Key words are simply words that your customers would use to describe or search for your products or services.  The operative word being “customers,” because you or your team may describe your product or services in more technical terms than your customers would, and key words are the tools your customers (and search engines) use to find you on the Internet.

Effective key word selection and optimization is one of the strategic foundations of any Web 2.0 marketing plan. It ensures you are in tune with the rapidly changing nature of your industry. And is really a fairly straightforward process that you can do yourself or hire someone to do for you. Just be cautious that the person you hire won’t be employing any unethical or “black hat” techniques that can get your site banned or removed from the search engines.

Key Word Optimization in three easy steps

Create a list of potential key words.

Use the following tools (there are others out there) to analyze and prioritize and perfect your key word selections.

Google analytics
Google’s Keyword tool
Trellian’s Keyword Discovery Free Search Term Suggestions

Once you have selected you most profitable key words simply put them to work for in the copy of your website, your title tags, description tags, Meta key word tags, Headings, Alt Text, Anchor text and your blog, tweets etc…

Be sure and revise/update your key words periodically in line with the trends in your particular industry. For some companies there will be seasonal or quarterly changes in optimal key word for driving traffic.

Beware of “Black Hat” or unethical tactics like key word stuffing that can get your site banned or removed by the search engines.