Oh. My. Goodness! The first time I searched for keywords list I almost cried. Well…not really, but I was certainly more overwhelmed than I thought I would be.
Now, it wasn’t because of how to search the words themselves. It was more about what to actually do with the list of keywords when developing content. Flashing back to that time of “what the heck do I do with these,” this blog is alllllll about how to use keywords and phrases to naturally flow them through your on-page content, where you should strategically place them, and what you must avoid!
Take a wee breath. We’ll delete your fear of keywords together!
What, oh what exactly are Keywords and Phrases?
Well, these are the top words or phrases your online audience is searching for. It really is that simple. These words give you a clear understanding of who they are, the specific language they use, and how they think in relation to your services. Knowing this, you can then weave these key terms into your content and speak directly to what they’re looking to have answered.
Fantastic! But, where, oh where should these words be used on a website?
Please do not use them in every single sentence. That is just not fun to read! Try spreading them out a bit and focusing on key areas to use them (tee hee):
Headers are beautiful opportunities to capture your audience’s attention AND have search engines easily read your content. When creating headers, consider the following:
- Use different header sizes throughout your page for interest.
- Try and have a keyword on each header, if it sounds natural
- Your primary header (H1) should be your main focus for including a keyword/phrase based on the topic of your page.
2. Opening paragraphs
Keywords and phrases are best used within the first body paragraph, preferably within the first 1-2 sentences. Even better if they appear above the fold (the portion of the website that shows without the user needing to scroll down).
3. Individual website pages
Make sure that you optimize each of your website pages with your keywords. This increases the likelihood of a search engine finding your website. In addition, it helps give your page more focus in terms of messaging, providing your audience with clarity on what the page is about, if the answer they’re looking for is there, and what they are to do if an action is required (e.g. sign up, request a quote, purchase, etc.).
4. Back End
Keywords should be woven into individual off-page content, such as title tags and meta descriptions. Learn more about these beautiful branding opportunities here: Exciting Ways to Enhance Your Brand with Website Meta-Tags.
What, oh what, should be avoided with Key Terms at all costs?
Please do not spam your site with these terms and phrases. Your site should have no more than 3 – 4% of keywords in your content. More and your site will likely be flagged by search engines. It is also crucial that your keywords are in line with the content topics on your website. If the keywords do not match what you are writing about, again you will be spammed.
A great site to use to see what the most common words you are using on your webpage is Word Counter. This site gives you a visual snapshot of highly used vs. less-used words on-page. It’s a quick way to make sure you aren’t overusing a keyword.
How, oh how, can one stop being scared of working with Keywords?
The most important thing to remember when using these words is that it MUST sound natural and conversational. At the end of the day, you are writing to another human. If you cannot naturally flow the keyword or phrase into a sentence, then do not use it. Search engines, such as Google, scan your content for quality over keyword inclusion percentage.
Other little tips to reduce your stress about incorporating keywords include:
- Keyword variations: try using a variation of your original keyword terms throughout your content. This will help you better optimize your page. For instance, if you are a business broker, you can use the following:
- How do I sell my business in Calgary?
- As Calgary’s business broker…
- Are you unsure how to sell a business?
- A business broker that works with you to sell your business.
- Individual pages: While your website should have a consistent theme across all pages, search engines index each individual page, not your overall website. This means that you can use multiple keywords/phrases throughout your site and different ones on different pages, depending on the content and the audience that you are speaking to on that specific page. In fact, some SEO plugins require you to have a different focus keyword for each page.
- New content: As search engines continually index new content, creating new content on your site will only help to organically increase your search engine ranking. This also demonstrates to search engines that your website consistently provides quality content to audiences, building your website’s credibility, again, supporting your organic search ranking.
Now, yes now, trust that you can use that amazing keyword list your SEO team provided you to enhance your content…and most likely your online ranking.
Starting to use keywords yourself? Share your experience below or contact The Write Harle for a 1:1 chat!