The ideal scenario for each and every writer or business owner is to have their websites and articles appear at the very top of the list on the major Search Engine results. Is that not our ultimate goal? Being at the very top means you are getting the most traffic and therefore the most exposure.
A very large part of Search Engine activity has to do with the Keywords used within the content on your website.
What are keywords some of you may ask? Keywords are those words that you type into any search engine when you are looking for specific information, products or services. It is by assigning keywords to their pages that businesses optimize their websites. Therefore, choosing the correct keywords for your site’s content is hugely important.
Whether you are undergoing a PPC (pay per click) campaign or just want to get your website out there, the right keywords are fundamental to your success. It is not however only about Search Engine Rankings, it is about the root of your company’s marketing campaign. You should be able to recognize which keywords are most important for you company based on what you are offering and what your customers expect. If you cannot, then it is doubtful that you can successfully market your services to your desired target market.
Here are 4 ways to use keywords effectively:
1. Choosing the Perfect Keywords:
KeyPhrase is definitely a more appropriate name for what we are calling Keywords. When you are searching for a specific piece of information, product or service you rarely type in a single word into the search bar. Therefore your ‘keywords’ inserted into your content will be ‘keyphrases’ rather than a single word for maximum results.
A very simple piece of advice is ‘Do not over think it’. The best way to begin is by asking yourself ‘What are the products and services that I sell?’. The few words that you use to answer that question are most likely the best keywords you will come up with. If you sell protein shakes online the two main words are protein and shakes. Those two words both taken individually are very weak and simply do not describe what you are selling. Therefore there is no reason to split them up. The two words can be paired up to be one ‘keyphrase’.
2. Avoid General words
So we know from the above example that you can have a combination of two words that describes exactly what you are selling. What if however one word alone is enough? Say for example you are running an online jewelry store. The simplest and most direct keyword would be ‘jewelry’ right? Well I am afraid that keyword will not get you anywhere. The only way this keyword would work for you was if you were one of the largest, most authoritative sites or if you are fortunate enough to actually own Jewelry.com – very unlikely.
The way to go in this case is to make your keyword more specific. You may be selling gold jewelry or men’s Rolex watch or silver necklace. What counts here is that the competition is not too brutal but also the people who are going to be searching the more specific words will more likely make purchases from your site.
3. Is Repetition Helpful or Not?
We very often come across the question of whether it is beneficial to repeat keywords or harmful. By repeating keywords I mean ‘strawberry protein shakes, healthy protein shakes, tasty protein shakes’ and then we could vary keywords like this ‘Soy Shakes, protein boost, and protein supplement’. From some extensive research it is safe to say that there is nothing wrong with the repetition of the keywords you use, as long as the meaning of the text as a whole varies. Google can very easily pick up on unnaturally similar content from article to article.
For example if there were two paragraphs one about protein shakes and the other about protein shakes online, the two are pretty much synonymous. However if you were talking about two articles, one about protein shakes online and the other about protein shake benefits, these two imply that the content of the paragraphs is different and therefore they are perfectly suited to work in tandem as keywords.
The most important and also the most logical rule is that you must not try to mislead your users or Google. Google certainly will not be fooled and you will be penalized for trying to do so. For example if you do not have a paragraph on protein shakes benefits – then do not use the keyword anywhere. So if you have articles on protein shake benefits, tasty protein shakes and protein supplements, then that is great and you can use the appropriate keywords to go with those articles.
4. Where to Insert your chosen Keywords:
- As stated above, the most obvious place to insert your keywords is within the articles you write for your website. More specifically however, insert your keywords in page headings and subheadings to give them more weight to the search engines. The keyword density on any given page should be about 3 %.
- When adding images to your websites, make sure you pay special attention to what name you are giving those images. Put your keywords into their filenames remembering to enter dashes or underscores between words. For example if you had a picture of a brand of a protein shake you sell, your picture’s filename could be ‘soy_protein_shake.jpg’. ALT tags can also contain your keywords. ALT tags is the extra text you may have popping up when you hover over an image within your website. Keep in mind that this text is actually displayed; therefore it must be directly relevant to the image.
- Another place which is important is within the links to your page. If for example you have written a previous article that you have created a link to, make sure your keywords feature in that link name.
- A title tag is the text that appears at the very top of your browser window/tab. Insert your keywords into your title tag in the coding for a page. Your meta keywords and description are not visible on your page, they are also in your page’s coding but play a big role. The meta description is a short summary of the page content making keywords necessary and very relevant. Meta keywords used to carry a whole lot more weight than they do now, because they were so heavily spammed but don’t leave them out altogether. As a general rule you should be adding 4 to 6 meta keywords and one strong sentence for your meta description. Do not forget that the meta description is the text that appears when someone does a search in Google; so you better make it catchy!
- Last but not least, customize your web address and enter your keywords. If you have an article for example about ‘the benefits of protein supplements’ on your website proteinshakes.com, your URL can be as follows: ‘www.proteinshakes.com/the_benefits_ of_protein_supplements.html’
So now you have some tips on choosing the ideal keywords for your site content. You know where exactly to place the keywords chosen; now YOU just make sure your site content is captivating and fresh!!