How to Use Keywords for SEO?

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I am often asked by my clients how to use keywords to get better SEO. They are curious what keywords to use and how to use keywords for SEO. The use of keywords is one of the ways to improve SEO.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s about making your site as search engine friendly as possible so you get good search engine results – that means that when potential visitors use a search engine like Google and type something in that is potentially related to your business, that your website is listed near the top of the search results. For example, if someone wants to know more about Onward! Studios, they go to Google and type Onward! Studios. This is what comes up:

SEO results for Onward! Studios

When someone types in Onward! Studios at Google, onwardstudios.com site is listed first. This is an example of good SEO. Good SEO doesn’t necessarily mean being in the 1st spot. Being in the 1st spot isn’t as important as being on the first page of results. Studies have shown that being in the first 7 spots is just as effective as being in the #1 spot.

Good SEO entails a lot of things that are beyond just having a website. Web page content, use of keywords (what someone types in google to find you), links back to your site, regular updates to your site, authority ranking, etc. are all aspects of SEO. You have control of some of these items, others you don’t. Our goal is to make sure we are doing all we can for our sites to rank well with search engines. Let’s go through the steps for using keywords on your website.

Using Keywords for SEO

Define your keywords

When using search engines, visitors enter specific keywords. For example, what might the keywords be for your site? Or, what will potential visitors to your site type in Google to try to find you? It is this list of keywords that we want to focus on. We want these keywords on your home page, in your site description, within the content of your site, and in page descriptions of your site. We also want them in the URL address for your site and your site pages. This should be more than just your business name. It should include aspects of what your business is about.

Specific Keywords for Specific Pages

Good SEO includes specific keywords for specific pages of your site. For example, on your Products page your keywords may be your products. On your About page, the keywords may be the name of your business, or even your name. Determining which keywords that you want to highlight for specific pages affect the content of the page. You want that keyword to appear naturally in the content of the page, especially towards the top of the page. Not that you stuff your page with those keywords (Google will penalize you for that), but that you are aware of using those keywords effectively within the content of the page.

For example, here is a post I did recently for WP for Creatives. The keyword I wanted to focus on is PowerPress Plugin. Here’s a screen shot of the page. I highlighted the keyword I was focusing on.

Improve SEO by using keyword in page title

Notice the use of the Keyword in the Title of the page. I also use the keyword in the first paragraph, although I could’ve done better by adding the word ‘plugin’ after each occurrence of the word ‘PowerPress’. It’s important to use the ‘designated’ keyword in the title of the page and 2-3 times in the first paragraph.

Keywords in Headings

Further down in the page, I am using the keyword in the headings of the page as well:

SEO, keyword in headings of page

Keywords in URL Address

The keyword is also present in the URL of the page:

Good SEO by using keyword in url

Keywords in Page Description

You also want to include the keyword(s) in the description of the page. The description for the page above is:

“Step by step guide on how to use the PowerPress plugin and how to set the most common PowerPress settings. Learn how to best use the PowerPress plugin.”

The keyword is used twice within the page description.

This is how you make use of keyword(s) on each page to rank well for specific keywords: page content, headings, url, description. However, this is just one step in improving your site’s SEO.

Here’s a link that gives a general overview of SEO: http://www.redevolution.com/what-is-seo/

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