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What is a keyword and how do they help my site on the search engines?

The most important factor in how highly your website ranks on search engines, like Google, is directly related to the content on your website's pages. When a person uses Google to find a website, they will type specific words (keywords) and phrases into the search box. Keywords can be one, two or three-word phrases that you incorporate into your website’s text. One or two words are most suitable – three-word phrases are not recommended for newer sites with few pages and little content.


Probably one of the hardest jobs a site owner will have is to find the keywords that best fit their website. If you’re a Takeaway Website Pro customer, you’ll be able to use the SiteBoost tools to help you find the best keywords and phrases for your website – see below for more details. If you’re a Beginner or Standard customer, I would suggest visiting which is a free keyword research tool for the three main search engines – Google, MSN and Yahoo. This tool tells you roughly how many times your chosen keyword or phrase has been searched for in the past month on search engines. You should also Google your keywords and check how many results they have (it’s a good idea to write down the results so you can keep track of the numbers).


There is little point in using a keyword or phrase that has 10 million results – this is what is known as a ‘competitive’ keyword. You would be wasting your time with a keyword like this as many of the websites listed in the first few pages will probably be spending a small fortune on experts to get them to the top of search engines results pages.


Instead, you can use the tool at to look at the search results for alternative keywords, similar to the one you have entered. Rather than choosing a keyword with the most search results, you should aim for something that is less competitive but is still relevant to your website. For example, ‘Wedding Photographer’ has over 38,500,000 results in Google, but if you change your keyword to the phrase ‘Wedding Photographer Leeds’ (assuming you are based in Leeds) the results only come back with 535,000 websites. Therefore, there is more chance of your website being featured on the first few pages of Google if you choose ‘Wedding Photographer Leeds’ than if you choose a highly competitive keyword like ‘Wedding Photographer’. is also really useful when you’re stuck for choosing keywords – you may already know that a particular keyword is probably very competitive, but if you type it in to it will list hundreds of alternatives for you to pick from. When deciding on your keywords; put yourself in your visitor’s shoes. What would your visitor type into a search engine to find your website? Some may type in ‘Wedding Photographer’ but we already know this has lots of competition, so what else would they look for? They could be looking for someone local, which means they’d be likely to search for ‘Wedding Photographer Leeds’, meaning this would be a better choice of phrase for your website.


Don't pick hundreds of keywords and phrases as you will not be able to use them effectively enough to affect your search engine position. It’s best to select a handful and incorporate them into your website’s copy. It’s advisable to have between one to 10 keywords or phrases and on every page try to use no more than three of these. Your keywords should add up to no more than about 10% of your website content – if you overuse them Google will not take your attempts seriously and may ban you. You should remember that if you don’t have paragraphs of text on your website, search engines won’t list your website on their results pages under your chosen keywords.


There are some good ways to incorporate keywords into your website – for example, if you have large shopping cart pages, you may want to break these down into categories or group the products using your keywords. You should also add these keywords to the 'META tags' of your site - go to 'Extras' from the Main Options page, then 'Admin', followed by 'Add META tags'.



Alternatively, try upgrading your package to Takeaway Website Pro. It’s unique SiteBoost tools include a built-in ‘Keyword Boost’ function that analyses every page on your website to suggest the most fitting keywords and phrases and how best to use them. SiteBoost will then tell you how many times they are currently featured on your website and how many people have found you by typing them into search engines in the last few months. It allows you to check the popularity of these keywords and phrases on Google and shows you what kind of competition you face from other websites. SiteBoost will also lets you know how often your keywords and phrases are searched for on the internet in general; how useful they will be in boosting your website; and how you can use them in the best way to get yourself higher up the rankings.