Keywords are the breadcrumbs that lead visitors to your site – if you choose and use them wisely. That’s why it’s critical to understand how to take advantage of them in the ways that will benefit your site the most. Effective use of keywords gives you an edge in desirable search engine placement and helps propel you to success with online ad campaigns.
What are Keywords
If you are allowed one or two words to describe what your site is about, what would you choose? You’ve just identified your first keyword. Keywords are words and short phrases that are closely related to the content and purpose of your site. They are terms that someone in your target audience might type into a search box, in our case, our first keyword is “seo Manchester.” Creating a list of keywords is the first step in optimizing your site for search engines.
You should develop a list of at least 10 keywords for your site; 15 or more is even better. You’re going to use these words in several different ways, so put a lot of thought into them. Organize the list with the strongest words at the top. If the pages on your site are quite different, consider making a list for each major page.
Why Are Keywords Important?
Keywords are one of the primary factors search engine algorithms consider when determining whether to include a page in search engine results. Each search engine analyzes them in different ways, but they all use them. The importance of the presence, frequency, and location of keywords on your website can’t be overstated.
Where to Use Keywords
Sprinkling keywords across your site is beneficial, but putting them in particular places will help much more. Here are some of the most important:
Page URL: When you select a URL for a new page, make sure it includes keywords. If the URL is automatically generated from the title, you can usually alter it manually.
Title Tag: Put your most important keyword in your page’s title tag, near the beginning. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you can directly set this through the article interface.
H1 Tag: Include keywords in H1 heading tags.
Body Text: Weave your keywords naturally into the content of your page. Three to five mentions per page is a good target.
Images: Give your images meaningful, readable names that include a keyword whenever it’s appropriate. Take time to supply a value for the image’s “alt=” attribute, which is an important usability feature that fills in when the image can’t be viewed and also provides an additional potential keyword spot.
As helpful as keywords are, it’s also critical to avoid inappropriate use. Tactics such as stuffing your page full of repeated mentions of your top keywords risks being viewed by search engine algorithms as an indicator of spam, and can cause your page ranking to plummet.
Employ keywords appropriately and deliberately, and your site will gradually climb up in search engine results.