Posted on March 10, 2010
Keywords are, simply put, the SEO fuel. All the efforts put in to fine-tune your website for top rankings on Search Engines will not pay-off if the targeted keyword is not right. The key here is to use most relevant and important keywords in different parts of the website. Instead of using all keywords at once, it is advisable to use the keywords in several portions on your website. Higher relevance is given to certain areas of the HTML documents by various search engines.
Choosing the right keyword is the first and the most critical step of any SEO Campaign.
Following are the Best Practices for how to use your keywords:
In the TITLE tag – Search results always shows the title tag as your page title. The Title must be short and precise, say 6-12 words. The Keyword can be anywhere in the tag but preferably near the beginning.
In anchor text – Anchor text with keyword focus from external links is an important factor. Inbound links are considered positive not only for the site but for the keyword as well.
In headings – The Keywords placed on the heading in H1 is an important factor but the page should have actual text relevant to the keyword. Try to keep the heading precise (7-10 words). It is good to have the keyword as the first word of the heading.
In Domain Name – Domain names incorporating vital keywords is a very important factor.
In URL – Helps a lot to rank well but keyword should be in the other parts of the document. It should not be over optimized else you might be penalized.
Density – It is a measure to check the relevance of the web content. Keep less than 10% keyword density. Upto 7-8% for targeted 2-3 keywords and 1-2% for minor or secondary keywords on a page.
In the beginning of the document – It is a good practice to have the keyword in first 25-50 words of the document. Be it a table or a paragraph, try to keep it in the beginning of the document.
In Alt Tags – Label images on your page with ALT/TITLE tag filled with some keywords as spiders do read these tags.
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In other Headlines – It is a good practice to have the keywords in other headlines (h2 – h6).
In Meta Tags – Yahoo and Bing still rely on them, Google does not. Having these tags properly filled will not harm, so just do it.
Proximity – It is the closeness between the 2 or more keywords. The closer the keywords the more likely it is to rank higher. It is best to have the keywords one after the other i.e. with no words in between them. Eg : “discount perfume” is better than “discount on perfume”. In Image names – Eg : Perfume.jpg – Good to have keywords in images names.
Secondary Keywords – Targeting and optimizing secondary keywords can be beneficial as they might have a lot less competition than the most popular keywords. Eg: discount Calvin Klien perfumes will have a lot less hits and a better targeted traffic.
Synonyms – Using synonyms on web pages is good as Search Engines have algorithms to take in to consideration synonyms for Keyword match and ranking especially for sites in English but it is not taken into account for many other languages. For instance, in the perfume site, “fragrance” is a synonym, Include synonyms on the page but do not rush to optimize every synonym.
Misspellings – Spelling mistakes do not make a good impression. If you know your target keywords have popular misspellings, you might want to optimize them and they can get you more traffic. But it’s better if you do not misspell. However, if you want popular misspellings, do them in Meta Tags.
Dilution – Excessive unrelated keyword optimization will affect performance of all keywords. Yes! even the major ones will be lost.
Stuffing – Keyword density of more than 10% is keyword stuffing and puts you at risk by to get banned by Search Engines.
Thus, a well deployed Keyword helps in bringing qualified traffic to your site leading to higher sales, by being focused and targeting specific search terms. We hope you like our posts. Do not forget to subscribe to our feed in order to stay updated with our stories & news in SEO World.
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