KW Series | How to Use Keywords on your Website – Best Practices
We finally got to article # 4 of this KW Series where we’ll wrap things up and discuss how to use keywords on your website.
At this point, based on the previous articles, you should have:
- A List of Keywords
- including Long Tail ones
- with the right Metrics
- My suggestion was to look for:
- AVG (monthly searches) > 50, but ideally over 100
- QSR (competition) < 100
- My suggestion was to look for:
The truth is that having all these keywords won’t do you any good if you don’t use them wisely. Some people want to get ranked on the first page of Google but simply don’t know how to leverage the keywords they’ve selected.
You don’t need to try to trick Google or use your keyword of choice every couple of lines.
Things to Keep in Mind
Search Engine algorithms have greatly improved over the years. Things that were absolute truths in past years are not anymore.
No one knows EXACTLY what the official best SEO practices are (Google may give hints, but in reality, they want to decide for themselves who is going to rank on the first pages).
On the other hand, we can all learn from successful and unsuccessful experiences. In other words, what works and what doesn’t.
These are the things you should remember at all times:
- When searching for orientation on the best SEO practices, always check for the date of your source/article. The information could be outdated.
- Keyword Density, for instance, is not as important these days as it used to be.
- The Search Term should be relevant to page/post you’re writing.
- Don’t overuse the keyword (a practice referred to as “Keyword Stuffing”). Google may penalize your page for that.
- Search engines prioritize user experience. If they realize (and they’re smart, believe me) that your visitors are leaving your pages too soon you’ll never get well ranked.
- Don’t try to “please” search engines over your visitors. If you have to choose one, choose your readers.
- Follow this basic rule and you’ll be fine, 1 keyword per 1 post/page.
Okay then, what are the best practices? How should you use a keyword on a web page/post?
Keep reading and you’ll see how easy it is!
Titles are Just the Beginning
Your headers tell your audience AND search engines what you’re going to talk about. Therefore, from the perspective of Google, Yahoo&Bing, your keyword should be inserted there.
From your audience’s side, it’s important to elaborate a little more, extrapolate the keyword, add words and/or expressions to make it catchy.
If you’re writing a post on “dining tables” (search phrase), you could come up with a title like “Top 10 Dining Tables, Price and Modernity come together”. Don’t you think that a reader would be more likely to read this post as opposed to one with the plain title “Dining Tables”?
Just don’t forget to be clear and relevant. Whatever your title states, the content below it needs to fully address that topic.
Another aspect is that some marketers advocate the importance of including the keyword in at least one Sub-header. This is one of those topics that are a bit controversial as some other professionals say this is not necessary.
My approach is simple, whenever possible I include it. But if by doing this my content becomes unnatural, I don’t. User experience comes first, search engines second, remember?
First Paragraph, That’s All
Google (and the other ones) scan your article looking for keywords based on your content. Their goal is to provide the best source of information to a person’s query.
Often times our articles show up on SERPs for keywords we hadn’t initially aimed for. That post on Dining Tables, for example, could also be ranked for “modern furniture” if this topic was included in the body of the article.
The best approach is to first and mainly focus on your targeted keyword and let Google do its job.
✮✮✮ Make sure to include your keyword in the First Paragraph.
After that, just keep naturally writing your content.
Some people aim at a group of related keywords within the same article. The danger here is to end up creating an artificial content, trying to make all terms fit in. Sometimes this makes the reader feel uncomfortable and they soon leave your website to start searching for a better source.
So be careful with this kind of strategy.
Meta Title and Meta Description
These are the first places that search engines scan. Make sure to include the keyword within both of them.
This is how they are presented on the plugin I use (All in One SEO):
Title: “A custom title that shows up in the title tag for this page. Most search engines use a maximum of 60 chars for the title.”
Description: “The META description for this page. This will override any auto-generated descriptions. Most search engines use a maximum of 230-320 chars for the description.”
Both will be shown on SERPs.
I like to think of Meta Description as one more opportunity to convince people to open my post, instead of my competitors’. That’s why I usually spend a few minutes elaborating it. And I suggest you do the same.
The Best Strategy, Keyword Mapping
Besides knowing how to use the keywords throughout your content, there’s a valuable technique I want to share with you. It helps me not only to organize my pages/posts but also to come up with new keyword strategies.
There are various ways of drawing this kind of map. Some are extremely detailed but for our purpose today, we can keep it very simple. There’s no need to complicate things.
Each row is a page/post on your website. I like to organize them into categories and then Publish Date, Title, URL, Keyword, Monthly Searches, Traffic, Competition, and SEO score.
Of course, you can insert or exclude any column you’d like. These are the ones that I consider to be important for me to visualize the way my content is distributed. And besides, I can easily access them by using Jaaxy Keyword Research Tool, so for me, it’s absolutely effortless and convenient.
You should choose the most suitable tool for you.
A quick look would let me realize things like:
- Category “Dining Room” should also approach the “Wooden dining tables” topic which my clients always look for. Therefore, a post should be written about this. And I would insert a new row for this new content.
- My page about “Farmhouse Dining Room Table” has 100 competitors which for a brand new website is a bit high. I’d rather keep this metric below 100 and try to rank as soon as possible. So I may decide to target a different keyword.
Read more about these metrics here.
- What are other missing topics that my readers would benefit from?
- What else is my audience looking for that I can write about (keyword)?
- Under which category should this new page be positioned?
- Are my keywords to similar? Should I merge some of them?
- Or are they too broad within the same page that I could divide into two different posts?
Do you remember the list of keywords you had already searched and saved in a list? We talked about this in article #1 of the KW Series – “How does a Keyword Search Work?”
Well, now is the time to get all of them and allocate each of them in the most relevant category. At this point, you can even decide to create a new category and start populating it, if that makes sense.
Moreover, you can now plan when you are going to publish each new article. This alone will let you save so much time! Each day you’ll know exactly what to write about and the keyword(s) to target.
Just one more thing, this map shows pages with more than 1 keyword (the first one, in bold, is always the primary one). The secondary ones are variations that you can make use of while you write your content. But remember that your focus is to insert the main one in the Header, First Paragraph, Meta Title and Meta Description.
Other than that, just write naturally and let Google be Google. 🙂
This was article #4, the last one on the KW Series. If you haven’t had the chance yet, you can read the previous ones now:
- How does a Keyword Search Work?
- 11 Quick Ways of Brainstorming for Keyword Ideas
- 7 Killing Long Tail Keywords Examples – Why Should You Care?
I hope you liked these articles and got valuable insights out of them.
Everything I wrote was largely based on the training and up-to-date discussions within Wealthy Affiliate, in my opinion, the best place to learn about internet marketing and build an online business.
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