How Should I Use Keywords?
Since online searching began, keywords have been standard focus, yet remain a bit of a mystery. Though algorithms of the search engines remain ever-changing, there is some consistent wisdom to heed when it comes to keyword usage for the pages of your website.
Read on a find a few updates you can make today to your website.
What is the purpose of keywords?
The job of a search engine is to show users the results of their particular search, and those results are then ordered by two factors:
Keywords were the key to determining relevancy—and they still are, but the algorithms are now more sophisticated which means pages can’t just be “stuffed” with keywords and magically be deemed relevant.
Rather, keywords need to be used naturally and strategically for the search engine bots to index the page properly. In fact, there is a tipping point: randomly and naturally spreading out keyword phrases does seem to result in relevancy and therefore rankings, but spreading out that same phrase even more times on the page does not result in more relevancy.
As explained in a Beginner[s Guide to SEO by Moz,
“As the engines crawl and index the contents of pages around the web, they keep track of those pages in keyword-based indexes rather than storing 25 million web pages all in one database. Millions and millions of smaller databases, each centered on a particular keyword term or phrase, allow the engines to retrieve the data they need in a mere fraction of a second.”
Keywords are our mode of communication when searching for information online. We search using keywords, and pages are retrieved based on these words. When a page has used its keywords prominently in the title, text, and metadata, searchers who are looking for that page’s information are more likely to find it!
Where To Use Keywords
Here are places on your webpage that Moz recommends using the keyword phrase:
- In the title tag
- Near the top of the page (visibly)
- In the body copy on the page (at least two or three times)
- In the alternate tag of a visual on the page (At least once
- In the URL
It’s also recommended to use the keyword phrases in the meta description tag. Though search engines don’t use these to determine rankings, the meta description tag will be the lines of text that will catch a reader’s eye on a search results page.
Apply this new information to a section of pages on your site, and compare the before and after analytics. Are the pages experiencing more activity since the changes were implemented? Leave a comment and let us know your results!
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