SEO (search engine optimization) and keywords go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. It’s the keywords in your web content that search engines use to help people find your site. A website is considered well optimized when it speaks the same language as the traffic it is trying to find. In others words, it attracts the very visitors you are trying to find, brings them to your site and helps them make a decision about a purchase or service you provide.
Search engines try to bridge the gap between technology and humans. Keywords are the tool they use to connect people and products. You need to know how people are looking for the information they want so they end up on your website, Facebook Page, etc. Using keywords in a relevant manner will help improve your site rank above your competitors.
So, how do you find your keywords and how do you know how to place them?
You may not think you know where to start, but you do. No one knows what you do or what you offer better than you. Start by writing down 10 words or phrases that people might search to find your products or services. Developing a list of keywords can be time-consuming and takes some thought but the outcome is definitely worth it!
Once you have a list, determine which ones are the most important. Narrow it down to three or four. These are the keywords you will focus on first to spread throughout all your content. It’s important to make a concentrated effort to use these keywords in a relevant, organized way. A strong keyword strategy is not just about dripping keywords all over your visitors, but leading them to the information they need to make an informed decision.
Making an SEO Keyword Strategy Work for You
Now that you have your best keywords, it’s time to put them to work in order to get the search engine results that drive traffic and convert them into buyers.
First, let’s talk about strategy. SEO best practices will tell you to use relevant keywords in a number of important areas on your site, places you might not think about or know like meta tags and alt tags to titles and body text of your pages, even the links to pages on your website. There are some well optimized websites that seem to have millions of keywords bolded and italicized in a way that doesn’t even make sense to the reader, but definitely drive traffic to their website. So, it makes you wonder what to do.
Keep in mind when optimizing pages on your website that search engines (and people) prefer relevance over density. Crowding a web page or Facebook post with keywords may drive traffic to your website, but it won’t convert. In fact, it will have the opposite affect and drive them away.
The best strategy is to keep it simple. You have your three or four of your best keywords. Now, develop phrases using these words. Use these phrases repeatedly on your web pages highlighting or bolding the main keyword. Maybe divide your page into three different sections to focus on these keywords. Or build a page concentrating on a keyword and use the phrases you came up with on these pages. You don’t want to make it too obvious, but it is necessary to have website content that targets your keywords. It might be helpful to use keyword groups or grouping similar keyword phrase together to stay more focused. Rewrite or edit your content until it is easy to read and understand while at the same time focusing on your keywords.
For example, let’s say you are running the website of an online seed store. You would first start with keywords related to seeds, maybe focusing on the most popular seeds at the time. Flowers, Vegetables, Trees. Then, create a group of keywords and phrases for each type. Flowers – sunflower, daisy, petunia; Vegetables – tomato, cucumber, broccoli; Fruit Trees – evergreen, pine, maple. Next, create a group for each sub-type or specific types of flowers, vegetables and trees. You might even go a step further and develop a group of keywords for what you might need to tend to each of these seeds as they grow.
As you continue to be more specific, you will develop keyword groupings that you can optimize on individual pages. They will have the same affect as repeating your keywords, but much more relevant to your readers.
For instance, you might want to optimize a web page for the “yellow daisy” keyword group. Consider doing these SEO tips:
- Use the keyword in the title of the page
- Use the keyword in the URL such as online-seedstore.com/flowers/daisy/yellow
- Use the keyword and variations like yellow daisies, yellow flowers throughout the text on the page
- Use the keyword in the meta tags, especially the meta description
- Use the keyword in any image file paths and in the images’ alt text
Manual keyword grouping can be very time-consuming, but as you begin to work through the process, you will begin to see progress in your page rankings without spending a lot of money.
Growing anything organically takes some extra effort, care and patience. Organic SEO takes time and consistency. I have used it as a way to gain access to the first page ranking many times for my clients. I know it works! You just have to be patient and keep working. Like anything worthwhile, it takes time and persistence. But, you didn’t open your business or finish writing a book in just a few hours, right? So make the investment to optimize your keywords in your marketing strategy and you will see what a difference it makes!