How to Optimise SEO Keywords
By Elizabeth Nguyen Son | November 6 2017
Optimising keywords for SEO
What are SEO keywords?
For people to find your website via search engines, your will need key words and phrases within your web content; these are called SEO keywords. A website that is well optimized for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base with keywords for SEO that help connect searchers to your site.
You want to make it easy for potential visitors to find you. In order to do that, you need to know how people are looking for whatever kinds of goods and/or services you offer. The closer your SEO keywords are to what your potential visitors are looking for, the better. This is because you want them to visit your website and not one of the many other pages that appear in search engine results. In simpler terms, implementing keyword SEO will help you outrank your competitors.
Creating a list of keywords should therefore be one of the first steps you take towards search engine optimization as it is vital to a successful search marketing campaign. It will involve a lot of trial and error but don’t be afraid to invest in your SEO keywords; you want to ensure that they are highly relevant to your audience as they are the foundation for all your other SEO efforts. While it may be a time-consuming and tedious process at first, you will eventually see how fruitful optimizing your SEO keywords can be.
Discovering what your audience is looking for and using those keywords that will help you rank better on search engine results pages (SERPs). We will guide you through these tasks and how to use them in your online content.
What helps determine your ranking on SERPs?
- Keyword density: how often your SEO keywords should appear on your web page can be tricky to begin with; you want to use it often enough for it to remain relevant, but not so much that it becomes overbearing. Forbes’ John Rampton recommends that your keywords do not consist of more than 5% of your entire page content and there are plugins such as this one that can help you track these.
- Anchor text: is a coding term for the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. You can find more on this here.
- Backlinks: when a hyperlink leads to another page. This article explains in depth what a backlink is.
Common SEO keyword mistakes
Most search marketers newbies make the same mistakes when it comes to SEO keyword research:
- Only doing SEO keyword research once: SEO keyword research should be an ongoing and ever-evolving part of your job as a marketer. Old keywords need to be reevaluated periodically, and high-volume, competitive keywords can often be usefully replaced or augmented with longer, more specific phrases designed not to bring in just any visitor but exactly the right visitors. Who visits your site is just as important as (if not more important than) how many people visit.
- Not bothering to update and expand their SEO keyword list: this basically reiterates the previous point. Continue experimenting and keep track of the results.
- Targeting keywords that are too popular: If you pick keywords that are too popular, they are bound to be far too competitive for your new website. Be different and specific enough so that not only are people going to actually find you on SERPs, but so that they don’t have to wander around your entire website to find the exact web page they need. Bonus: you’ll stand out more too. The more convenient it is for them, the more likely they will remember your page.
Grouping your SEO keywords
What next? Well, on the one hand, SEO best practices recommend that you include relevant keywords in a number of high-attention areas on your site, everywhere from the titles and body text of your pages to your URLs to your meta tags to your image file names. On the other hand, successfully optimized websites tend to have thousands or even millions of keywords. It would be too time consuming and difficult to make a unique page for every single one of your keywords but you can’t keyword stuff, where you cram everything onto a few pages, and still expect to rank well for individual keywords. You have to find a good in between.
How does it work? Keyword grouping and organization. Divide your keywords into small, manageable groups of related keywords, so that you can significantly cut down your workload yet still create targeted, specific pages. If your website sells athletic apparel, for example, you would probably want to start one group of keywords for all of your women’s apparel, then one for all of your men’s apparel. Next, you would break down those two groups into smaller subgroups, such as tops and bottoms, and then event smaller groups, such as tanks, shorts, pants, t-shirts, etc. This way, each individual page is optimized by small and specific groups of SEO keywords.
Things to consider
Here is a checklist for your keyword optimisation:
- Title of the page
- Throughout the page copy
- Meta tags, especially the meta description
- Image file paths and in the images’ alt text (more on this later)
- As the anchor text in links back to the page from elsewhere on the site
Lastly, if you feel comfortable with everything, you could even try considering these kinds of SEO keywords:
- Brand related
Now that you have successfully optimised your keywords, why not try to optimise your images using alt text? You can find more on how to do so effectively, here.