I write a lot of in-depth articles with techniques to get you more traffic to your web site and better search engine rankings. I think sometimes I give so many tips in one article that a few may fall between the cracks, so every now and again I’ll try to give you a post about one specific thing to help you. Today’s focus will be “Secret Link Juice Keyword Techniques“. I was reminded of this when I saw the post The name game – Using keywords in URL filenames.
Keyword Basics for Newbies or Those Unfamiliar
If you’ve done a lot of SEO or keyword research work you can probably skip this section and move on to the next part. I include it because when I was a newbie or not that good at SEO I hated it when articles assumed I knew all the “obvious” techniques. This is not a new concept – I’ve written about it before. But if you read that article I just linked you’ll find that it may be more important than you previously thought. I their example they improved their ranking and moved up some 70-odd slots in SERP’s by doing this. It’s a pretty simple concept. As an example – if you want to sell usb flash drives, you should probably try to get the domain name “usbflashdrive.com” or some kind of variation on it. They use the keywords also in the article and page names which become URL’s. If you are completely brand new to SEO work and keyword research – I highly recommend you read this Keyword Primer. No string attached, just click and read.
That’s the simple part. Now I’m going to teach you how to go a bit farther. You “might think you are using the right keywords”, but are you really? Are you using the best keywords? The most searched keywords? Are you using keywords there is the most competition for, or the least? You should do some very simple keyword research to find out what keywords you should be targeting on your web site or blog. You might even do this research before you buy your domain name and purchase a URL with the most searched for keywords. This the basis for all SEO work on your web site or blog and training yourself to do it as if it were second nature. There are many, many free and pay-for keyword research tools. I would get started with the free ones, and eventually pickup some of the paid ones as you need them (and can afford them). We’ll tackle the paid keyword research tools in another post.
My top 5 Free Keyword Research Tools
Wordtracker Keyword Suggestion Tool
WordTracker’s free keyword tracking tool is pretty good. Just enter the keywords you want to do research on and you get a list returned not only with best suggestions, but also with the amount of searches performed in the last month (the top 100 in fact).
Adwords Keyword Tool
While the Adwords Keyword tool doesn’t give you an actual number, you do get to see how much suggested keywords were used in the last month vs. overall as an average. The other thing that’s nice is that you get a snapshot of what the advertiser competition is like, so you know how many others may be competing for the same words.
This is a really cool tool because it visually shows the keyword suggestions. You don’t get any numbers on how many searches though.
Keyword Research Tool
For some reason, when using Webmaster Toolkit’s free Keyword Research tool you get some phrases that I haven’t seen in the other ones. Phrases that seem to be more niche and sales related, like “1gb memory drive”, “1gb memory stick”, and “1gb usb flash drive”. These are really handy variations that seem to be shopping type keyword searches people would perform. Again – no numbers on how many searches any of these receives.
Good Keywords is a software download program that you can install on your PC to do FREE keyword research. That’s right – the software and doing research within it is completely FREE, this is a Freeware keyword research tool. I highly recommend downloading and installing this software, it does not contain any additional programs or adware – this product is very well known by those doing SEO work.
Now that you have some ideas of great keywords, when you are writing content for your site you can use these over and over again. First you have the best keywords in your domain name. They you make sure that you use the keywords efficiently in your paths and URL’s. What this means is, if you are using WordPress for example and have Permalinks setup right, the title of your post(s) will become that URL, like a page or post titled “1GB Memory Stick Sale” would become usbflashdrive.com/1GB-Memory-Stick-Sale. So now the keywords that were in the title of your article (and will be the HTML title as well as the page content heading) will also be in the URL. That’s why a better title for this page might have been “1GB Memory Stick Sale and Cheap Deals”. See – now with the 2 additional keywords you are going to pick up even more oddball search keywords like “1GB cheap memory stick” or “deals memory stick sale” or something. Vary the keywords in your title, and also different ways in your article. Do it without being spammy or tricky, just try different variations. Again – this is very basic stuff, but now for the…
Secret Link Juice Keyword Techniques
OK – first off these aren’t really secret. But I feel like they are because I don’t see very many web sites or blogs taking advantage of them at all. I know they work, in fact they work well – and you should make them part of your daily posting routine every time you write content.
Secret Keyword Technique #1: Images
Now you’re probably pissed thinking “that’s not a secret at all!”. Hold on big fella, wait a minute – I do have some techniques I use that you may not be aware of. First and foremost – every blog and web site should have images. I am COMPLETELY guilty of NOT using images to my advantage on this blog. I’m an idiot for not doing it nearly at all the first 6 months this blog was online. In fact, the last few posts are the only ones on this entire site (so far) that use images at all.
