Every modern professional knows that with the whole world being one big marketplace, having a web site can make or break your business. To be a success, your business has to be seen before it can sell and turn a profit, and that requires an efficient, up to date web site that can tap potential customers across the globe. There are advertising strategies that factor in not only the high end corporate prospects but the other side of the coin for the needs of individual shoppers on the virtual market of the internet. Just about everything can now be bought online, from food, to clothes, to antiques -- even to pets.

But if you’re a newbie in the world of internet commerce and you have a product to sell on a web site, you may not know how or where to start your marketing. One of your answers is search engine optimization, or SEO; and the secret to SEO is keywords. Search engine optimization is defined as web content that’s been developed to adopt specific, often descriptive keywords or key phrases that guide traffic to a web site. While there are many other forms of attracting traffic to a site, SEO remains one of easiest and most effective to use.

To implement search engine optimization you will need to use a search engine. The well known and most widely used search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Ask.com are your best bets since they are set up to handle heavy traffic. Most of your prospects for customers -- or hits -- will come by way of search engine. They will use key words to look for the providers of the services they need then make comparisons between the names or listings that turn up. But most users will use a search phrase rather than a single word. So, it’s important to develop web site content that is more key phrase rich than keyword rich. Rather than use a common keyword like “book,” something more descriptive like “art book” or “cook book” would yield better results.

Another key factor is the appropriate keyword density, or the number of times that the keyword appears in the content on the web site. Search engines decide whether a page is relevant to a search query by the keyword density and ranks the web page based on this factor. But just as important as keyword density is your keyword placement on the site. If the keywords are distributed carefully through the content, as opposed to being crowded together, the search engine will recognize your content as quality and improve your ranking in the search results.

Maintaining your website and constantly updating your content and keywords is among the most important factors to success in using search engine optimization. Time doesn’t stand still for anyone, especially on the internet. An outdated web site loses ranking in an SEO search and thus will fail to attract those much sought after hits.

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