Using keywords correctly on a web page and throughout a website is critical when you are trying to improve search engine ranking. It is just one of the many factors needed for successful on page Search Engine Optimisation.
The number of keywords a site targets for organic SEO will depend on the particular business and what type of keywords will bring the site properly targeted, profitable traffic. Finding the right keywords to target takes a great deal of research and analysis, and is a whole other topic in itself.
But what should you do once you have your keywords selected?
Here are five important quick tips:
1. Include the keywords in the page URL
URLs describe a site or page to visitors and search engines. A correctly structured URL which is relevant and contains your keywords is one key to ranking well.
2. Keyword use in headers
Place your primary keywords in your headers and sub-headers. These areas of content give the keywords a greater weighting and relevance to search engines. Headers are generally in a larger font and are represented by heading tags that look like <h1>, <h2> etc. in the website code. The <h1> tag is the most important to the search engines, and it is used for the main heading on the page. The other tags from <h2> through to <h6> are generally used for subheaders and have less importance.
3. Keyword proximity & density
Where you can, place your primary keyword or keyword phrase as close to the beginning of the first sentence of your text content. The close proximity to the start of the article continues to tell the search engines that your page is relevant to the keyword you are targeting.
Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page. There is no optimal ‘keyword density’ percentage, however having a really high keyword density will by no means translate into higher rankings. In fact, over-using the keywords (known as keyword stuffing) can cause a penalty.
4. Keywords in body content
Include the keywords in the body content of your text, but don’t use them un-naturally or out of context. Make sure the way your keywords are incorporated is relevant with the rest of your content on the web page.
5. Keywords in image file names and ALT tags
Google and other search engines are basically visually impaired! But there are two ways you can optimise your images to help the search engines understand what they are.
The first is optimising the file names of your images. (See our article on Optimising Website Images for SEO). Your image file names should indicate what the image is and include your keyword. For example driveway-repairs.jpg rather than the non-descriptive names that are generated by the camera like IMG1234.jpg or DSC12778.jpg.
The second way you can optimise your images is through ALT tags that are descriptive, relevant to the image and contain the keywords where applicable. An ALT Tag is a caption that will replace the image when it cannot be viewed by a browser or a Search Engine crawler.