Using SEO keywords or phrases in your web content is an integral part of generating a strong ranking for your site. Keywords are used by search engines with every user interaction. And search engines scour your web content for words or phrases that match. Your goal is to utilize keywords that match terms your current and potential customers will be using when searching.
Implementing strong SEO keywords with your website involves two steps. First, you need to research which phrases will result in the strongest ranking and response for your website. Then, you need to apply those phrases throughout your web content.
When using keywords to enhance SEO ranking for your website, it’s important to consider what phrases you are using. This is where keyword research comes in. When researching, consider what words and phrases you want your website to rank highly with, and what terms people might use when searching for your content.
The key to your research comes with thinking like a customer. Search engine users tend to search specifically and your website will see higher conversions and visits if you utilize specificity, too. For example, a potential customer looking for marketing help in their area will likely search “marketing company Reading, Pennsylvania” instead of “marketing” or “marketing help”.
Once you have an idea of words and phrases relevant to your business, see what results come up with Google. This gives you an idea of your competition, as well as providing related searches from actual Google users. Compare related searches to your keywords and phrases and adapt for specificity and relevance.
Keep in mind that keyword research is an ongoing process. Search engine algorithms and market vernacular are consistently changing. Keeping your website up to speed with those changes means periodically evaluating your keyword choices.
After establishing which keywords and phrases you want to improve your SEO ranking with, it’s time to integrate those words and phrases into your content. This includes more than just blog posts or other content-heavy mediums. Your whole website should integrate your keywords — from image titles to your About Us page.
As you implement your keywords, focus on the following places:
- Page Titles: Your page title is the “heading” of your website. It lets search engines and users know what your website, blog post, or services are all about. Your page title is usually pulled from the headlining text on the relevant page but can be tweaked with keywords to garner the strongest SEO ranking.
- Meta Descriptions: Your meta descriptions are the preview of information found on the page. While meta descriptions carried more weight with ranking in the past, the descriptions are still used by search engines to evaluate the compatibility of your content to a user search.
- Images: While images may not seem likely to contribute to your SEO, search engines catalog images used on sites, as well as all the text associated with them. When using an image on your website, include your SEO keywords in the title, file name, and alt text. Your title and file name can be short and keyword specific, but your alt text should be slightly more descriptive and include SEO phrases naturally.
- URLs: A good URL gives visitors (and search engines) an idea of what your page covers and should look very similar to your Page Title (excluding unnecessary articles). Include keywords or shortened phrases in the URL to increase your SEO, but make sure it is specific to the page, as well. Every page on your website can’t, and definitely shouldn’t, have the same URL ending based on your keywords.
- Anchor Text: Another important factor in strong SEO is including your specific wording in anchor text for in- or outbound links. This should be varied — you don’t want every link on your website attached to similar phrases, or search engines will notice and rate you poorly, but including similar wording for anchor texts can provide a big boost in SEO ranking.
- Content: When you are crafting content for your website, keep your keywords in mind and integrate them throughout. It’s important to do so naturally. Stuffing your content with keywords and phrases will result in your SEO ranking suffering. Search engine algorithms are smart and will scan your site for quality of information — not just quantity of keywords. So provide your web visitors with curated, informative content that naturally includes keywords and phrases.
Many sites, including professional WordPress websites, have apps or plugins that can be added to make integrating your keywords easier. Here at Borelli Designs, we can also help ensure your website has strong SEO keywords and rankings. If you’re interested in diving deeper into the complexities of SEO, check out our complete guide, a seven-hour course.