Google and other search engines consider a number of factors when choosing who gets to rise to the top of search results and bring in organic traffic. Crawling pages to see what they are all about is a big part of the process, so you want to be sure you send the right messages to the crawlers. Having the right keywords in the right places will help search engines find you, but how do you know which to use and where to put them?
Build a Keyword Strategy
Deciding which keywords you want to be known for might seem easy. Pick a few words that are relevant to your industry and sprinkle them all over your website, right? Wrong. First, you have to find out how people are looking for you. Are they typing "plumber" or "fix leaky faucet?" Then, you have to find which of these search terms has a high search volume with relatively low competition. We use the Google Keyword Planner tool for this process. These strategically chosen terms will give you the best return as you move forward with your SEO strategy.
Use Target Keywords on your Website
Peppering keywords around your website isn't the most effective way to incorporate them into your website. When Google and other search engines crawl your pages, they usually look at several specific areas to see what the page is about. Those elements include:
· Title Tag. Try to get your most important keywords in the first few words of the title.
· URL. The URL should be similar to the title of the page and include your important keywords.
· H1 Tag. The H1 Tag goes around the main title for the page and tells the reader (and search engines) what the page is all about.
· Body. You want to include your main keywords once or twice throughout the main copy of your page.
· Image Tags. This one might not seem obvious because you won't see these words on the page unless the actual images don't load. It's a great place to add an instance of your most important keyword.
· Meta Description. Most search engines don't consider this description when ranking pages, however, Google will bold keywords on the search results page making them stand out to the searcher. This ultimately helps increase organic click through rate.
Get Your Blog in on the Action
Your blog provides fresh content for search engines to crawl providing your website with tons of SEO fuel. Make sure that each new post uses keywords from your strategy. Blogs are also the perfect place to incorporate long-tail keywords as the conversational nature of blog posts makes it easy to incorporate a wide variety of keywords. You should blog on a regular cadence - we suggest at least once a week. The more keyword heavy blog content you add to your site on a regular basis, the more frequently Google crawlers will come back to index your site.
Be Smart About Keywords
When you include keywords on pages that discuss the products and services you offer, be sure to keep the page centered around one or two similar keywords. In other words, don't confuse the readers or the search engines by trying to mix in a bunch of your target keywords into a single page. Lastly, and perhaps the most important part of your keyword strategy is never, ever try to ‘stuff’ your web pages with too many keywords or too many repetitions of one keyword. Not only will your readers feel cheated out of useful content, but the search engines will see right through your attempt to game the system and could penalize or even blacklist your website from search results. Good luck getting any traffic once you don’t show up on Google… Learn more about other SEO Best Practices and White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO here.