Optimising Your Websites Keywords
Posted by Rob Faulkner
In my last post Search Engine Optimisation I provided a high level overview of how search engines work, how the search bots crawl your website and how to start choosing effective keywords.
Today, I would like to move onto what you should do once you have your list of keywords and phrases.
Simple ways to use keywords effectively:
Look at the structure of your website and use your keywords (where they are relevant to the content) in the following areas:
- Anchor Text: this is the text you will see in the search engine results pages directly underneath a link. It provides a useful description of what the site is all about and enables the search bots to determine if the site being linked to provides a match to the users query. It is important to include your keywords here. You should write this text in a short compelling statement (making sure it fits the space visible in the results page ) enabling the user to determine if its the right site for them without clicking through. For example if you’re a sports retailing website that specialises in cheap running shoes and your keyword phrase is ‘affordable running shoes’ then your anchor text could read:
check out our wide range of affordable running shoes from leading brands. Up to 50% discount off the RRP
- Title Tags: this is one of the most important things that a search bot will look for to determine what your site is going to be about so you should look to include the most important keyword or phrase. Don’t force a keyword into the title, keep it natural. Look at my title page, hopefully the site does it what the title promises
-Meta Tags: can be used to highlight your keywords to the search bots. Don’t over use the keywords though as the search bots might think you are spamming. Here is an example of a HTML Meta Tag sticking with the sports retailer example:
META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT= “running shoes, running spikes, running vests, running accessories”
-Headings: are another important area as search bots will assume that a section of text is a major heading and important topic on your site. So you might want to break up your copy into a few major sections each with a heading or subheading. The heading sizes range from H1 being the most important to H6 being the least. The subheadings I have used in this post are H3.
Effective use of keywords in your sites body text.
The more often you use a keyword in the body of your websites text the more likely it is that the search bots will register that keyword but you need to strike a careful balance. Using too many keywords can make a search bot think you are cheating the system, this is often referred to as ‘keyword stuffing’. The good news is getting it right is common sense, here are some points to consider:
- Read your text before publishing it, if you think you’re being too repetitive the chances are the search engines will too. Even better ask a friend or colleague to confirm if it reads ok.
- Write for the user not the search engines. What I mean by this is make sure the content flows nicely and reads well first then look at your keywords.
- There is no optimal keyword density ratio. I tend to use the same keyword 4 or 5 times in a post or page of 500 words but again just do what reads best.
Writing great copy for the web
As a small business owner and entrepreneur the chances are you’re not a copywriter but that’s ok you don’t need to be so here’s a few handy copywriting tips for you:
- I am going to reemphasise the point I made above as its so important. Whilst you have two target audiences ‘your visitors’ and the ‘search bots’ you have to produce readable and compelling content first and then incorporate the relevant keywords and phrases that will help your page rank with the search engines. Never try to cram in keywords that make your page less readable, you may get the traffic but your target audience will not read on and are likely to leave your site.
- Write naturally. If your keyword phrase is ‘low cost running shoes’ then you need to incorporate this phrase as if it would have been included in the sentence anyway and not enforced. This can be tricky but once you get the hang of it this will become second nature.
- a good way to improve your sites readability and SEO is to break your copy into smaller sections with individual subheadings and bullet points (like I’ve done in this post). Search bots look for keywords in your heading tags and headings help readers identify important text so this serves both of your target audiences well.
- another handy hint is that search bots tend to scan the beginning and end of your page and visitors may do the same when checking the content is relevant to them, so incorporating your keywords in the first two paragraphs and again at the end would be useful to both the bots and your visitors.
Lastly, there is zero benefit to having web pages with little content. Readers often want as much information on the topic they are searching for as possible and larger copy provides you with more opportunities to include your keywords and phrases for example if you have 10 keywords to include its much easier to do this in a document with a 1000 words than a couple of hundred.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and welcome your views and suggestions for future posts.
In my next post I shall be looking at ways to optimise the design of your site.
Happy digital marketing,
PS - If you are looking to see how you can improve the performance of your website I am giving away a free website evaluation tool for all new email subscribers of my blog
About Rob FaulknerDigital Marketing and Insurance Professional
Posted on April 7, 2013, in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Website Design and tagged Anchor text, Keyword density, Meta element, Search engine optimization, Search engine results page, Web content, Web crawler, Web search engine. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.