Online Marketing - Keyword Usage

26th March 2013 by Darren Candler - SEO Specialist

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Keywords are the main element of successfully optimizing a website for the search engines, a process which is referred to as SEO. Keywords are also what people search for in Google and other search engine. Using appropriate keywords in the content of your website will make it appear in the results. When a search engine crawler scans your website, it will index the content by relevant keywords which it picks out. This is also how targeted advertising works where you have advertisements appear on your website which are automatically chosen by scanning over the content of a page.

Keyword Research

It’s important to research your keywords with care. You can use free tools such as the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to help you find the best key words and phrases for your content. You start by entering some relevant keywords into the search box. You’ll then be presented with a list of other possible words and phrases that you can evaluate. The tool reports important elements such as keyword competition, value and the number of global and local searches per month. Optimal keywords are those which offer the best compromise between competition and global monthly searches.

Keyword Density

Keyword density is a subject that is frequently talked about when in discussions on SEO. Many people will say that you should use a specific keyword density in all of the content of your website, but this is often misunderstood. Far more important than the actual percentage of keywords in an article is where the keywords occur, how far apart they are separated from each other and whether or not they are used naturally, blending into content so that they don’t stand out.
In spite of the common talk of keyword density and the great variance of rules that people adhere to, there are still some keyword usage tactics that you should always attempt to stick to. Most importantly, your keywords should be subtly placed in your content to look as though it's written for the human readers and not for search engines.

Try our Keyword Density Tool

Keyword Locations

The chosen keyword for a page of content should occur once in the title tag or twice if it’s appropriate. Placing the keyword close the start of the title is also a good idea. Additionally, you should place the keyword in the H1 heading tag of each page as well as H2 and H3 tags if you use them. You should periodically place the keyword in the bulk of the content as well. In a standard four to five hundred word article, three to five times is fine. Keywords should also be included in the 'alt' attribute of any image. You should also place the keyword once or twice in the meta description. The meta description is what you see under the link to your site in the search engine results. It provides a brief overview of the page's subject, ideally in two or three sentences. Finally, the actual URL of each webpage should contain a relevant keyword if applicable.

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