To make sure your website and content is found in the search engine results pages (SERPs) you will need to optimise everything with the keywords that your potential customers are using to find your products and services within the search engines.
Research suggests that 95% of searchers only look at the first page of the search results. In addition, the first result on Google has a click through rate of 28.5%. So, if you’re not using keywords properly within your content, you can affect the way your content ranks which will mean that potential customers aren’t going to find you when they’re searching.
You’ll miss out on driving organic traffic to your website which will mean fewer leads and sales.
In this guide, we’ll explain why keywords are an important part of your SEO strategy and where you should be including them.
SEO means optimising your website to ensure that it ranks well in the search engine results. Part of this process is using keywords which are words and phrases that describe your content and are the words your customers are using to find your products or services.
Keywords are not one of the main ranking factors but their use in content and links which are two of the top ranking factors means they play an important role in how your content ranks.
If you want to use keywords in your content and across your website, you’ll need to know what keywords are being used in relation to your business. Knowing which keywords are being used will help you to create relevant and informative content.
It’s important to make sure you use one keyword phrase per piece of content you create and make sure you don’t use the same keyword more than once. Otherwise you could end up with multiple pieces of content competing with each other.
The best way to find the keywords that your customers are using to find your products and services is to write down all the terms, phrases and words you think they might be searching for. Then find related terms by searching on Google and then scrolling down to the bottom of the search results - this will show you the other words that people searching for that term also looked for.
Keyword research is essential when you’re creating new content and it’s an important part of improving the SEO of your existing content too.
If you want your SEO strategy to be as effective as possible, it’s important to make sure that you place the keywords in the right place.
Making sure the page titles on your website are optimised is part of technical SEO and is a great place to start when optimising for SEO. The page title describes the main topic of the page and appears in the first line of the search results. It helps both Google and searchers understand the topic of the page.
The page title might match the title of a blog page or the name of a page such as ‘about’ or ‘services’ but it doesn’t always have to be. This is an important place to make sure your keyword is included and set user’s expectations for what they will find when they click through.
It is considered best practice to use your keywords at the start of your page title and will ensure Google sees it as relevant. Google puts a huge amount of weight behind the page title so if you make sure the keyword is in there, it will positively affect your rankings.
The meta description is the second part of a search results entry.
Although the meta description is not a direct ranking factor, it can help Google and searchers determine the relevancy of your content and encourage them to click through. It’s important to use keywords so that they understand how your content will answer their initial query.
Including headings and subheadings within your content make it scannable for your readers to help them find the information they need quickly. It can also help them to decide whether the content will meet their needs. Including keywords can help with this.
One of the most important places to ensure that your content is optimised properly as this content is a key ranking factor.
Not using keywords properly or keyword stuffing can have a negative impact on your rankings. If you have the same keywords in every other sentence of your content, it’s likely that Google will penalise rather than reward your content. It can also make it difficult to read and will affect user experience, making visitors less likely to convert.
We advise including your main keyword in the first few sentences of your content or, as a minimum, within the first paragraph. Then, use the same keyword or the variations of if throughout your content.
You should also include latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords rather than the exact keyword too as Google will understand the key topic you’re talking about. You can use tools such as SEMRush’s SEO content template to find out what these are.
Most importantly, write for your users in mind and make sure your content is readable and understandable for them.
Any images you include in your content will also be indexed which means search engine users will also be able to defined your content in an image search too.
Here are a few of the best practices to follow when optimising images within your content:
URLs should provide users and search engines with an idea of what a particular page is about so make sure your URLs are descriptive and your main keywords are used.
We recommend keeping URLs short with no more than one or two keywords so that it makes sense to the people who are visiting your site and which matches with the architecture of your site.
Where should you put keywords within a URL?
Links within your content are one of the key ranking factors for SEO so it’s important that you include keywords in any links you include. The anchor text is the clickable text that is highlighted as a link and takes visitors through to either a product page or another piece of content.
Make sure the anchor text you use relates to the page you’re linking to so that Google can understand the context.
Social media might not be a direct ranking factor for SEO but there is evidence that there is a link between social shares and visibility within the search engine results.
Using keywords within your social media updates can help search engines to understand how they relate to your brand and your website. Google also indexes Twitter updates so including keywords within your posts can help to direct searchers to your profile and then onto the content on your website.
External business directories are great for building links to your website and they’re a great place to include relevant keywords too. For example, if you set up a Google My Business listing, make sure you include your main keywords in your business description.
This helps to maximise on opportunities for your business to appear in the search results for the keywords that are relevant to your business, products and services.
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