WHY you should use images: The most common answer to this question is because it makes people more interested. They stay longer, read more, look at more pages, and it even boosts your trust factor a bit with your audience (it makes you look more professional). The REAL reason (for me) is because it is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it gives you one more way to use additional keywords on your page to get better search engine rankings!
WHAT to do with images: A 4 Step Process:
- FIND a good image.
- NAME the image using the best keywords.
- Instead of file97a.gif name it 1gb-usb-flash-drive.gif
- PLACE the images in a nice keyword-named folder.
- groups your images in folders named with keywords, like usbflashdrive.com/flashdrives
- INSERT the image into your page or post.
- you want to take full advantage of the alt tag for every image your insert. If you don’t know HTML, it’s time you learned about the image html tag. You’re going to add keywords and keyword phrases to the alt tag of the images you’re inserting like this (**see code snippet below)
Try to form a loose sentence that makes halfway sense using keywords and keyword phrases (don’t repeat) for the alt tag of every image your insert.
img src=”/flashdrives/1gb-usb-flash-drive.gif” alt=”perfect deal on a usb flash memory stick cheap price”
You may have been using alt tags for years, and YES – that helps your SEO and SERP’s (search engine result pages). HOWEVER…history and lots of experience will show that using good keywords in multiple locations DRAMATICALLY INCREASES the results! Having the keywords in the filename, directory name, and HTML code tags really helps! In addition, there’s one more side-benefit I hadn’t even talked about yet: Google Images! That’s right, Google Images has it’s own web crawler that does nothing but look for images. Of course images named with keywords and placed in keyword-named directories are going to be more relevant, and come up higher in search results than tens of thousands of others. I have had many sites that ranked rather poorly in google search for certain keywords, but DOMINATED google image results! I have one site right now where over half the traffic comes from google images. My biggest blogging mistake on this site was not using images to their full advantage in every single post.
Secret Keyword Technique #2: Links
Now you probably really think I’m stupid. Yes – links are a secret keyword technique. WHY? Because of the “title” tag. That’s right – the title tag. First of all – I do this and it works. Don’t believe me? Some may feel that the jury is still out on this one, but I know for a fact when I started doing this to key important links it helped my sites a lot. The weight it carries is different with each search engine. But with the number of crawlers and social search blog news aggregator headline sucking link harvesting crawlers out there – why not take advantage of all the keywords you can at all times?
Again – you’re going to need to go into the HTML code, and you’re going to be adding a “title” attribute to your links, like in this example:
a href=”/cheap-flash-drive-sale-deals” title=”find a deal on a cheap usb flash memory drive 1GB and bigger”
img src=”/flashdrives/1gb-usb-flash-drive.gif” alt=”perfect deal on a usb flash memory stick cheap price”
See how that works? As far as it’s function in the browser, it just creates a tooltip with that text when you move your mouse over the link. But it makes the page that much more relevant for those keywords. Imagine all the words on a page and in the HTML code of a web page were people. Every word was one person, and they were all in the same room. The words around a link say “that page is about usb flash drives”. The link title words say “it sure is, they have a cheap price too”. The URL words say “this whole web site is about usb flash drives”, and the directory words say “well my folder has nothing but flash drive images”. The image words say “my picture is about a 1GB flash drive”, and the link around that images says “yeah, but if you click it you’ll find a cheap 1GB drive”.
See the relevance? See how all the words, and links, and URL’s, and directory names, and image names, and link titles all become part of a relevant conversation? All the keywords in all the right places contribute as a whole to the end goal of bringing targeted traffic to the web site, and as much of it as possible. That’s the last thought I’ll leave you with. It doesn’t matter if you get 1,000 people per day to your “usbflashdrive.com” web site unless all 1,000 people are actually looking to buy or for information on a “usb flash drive”. In fact – I’d much rather have 100 people searching for usb flash drives than 1,000 people not! I have had no problem making $100 a month on a web site with only 100 visitors per day when the traffic was highly targeted. I have one web site that is now getting in excess of 10,000 visits per day, and I’m having trouble making $1 a day from it because they traffic is coming in from far too many keywords. Which leads me to the final…
Secret Keyword Technique #3: Laser Targeting
Like we just talked about – you want to make sure you’ve done your homework. Do some keyword research and find out how many people are looking for your product, service, or information. Don’t paint your web site with a wide stroke brush, laser target your keywords down to a very fine niche – so 90% of the time your visitors will be staring at exactly what they were looking for from the very first click. Your visitors will be greatful for saving them time, and you will be very happy because you can easily make much larger amounts of money from very small amounts of traffic!
Do you have secret keyword techniques that have worked for you? Be sure to comment now and share them with all of us!