Keywords are often cited as the most important element of SEO. The keywords are only the first half of the equation: they must be balanced with proper usage. As JC Penney and Overstock.com know, pages full of suspect keywords (and bad links) don’t help your cause at all. After you have invested time and effort on keyword research, it is important not to waste that by misusing keywords and phrases.
Some keyword best practices:
- Make sure that your keyword/phrase in your title. Now the trick here is not to repeat the same keyword phrase for every title on your site. If possible, supplement the keyword with relevant wording. For example, if your keyword is “leather shoes,” you might title a page, “leather shoes on sale.” You don’t want to repeat this throughout the site because it dilutes the strength but you can try a few variations, such as “shop our leather shoe sale at LeatherShoes.com” or “leather shoe sale at LeatherShoes.com.” Two or so variations are sufficient.
- Put your keyword within the first 25 words of a post. You want a density of between 2 and 5 percent, so sprinkle them in the beginning, middle, and end. Clustering them looks like spam to Google – and to readers.
- Optimise your external and internal links. This is becoming less important, but make sure anchor text contains your keyword(s).
- Use your URL. www.leathershoes/leather-shoe-sale. This is especially important for sites with archived content. You may also want to categorise your keywords. For example: leather shoes/patent leather shoes or leather shoes/blue leather shoes.
- Use your header. Buy quality leather shoes at a discount. You have your keyword and some qualifiers to fill in information.
- Make sure your titles, headers, and content are well-written. Poorly written content sends a big SPAM signal to readers and to Google and other search engines.
The ranking game is all about keywords; when you use them well, you position yourself much more advantageously to win.
Posted by Vadym Gurevych, Business Development Director at Bullseye Media