If you want people to find your website, you need to make sure it’s getting a high ranking on search engines.
How do you do this?
With search engine optimization (SEO) tools like keyword implementation. When you know how to use keywords on your website, your site will instantly earn higher rankings. That means search engines like Google will place your pages higher, leading to more visitors to your website.
In order to really understand how keywords work, you need to know the basics of SEO. You can do a deep dive on the process of a Google search in our blog about SEO. You’ll learn about bots called web crawlers that index web pages, and about the biggest influences on a page’s ranking. If you’d rather save that for later, we’re giving you a simpler version that’s all about keywords.
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Keywords are the terms that are often entered into searches when people are looking for similar sites. For example, if you run a dance school, your keywords could be things like “dance classes,” “tap classes near me,” or “ballet classes for adults.” By using keywords the right way on your website, you can improve your site’s visibility on search engines.
Getting the most out of keywords isn’t as intuitive as you might think. The practice of SEO has a lot of guidelines that lead to the best results. If you’re not ready to get a professional’s help for your site’s SEO, use these tips to get started in optimizing your website with keywords.
Put your keywords in the first paragraph
Start strong by including your keyword in the first paragraph of copy. When a search engine like Google scans the copy with its web crawlers, it needs to spot that keyword as soon as possible. Plus, when a person clicks on the page and sees the keyword in their first scan, they’ll know they’ve found the information they need.
However, the focus of your first paragraph should extend beyond the keywords. You need to write a paragraph that’s original, readable, focused, and succinct. Make sure that whoever is looking at your page — bot or person — knows what it’s about right away.
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Use keywords throughout the content, with variations
When you’re writing for the internet, it’s best to explain the focus of a paragraph in the first sentence of the paragraph. This helps both readers and the search engine bots to scan for and land on relevant content more quickly. Your keywords, and variations on your keywords, should appear multiple times throughout the text on each page. If you can manage to get your keywords into the first sentences of each paragraph, that’s even better!
You might want to read The 11 Best Keyword Research Tools to Find the Right Keywords for SEO.
Don’t force it
Even though keywords are a big part of successful SEO, more keywords isn’t always better. You want to find a balance between incorporating keywords into your text, and maintaining a good flow to the content.
In order to earn a high ranking on a search engine, you need to write for humans. A successful website will have quality content that’s targeted towards actual readers. If you focus only on adding as many versions and iterations of keywords as possible, you’ll be writing for the algorithms, not the people.
Not only will your audience be turned off by too many keywords, but Google will recognize it as keyword stuffing. Search engines are known to give penalties for keyword stuffing, so too many keywords could actually harm your site’s ranking.
Put keywords in title tags
Title tags — also referred to as page titles — are the descriptive title text that shows up in a search result. It’s also displayed at the top of a browser window. Naturally, a page title is an excellent opportunity to use your keywords and to write up a succinct and compelling page description.
Include keywords in meta descriptions
The meta description is the secondary text that appears in a search engine result. This is the copy that sits below the link to your page, and should give searchers a clear idea of why they should visit your site. Meta descriptions aren’t directly linked to search engine rankings, but if you can craft a solid description of the page that includes keywords it may help Google designate your page as being more relevant.
Use keywords in subheadings
Web content should always be easy to scan and easy to read. For longer pieces of content, in particular, it’s a good idea to break the text up with subheadings. This is a great space for your keywords — but again, don’t force it. Try to include keywords in a few subheadings without sacrificing readability.
Put keywords in your images
Keywords can be working behind the scenes to your benefits when you include them with your site’s images.
Just as the web crawlers index things related to the text of your site, like content and links, they also index images. Having relevant images on your page will automatically help people find your website more easily.
You can optimize images even more by adding in keywords to each of the labels applied to the images. First of all, start by naming the image files something relevant to the context and the image. If it fits naturally, throw a keyword in there too.
Next, be sure to include SEO keywords within the image titles. This is the text that will appear when someone places the cursor above the image.
Your SEO keywords can also be effective at earning you better rankings when they’re included in the alt text. Alt text is meant to describe an image in HTML, and will appear in place of the image if it doesn’t load. The alt text should actually be descriptive, but is best with keywords included too.
Customize your URLs with keywords and variants
A URL that is left as a long string of numbers and letters is a wasted opportunity for a keyword. Make sure that each page of your site and each piece of content has its own, descriptive URL. Use a keyword within the URL in order to give search engines and your readers a clear idea of the content.
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