To better understand SEO!

Selecting and Optimizing Keywords for Search-Engines

When a person queries a search on the various search-engines available, search engine spiders crawl from page to page on same or different sites to match the perfect query according the the search engines algorithm. Different Search Engines may have different algorithms but keywords are one important step in improving ranking in search engine results. Keywords affect various things within a website, from Title tags to specific page content.

Head Terms and Tail Terms

Keywords can be considered as either Head terms or Tail terms. Head terms refer to short (one or two words) phrases while Tail terms refer to longer (three or more words) phrases. Head terms tend to be of a more competitive nature. For example, if your website is offers Real Estating, you would most probably target the keyword “Real Estate”, can you imagine how many other website target for the same term? Such a Head Term is very hard to compete for and therefore tends to get a very low percentage of visitors to your websites from search-engines.

A better way of targeting keywords, if to filter search terms more carefully. Keeping the same example in mind, the following tactics are usually very helpful in determining better Tail Terms which compete for search-engine results:

  • Geo-Specific Terms: using geographic locations is one of the most effective way to rank for a better chance to compete. Targeting the Tail Term “Florida Real Estate” rather than “Real Estate” has already reduced the number of competitors by more than 75% which gives you much more probability in ranking better for such search term.
  • Use Synonyms for the main keywords which have a lot of competition. For instance, the general term used is House, but most Americans use the word Home so this means that you should target both “House for Sale” and “Home for Sale” because people may use different search terms when looking for the same thing.
  • is a website which offers free definitions and synonyms of a given word or phrase.
  • Common misspells are very important when selecting the right keywords. Misspells are very common and you should take advantage of it, especially if your competitors did not. Analyse the most common misspells for your top keywords and add them to your keyword list. Example “Reel Estate” instead of Real, “Real Astate” instead of Estate, “Real Estator” since people may think that the people who do it are called Estator/s even though they are not.
  • Include also plurals and singulars of the most important keywords which you can think of, split or merge words where they may make sense to you or to others and add hyphens where it may be possible. For example:
    • singular “House” plural “Houses”
    • merged “RealEstate” split as should be “Real Estate” and hyphened “Real-Estate” even it may not make sense to you, it may make sense to the people using search-engines.
  • Analyse your competition by visiting their website and view their source. <meta > tags should be visible with their selected keywords. Try to extract appropriate keywords to suite your website and modify it to better compete for a higher rank.

Keyword Tool to help you select appropriate Keywords for your website

Metacrawlers are systems which search multiple search-engines for a given keyword or term. WordTracker has access to data from multiple large metacrawlers. It is one of the most popular word tools around on the internet. The purpose of Wordtracker is to provide as many keywords as possible given one word or phrase. It returns synonyms, added prefixes or suffixes, common misspellings, plurals, etc. In order to access the free version of Wordtracker the following link may be accessed: where registration is free. Apart from providing as many keywords as possible, it also provides the number of searches the keyword results. The more searches, the more popular the keyword is and thus the more chance for successful optimization. A KEI (keyword effectiveness index) is also provided which calculates the number of search queries and the number of pages which result to query.

Analyzing Competitors websites

Competing websites and keywords are important to be analysed. Various websites offer this service, such as or Such websites require the input of a URL and result keywords competitors are using and where they stand. Another simple way to do check what tags and keywords competitors are using, is to visit their website and view source. Title, Description and Meta Keyword tags are situated in the <HEAD> section while, headlines, image ALT tags, text modifiers and links are situated in the <BODY> part. is a website which looks up websites and returns their top searches and competitors. Not all websites may be found on SEOdigger.

Other tips to keep in mind

  • Keywords can be considered as either Head terms or Tail terms. Head terms refer to short (one or two words) phrases while Tail terms refer to longer (three or more words) phrases.
  • One or Two keywords should be targeted for each page. Each page must have unique or different keywords.
  • Every page should contain unique and meaningful content.
  • Home Pages should target competitive Head terms since it has a higher chance to rank for high KEI keywords.
  • Home Pages should emphasis the keywords targeted in the page contents.
  • Sub Pages should target less competitive Head terms and Tail terms.
  • New website may find it hard to compete for common Head Terms such as “SEO” but such Head terms can be broken down into more specific Tail terms such as “SEO services in Malta”.
  • Reverse engineering demonstrates that the higher the search of a keyword, the more optimized it can become.

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