Sorting out keywords is an essential part of SEO work and so it has seen rise to large numbers of keyword tools, either online pages or software, some free and some paid for. The problem is, many can make your SEO even worse because they make life even harder for the search engines.
Why Can’t They Work Accurately?
Well the biggest issue is that nobody actually knows how Google, Yahoo, Bing and all the other search engines really treat keywords. There are a few widely known factors such as ensuring the keyword is in the URL, the title, the meta description tag and to a “certain” density within the visible content of the page.
It’s also widely known that if you try to stuff keywords into the ALT tags of images or put them in white on a white background your starting to ask for trouble with the search engines. It doesn’t work.
But beyond this keyword tools for SEO are based on the theory of the software creator. That does not mean they are all bad. It’s more a case of being in Canada, wanting to go to Mexico and finding a man who is able to take you to Texas and offer an educated guess as to which road should lead to your final destination.
Keyword Tools That Make Things Worse
But some keyword tools actually make things worse because they include assumptions and one of the biggest mistakes is stop words. These are words that some believe the search engines ignore such as “on”, “in” or “which”.
The trouble is we don’t know for sure which ones each of the various search engines actually do ignore and you don’t know, while doing SEO work, which ones the keyword tools are ignoring.
The Trouble With Will
A classic example might be “will”. It could appear dozens of times on a page in contexts like “They will reply” and “we will contact you”. Stop word to be ignored in SEO? No it isn’t, not for websites that helps users write their last Will and Testament. For them it is very much a keyword.
The same can be said for “the” – definitely a keyword for the Times Higher Education supplement and that 1980s band, The The; “it” which obviously could be Information Technology; and “us” which could mean you and I but could also refer to one of the most powerful countries in the world (search engines aren’t always case-sensitive).
So if your keyword tools strip out any of these because the programmer thought it would be a good idea and save you work, then your SEO may not be quite right and your website won’t perform as well as it should. You may end up blissfully unaware that your website is far more optimised for “the” than it is for the keyword desired. It’s not wasted work, it’s incomplete work and incomplete SEO that confuses the search engines.
Pure Keyword Tools for SEO
The best route is to choose keyword tools, or write one yourself, with no filters. Only after you have cleared up those “little and unimportant words” does the time come to concentrate on the overall keyword density and placement you want that makes your SEO work and gets you to the top of the search engines.