When you’re trying to get your website to rank on search engines, there’s a number of strategies you have to consider and put in place. Having the right keywords on your website is one of the vital strategies.
Why are keywords so important?
Both search engines and users depend on keywords to find your website. A web crawler browses sites on the internet for the purposes of indexing. Crawlers find information off web pages and follow links on those pages. The index then includes information about words and their locations. When users enter search terms on a search engine, they will then be presented with the most appropriate pages. To ensure your website ranks on search engines, it’s important to optimise your website and use the right keywords and phrases.
Which keywords should you use?
You don’t want to bombard your website with all the keywords you think might rank. Instead, you want to make sure you are using the right keywords. How do you find out which keywords are the right choice for your website? You have to consider what terms people are using to search for your website. It’s also important to consider which keywords have a high search volume and low competition.
To help choose the right keywords, you can use Google AdWords Keyword Planner. This tool will provide you with keyword ideas, as well as traffic estimates. Using this data you will be able to build a thorough keyword list.
You can also consider using Google Trends. Using this tool, you can enter keywords and filter by location, search history, and category. The results will give you information such as the interest surrounding that keyword, why there is interest (such as if they keyword has been newsworthy) and where traffic is coming from. This tool is useful to gauge how popular certain keywords will be, and whether or not you should use them in your keyword strategy.
Where should the keywords be used?
Once you have a list of keywords you’re going to use, you then need to place the keywords in the correct places on your website. You shouldn’t just randomly place keywords throughout your website. There are far more effective strategies.
When search engines crawl websites, they will be looking at specific site areas. This gives the crawlers information about what content is on each page. To help improve your SEO, you need to make sure your keywords are used in the correct pages.
Ensure your keywords are used as:
- Title tag: you’re going to want to make sure your most important keywords are using in the title. Title tags not only help the user determine what the page is about, but is used by search engines as well. The title tag is the text that will appear on search engine results pages. Because of how much text Google displays, you want to make sure your titles are under 60 characters long.
- Anchor text: anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink. It’s important to make sure this clickable text is relevant to the page you’re linking to. Don’t just make the anchor text a random word or phrase. Anchor text helps search engines determine the ranking for that particular page. Just like you want to avoid keyword stuffing, you shouldn’t engage in excessive anchor text. If your page has too much anchor text, you could end up with a Google penalty.
- Header tags: use H1 and H2 tags to let both search engines and users know the header is important. H1 tags are used around the main title for the page, and convey what the page is about.
- Website content: throughout the main body of your website content, you’re going to want to include your keywords once or twice. Make sure each page revolves around one keyword, rather than as many keywords possible.
- Meta description: this is the blurb of information that appears under the title on a search result page. This should accurately tell the user what the page is about.
- Alt tags: you don’t only want to think about titles and the body of your text, you want to consider images as well. To help your rankings, you want to include your keyword in every image description. Use the keyword in alt tags, descriptions, captions and image file name.
- URL: use your keyword in the URL, but only if it helps to describe the contents of the page and is helpful to the users’ navigation.
- Blog posts: frequently publishing content on your blog is a great way to increase traffic to your website. It also provides web crawlers with fresh content. Because blog posts are often longer than the body of content on your website, it’s a great area to place keywords. If you’re using long-tail keywords they can very easily be incorporated into blog posts. The more frequently you post and publish posts that are keyword heavy, the more often your site will get crawled for indexing.
When starting out your keyword strategy, it’s important to remember to only use relevant keywords, don’t stuff your pages with too many keywords, and always place your keywords in the correct places throughout your website. These tips will help you to improve your SEO and increase traffic to your website.