Amidst the flurry of updates and reports of the many algorithm changes that arrive into my inbox each week, I try to remember to take a breath and remain calm enough to remind myself that – at the core- keywords still remain the key on-page SEO elements. Keywords are the pieces of the SEO equation that inform the search engines to know what the webpage is about.
Search engines need to know the keywords because users enter these phrases into a search engine’s search field, and the search engines then present a list of website options that best respond to the users’ search queries.
Search engines use these keywords to determine the context of the web page. Then combining the various calculations of its algorithm, the search engine determines the placement of the website page within users search engine results pages.
So, how do I use keywords for SEO?
While I have not stumbled upon the secret sauce – that magic number for keyword density, I have been able to successfully test and confirm the following seven (7) on-page locations to be very effective in helping my clients’ websites to appear prominently within the search engine results page (SERP).
Recommended Keyword Density Formula:
7 Places Where I Put Keywords For SEO
- The page URL.
This digital address of the page is key. When the search engines crawl the XML sitemap of a site, the text within the URL is the first element analyzed. As brands include the keywords and phrases into the permalink of the webpages’s URL, they help the search engines immediately get an idea of the content contained within the page.
- Page Title (title tag)
I have found this to be the most influential placement for my targeted keywords and phrases.One of my clients had recently achieved great positioning when their website moved from page 5 to page 2 within the SERP in just two weeks of the website’s update. Then, a miscommunication between the website team members cause the title tag to be adjusted. This change caused the website to drop to page 7…in two days!TWO DAYS!
Immediately, the team reset the on-page title tag. Unfortunately, the update took another month before the website finally returned to their page 2 position. So yes, the page’s title tag is quite important in keyword/phrase placement.
I typically work to keep the character length between 50 – 60 characters.
- Meta description
While the page’s description does not directly impact the search engines positioning of your site within the search engine results page, this meta description is key in communicating to users from the SERP.This area succinctly details the content of the page, and this description helps the users make the decision whether to click the link. Then once on site, the user will immediately know whether the description accurately definted the page’s content. If not, the user will likely will negatively impact a search engines rank of your website.
I typically work to keep the character length of the description between 50-149 characters.
- Headline (header tags: <h1/>, <h2/>, …<h6/>)
Within the online structure of you webpage, the header tags help users preview the organized outline of the webpage’s content. Similarly, the headers (header tags) communicate an organized flow of content to the search engines crawling the site.These tags have been seen to remain pretty influential in terms of on-site SEO.
- Body Content/Post (verbatim & semantic/)
This main part of your webpage provides you the opportunity to integrate various forms of your targeted keywords and phrases as you present the helpful insights, the verified research, or significant thought leadership of your brand. While I am not a proponent of keyword stuffing, I do believe that there is further opportunity to include various forms of your keywords in on-page communications.
- Image Alt Tags
For any images contained within this page, please do consider the integration of the keyword/phrases into the image’s position, such as:
* save original image file using keyword or keyword variation
* naturally integrate the keyword phrase into the image title and image alt-tag
- Anchor Text Links
Providing outgoing links to authority websites is good way to build your online authority as one show shares valuable resource and content. Keywords within the anchor-text links does well to accurately communicate the off-site content for which you are directing your readers.An example could include:
“Go Fish Digital offers an in-depth tutorial on how to pull a target’s specific GPS coordinates into your queries .” via Aleh Barysevich, 17 Ways to Get Localized Search Results After Google Killed its Location Setting
So as you can see, my goal throughout the keyword placement is to provide the best, informative user experience using targeted keywords and phrases naturally and authentically without appearing forced. The competition can be fierce. Your ability to exercise good keyword research and keyword placement will be key to your success.
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Image Credit via Creative Commons