How to Use Keywords – SEO Tip 37
I just returned from giving my latest SEO Presentation to a Virginia Portal/Newspaper. I spent the last week or two creating the presentation and in doing so had to put myself in the place of someone brand new to the world of SEO. Of course I do this all the time when talking to people looking for an SEO Company, but this was slightly different. This time I was having to teach someone how to do SEO and that meant going back to the basics for everything including keyword usage.
So many times, as an SEO expert, I think of much of my knowledge as general, public knowledge. For example, everyone must know what a keyword is, right? Wrong. And even if they know what a keyword is they usually don’t know how to use it to effectively to optimize their web pages. Showing how keywords could be best used was of particular interest to the group I presented to, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on my blog as well.
Here is my personal suggestions on where and how to use your keywords on your web page you want ranked for that keyword:
- Use it at least once in your Page Title or <title> tag, twice if you can use it in another form, but don’t feel compelled to have it twice. Once is usually sufficient. Example:
<title>How to Use Keywords</title>
- Use it once in your Meta Description Tag. It can help convince users to click your search results. (See more about this at my meta description post.) Example:
<meta name="description" content="Want to know how to best use keywords to optimize your webpage? Click here to leanr and read other SEO Tips." />
- Use it at least once in your H1 <h1> Tag . This should be main heading or title of your web page. On this blog post the H1 title is “How to Use Keywords”. The H1 tag should different on each page, and not the web site name. Only use ONE H1 tag on any given page.
- Use it in one of your subheads. Your subhead should be an H2 <h2> tag. H2 tags can also, and should, hold secondary keywords, but including the main keyword is effective. Most web pages would benefit from subheads from a user perspective as well as for optimization help.
- Depending on the amount of body text on the page, you should try to include keywords within the text at least 4 times. This comes with a BIG CAVEAT though. Only do this if it makes sense and doesn’t appear spammy. Remember you are writing for human and search engines. Spammy content can ruin all the efforts you made to get the user to the page. Be sensible and read your content. If too many keywords are making it sound silly, take them out. Avoid keyword stuffing.
- If you have images on the page, and it makes sense, you should add it to the alt <alt> tag.
- If you have images on the page, and it makes sense, you should add your keyword to the image title. This isn’t something most people to but it is helpful, in my opinion and only takes a few seconds. So your image tags should look like this:
<img src="image.jpg" alt="keyword phrase" title="keyword phrase" />.
- Add your keyword to link in other pages of your site, pointing to the page you want ranked. Linking out from the page you want ranked is fine, but do not use the keyword you want that page ranked for in the anchor text.
I think this will cover your optimization efforts. Of course tweaking my suggestions is encouraged and even necessary most times, but this is as good a guideline as any to start with. After you have used your keywords don’t forget to begin link building using the same keywords. Your efforts will be rewarded.