trumps All

If your site’s content is not your best, searchers may not return. Here are Google’s simple, core guidelines for SEO:

  • “Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. Ask, “Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.”

Contact Aristans today for great opportunities with freelance marketing firms.