The 5 best places for your keywords
A vital part of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is to identify which keywords your business will target. They are the building blocks of searching and all web based search engines such as Google are based on them. However once these have been identified, the job is far from complete. There remains a task which is perhaps even more important, and that is what you do with your keywords.
Imagine your keywords are the ingredients to a recipe which when followed produces a page on your website. With any recipe it is of course possible to mix the ingredients in any order and in fact in any quantity, however the result will probably not be the expected one. Like all recipes there is a definite order and a distinct way of using the ingredients to get the desired outcome.
Your keywords are the same – they must be included within your business website in the correct order and quantities to have the greatest positive impact on your SEO and to drive visitors to your website.
This is intended as a concise, precise, definition of your webpage. It is usually shown within the tab of your browser software, but more importantly it is also usually shown on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This allows a potential visitor to make a snap decision as to whether it corresponds to his search. However the use of the Title tag is also one of the most important things within SEO. Use your main keyword in this tag at least once, and if possible include a variation of it as well. It is important that the title still scans well, is readable and makes sense. It also should not exceed 70 characters which is the maximum that is shown on the SERPs (for all Net Quality sites, we check it does not exceed 64 characters which follows the W3C recommendations and is less than the maximum length displayed by Google on its SERPs of 66 characters)
An example for our Web Design agency is a Title tag of Web Design Nottingham, a Nottingham Website Designer: NetQuality
This is exactly 64 characters (including spaces) and repeats what is for us the most important keyphrase – Web Design Nottingham. These keywords are placed at the beginning of the Title tag as the Search Engines place more importance on this portion of the tag. The tag also includes the name of our company which boosts brand recognition and loyalty.
This has always been a well known and highly recommended location for your keywords. The H1 tag should appear at the top of your page and is considered as an overall heading to describe the page content. As such, the search engines place high importance on the words found within this tag.
Since the launch of HTML5, there are new recommendations for the use of the H1 tag. Previously, websites were greatly discouraged from using multiple H1 tags, and for a site to pass the W3C Markup Validator, only one tag was allowed. However this has since been relaxed and so multiple H1 tags means multiple locations for your keywords.
It should be easy to include your keywords onto your page within the main body text. The keywords you have identified should always refer to the subject being discussed in the body text.
There is some confusion over the number of times your keywords should appear, and in the past, Keyword Density Analysis was considered a valid tool to help determine the optimum number. This has since been superseded and as a general rule of thumb, simply include your keywords 3 times each on the page (maybe more for long pages)
In addition, your keywords should appear once as bold text (within tags) as Search Engines will attribute slightly more importance to these phrases.
Image Name and Alt Text
This is an often overlooked prime location for your keywords. Not only do Search Engines place an emphasis on the text associated with the images, it will help with image searches. This is a rapidly growing source of traffic, especially championed by Google.
When searching, many people specifically are looking for an image. If your images are clearly labelled (both in the image name and the Alt text) then there is a greatly increased chance of your images appearing at the top of the Search Engines. Studies have shown that once visitors have found the image they are looking for, are inclined to click and so end up on your website, providing an additional source of traffic for your business web pages.
You should try and include one of your keywords in the URL. A word of warning however - do not try and overstuff the URL with your keywords. It is best to include only the most important and keep it short. Separate any words by hyphens and not underscores, as the SEO community is generally in agreement that these perform better in SEO.