Most people who have heard of search engine optimization are already aware that keywords play a significant role in SEO.
These keywords are purposefully placed within the website content of your individual web pages and articles to send ranking signals to Google.
There are many versions of words and phrases that might relate to your products and services, just as there are many different places within your website that you can place them.
As you can see in the graphic below, a piece of content which is search engine optimized will incorporate a targeted keyword at certain places throughout the content.
The Quick SEO Keyword Guide
Here are the most important places to remember to incorporate your keywords when you are optimizing blog content, or any other webpage of content for search engine optimization purposes.
Include your target keyword(s) in these Top 5 most important locations for keywords:
- Page Title (Meta Title): This is commonly referred to as the most important element of your webpage to optimize for most improvement from SEO results. This is also the anchor text for the link which will display in search results for users to click on.
- First Paragraph: Including your keyword more densely in the first paragraph. (density = # of times keyword used / # of total words in piece of content) I recommend using your keyword at least 1 time and possibly twice in the first 1oo words of your webpage.
- Image Alt Text: Search engines cannot see your images, but image content can help your webpage rank higher if optimized. Be sure to include your keyword in the “alt text” of images in order for search engines to get the signal.
- Throughout the Body: Make sure to continue to repeat your keyword a subtle and relevant number of times throughout your content body. Don’t sound unnatural or anything out of the ordinary, but yes it may require rewording a sentence or two or getting creative with your writing skills. That is part of SEO copy writing.
- H1-H6 Tags: Include a few Header Tags throughout your content and incorporate your keywords into at least one of these header tags for increased search engine optimization results.
Below is a more in depth review of the on-page SEO elements to optimize with your target keywords
Target Keywords With Research and Then Optimize Your Content
The first step with keywords is researching and analyzing published search engine data showing search volume for keywords.
This data comes from tools like Google’s Keyword Planner. There are many factors that can come into play when making a decision on how many keywords a website can optimally target as well as which ones are the best ones to target.
A professional SEO will get to know you and understand your business alongside collecting and analyzing search engine and website data in order to drive the best results during the keyword targeting process.
Not ready to subscribe? No worries, I also published this free keyword research tutorial that will show you step by step with screenshots how to use my 4 favorite free keyword research tools to implement a professional keyword targeting strategy.
After you finish your keyword research and have a list of your target keywords and phrases, it is time to begin incorporating them into your site’s content.
You can use your sitemap or primary navigation to determine each section which will require search engine optimization, use your judgment by taking into consideration which keywords you want to emphasize most.
Place your keywords in the most consistent and organized manner you see fit given your content. It is crucial to spread your keyword within your content multiple times without sounding as if you are excessively repeating the term.
Perform On-Going Targeted Keyword Research & Optimization
A huge benefit to hiring a professional SEO Service is the time that you will save from SEO experimentation of trial and error.
The search engines are very finicky.
They don’t like to see these keywords overused and overstuffed into the web pages, but if you don’t incorporate them often enough, they may not rank your website either. In general, meaning beyond keyword research, there is often much testing, trial and error, analytics, and optimization to a successful long-term SEO strategy.
The keywords themselves are extremely critical. The best choices of keywords that will drive the most traffic to your site may or may not be completely obvious.
To the business owner, one might think that the most popular keywords are the ones to use. To the expert SEO Consultant, one may choose less popular keywords so that your website has less online competition.
Local SEO vs. Global SEO
When consulting a local business such as an HVAC client, or even a Lawyer, a professional SEO Service Provider would definitely recommend the use of long tail Local SEO keywords, which may not even appear in the top 1000 choices in popularity.
However, for some industries, these long tail keywords that are not heavily searched won’t be targeted. It all depends on your business.
The current search environment is showing that 70% of search queries are long tail.
(You can thank Moz again for this one.)
If you are a traditional “brick and mortar” company who offers services. Let’s take a dentist or even a lawyer, for example, where they are not selling products or services directly through their website, they are completely dependent on local customers calling and asking for their expertise.
This is one area an experienced SEO consultant will utilize Local SEO tools to their maximum advantage, using “geographical” long tail keywords to get you the most exposure, traffic, and new leads.
That’s it Folks
Hopefully, now you understand the importance of keywords in your SEO efforts, as they are the foundation of everything you do to optimize your web presence.
A couple things to remember are:
- Use the keyword planner to find long-tail keywords
- Use the keyword guide in this post to help you incorporate your keywords throughout your website content
- Don’t overuse your keywords on your website, and make sure to mix it up and use a few different relevant variations rather than the exact same keyword over and over again.
Now, if you think you are ready to do some keyword research then check out this in-depth tutorial that will show you how to do professional keyword research using free tools.
Still have questions about the importance of Keywords in SEO? Ask them in the comments below, right now!