My last blog post dealt with choosing effective keyword phrases for Business SEO. But once you have your keyword phrases selected, how do you put them to work for you? This post will cover the basics of inserting those keywords onto your website in order to attract more quality traffic.
Map Your Keyword Phrases
The first thing that will have to be done is to “map” your keyword phrases. This just means that you will be assigning 1 or 2 keyword phrases to each page on your website that you want to optimize for SEO. It’s a good idea to make a table or excel spreadsheet to do this. When dealing with many pages, having a keyword “map” is handy not just for your initial SEO efforts, but it is a great reference for ongoing SEO, when you need to remember which pages are optimized for which keywords as part of link building efforts or reworking content.
Inserting your Keyword Phrases
Once you have your keywords mapped, it’s time to insert them onto the web pages you’ve chosen.
There are four areas on a webpage in which you will want to insert your mapped keyword phrase:
- The title tag (The title of your webpage in search results)
- The description tag (the description of your webpage in search results)
- The page’s text/content (All the writing on the page)
- Alt tags on images (a notation added to images to describe them)
This step may take some writing skill, because the task will be including your selected keyword phrase in the title, description, text and alt tags of your web page as if it naturally belongs there. Keep in mind that your customers will be reading all of this, so the presence of your keyword phrases should make sense and ultimately supplement the professional image that you would like your company to project. This is why selecting misspelled or irrelevant words is not a good idea, even if they have promising numbers behind them.
I will give an example of how to do this kind of keyword phrase insertion into your existing page content. Let’s say I would like to optimize the title and description of this page for the keyword phrase, “inserting SEO keywords“.
Here is the original:
Title: Optimizing your Business Website With Keyword Phrases
Description: Find out the basics of optimizing a page on your business website with keyword phrases for SEO. Get better traffic and more leads the smart way!
Here is the optimized version:
Title: Inserting SEO Keywords to Optimize your Business Website
Description: Find out the basics for inserting SEO keywords and keyword phrases on your business website. Get better traffic and more leads the smart way!
This same basic technique should be applied to all of the text/content on the webpage. When done properly, it should feel like the keyword organically belongs in the text, rather than just being inserted for no reason. As far as image alt tags, simply inserting the relevant keyword phrase in the alt tag should be sufficient. In general, you will want to include your selected keyword phrase in your page’s text as often as possible without compromising the quality of your content. Try reading the page out loud when you’ve finished; if it sounds like one word is being used too much, it probably is. Find a balance in which your selected keyword phrase is prominent in the text, but it doesn’t feel forced. Many businesses elect to hire a copy writer to do this, as it can be challenging to achieve the right balance.
What about the Keywords Tag?
A common mistake is to include your keyword phrases in the keywords tag. This tag’s existance can be confusing; it is a hold-over from the early days of the internet and, while it technically still exists as valid HTML markup, it has largely fallen into disuse. Some small search engines still use the keywords tag for indexing webpages, but Google, which accounts for over 75% of unique search queries worldwide, does not. Similarly, senior managers at Bing have confirmed that use of the keywords tag is unwise. Heavy use of the keywords tag is a signal to search engines that your page is spammy and undesirable.
Another strong argument against using the keywords tag is that it is public. Anybody can see it, including your competitors. Just like you wouldn’t tell your competitors your print or trade show marketing strategies, it’s probably not a great idea to so easily tell them exactly which keywords you’re targeting on your website. So the bottom line is that the keywords tag is unnecessary and can ultimately damage your efforts much more than it has the potential to help them.
Why Optimize with Keyword Phrases?
Choosing good keyword phrases and optimizing your website to be found when those keyword phrases are typed into search engines is basically targeted advertising for the 21st century. It gives potential customers who may be looking for your products or services the means to find you via web search. Without a targeted effort, it is very likely that your business’s website will not even show up in search engine results. This kind of SEO simply connects people who are looking to do business with YOUR business.
My next blog post will deal with some simple strategies to keep your business’s website relevant in the search engines via ongoing SEO efforts. Stay tuned!