Are you on top of your keyword game? If not, you might be hurting your business. Studies show that 95 percent of users never go beyond the first page of search results, and half of those people only click on the top three results. How can you ensure your site occupies some of that valuable first-page real estate? It’s all about search engine optimization (SEO), and keywords are the key. In this article, we’ll explore the use of keywords for search optimization and look at some best practices.
Getting Started with Keywords
Before you can optimize your site using keywords, you’ll need to do some keyword research. Aim to use a different keyword phrase for each piece of content– you don’t want one piece of your content to be competing with another one for search rankings. You can get started on your keyword research with a simple brainstorming session, thinking of various words and phrases people might be using to discover your content. To find out what keywords people are already using to find your website, use tools like Google Search Console or Google Analytics.
Choosing Pages to Optimize
The next step in your plan to improve your digital marketing efforts is to identify pages on your site that could be performing better in the search rankings. Tools such as SEMRush and Google Analytics make this task a breeze. If you log into SEMRush and go to the SEO Toolkit, you can navigate to Organic Research and then Positions. From there, you can enter your domain name. The tool will display which keywords your site is ranking for, and it’ll also give the relative positions of each page in the rankings. This information makes it easy to spot pages that could use some optimization.
How to Use Keywords for SEO
To get the most out of your keywords, it’s important to use them in the right places. Many WordPress plugins and apps make it easier than ever to add keywords to your content. Here are some of the most effective locations for keywords:
- Titles: The title of your page tells searchers what the page is all about. Place your keyword phrase toward the start of the title for maximum impact.
- Meta Descriptions: A page’s meta description may not be a direct ranking factor, but it helps searchers decide whether to click through to your page.
- Subheadings: Use targeted keywords in at least some of your subheadings for an extra boost of search optimization.
- Content: Your page’s content may be the most important place to consider using targeted keyword phrases, but you don’t want to go overboard and stuff your content with keywords. Use your primary keyword phrase in the first two sentences, and sprinkle a few variations on it throughout the rest of the content.
In addition to these key locations to boost SEO, you’ll also want to consider adding keyword phrases in other areas of your page, such as URLs, images, anchor text, and even external listings.
The best practices for search engine optimization are always changing, but these tips for using keywords have stood the test of time. With these strategies in place, you can improve your search ranking and take your digital marketing efforts to the next level.