Search engines recognize nothing but text. Images, animation, videos and flash are not taken into consideration at all when the search engines index web pages. Content is the king, when it comes to search engines. So, you need to ensure that the content on your website is not only great but also smartly sprinkled with the just the right keywords and in the right proportion. In fact, keywords play a very important role in search engine optimization and getting it right can make a big difference for your website.

Here are a few things that you should keep in mind while selecting and adding keywords to your article:

Get the right keywords: Good websites have a large amount of good-quality content (search engines place a high value on quantity). However, it is also important to ensure that search engines recognize your efforts and give your website its rightful place. For this, you must choose the most important keywords (terms that are relevant to your website/ business) and use them in the content on your website. The search engines will then index/ rank your website for the relevant keywords. You can also use free tools like Google Keyword Tool in order to zero-in on the right keywords for your website.

Keyword phrases: If you look on the internet, you will find hundreds of websites on almost every topic. It is thus important to have keywords that are specific and unique. When search engines came into existence one-word keywords could land you at the top of the results. With millions of websites on the internet today, it is impossible to be listed with one-word keywords and hence keyword phrases should be used as they also apply context to keywords.

Keyword Synonyms: It is important to understand your target audience and research on what they search for (you could use the free Google Keyword Tool for this). Depending on this, you can alter your keywords to match their searches. Once you have understood the likely strings your users will search for, you must take into account synonyms. For example, if your website is about babies it will do a lot of good to add words like infant and children as well in the content.

Keyword Density: The next very important step is determining the keyword density. Keyword density is one of the parameters that are used by search engines to determine how relevant the web page is for a particular keyword. A decent key word density is anything between 2-4% for major keywords and 1-2% for minor keywords. But many website owners just stuff the content with keywords, hoping to attract search engines by doing so. However, the search engines have grown smart and they recognize such keyword spamming tactics. So, you might actually harm your website ranking by using very high keyword densities.

Highlight the important keywords: Search engines use various algorithms to rank websites for keywords. Though the actual algorithm is not made public by the search engines, some rules are well known and highlighting the keywords (using bold tag) is one such rule. Besides that, specifying the keywords in Title, Meta tags, alt tags for images, Heading tags etc is also a good idea. Again a word of caution, don’t over use this as the search engines can detect any excess highlighting.